Vaginal candidiasis – nature and symptoms
Candidiasis is an infection caused by a type of fungus known as Candida . Candida usually lives in the body, in places such as the mouth, throat, intestines and vagina, as well as on the skin, without causing problems. However, if its environment is changed in a way that promotes its growth, it multiplies and causes infection. When this happens in the vagina, it’s called a “vaginal infection.” Other names for this infection are “vaginal candidiasis”, “vulvovaginal candidiasis” or “candidal vaginitis”.
The most common symptoms of vaginal candidiasis are:
- redness of the vagina (sometimes lips and inner thighs)
- vaginal itching or pain
- pain during intercourse
- pain or discomfort when urinating
- abnormal vaginal discharge
Other symptoms that can accompany vaginal candidiasis are:
- increased desire to consume carbohydrates, especially quickly (white bread, pastries, sweets, chocolate);
- depressive states ;
- irritable bowel syndrome;
- severe and prolonged headache;
- chronic fatigue;
- food allergies;
- increased anxiety;
- poor concentration;
- emotional instability;
- muscle weakness or even pain.
Treatment of vaginal candidiasis
Vaginal candidiasis is usually treated with antifungal drugs. In most infections, the drug is administered vaginally or a single dose is taken orally. More severe infections may require other treatments.
Along with conventional therapy, many women share excellent results using some natural treatments and herbs to deal with the infection.
Alternative treatments for vaginal candidiasis may include a variety of natural products and therapies, including:
- special diet ;
- herbal medicines;
- stress management techniques.
Diet for vaginal candidiasis
A diet that would be helpful in reducing fungal infection should contain foods rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and polyunsaturated fats, while avoiding the consumption of fast carbohydrates. It is recommended that this diet last at least 3 months.
Carbohydrates and vaginal candidiasis
Carbohydrates additionally stimulate the growth of Candida, because they create a favorable environment for the development of fungi. Therefore, it is recommended to exclude from the diet not only fast carbohydrates, but also foods that are easily converted into carbohydrates in the body (potatoes, pasta, rice, fruit). The diet is very difficult to follow because you have to consume mostly proteins and vegetables.
Foods that use yeast for production should be avoided because they are very beneficial for candidiasis and greatly worsen the symptoms associated with candidiasis. Such foods are: bread, croissants, pies, muffins and other pasta.
Avoid foods that, when consumed, lead to increased secretion of mucus from the mucous membrane. Such are wheat, oats, barley, rye.
Foods that should be limited on the menu are:
- sour food;
- corn syrup;
- yellow cheese;
- sugar and confectionery products;
- bread and bakery products;
- alcohol (especially beer);
Foods that are useful for vaginal candidiasis are:
- chicken meat;
- a fish;
- linseed oil;
- olive oil;
Detoxification, by cleaning the large intestine, to improve the condition of vaginal candidiasis
According to Ayurvedic medicine, the main cause of the manifestation of any disease is explained by digestive disorders, i.e. weakened function of the gastrointestinal tract. This is also the case with vaginal candidiasis. According to Ayurvedic doctors, the reason for the development of vaginal candidiasis is a consequence of weakened colon function. The cause of a malfunctioning colon is a decrease in the concentration of “good” bacteria in the colon. The lack of normal intestinal flora creates favorable conditions for the development of fungal infections, and also disrupts the normal absorption of nutrients and water from the intestine.
Ayurveda suggests performing several consecutive colonic enemas to eliminate the toxins produced by the fungi and to restore the body’s normal flora.
Herbs for vaginal candidiasis
Herbs that are suitable for the treatment of vaginal candidiasis must have some of the following therapeutic properties: immunostimulating, hypoglycemic (for lowering blood glucose), antifungal, antioxidant, hepatoprotective.
It is a tree whose bark is used to make tablets or extracts that can be used to treat yeast infections, including vaginal candidiasis. Lapahol, which is found in the bark of the tree, is a possible active substance with an antifungal effect. In addition to its antifungal effect, the bark of this tree has an immunostimulating and tonic effect. On the Bulgarian market, it can be found more often in the form of a nutritional supplement. Do not use during pregnancy!
This plant is one of the most famous immunostimulants. It is recommended to use it in the form of a liquid for washing the vagina, but in Bulgaria the plant is not easily found as a tea. More often it can be found in tablet form and in combination with echinacea. Take the tablets as directed on the package you purchased.
This Peruvian herb is recommended as a natural remedy against rheumatoid arthritis, stomach ailments, and vaginal candidiasis. Its effect is explained by immunomodulatory properties. Its main ingredient is oxindole alkaloid, which is considered to have an immunostimulating effect.
Also called Brazilian ginseng, this plant is known throughout the world for its immunostimulating effect, so it is recommended for numerous diseases such as asthma, stomach and duodenal ulcers, diabetes, infertility, rheumatism and others. The dosage depends on the specific form of use and the product, so an exact dosage cannot be recommended.
This plant is one of the most recommended for the treatment of vaginal candidiasis. The antioxidant effect of lemongrass is believed to be due to the citral and citric acid compounds in the plant. Apart from its anti-fungal effect, lemongrass is also recommended for flu, colds and digestive problems. Due to its diuretic and hepatoprotective action, with the help of lemon grass, the toxic products of the fungus can be removed from the body much faster.
Lemon balm can be used as a spice to flavor salads, fish, chicken and pork. Another option is to make a lemongrass tea or infusion: in 200 milliliters of boiling water, cut 1 stalk of the herb, which is equivalent to 1 teaspoon if you have dried lemongrass. After steeping for about 10 or 15 minutes, the tea is ready for consumption. The extract thus obtained can also be used for rinsing the vagina.
The use of the plant in the presence of glaucoma (increased intraocular pressure) and hypertensive disease (high blood pressure) is contraindicated.
Turmeric is very useful and is recommended as a natural remedy for vaginal candidiasis for three main reasons: it strengthens immunity (especially local immunity); improves liver function and has antioxidant properties that are necessary for faster recovery of the body.
Method of application:
As a spice – half a teaspoon twice a day with food or in the form of a food supplement (tablets). Use with caution in women taking blood thinners!
Herbs that reduce blood glucose and vaginal candidiasis
According to some studies, plants with a hypoglycemic effect are also useful in vaginal candidiasis. These herbs can be taken in tea or tablet form. Such herbs are cinnamon and hymn.
These herbs support the body’s immune system and its ability to fight infections. Such plants are echinacea, ginseng, ginkgo biloba, thyme, Mursal tea, ginger, rosemary .
Propolis solution and vaginal candidiasis
Dissolve 15 drops of 5% propolis solution in 200 milliliters of distilled water and put it in a pump for rinsing the vagina. Cleaning with a vaginal pump is done in the evening, before going to bed for 10 days, followed by a 20-day break and repeated again in the same period.
According to a study in the United States, about 87% of patients in a study using a propolis solution reported a reduction in the disappearance of symptoms due to vaginal candidiasis.
Aromatherapy and vaginal candidiasis
Aromatherapy for the treatment of vaginal infection can be applied in the form of a soaking bath. For this purpose, essential oils and calendula decoction are placed in a bath of lukewarm water (not hot). Staying in the bath should be about 30 minutes. Calendula decoction can be prepared as follows: put about 10 spoons of dry calendula in 500 milliliters of boiling water. Remove the pan from the heat and let it soak for 20 minutes, then add the decoction to the tea tree essential oil bath.
Stress and vaginal candidiasis
According to traditional Chinese medicine, stress is the cornerstone that causes the development of almost all suffering in the human body. Stress blocks various energy centers in the astral body, which leads to impairment of the functional activity of various organs. According to Chinese doctors, the function of the immune system is generally impaired and cannot deal with a fungal infection.
Chinese medicine offers various methods for dealing with stress and normalizing the flow of vital energy “Chi” through all bioactive points. One of the methods is acupuncture. In vaginal candidiasis, acupuncture needles are placed on bioactive points corresponding to the colon, kidneys and liver.
Meditation is another option that relieves stress and tension that can make you feel more energetic.