Marcea Bond

Date of Award


First Advisor

Jessica Robbins

Second Advisor

Jennifer Browdy


Due to gaps in local healthcare systems, including systemic issues of sexism in research protocols and patients' lack of trust with standard care, changes must be implemented by the United States in order to create equitable, quality healthcare for women and people with uteruses. In this thesis, a study and analysis of herbal treatments for vaginal yeast infections was conducted, along with a history of medicinal plant use for women’s reproductive health, making a case for the reintroduction of herbal medicine as a preventative care option. The vaginal yeast infection, Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC), is the most common plague on the human vagina. In this experiment, four medicinal plants, Curcuma longa, Cuminum cyminum, Ocimum basilicum, and Zingiber officinale, that hold antifungal, pH changing, and yeast killing properties were analyzed. The fungicidal compounds were extracted and were tested on yeast cultures. Zingiberene was identified as the most prominent fungicidal compound in the ginger and turmeric samples. Eugenol was identified in basil and cuminaldehyde was identified in cumin. Although results of C. albicans cell inhibition and death were inconclusive, at higher concentrations, topical use of these extractions may be effective and safe treatment for the human vaginal yeast infection.

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