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Apple cider vinegar is often recommended as a natural treatment for Candida, which is the fungal organism responsible for yeast infections of the vagina and the mouth as well as some penile infections. The idea with this type of treatment is that an acidic environment makes it harder for Candida to survive. Since apple cider vinegar is acidic, natural health enthusiasts and practitioners often assert that consuming it or applying it to the affected area will successfully treat a fungal infection. This type of vinegar is also said to help stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria and balance the pH of the vagina.
When a person wants to test the relationship between Candida and apple cider vinegar, he or she may take it orally. Though there is no specific dose that has been proven effective, some people swallow two tablespoons (about 30 milliliters) of it three times a day to treat fungal infections. To make it more palatable, many people mix the vinegar with a full glass of water. A person can also take apple cider vinegar in capsule form for this purpose. In such a case, he may take a couple of capsules two or three times a day to produce the same effect.
Sometimes topical treatment of a fungal infection can prove effective as well. Topical applications involving Candida and apple cider vinegar are said to work for thrush, yeast on the outside of the vagina, and fungal infections on the surface of the penis. For example, a person might try soaking in a bath that has about two cups (about 454 grams) of apple cider vinegar added to it. Many natural health experts recommend soaking in this solution for about 20 minutes to a half hour. This treatment may not cure a Candida infection but is said to help relieve the itching and burning it causes.
Other ways to use apple cider vinegar for Candida include making a mouthwash for oral thrush and a douche. To use it as a mouthwash, a person can mix two tablespoons (about 30 milliliters) of the vinegar with water and then swish it around in his mouth, spitting it out after he is done. A woman can make a douche by mixing about one quart (about 946 milliliters) of water with about two tablespoons (about 30 milliliters) of vinegar. Some people assert that douching a couple of times daily produces faster relief.
The connection between infections with Candida and apple cider vinegar may stimulate a person to consider using undiluted vinegar on his or her skin or for vaginal treatment. The idea may be that undiluted apple cider vinegar will provide faster results. Using this type of vinegar without diluting it can lead to irritation, however. Most of the information about Candida and apple cider vinegar comes from user reports. For this reason, a person may do well to seek a doctor's advice before using it.