Garlic Helps to Treat Vaginal Infections Caused by Microorganisms or Sexual Intercourse
20th Century saw a rush to accept Western medical propositions, started by the exciting discovery of antibiotics. However, with the overuse of such medicines (ease of over-the-counter availability and self-medication), it is now causing a shift in popular mindset with more and more people going back to nature for answers.
Ancient traditional medicines, ‘kitchen therapies,’ grandmother’s hand-me-down herb mixes from around the world are gaining popularity. These medicines and therapies propound the use of natural herbs, medicinal plants, their parts and extracts, fruits, vegetables and even flowers! One such popular idea is the use of garlic to treat vaginal infections. Vaginal infections can be:
- Yeast infections (candidiasis);
- Bacterial infections;
To Know More Read: Garlic is a Natural Antibiotic
Usually, these infections are caused either due to micro-organisms (most common being yeast), through external contacts like public washrooms, internal (overgrowth of naturally occurring micro-organisms in the vagina) or sexual intercourse (where the micro-organism does not affect the male partner but causes infection to the female).
Since the most commonly occurring vaginal infections are yeast and bacterial infections, antibiotics are used to treat such infections. Garlic happens to be nature’s antibiotic and fungicide.
Garlic contains a chemical known as allicin, known for its sharpness and pungency.
Although garlic is not as potent as the commonly available allopathic antibiotics, it can still be used to treat bacteria and yeast infections to some extent, especially the ones that have developed resistance to modern antibiotics.
- According to Charaka Sutra (Vedic physician Charaka’s treatise), Garlic is ‘Mehahara’ – useful in urinary tract disorders.
- For maximum effectiveness, the treatment of vaginal infections using garlic needs to start at the onset of the infection. Take a clove of garlic, peel off the white outer covering and insert it into the vagina during bedtime. Care needs to be taken that the garlic remains intact (Any piercing or puncture will cause the release of allicin and cause burning inside). Garlic usually causes watery discharge. In the morning, the garlic can either be manually removed or be flushed out of the system via urine. Usually, one night’s treatment does the trick, but if the infection continues, the procedure can be done for two to three nights.
If the garlic treatment did not start at the onset of the infection and the infection advances, it could still be treated with garlic. Clean the discharge using a dry tissue. This time, peel and cut a garlic clove in half, sew a thread through it (for easy retrieval) and insert in the vagina during bed-time for overnight effectiveness. In the morning, use the thread for retrieving the cut garlic. This process needs to be repeated for a few nights. However, if this still doesn’t work, then over-the-counter stronger antibiotic creams will need to be used.
Cut garlic makes the activity of the garlic stronger. When sliced garlic is inserted in a healthy vagina, it causes ‘burning’ and ‘redness.’ However, when cut garlic is inserted into an infected vagina, it cures the yeast infection and also repairs the soreness and redness of the skin.
The reason this procedure is recommended at night during bedtime is that there is a link between the vagina and the mouth. When garlic is inserted into a vagina, the woman can taste the garlic in her mouth almost instantly. Since most people find the taste of garlic offensive, the garlic treatment is preferred as a bedtime treatment.
In important research done in China, garlic has been shown to kill bacteria culture grown in labs successfully. Researchers also found that garlic lost its anti-bacterial properties within 20 minutes of being boiled at 100 degrees Celsius. Therefore, for best antibiotic results, garlic needs to be used raw. Studies in Iran showed that when a cream containing garlic and thyme that was used to treat fungal infections of the vagina was compared to a clotrimazole-based antifungal cream (standard creams used for treating fungal infections), it was as effective as the clotrimazole cream.
A word of warning – Insertion of a foreign substance in the vagina may not suit every woman. Some women may suffer from toxic shock syndrome, which can cause dizziness and vomiting.
Though being a natural antibiotic, garlic has limited bactericidal and fungicidal powers. If the infection worsens, it is always recommended to consult a doctor and use prescribed medicines.