Friday, January 23, 2009

Essential Tip of the Week: Yeast Infections

Some essential oils, particularly Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) and Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender), have been shown to inhibit the growth of thrush and other fungal infections. When used in a diluted solution, they can bring relief by alleviating the itching and inflammation and soothing the infected areas.

This recipe for the yeast essential oil mix comes from the book Aromatherapy and Massage for Mother and Baby by Allison England.

In a small amber or dark blue glass dropper bottle add:

One and a half teaspoons (8 milliliters) of tea tree oil
One third of a teaspoon (2 milliliters) of lavender.
Mix well.

Some methods for using the above EOs to combat yeast:
  • Add 2-4 drops of the EO mixture to a warm bath. Soak in the water for ten minutes. Never use commercial bubble baths, soaps, and cleansing gels if you have a yeast infection. They are too alkaline and can irritate the vagina.
  • Create a gentle yeast infection cream by mixing 7 drops of EO mixture to one ounce of pure, unscented lotion ( I like petroleum free Unscented Alba Botanica available at most stores) or pure aloe gel. Use this cream to soothe the delicate vulva. Apply three to four times daily.

Use a slightly damp tampon without applicator (100% Organic Cotton Only-the synthetic fibers in commercial tampons will interact with the EOs!). Mix one drop of just tea tree oil with enough organic, plain, live yogurt to make the tampon wet and well coated. Insert the tampon immediately into the vagina, and leave it in place for 2 or 3 hours. Repeat as necessary. Do not leave tampon in more than 3 hours and not overnight.

Don't use any other oil on a tampon but tea tree oil--it is a powerful antifungal agent and the only oil mild enough for the very delicate vaginal area. It must only be used in low dilutions. Tampon method should never be used during pregnancy, instead try the external methods for easing yeast infections. In the case of a severe yeast infection either during pregnancy or postpartum, seek the advice of your midwife or doctor.

This tip is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


Rebecca said...

When you are mixing oils, or oils and another base, what do you use to accurately measure milliliters and dispense it into the amber bottles?

Mommy Melee said...

I've found that Tea Tree is way too harsh for vaginal skin, especially if you're prone to any sort of sensitivity or redness. I've never heard anyone suggest using Tea Tree directly on mucous membranes...

OilGirl said...

Good question, Rebecca. One teaspoon equals 5 ml. So as I posted the recipe, one and a half teaspoons is approximately 8 ml. You can either use a stainless steel measuring spoon (EOs might interact with plastics)or a glass dropper that has mls marked on it. Another way of measurement is that one ml is equal to approx 17 drops of oil. While it isn't the most efficient way to dispense large amounts, 17 drops can be multiplied by however many mls you need to use. In the EO desk reference you will notice most recipes go by drops not mls. The recipe posted here was from a British book, therefore I included the mls.

OilGirl said...

Mommy Melee, just to clarify-the recipe posted here calls for Tea tree greatly diluted by yogurt,
unscented cream, or bathwater, not DIRECTLY applied to mucous membranes as your comment implies. Severe sensitivity or redness in the vaginal area should be checked by a health care provider.