The most common home remedy for vaginal yeast infections is unsweetened yogurt that contains active bacteria. Many trademarks do not contain acidophilus bacteria, so be sure to read the label. Nancy’s yogurt, made in Oregon, contains several different types of live cultures and can help you restore the balance between yeast and bacteria.

If you don’t live in an area that sells this particular brand, check the labels on the yogurt available at your local grocery store; “live cultures” should be prominently featured.

If you add sugar to yogurt, you’ll negate its benefits by feeding your yeast; If you really can’t stand the thought of eating unsweetened yogurt, add a small amount of honey instead of sugar. Honey has been shown to increase the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut, while sugar inhibits bacteria and feeds yeast. If you have to choose between sweeteners, always choose honey.

Brown sugar, raw sugar, and other forms of sugar are just sugar—they’re no better for you and should be avoided like the plague if you have a yeast infection.

Some people put yogurt in the vagina instead of eating it, to get the acidophilus down where it is needed most quickly, but some studies have shown that this is neither necessary nor effective. If you want to try it, you can insert the yogurt directly into your vagina by dipping a tampon (the type without an applicator, like the OB brand) in unsweetened yogurt and then inserting it into your vagina. Remove the tampon after an hour or so.

You can also freeze yogurt on the fingers of a sterilized plastic glove, then insert the yogurt popsicle into your vagina like a tampon. This can be a bit tricky, so you may want to wear a sanitary pad for a few hours. Believe it or not, frozen yogurt will feel good against your swollen vaginal walls.

You can also find suppositories that contain live bacterial cultures at the health food store and online. These products deliver the beneficial probiotics directly to the affected area. Be sure to select a capsule that contains only live bacterial cultures and does not contain herbal remedies such as Pau D’Arco bark extract or black walnut that can kill bacteria.

If you use one of these products or put yogurt in your vagina, you should also eat a cup of unsweetened yogurt every day. You need a strong population of acidophilus in your intestinal tract to help build your natural defenses and prevent the infection from coming back.

Since yogurt is not an antifungal treatment, there is no risk of it causing the yeast population to mutate and become resistant to the drugs. Even if you are lactose intolerant, you can tolerate yogurt, but if not, try one of the acidophilus capsules sold at the health food store, instead.

If you want to use yogurt as a natural home remedy for your yeast infection, go ahead and experiment to see if it works for you. You may decide to cover all your bases and use yogurt as a topical treatment on the vagina or genital area, while also including it in your diet. As always, if your yeast infection doesn’t clear up within a few days while using this remedy, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with your doctor. Most home remedies, including yogurt, will only work if you catch the yeast infection while it is still fairly mild.