Tea tree oil can successfully end symptoms of a yeast infection because the oil is anti-fungal. Yeast infections are typically caused by the overgrowth of Candida, which is a type of fungus existing normally inside vaginal microflora along with other bacteria. When the microflora becomes unbalanced due to antibiotics, illness, or poor nutrition, the excess yeast can lead to redness, swelling, and itching; all these symptoms can be cured by tea tree oil. Occasionally, bumps filled with pus will also result, and these, too, can be dried out and reduced by the consistent use of the essential oil, which is also anti-bacterial and antiviral.
The highly-concentrated oil, known by its Latin name Melaleuca alternifolia, can sting and severely burn when used without dilution on sensitive areas like the vulva and vagina. Carrier oils like olive oil, castor oil, and sunflower oils are typically mixed with a few drops of tea tree oil for yeast infection treatment. The mixture can be applied with a cotton swab to affected areas two to four times a day, or a tampon can be drenched in the oil mixture for insertion into the vagina overnight.
For convenience, many people elect to purchase ready-made suppositories with tea tree oil as an ingredient. Others prefer to run a hot bath and then add five to 10 drops of the oil. Some women will boil an herbal tea and add tea tree oil before using the mixture for douching. Many doctors warn against douching, however, because it can upset vaginal microflora of even more.
Although using tea tree oil for yeast infection can stop itching and destroy excess fungus, the natural treatment may not prevent the recurrence of yeast infections unless other factors change. Women, according to homeopathic professionals, should look at underlying causes for yeast infection, such as a diet high in sugar, which feeds Candida. The use of antibiotics to end infections can also kill off good bacteria in the vagina, leading to a high percentage of fungus and, consequently, yeast infection. After this happens, supplements containing probiotics may be beneficial to some women to restore their bacterial balance.
Eating yogurt which contains live and active probiotics can also be helpful, as these active bacteria produce hydrogen peroxide which annihilates the yeast. Some women attempt to apply such yogurt inside the vagina, which can be counter-productive if the yogurt has sugar added. If the Candida oversupply is related to the presence of a sexually transmitted disease, tea tree oil likely will not be enough of a cure unless professional medical treatment for the venereal disease is simultaneously sought.