Chances are, you’ve heard of candida. This is a group of yeasts that can result in fungal infections in various areas of your body.
You may not realize this, but there are over 20 different types of candida. The most common cause of infection is candida albicans.
Typically, candida live harmoniously in your body without causing issues. You will find them in your intestines and on your mucous membranes, which line your mouth and vagina.
They are an opportunistic fungus that given the right circumstances will grow out of control.
When there is an overgrowth of candida, you end up with an infection. In your mouth, this infection is referred to as thrush. In your vagina, it is referred to as a yeast infection.
The scientific community has proven apple cider vinegar to be antifungal. Lab research has shown that it inhibits candida growth in a petri dish.
Of course, a petri dish is not a person, but this seems to indicate that you can use apple cider vinegar by either consuming it or applying it to the affected area without much risk to your overall health.
What do the Experts Say?
According to the research, apple cider vinegar has been proven to have antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.
In 2018, it was shown that undiluted apple cider vinegar inhibits the growth of candida. However, scientists acknowledge that more research is needed to determine whether apple cider vinegar will combat yeast in a human body.
Research does indicate that candida does not like apple cider vinegar. By consuming it, you could potentially create a less hospitable environment within your body for this fungus. Therefore, it would not be likely to grow out of control and lead to an infection.
How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar as a Treatment
There is a variety of ways that you can use apple cider vinegar to combat candida.
You can use it as a treatment when you do have an overgrowth or you can use it as part of your daily routine to avoid overgrowth and infections in the future. Here is how to use apple cider vinegar:
While this may not necessarily be the favorite option, you can take it straight/undiluted, like liquid medication.
To be honest, it doesn’t taste wonderful, but it’s not the worst thing you’ll ever taste. You can always add a little honey to help mask the flavor.
Take 1 tablespoon twice a day and then drink a glass of water. You should do this at least until your candida infection clears up – longer if you prefer.
Another option, especially if you have thrush, is to gargle it. In doing this, you are applying the apple cider vinegar directly to the affected tissue. Simply mix 1 cup water with ½ cup apple cider vinegar.
For 15 seconds, gargle and swish it around your mouth; you should do this for about three minutes. Do this 2-3 times/day until your infection clears up.
Add to tea
Try adding 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into a cup of black tea. According to experts, the polyphenols in the black tea also inhibit the growth of candida.
The black tea will help hide the flavor of the apple cider vinegar. If you have an active infection, you should do this twice a day. On the other hand, if you’re just trying to prevent an infection, you can just do it once a day.
Use it on salads
Believe it or not, apple cider vinegar is great as a salad dressing. This is probably the easiest way to incorporate it into your diet because you’ll probably enjoy it.
Mix it with some olive oil for a simple, quick dressing or if you want to get creative, you can add some garlic and/or dried herbs to spice it up.
Mix with coconut oil
If you want to use apple cider vinegar in a topical application, mix it with some coconut oil.
Studies have indicated that virgin coconut oil is almost as effective as the common prescription strength antifungal medications. For best results, make sure to choose 100% pure coconut oil.
To create this mixture, take 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and add 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar.
You can then apply this to the affected area or consume it. Of course, you’ll want to keep in mind that if you are using it topically and you want to prevent pregnancy, you’ll need to either abstain from sex or find an alternate method for birth control, as coconut oil will break down the latex in condoms.
Add to smoothies
If you really want to mask the taste of apple cider vinegar, but you want all those amazing benefits it brings, you can add 1-2 tablespoons to your smoothie.
You can add things like nutmeg, apples, and cinnamon to complement the flavor of the apple cider vinegar.
Take a bath with it
Many people have reported that they see results when they mix apple cider vinegar with a warm bath.
It moisturizes the skin and could potentially fight/treat yeast infections. The hardest part about this method is making sure that you use enough for it to be effective.
First, fill your bathtub about halfway and add 2 cups of apple cider vinegar. Then, sit and relax in the tub for about 15 minutes.
While sitting in the tub, practice Kegel exercises. This is beneficial in two ways; it strengthens your pelvic floor and also circulates water in and out of your vagina.
Does Apple Cider Vinegar have Side Effects?
Most experts agree that apple cider vinegar is extremely safe. In most cases, there are no adverse side effects from ingesting it.
However, due to the high acidity, you may experience burning in your throat.
There has not been much research done in the topical application of apple cider vinegar, but most people don’t really experience any problems with it. Of course, as with anything else, if you do experience any strange effects from it, it’s wise to stop using it.
If you are using apple cider vinegar to treat your yeast infection and don’t see any improvement after a week, it’s a good idea to see your doctor.
The symptoms of a yeast infection are similar to some other conditions that are more serious.
In many cases, sexually transmitted infections and bacterial vaginosis are mistaken for yeast infections, and if these conditions are not properly treated, it can cause some more serious complications.
The only way you can be sure that you’re treating the right issue is to get tested. If you test positive for yeast, follow your physician’s treatment plan.
If you want, talk to your physician about adding apple cider vinegar to your treatment.