At-home symptom relief for vaginal yeast infections (thrush)

If you are squealing in discomfort, pain, itchiness and you need help for your yeast infection right now to get symptoms to manageable levels, read on.

Treating vaginal yeast infection with yoghurt-honey cream

Studies​5,6​ have found that a mixture of honey and live yoghurt was more effective than clotrimazole vaginal cream for treating symptoms of vulvovaginal candidiasis. Manuka honey has many more properties than regular honey.

To make a honey-yoghurt cream, mix two tablespoons of honey with four tablespoons of yoghurt. Chill if you have time. Apply internally using a syringe or douche, and apply on the vulva for symptom relief as needed. Dress accordingly!

Milk kefir orally and vaginally

You want fresh milk kefir grains only, which you will need to buy online for about US$15 and have delivered. These grains may take too long to be delivered if you need symptom relief immediately, but if you are prone to yeast infections, having some milk kefir grains fermenting can make a difference down the track.

Make a thick, sour ferment of milk kefir, and insert a soaked tampon vaginally, use a douche apparatus to squirt some deep into your vagina, or use milk kefir suppositories that you freeze.

Douche to clean out the itchy, irritating thick white discharge of vaginal yeast infections

A warm water douche can immediately clear out the itch-inducing cottage cheese-like discharge that can contribute to yeast infections being unbearable.

Try a lavender essential oil douche​1,2​ or you can also use Australian or New Zealand tea tree oil in a douche.

Add a few drops of tea tree oil​3,4​ to warm water (if you can get water-soluble tea tree, do so). Using a syringe canister or douche, apply deep into the vagina and around the vulva, and let run out.

Don’t over-douche – you need your good bacteria! Just once should be fine, or as needed, but use sparingly. Douching is NOT generally a solution for a yeast infection, but can help soothe your vagina and vulva, and may solve the problem in some people.

Essential oils for vaginal yeast infections

  • German chamomile
  • Geranium
  • Lavender
  • Lemongrass
  • Myrrh
  • Petitgrain
  • Tea tree
  • Thyme

Sitz bath for minor symptom relief of vaginal yeast infections

Dose: 2-3 drops of essential oil in a large bowl of warm water, and sit your vulva in it – used twice daily until symptoms resolve. 

A sitz bath is a ‘bath’ where your bottom and vagina are sitting in the water and nothing else, though you can have a regular bath – just make sure to add more essential oils to account for the new ratio.

Itching or soreness – soothing yoghurt and essential oil douche for vaginal yeast infections

Dose: Make a douche using 100ml of fresh live probiotic (unflavoured) yoghurt or milk kefir, plus 5 drops each of German chamomile, lavender and tea tree oil.

Apply the mixed liquid using a syringe canister, turkey baster, or silicone douche. You can dilute the yoghurt with warm water until it is thinner, if you prefer. Diluted yoghurt will come out of your vagina faster than the thicker yoghurt may.

Make sure the yoghurt is completely plain, has live probiotics in it, and no added sugar, flavours, or preservatives.

Do the douche twice daily until symptoms abate. Do not continue to douche.

Probiotics to choose when treating a vaginal yeast infection at home

You want yeast-fighting bacteria and beneficial yeasts. Find a probiotic with Saccharomyces boulardii in it – a known yeast fighter.

If you can’t find that, then ask at your local pharmacy for the best probiotic they have for yeast infections.

Recurrent yeast infections and the gut

A yeast infection in your vagina can be a sign of a yeast bloom in the digestive system. The gut therefore also needs addressing if you want to truly clear up recurrent yeast infections.

You aren’t aiming to eliminate yeasts completely – they always exist in our bodies – but to keep them within normal levels.

Food to skip when you have a vaginal yeast infection

While you are treating your yeast infection, stop eating all white carbs (white bread, pasta, rice, potato), and all sugary drinks and foods. These foods feed yeast. 

You’ll be surprised that even just removing these foods – without any douching necessary – will manage many yeast infections alone. Don’t underestimate how much your diet affects what blooms in your belly and vagina.

Add to that fermented foods and probiotics, and a straightforward yeast infection will typically resolve by itself, within a day. A bloom relies on a food source, so if you remove the food source, the bloom disappears.

Without the bloom in your gut, your vagina doesn’t have any yeast problems most of the time – one thing leads to the other. Adding yeast-fighting bacteria uses a two-pronged approach to fighting yeast – starve it and kill it.

While it’s also important to consider your intestines when treating vaginal yeast infections, vaginal treatments can reduce symptoms while you attend to your gut flora.

Boric acid for vaginal yeast infections

Boric acid, 600mg nightly inserted deep into your vagina, can be a good symptom-relief treatment for yeast infections.

Read more about boric acid in our boric acid fact sheet and then where to find boric acid.

Potassium sorbate vaginally

Potassium sorbate is not commonly used much anymore, but at one point potassium sorbate – a yeast-defying food preservative – was used vaginally for yeast infections.

Loose-leaf herbs in the bath for vaginal yeast infection symptom relief

You can use chamomile, calendula or green tea leaves in the bath by making up a strong batch of tea with the leaves – steep for 20-30 minutes, then have a sitz bath or a regular bath to calm your raw, itchy vulva.

Keep in mind that most teabags contain plant ‘dust’ and are nearly useless – nearly. If that’s all you have, try it, but use a lot.


  1. 1.
    D’Auria FD, Tecca M, Strippoli V, Salvatore G, Battinelli L, Mazzanti G. Antifungal activity ofLavandula angustifoliaessential oil againstCandida albicansyeast and mycelial form. Med Mycol. Published online January 2005:391-396. doi:10.1080/13693780400004810
  2. 2.
    Adaszyńska-Skwirzyńska M, Dzięcioł M, Szczerbińska D. Lavandula angustifolia Essential Oils as Effective Enhancers of Fluconazole Antifungal Activity against Candida albicans. Molecules. Published online January 25, 2023:1176. doi:10.3390/molecules28031176
  3. 3.
    D’agostino, Tesse, Frippiat, Machouart, Debourgogne. Essential Oils and Their Natural Active Compounds Presenting Antifungal Properties. Molecules. Published online October 15, 2019:3713. doi:10.3390/molecules24203713
  4. 4.
    Bona E, Cantamessa S, Pavan M, et al. Sensitivity ofCandida albicansto essential oils: are they an alternative to antifungal agents? J Appl Microbiol. Published online October 24, 2016:1530-1545. doi:10.1111/jam.13282
  5. 5.
    Darvishi M, Jahdi F, Hamzehgardeshi Z, Goodarzi S, Vahedi M. The Comparison of vaginal cream of mixing yogurt, honey and clotrimazole on symptoms of vaginal candidiasis. GJHS. Published online April 3, 2015. doi:10.5539/gjhs.v7n6p108
  6. 6.
    Abdelmonem AM, Rasheed SM, Mohamed AS. Bee-honey and yogurt: a novel mixture for treating patients with vulvovaginal candidiasis during pregnancy. Arch Gynecol Obstet. Published online February 8, 2012:109-114. doi:10.1007/s00404-012-2242-5

Jessica Lloyd - Vulvovaginal Specialist Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica is a degree-qualified naturopath (BHSc) specialising in vulvovaginal health and disease, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Jessica is the owner and lead naturopath of My Vagina, and is a member of the:

  • International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD)
  • International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH)
  • National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) Australia
  • New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society (ANZVS)
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)