Yeast infections are a complaint most women are familiar with. Nearly three quarters of all women will experience a yeast infection at some point in their lives, and around half of all women will have recurring ones, annually or more often. A yeast infection can be very painful, just irritating, and very embarrassing to sufferers. The itching, soreness, and smell aside, when yeast starts growing out beyond our pants, it can cause skin conditions like psoriasis or dandruff, which add to the discomfort and embarrassment.
Yeast infections actually start in our guts, which is why a long term solution must target the gut. When yeast grows out of control in our guts, it displaces healthy gut bacteria and sets up home. And once established, an invasive yeast problem can spread outside our gut, into our mouths, skin, or vaginas, causing further issues. So before using an essential oil treatment, make sure that you are eating a diet that will lead to the destruction of the root of your yeast problem. A diet low in carbs and rich in fiber will eventually eliminate all excess yeast.
That said, due to the pain and embarrassment that an infection can bring, it is understandable that you might need a topical solution, something to apply to the affected areas until your gut has rebalanced. And for that we have many solutions. The majority are over the counter antifungal and antibiotic creams, as well as douches, but these do more harm than good. This is because a basic number of bacteria in the vagina, and some fluid, is healthy. When we apply a cream that dries out our vaginal lining or kills our good bacteria, or wash everything away with a douche, we are creating a perfect breeding ground for candida. This treatment will temporarily kill off the yeast infection, but it will come back stronger than ever, and you will be stuck doing the same thing over and over, trying to get rid of your problem.
Fortunately, there are also solutions that are far more effective, nowhere near as dangerous, simple, and safe to use. One of these solutions is essential oil treatments. Essential oils are oils that have been infused strongly with plants or minerals, to make it easy to concentrate, preserve, and administer the beneficial elements of these plants and minerals without them breaking down. Essential oils can be used as scents, for internal or mental issues, or they can be applied directly to the affected area, for external issues. Therefore, in this situation, we will be applying them directly. Always make sure to dilute essential oils as some have a drying effect in their concentrated form. Almond oil, olive oil, or coconut oil are great dilution liquids, but water is fine too, so long as you make the mix immediately before using, and do not make any in advance. Put two or three drops of your essential oil into a tablespoon of oil or water, mix, then apply.
Cinnamon oil is a great solution that can be applied topically to fight irritation, but also drank in hot drinks to help your gut rebalance its healthy bacteria. Make sure it is food grade, and dilute it before using, as the concentrated form can be an irritant, not soothing.
Oregano oil is highly antifungal, but with fewer antibacterial properties. This means it will fight back the yeast, but let our healthy bacteria grow fairly unobstructed. Make sure to mix this one with another oil to ensure it is properly balanced to fight the yeast, and not your bacteria, though.
Tea tree oil is a wonderful oil for fighting a yeast infection. This is because it is strongly antiseptic and antifungal. However, for this very reason, you do not want to apply it too often, or in a concentrated form. You just want to use enough to kill most of the yeast, giving healthy bacteria a chance to flourish.
Thyme oils are highly effective at treating the more stubborn yeast infections. This is because some yeast infections have multiple causes, both bacterial and fungal. In these cases, but not in any other case, it can be advisable to eliminate as much microbial life as possible from the vagina and let it start over. Thyme oil is a great way to do this as it suppresses yeast growth for days after application, letting bacterial regrow in a healthy manner.