6 Home Remedies for Yeast Infections That You Should Never Try

Unfortunately, at-home cures for yeast infections are largely ineffective. Here, ob-gyns explain why you shouldn't put ~that~ in or around your vagina.

First things first: If you think you have a yeast infection — which isn't uncommon at all and could definitely be the case — you should call your gynecologist. While some yeast infection symptoms are easy to diagnose (such as itching or thick, clumpy discharge), it's best to run those your concerns by your ob-gyn. Your doc can confirm for you whether or not it's a yeast infection, and either offer you some prescribed treatment steps or ask you to come into their office because something sounds off.

What you shouldn't do is try one of these at-home fixes — despite what the internet might say, doctors agree that none of these suggestions are good. "There are absolutely no home remedies to get rid of yeast infection," says Lauren Streicher, M.D., associate clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. And if they're basically useless, that means you're going to be stuck suffering from your uncomfortable symptoms even longer. So, put away the coconut oil for yeast infection symptoms and save it for your hair care routine.

Avoid coconut oil, and these other at-home "cures" for yeast infections — they don't work and can actually do more harm than good:


While some studies claim applying yogurt to the vagina is a quick cure for a yeast infection, you shouldn't rush off to buy a tub just yet. It's true that lactobacilli, a bacteria in yogurt, can inhibit the growth of Candida albicans, the yeast that causes the fungal infection. But that only helps you prevent a yeast infection — not cure it, says Lakeisha Richardson, M.D., an ob-gyn in Greenville, Mississippi. "The few studies that have looked at the use of yogurt vaginally or orally have methodological flaws (no control groups, short follow-up, very small numbers of women in the study), and this approach to treatment is considered unproven," says Barb DePree, M.D., of Lakeshore Health Partners in Holland, Michigan. "The same can be said for the use of probiotics in pill form," she adds. And whatever you do, do not put yogurt directly inside your vagina. "I would not recommend anyone put yogurt into their vagina," says Dr. Richardson. Let's just leave it at that. (

Coconut Oil

Using coconut oil for yeast infection symptoms might sound perfectly fine since it's safe to use elsewhere on the body, right? Well, not really. Studies show that coconut oil has antifungal properties and that it could help curtail the growth of certain candida yeast strains, but coconut oil for yeast infections has not been proven to work. "Coconut oil cannot help control the growth of yeast," says Dr. Richardson. And, again, don't put anything up your vagina that hasn't been specifically approved for that purpose.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Is there anything apple cider vinegar can't do? Actually, yes — it is not an effective remedy for a yeast infection, regardless of whether you bathe in it or apply it topically, says Dr. Richardson. One study did show that ACV's antifungal properties could help against the yeast candida, but there's one problem: It's not the same strain that's present in vaginal yeast infections. There's also the idea that the high acidity in ACV could create a vaginal environment that's hostile to yeast, but you don't want to mess with your vagina's pH levels, says Dr. DePree. "Yeast infections do not disrupt the normal vaginal pH, unlike some of the other vaginal infections, so 'balancing' the pH isn't a solution of treating or preventing a yeast infection," she says.

Boric Acid

Studies have shown that boric acid can effectively treat vaginal issues, but "it is not a most commonly used method for simple yeast infections," says Dr. Richardson. That's probably because using this treatment calls for making it by pouring boric acid powder into gel capsules, and then putting it in your vagina. And let's be real: Do you really want DIY acid down there? "The only time boric acid should be considered a treatment of yeast infections is if there is known resistance to the more commonly used medications," says Dr. DePree. Another reason to hesitate? "There is no safety data on long-term use of boric acid, and it causes local irritation," she adds.


A small study once claimed that oral garlic supplements could be simple combatant to yeast infections, thanks to its strong antifungal properties. Some people even try eating garlic straight or making a paste to apply to their vagina. But it's not a smart strategy. "Even with its antifungal properties, garlic cannot help treat a yeast infection — and I don't know if anyone would want their vagina smelling like garlic," says Dr. Richardson. Valid point. (

Cranberry Juice or Pills

Who hasn't tried chugging cranberry juice at the first sign of vaginal discomfort? Unfortunately, doing so is not a natural cure for yeast infections, says Dr. Richardson. In fact, you're actually treating an entirely separate part of the body. "They're better used for the urinary tract system," she explains.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles