Cranberries are a versatile remedy which can help with various medical conditions, and a large number of women recommend the use of cranberry juice for yeast infection.
Yeast infections are a common type of infection which affects about 75% of women during their lifetime.
Half of these women will have a yeast infection multiple times, and for some, this is a recurring issue.
They develop in the body due to Candida. Candida albicans is a group of fungi which naturally occurs in our genital tract.
As the acidity levels in our body get lower, the Candida starts to develop rapidly.
Usually, it is regulated by good bacteria, but antibiotic treatments commonly kill the good bacteria which allows the Candida bacteria to grow over its usual levels.
This is the most common reason for developing a yeast infection, which generally happens to women. However, on rare occasions, men can also be infected.
There are some other factors which can lead to yeast infection, including unhealthy diet, hormonal imbalances, high-stress levels, uncontrolled diabetes and a weak immune system.
Yeast infection can be transferred through sexual intercourse, so avoid sexual contact or use protection to protect both yourself and your partner.
There are numerous symptoms of yeast infection including redness and itching in the vagina and at the vulva, vaginal rash, burning sensation and a watery or thick white vaginal discharge.
You could also feel pain during sexual intercourse. Males notice a rash, itching, and irritation on the penis.
Yeast infection can be prevented by wearing cotton underwear and avoiding tight clothes, hot baths and an overuse of antibiotics. However, if you already developed an infection, cranberry juice will be your biggest ally to combat the unpleasant symptoms and will help in curing and preventing yeast infections in the long run.
With the regular use of cranberry juice, you should feel a relief from your yeast infection quickly.
Does Cranberry Juice Help Yeast Infections?
Cranberry juice is commonly recommended by both physicians and patients who had issues with the yeast infection.
Natural remedies have shown to actually have longer lasting results than the prescription medication.
Some medication can have unpleasant side effects and also weaken the condoms or diaphragms, which will make you more prone to getting sexually transmitted diseases.
However, various more serious issues can have the same symptoms as yeast infections, such as bacterial vaginosis. Thus, you should still consult a doctor and get a proper diagnose before trying any at-home treatment.
At this moment it is still not completely understood why cranberry juice helps, but the most accepted theory is that the ingredients found in cranberries prevent the Candida from sticking to the urinary bladder wall, so they get washed away with urine more easily.
Another theory is that the acid found in cranberries prevent bacteria to grow further.
Cranberries also correct the pH levels of the urine and contain vitamins C and E which boost the immune system.
They contain antibacterial properties and also help to restore good bacteria in the affected areas.
Whatever the reason, cranberry juice seems to help in most cases, and it is certainly not risky to try it alone or as an addition to your usual treatment.
However, an overuse of cranberry juice can lead to kidney stones according to Gregor Reid, a renowned professor of Immunology and Microbiology and an author of a study which explores the influence of cranberries on Intestinal and Urogenital Tract Health.
A glass or two of cranberry juice per day should cut it, according to Reid. Make sure you use unsweetened juice since sugar could work counter effectively.
When purchasing cranberry juice, avoid cranberry cocktails which have a very small percentage of real cranberry juice in them.
Therefore, always check the labels and choose the product which mostly consists of actual cranberry juice and avoids the diluted options.
You can also take the juice in powdered form, although there is still no research proving it has the same effects as the normal juice.
If you dislike the taste of cranberry juice, there are some other options you could try out:
You can purchase cranberry pills in a pharmacy and some drugstores, and use them to treat your yeast infection.
Drink three to four pills, or around 400 milligrams two times per day.
To prevent any digestion issues, it would be best to drink the pills one hour prior or after your meal.
For an added effect drink the pills which have extra Vitamin C.
You can take a cup of fresh cranberry fruits two times per day.
A cup of cranberries contains 4.6 grams of fiber which will help to treat yeast infection.
You can add the fruits to oatmeal or yogurt for improved digestions.
Don’t add any sugar, since this will be counter-effective.
A study from 2013 has proved that dried cranberry fruits can also be extremely effective. The
most of the tested women with recurrent UTI didn’t experience any symptoms within 6 months of dried cranberries consumption.
If you opt for this solution, take about a third of a cup of dried cranberries twice per day.
Topical Application of Cranberry Juice
You could also apply unsweetened cranberry juice directly on your skin. Put a cotton ball in cranberry juice and apply it on the affected areas of your skin. Wait for it to soak in for approximately two to three minutes, then wash it away with warm water and pat dry. For this remedy to work, you must be consistent and repeat the same process at least four times every day.
Tips and Precautions
- Cranberries could interact with some medication including antibiotics and aspirin, so make sure you consult your doctor before starting any supplemental treatment. You should also avoid using birth control pills when treating yeast infections since they weaken the immune system and it will take much longer to cure the infection.
- One study showed that increased iron intake can further develop Candida bacteria, so it is advised to stop any iron supplement treatment when treating your yeast infection. However, don’t stop taking your iron supplements before consulting with a physician.
- Aside from dried cranberries, which can be beneficial even when sweetened, avoid adding sugar and artificial sweeteners as they will feed the yeast cells and worsen the condition.
- To improve the benefits of the cranberry juice for yeast infection, reduce the intake of caffeine, simple carbohydrates, refined sugar, and alcohol.
- Drink plenty of water and urinate frequently to wash out the toxins and bacteria. Dehydration can be a common cause of yeast infections especially for women, according to a women’s health doctor Sherry A. Ross. If you don’t drink enough water the outside skin of your vagina will easily dry out, and its normal pH levels will be disrupted. This leads to itchiness, redness and the development of yeast and bacterial infections. You should drink at least two liters of water per day.
- You should keep your vaginal area clean, but avoid douching since it will further reduce the acidic levels in the vagina.
- Wear cotton underwear and try to keep the infected area dry, as the infection will develop more rapidly in moist conditions. Synthetic underwear traps moisture and doesn’t let the skin to breathe. Clothes which are tight around the crotch should be avoided for the same reason.
- If you don’t use the Vitamin C enriched cranberry juice or supplements, drink Vitamin C tablets daily to acidify your urine and speed up the healing process.
- Cranberry juice is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women. However, due to lack of research and evidence, it would be safer to avoid it during this period.
- Males can also use the cranberries for yeast infection and should follow the same tips and precautions.
Is Cranberry Juice Good For Yeast Infections?
Although the use of cranberry juice for yeast infections still lacks evidence, numerous studies have shown that the proanthocyanidins in cranberries destroy the Candida bacteria protective membranes called biofilm, and prevent the Candida to attach to surfaces.
There is also a lot of evidence that the cranberries have strong antifungal properties, which is indispensable in treating any bacterial infections.
A study from the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” has shown that cranberry juice can be used to combat four different species of Candida, including Candida lusitaniae, Candida glabrata, Candida krusei and Candida cryptococcus.
Furthermore, a more recent study published in the “Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy” has shown the positive effects of cranberries on Candida albicans, which is the most common cause of Yeast infection.
They looked the behavior of the bacteria under the microscope and found that as the cranberry juice increases, the growth of the Candida albicans reduces substantially.
Since cranberry juice can also balance the pH levels of the urine when used regularly it will also treat various issues with the urinal and genital tract.
It prevents pH levels from growing high in Alkaline which enables the fungus to grow.
Although the Candida overgrowth most commonly develops in the genital areas it could also affect your mouth.
This is called the thrush, and you can usually notice it in the white patches on the tongue or inside the mouth.
You can use cranberry juice to treat this condition too, the same way you would with the yeast infection.
All things considered, using cranberry juice for yeast infection is a very powerful solution with almost no risk or side-effects.
After you healed completely, you can also use cranberry products to prevent any future bacterial infections.