Bacterial vaginosis is one of the mildest vaginal infections that are caused due to the imbalance between the good and bad bacteria present in the vagina. This is not a serious problem as it fades away on its own. Some common causes of bacterial vaginosis include cigarette smoking, alcohol, frequent washing, douching, unsafe intercourse, multiple sexual partners, prolonged menstruation, poor hygiene, unhealthy diet, using synthetic panties, wearing tight fitted garments, IUCD (intrauterine device), use of intrauterine tools for contraception, and usage of deodorants or perfumed washes around vagina.
Individuals may experience symptoms like redness in the vagina, itching in the vaginal region, foul and unpleasant smell from the discharge, burning sensation during urination, discharge increases after coitus or the menstrual cycle, and heavy whitish or gray discharge with fishy odor from the vagina. Here is a list of some effective home remedies to get rid of bacterial vaginosis.
Home Remedies for Bacterial Vaginosis
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar is an excellent treatment for bacterial vaginosis. Acidic nature of vinegar increases vaginal acidity thereby curing a bacterial infection. Simply add 1 – 2 cups of apple cider vinegar to your bath tub and relax in it for about 20 minutes (1). Dry your vaginal area gently. Repeat this at least once a day until you see improvement.
Garlic contains allicin which possesses antifungal and antibiotic properties that keep the bad bacteria at bay (2).
You can consume garlic in any of the following ways:
- Take 3 to 4 garlic cloves and crush them. Spread the mashed garlic onto the infected area and let it stand for 20 minutes. Later on, wash your vagina with lukewarm water. Perform this bacterial vaginosis home treatment once every day.
- Take a piece of garlic clove and wrap it in gauze. Place it in your vagina and leave it on for exact 30 minutes. Carry out this procedure once a day until you get complete relief from this disease.
- Or else, the best alternative is to consume raw garlic or add it into your food daily.
3. Chilled Milk
The lactobacilli, present in milk inhibits the growth of pathogenic microbes which are responsible for this infection. Milk also helps maintain the pH of vagina thereby not allowing a conducive environment for the growth of the microbes (3). Take some chilled milk in a bowl and soak a tampon in it. Now insert it into your vagina and keep it for 1 to 2 hours. Later, remove it. Perform this remedy once every day.
4. Coconut Oil
Use coconut oil in either way:
- Apply some organic coconut oil directly onto the infected area thrice a day.
- Or else, immerse a tampon in organic coconut oil and place it in your vagina. Let it stand for a few hours. Remove the tampon and wash the infected area thoroughly with lukewarm water. Repeat the process once every day.
- Alternatively, you can also add some coconut oil into your daily meals while cooking to speed up the curing process.
5. Tea Bags
Tea contains polyphenols which are anti-inflammatory in nature, so it helps to reduce vaginal inflammation caused by bacteria. You can use chamomile tea bags as many studies have proved effective use of chamomile in topical medication (5). Soak a tea bag in lukewarm water for 10 – 15 minutes. Now, keep it in a refrigerator for a couple of minutes until it cools down. Then, apply it externally onto the infected skin area to get quick relief from itching. Repeat this remedy 3 to 4 times every day for a couple of weeks.
You may employ yogurt in any of the following ways:
- Take some yogurt and soak a cotton pad into it. Apply it onto the infected skin area and let it stand for about half an hour. Clean it thoroughly using fresh water and repeat the same process thrice a day.
- Alternatively, immerse a tampon in yogurt, apply on the affected area and leave it for 1 to 2 hours. Repeat the same procedure two times every day.
- Or else, simply eat half-cup of plain yogurt on a daily basis until all the symptoms are completely gone (8).
7. Boric Acid
Apply boric acid suppositories in your vagina. It will certainly work wonders in curing the ailment. It is an easy, inexpensive and very effective method to treat bacterial vaginosis (9 , 10). To make your own boric acid suppositories, fill 500 mg of boric acid in a 0 sized gel capsule.
8. Folic Acid
Eating food that contains folate keeps individuals protected against problems related to bacterial vaginitis. So, increase the consumption of dark leafy greens, avocado, asparagus, broccoli, spinach in your daily diet (11, 12).
9. Cold Compress
Dip a clean cloth in cold water and apply it onto the infected area to get relief from the swelling, redness, and irritation (13).
10. Black Walnut
Simply apply a tincture of black walnut to get rid of bacterial vaginosis. Alternatively, in order to treat BV, consume supplements of black walnut every day to reduce the discomfort associated with this infection. Black walnut is antibacterial therefore it cures bacterial vaginosis (14).
11. Fruit Juices
Herbal Remedies for Bacterial Vaginosis
12. Golden Seal
13. Cedar Oil and Salt
An investigation proved the efficacy of cedarwood oil as an anti-fungal agent (18). In a tub filled with hot water, add a few drops of cedar oil and a pinch of salt. Sit in this water for a short interval of time to lessen the redness and burning sensation.
14. Tree Tea Oil
Tea tree oil is anti-bacterial in nature, therefore it is used to cure bacterial vaginosis (19, 20). Take a small bowl filled with warm water and add a few drops of tree tea oil. Wash your vagina with this solution. Perform this remedy once a day for up to 3 -4 weeks.
- Alternatively, put 3 cups of white vinegar and 3 drops of tea tree oil in your bathtub filled with lukewarm water. Sit in the tub for half an hour and carry out this remedy for 1 to 2 months as required.
Another simple bacterial vaginosis home remedy is to take Echinacea supplement, in order to cure the infection quickly. It boosts up the immune system and helps the body fight against viruses and bacteria (21).
- Avoid using Echinacea, if you are allergic to sunflower plants.
- Consult a doctor for its dosage.
16. Oregano Oil
The anti-inflammatory properties of oregano oil inhibit vaginosis causing bacteria (22). Another amazing bacterial vaginosis treatment is employing a mixture of 3 drops of oregano oil and 1 tablespoon of olive oil onto the affected area. Now, leave it for next 2 hours. Carry out this remedy at least once daily.
- Moreover, take a glass of lukewarm water and add 3 drops of oregano oil. Drink this solution two times on daily basis for a couple of months.
17. Fenugreek Seeds
The anti-inflammatory properties of fenugreek make it another best cure to treat bacterial vaginosis (23).
- In a glass of water, soak 2 tablespoons of fenugreek seeds and leave it for the whole night. Next morning, drink this mixture on an empty stomach. Perform this remedy every day for up to a month.
- Take a cup full of yogurt, add 1 teaspoon of fenugreek powder and consume it two times daily.
- Take a cup of hot water, mix 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds and leave it for 5 minutes. Strain, add some honey and drink it 2 to 3 times a day.
18. Turmeric Powder
19. Indian Lilac (Margosa leaves)
The anti-microbial properties of Indian Lilac proved helpful in curing bacterial vaginosis (25). Take a pan, add a handful of margosa leaves, and heat it for 3 minutes. Crush them to form a fine powder once they cool down. Add 2 teaspoon of this powder with some water to form a paste. Now, apply this paste around and in the vagina, repeating the same process twice daily.
20. Calendula Tea
Boil calendula leaves in some water to prepare calendula tea. Now, take a clean cloth and soak it in the prepared tea. Rub this cloth gently into your vagina to get relief from irritation and redness caused due to bacterial infection (26).
Mix 1 teaspoon of this dried herb in hot water. Steep for 10 minutes and consume it before you hit the hay.
- Alternatively, you can use this decoction to wash off vaginal canal once it cools down.
22. Aloe Vera
Since aloe vera is loaded with 12 anthraquinones that possess antibacterial properties, it is highly recommended for the treatment of BV (27). Squeeze fresh aloe vera gel from this herbal plant and apply it on the affected area. It soothes the burning sensation and cures the infection quickly. Along with its application, you can also drink a cup of fresh aloe vera juice daily.
23. Cat’s Claw
Cat’s claw destroys the harmful bacteria while active ingredients called oxindole alkaloids present in cat’s claw speed up the healing process (28).
Note: Consumption of cat’s claw is not recommended for breastfeeding and pregnant women.
24. Aroma Oils
Combine apricot kernel oil, myrrh oil, and lavender oil. Apply this mixture frequently on the vaginal canal to slow down the bacterial action. These oils are packed with antibacterial properties that effectively treat an infection (29, 30).
25. Decoction of Triphala Powder
Triphala has outstanding anti-inflammatory activities that help to get rid of an infection (31). Prepare a decoction of triphala, ficus racemosa, neem bark, and ficus reigiosa. Mix some borax powder and clean the infected area with this solution 3 times a day to get relief from the burning sensation in the vagina.
- Keep the vaginal are clean and dry (32).
- Drink lots of water throughout the day (33).
- Perform yoga and go for a morning walk regularly (34).
- If you are suffering from this disease, regularly change your undergarments and wash them with anti-bacterial soap (35).
- If you make use of a bathtub, make sure you regularly clean it and clean bathroom as well (36).
- To clean your vagina and anus, wash the outer area with gentle soaps that do not contain any perfume (37).
- Eat fruits such as apples, pomegranate, papaya, and musk melons.
- Increase consumption of cow’s ghee and milk.
- Have ample vitamin E.
- Try not to sleep during daytime.
- Don’t use any unnecessary cosmetics in the genital area.
- Don’t wear nylon undergarments or tight clothes (38, 39).
- Shun drinking alcohol and cold drinks (40).
- Avoid the intake of saturated fats such as lard, butter, full-fat milk, red meat, and biscuits.
- Quit smoking (41).
- Don’t bathe in hot tubs (42).
- Shun using scented tampons or pads (43).
- Avoid consumption of sugary food, including chocolates, white bread, cheese, dairy products, and puddings.
- Avoid excess fasting or dieting.
- Don’t eat fried and greasy food overly.
- Sweating should be avoided (44).
- Avoid sex if you have an infection (45).