What is a Yeast Infection?
Yeast infection, also known as candidiasis, is caused by a type of yeast called Candida albicans which is naturally found in the human body. Due to a wide range of factors including:
- unhealthy eating habits like bingeing on sugar and grains which feed yeast,
- chronic stress which negatively impacts the immune system,
- taking birth control pills & other medication such as antibiotics that kill both the good and bad bacteria in the body,
- environmental toxins that weaken the body’s immune system,
- and more,
candida cells can multiply at a very fast rate and cause yeast infections especially in women.
Types of Yeast Infections
- Oral yeast infections – Also known as oral thrush or oral candidiasis, oral yeast infections are caused by candida overgrowth in the oral cavity or mouth.
- Cutaneous yeast infections – This means yeast infections on the skin or fungal skin infections. This type of yeast infection is very common and for most people, it comes and goes without problems but for some, it can be very itchy. It mostly affects warm and moist places because these are areas where fungi and yeast thrive such as armpits, under breasts, groin area, edges of nails, etc. These also include diaper rash in babies and sanitary napkin rashes.
- Genital yeast infections – Did you know that up to 75% of women have been affected by yeast infections at least once in their lifetime? This is accompanied by intense itching, sensitivity, rashes, burning pain during urination and other symptoms.
Which Yeast Infections can Shea Butter Help with?
Shea butter can be used for cutaneous yeast infections (those on the skin) and genital yeast infections because it has a variety of properties including lubricant qualities, anti-inflammatory & anti-itch benefits, antibacterial properties and soothing effects that help give relief to yeast infection symptoms.
How to Use Shea Butter for Yeast Infection
1. Apply directly
You can use 100% pure raw shea butter straight on the affected area to quell itching, soothe irritation and lubricate the area to prevent further irritation (especially if you have rashes).
2. Mix it with powerful anti-fungal essential oils
This is a hundred times better than the above method as an effective yeast infection treatment, in my opinion. Essential oils are concentrated liquids extracted from aromatic plant matter and they are rich in volatile compounds that have therapeutic properties. Anti-fungal essential oils such as tea tree oil, oregano oil, thyme oil, cedarwood oil and more immensely help naturally fight off fungus and reduce the severity of yeast infections. Here are 2 powerful anti-fungal cream recipes you can make right at home:
Note: These DIY anti-fungal creams are for external use only!
Recipe #1 – Anti-Fungal Cream with Shea Butter, Tea Tree & Lavender
This recipe is very easy and quick to whip up, especially if you’re in dire need of it! It contains just two anti-fungal oils: tea tree & lavender that are cheaply and easily available.
- ¼ cup unrefined shea butter (get it here)
- 1 tbsp olive oil (get it here)
- 10 drops tea tree essential oil (get it here)
- 10 drops lavender essential oil (get it here)
- Place the ingredients in a bowl and whip them vigorously using a whisk for 5 minutes until they all combine thoroughly to form a silky cream.
- Transfer to a clean sterilized container.
- Apply generously on the affected area.
Recipe #2 – Anti-Fungal Cream with Shea Butter, Beeswax, Coconut Oil & Essential Oils
This anti-fungal cream recipe is very powerful as it contains antimicrobial & skin soothing coconut oil, lubricating beeswax and potent anti-fungal and antimicrobial essential oils such as tea tree, cedarwood & oregano.
- ¼ cup unrefined shea butter (get it here)
- ¼ cup beeswax pastilles (get it here)
- ¼ cup coconut oil (get it here)
- ¼ cup olive oil (get it here)
- 10 drops tea tree oil (get it here)
- 10 drops cedarwood oil (get it here)
- 5 drops oregano oil (get it here)
- Get a large mason jar where you’ll be storing your anti-fungal cream and add the beeswax, shea butter, coconut oil and olive oil in it.
- Fill a saucepan with ½ cup of water and set it on the stove, heating over a low flame.
- Place the mason jar inside the pot carefully, making sure no water goes inside. The water level should reach halfway up the outside of the jar.
- Let the ingredients in the mason jar gently melt into liquid form over the low heat.
- Once melted, turn off the heat, carefully get the mason jar out and let it cool down for about 2 minutes.
- Add the essential oils and stir well with the back of a long spoon or a chopstick.
- Let the cream set to solid form then scoop it some out using clean fingers and use liberally.
Another Great Remedy for Yeast Infections
Sitz baths – Never under estimate the power of sitz baths! They can give you super fast and sweet relief! In the bathroom, just fill a sitz bath tub or any large tub you can sit in halfway with hot water (as hot as you can handle!) then add ¼ cup of salt and just sit in the tub on bare skin for 15 minutes. The salt will help kill bacteria, draw out the infection, stop itching and alleviate the rashes. Make your sitz bath more powerful by adding 2 tsp of shea butter mixed very well with 5 drops of tea tree oil.
Before using any of the above anti-fungal creams, please do a patch test by applying 1/4 tsp of the cream on your inner elbow. If there’s any sign of irritation, then wash the area well and do not use the cream on your body.
Be careful with essential oils. Do not add more than the required amount of drops thinking you’ll get more benefits. They do not work that way. Instead, you might suffer from chemical burns! Handle essential oils with care and use only a few drops.
Yeast infections, especially genital yeast infections can be extremely unbearable so please ensure to get some prescription medicine from the doctor for quick relief. Shea butter can be a natural remedy to provide quick soothing relief but it won’t cure your infection – you also have to get professional help.
If you’re suffering from recurrent yeast infections, lifestyle changes must be made:
- Take daily probiotics supplements or kefir or yogurt to help strengthen the immune system and help balance candida to prevent overgrowth.
- Limit your intake of sugar, bread and other overly sweet and yeast-filled foods – like pizza. Also avoid eating aged cheese.
- Exercise regularly, to remove toxins and waste in your body.
- Reduce stress! Stress makes the immune system incredibly weak, allowing all sorts of bacteria to thrive in your body’s internal environment, creating a host of diseases. Meditate, take deep breaths and try to keep calm and lead a stress-free life – it’s all in your hands.