Meeting with the beast that is yeast can be a major disruption to happy summer living. We all want to avoid the inability to jump in a pool or take a yoga class during sacred summer months.
So what is exactly happening in vaginas or “yonis” when the beast takes a strong hold? How does this happen? What can we do to prevent and treat the beast infection naturally?
A yeast infection is essentially a disruption in the balance of bacteria of the yoni which then creates a hospitable environment for yeast to flourish.
Down below, those with yonis are best off with a slight imbalance of bacteria in favor of Lactobacillus spp., which achieves an optimal state of harmony. Should disruptions happen to this environment, disharmony can occur, and the beast is born in the forest.
What kind of disharmony you say? Discharge, itching, irritation, odor, and massive discomfort. The most common culprit in vaginal disharmony is Candidiasis (commonly known as yeast). How did we get this funky fungal invading beast? A few common ways could be:
- Sexually transmitted via spermicide, lubes, sex toys
- Antibiotics with a lack of recolonization of friendly bacteria
- Re-transmission from infected partner
- Hormone dysregulation via estrogen into vaginal secretions
- Diabetes via immunosuppression,
- Perhaps even a partner that forgot to wash hands.
There are many risk factors to ponder.
Often we are told by the gyno we must treat yeast with antibiotics. While that can put the beast to sleep in the short term, it can cause mayhem and current re-infections in the long term.
So here is what we can do to fight the beast for good.
From the get-go, choose breathable panties. Whether they are 100% cotton, hemp, bamboo, or even wool! Yoga pants are a no-go.
Make sure to get your full night’s rest to help balance your hormones. Reduce sugar, alcohol, and leaky gut triggers in your diet. And lastly, do not douche.
In the case of infection, try yoni steaming with your antimicrobial herbs. Steam with them, bathe in them, use them topically in a cream. Most importantly, drink them!
At the end of the first week, work on getting back to that correct balance of bacteria in the yoni, aka more Lactobacillus. Do that by supplementing it into your vaginal flora. Take an oral supplement as well as suppository supplement of Lactobacillus probiotics. Some say inserting an organic plain yogurt vaginally is very helpful for the Lactobacillus and pH of your yoni.
And all throughout the beastly week and after, don’t forget herbs that are soothing and anti-inflammatory for discomfort such as Licorice root, Marshmallow root, Comfrey leaf, and Calendula flowers.
Always feel free to consult with your local herbalist to guide you along your herbal journey.
May the plants always bless you!
Arielle Hayat of @arielletheherbalist is a clinical herbalist with three years of intensive training from Arbor Vitae School of Traditional Herbalism in New York City. She completed her 1000 hour apprenticeship with 30+ year Wise Woman herbalist Lata Kennedy of Flower Power Herbs and Roots focusing on the Six Steps of Healing of the Wise Woman Tradition. She continues to work at Flower Power and there she is able to empower and guide numerous people in her community to a healthier lifestyle that focuses on wellness from the inside out. Arielle has a private consult practice, and teaches weekly workshops at wellness haven, The Alchemist’s Kitchen. She also is a founding member of Sacred Lotus Yoni Steam as a clinical herbalist formulating steam blends for feminine health. Her education in natural plant medicine weaves the methodologies of Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, Native American folk, European herbalism, and The Wise Woman tradition (the oldest tradition of healing on our planet) to nourish the mind, body and soul of her clientele. Arielle’s specialty lies in protocols for helping the body adapt to stress, healing mental wounds caused by the affects of tension and anxiety. She also sees clients with issues related to gut/ digestion, viral infections, adrenals, hormones and more. Through their work together, Arielle’s clients rediscover their inner peace, and can experience profound emotional and physical transformation.