How To Use Garlic To Treat A Yeast Infection

As a tonic or a vaginal suppository, there are many ways garlic can aid vaginal health.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Vignesh Devraj, BAMS, MD Dr. Vignesh Devraj Dr. Vignesh DevrajBAMS, MD youtube_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MSc Shaheen Naser MSc linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
Edited by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
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Yeast infection is commonly seen in women and results from the overgrowth of the fungus, Candida albicans. If you notice thick white discharge along with vaginal discomfort, then chances are you may have a yeast infection. But what if you can use garlic to treat a yeast infection? Garlic is said to have strong antimicrobial properties, which may play a role in reducing yeast infection. In this article, we explore how to use garlic to treat yeast infection and its possible side effects.

protip_icon Did You Know?
It is estimated that 70% of women develop candidal vulvovaginitis at some point in their lives (1).

What Is A Vaginal Yeast Infection?

Vaginal yeast infection is caused by an imbalance of microorganisms in the vagina, leading to the overgrowth of the candida fungus. The most common symptoms include itching, burning while peeing, and a white, cottage cheese-like discharge. It is a common occurrence and is not considered a sexually transmitted infection. However, sexual activity does increase the risk of infection due to changes in the vaginal microbiota. Over-the-counter or prescription antifungal treatments are commonly used to treat it.

How Long Can A Yeast Infection Last If Not Treated?

If not treated, a yeast infection can last for an extended period, such as several weeks or even longer. The symptoms may persist and become more severe, causing intense itching and burning sensation. Therefore, it is essential to seek medical attention for treatment to avoid complications.

Apart from medical treatments, many people rely on at-home remedies, such as garlic, to minimize discomfort caused by the infection. But does it work? Let’s find out.

Is Garlic Good For Vaginal Yeast Infection?

Is garlic good for vaginal yeast infection
Image: Shutterstock

Garlic is one of nature’s most potent antibiotics and has been extensively studied for its exceptional medicinal properties. It owes most of its beneficial properties to a compound called allicin. Allicin not only imparts a characteristic aroma to foods but also has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties (2), (3), (4). These antimicrobial properties of garlic make it very effective in the treatment of yeast infections.

Let us now see how exactly you should use garlic for treating an existing yeast infection.

How To Use Garlic To Treat A Yeast Infection

How to use garlic to treat a yeast infection
Image: Shutterstock

One of the most popular ways to use garlic to treat a yeast infection is as a vaginal suppository. Here’s the procedure:

You Will Need
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • A thread
What You Have To Do
  1. Take a clove of garlic and remove its skin.
  2. Cut the garlic in half and sew a thread through one half. This is to facilitate easy retrieval of the garlic from your vagina after use.
  3. Slip half of the garlic clove into your vagina gently before going to bed.
  4. Wait for it to come out naturally the next morning when you go to relieve yourself.
  5. If it doesn’t, gently tug at the thread you have inserted, but without scratching or hurting yourself.
  6. You can also simply chew on a few garlic cloves or add them to your daily diet to increase the effectiveness of your treatment.

A health and beauty blogger shares her personal experience using a method she calls the “garlic tampon” on her blog post. “Believe it or not, it helped! It really helped! I felt better! The itchiness went away! I guess it was the white wax (yeast) that made it so itchy! (i),” she writes, observing how just within the hour, the garlic had extracted all the waxy yeast out.

You can also try the following method:

You Will Need:

  • 2-3 garlic pods
  • Gauze swab

What You Have To Do

  1. Take 2-3 medium-sized pods of fresh garlic and remove the outer covering.
  2. Crush the garlic well and place it over a small gauze swab and tie it as a small tampon.
  3. Clean your private parts with an antiseptic. Under aseptic precautions, the tampon is gently inserted inside the vaginal canal.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this for 1 or 2 nights.

Why This Works
Doctor holding garlic in hand
Image: Shutterstock

As we have already seen, garlic can be of immense help in getting rid of a vaginal yeast infection. This is mainly due to the antimicrobial properties of allicin.

A study published in Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research concluded that topical use of a garlic and thyme based vaginal cream was as effective as clotrimazole cream for treating vaginal yeast infection (5).

Garlic is a powerhouse of essential nutrients. This graph shows the impact of fresh garlic extract on yeast infections due to the content of allicin in it.

Effect of Garlic On Treating Infections

Source: Garlic alters the expression of putative virulence factor genes SIR2 and ECE1 in vulvovaginal C. albicans isolates- Scientific Reports

Effect of Garlic On Treating Infections

Source: Garlic alters the expression of putative virulence factor genes SIR2 and ECE1 in vulvovaginal C. albicans isolates- Scientific Reports
protip_icon Quick Tip

You can also apply a topical cream containing just garlic extract to treat a yeast infection. Keep in mind that topical creams are only applied on the external area of the vaginal area. Ensure that you read the instructions carefully before applying them.


Although this natural remedy can be quite useful in helping you deal with a vaginal yeast infection, discontinue use and contact your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following side effects.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Woman with itchy groin after using garlic
Image: Shutterstock

You might experience

• a burning sensation inside your vagina
• an itchy feel down there
• pain and/or other irritation

However, if this remedy worked effectively for you, here’s how long you should continue with the procedure.

How Long Does Garlic Take To Cure A Yeast Infection?

Person preparing garlic remedy
Image: IStock

This remedy usually cures a vaginal yeast infection within one night. But, if you did not get the expected results, you can try it for one more night. Remember to consult your doctor before doing so.

Caution: If you are allergic to garlic, have a bleeding disorder, or are taking blood thinning medication or HIV/AIDS treatment, avoid this remedy.

Infographic: Easiest Way To Use Garlic To Manage Yeast Infection

Garlic is a potent antimicrobial ingredient and has been traditionally used to treat yeast infections. Using a garlic clove as a suppository is one of the simplest methods of getting rid of a vaginal yeast infection. Check out the infographic to find out how to do that. Scroll down.

easiest way to use garlic to manage yeast infection (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

The use of garlic to treat a yeast infection is gaining popularity. The antimicrobial properties of garlic play a major role here. The allicin in garlic also has potent anti-fungal properties. You can slip half a clove of garlic into your vagina before going to bed or chew or include garlic in your diet to combat yeast infections. However, if you are allergic to garlic, have any bleeding disorder, or are on any blood-thinning medication, avoid garlic usage. You may consult a doctor, or try homeopathic and other alternative medicines to treat the infection.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to use garlic for yeast infections?

Jesse Feder, Clinical Dietitian at the Memorial Regional Hospital, says, “Garlic is safe to use for yeast infections. However, there is inconclusive evidence on whether it actually works or not.” He adds, “There are many studies that are inconclusive on whether garlic can treat vaginal itching and/or yeast infections. Garlic does contain a compound called allicin, which has anti-itching and antifungal properties.”

Is garlic stronger than antibiotics?

Garlic is a powerful antibiotic and has been shown to be effective against certain strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria (6). However, it is not effective against every kind of bacteria and hence cannot be compared simplistically with antibiotics or substituted for prescribed antibiotics without consultation.

Does garlic treat UTI?

Yes, garlic may be able to treat antimicrobial resistant urinary tract infections (7).

Key Takeaways

  • The allicin in garlic has antifungal properties that can help fight yeast infections and restore vaginal health.
  • Inserting a garlic clove into the vagina before bed can help treat yeast infections.
  • Putting a garlic clove in your vagina may cause a burning sensation and pain.
  • Avoid this remedy If you are allergic to garlic, have any bleeding disorder, or undergoing HIV/AIDS treatment.
garlic to treat a yeast infection

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Discover a natural and easy solution for yeast infection treatment using the power of garlic. This enlightening video unveils the secrets to naturally cure and alleviate discomfort.

Personal Experience: Source

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Vaginal Candidiasis
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459317/
  2. Antimicrobial properties of allicin from garlic
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10594976/
  3. Antimicrobial effect of garlic (Allium sativum)
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19929845/
  4. Garlic: a review of potential therapeutic effects
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4103721/
  5. Investigating the therapeutic effect of vaginal cream containing garlic and thyme compared to clotrimazole cream for the treatment of mycotic vaginitis
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3208935/
  6. Fresh Garlic Extract Enhances the Antimicrobial Activities of Antibiotics on Resistant Strains in Vitro
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4458355/
  7. Efficient and Cost-Effective Alternative Treatment for Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections and Interstitial Cystitis in Women: A Two-Case Report
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4283390/
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Dr. Vignesh Devraj is the founder and chief physician of Sitaram Beach Retreat, Kerala. He is also an international speaker on Ayurveda, Natural Healing, Meditation, and Transformation and has over 22 years of experience.

Read full bio of Dr. Vignesh Devraj