By Jacquelyne Froeber
September 05, 2001

Yogurt for yeast, chamomile for cramps, and more—these alternative therapies work for women.

ConditionTryHow it worksYeast infections and diarrheaProbiotics in yogurtYogurt adds live cultures to the digestive tract, which may suppress the harmful bacteria that causes bacterial vaginosis and diarrhea. Probiotics are helpful after youve been on antibiotics, which can disrupt your PH balance, making you more susceptible to yeast infections.Bladder infectionsThe herb uva ursi, vitamin C, and cranberriesUva ursi, found in supplements, tea, or liquid extract form, contains a natural antibiotic that helps prevent or treat urinary tract infections, bladder inflammation, and kidney stones. Taking a vitamin C supplement may reduce the chances of re-infection and increase the acidity of urine, creating an unfavorable place for bacteria. And cranberries contain tannin, a substance thats unfriendly to bacteria in the bladder.EndometriosisSoySoy—in edamame, tofu, tempeh, and soy milk—has been shown in some studies to lower endometriosis risks.Fertility problemsAcupunctureGiven after an embryo transfer, it hikes the chance of live births; it may increase uterine blood flow and stimulate hormones, influencing ovulation and fertility, and creating a more welcoming environment for the implanted embryo.Cervical dysplasiaGreen tea extractsBoth capsules and topical ointments have been proven effective in treating cervical lesions due to cervical dysplasia (the abnormal growth of cells on the surface of the cervix). Studies suggest the polyphenols found in green tea, namely epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), may treat and inhibit the growth of abnormal cells.Interstitial cystitis (IC)Guided imageryAccording to recent research, listening to a guided-imagery CD for two months reduced pelvic pain and urinary urgency and frequency in IC sufferers. It helped them focus on healing the bladder, quieting the nerves specifically involved in IC, and relaxing pelvic-floor muscles.LaborYogaYoga has been shown to decrease preterm labor and pregnancy-induced hypertension. Researchers say this may be a result of improved circulation, oxygen, and a decrease in anxiety following regular yoga sessions.Menstrual crampsChamomile teaDrinking this tea may boost the chemical glycine, a naturally occurring amino acid in the body, which has been shown to relieve muscle spasms.