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A doctor has issued a warning about the dangers of putting garlic cloves in your vagina to treat a yeast infection.
Just when we thought we were done with all the “don’t put this in your vagina” memos, we’re back on the case busting another down-there health myth.
But as we think we might finally have learnt we should be leaving our vaginas the hell alone, there’s something else to add to the please don’t put down-there list – garlic.
There’s a rumour that’s been doing the down-there rounds for quite some time that inserting a garlic clove into your vagina will help ease the symptoms of a yeast infection.
Thankfully, Dr. Jen Gunter, gynaecologist and author of The Vagina Bible, is here to set the record straight with a, now viral, thread of tweets, which busts the latest in fake vajayjay news.
Unsurprisingly, it turns out that this DIY method of yeast infection cure is not an effective treatment for the condition. What’s more inserting garlic into your frou frou could actually do some harm down there.
There is some scientific rationale behind the garlic-based theory in that it contains allicin, which in a lab may have antifungal (ie anti yeast) properties.
But, as Dr Gunter points out your vagina is not a dish of cells.
She also raises the issue that garlic could contain bacteria from the soil and that inserting it into your vagina could increase the risk of infection.
If you crushed the garlic up, to release the allicin, there will still be the issue of the soil bacteria, but also garlic juice is likely to be quite burny, which won’t be pleasant to experience.
And, perhaps more importantly, crushed garlic won’t be the easiest to get out of your ladyparts, which could land you in more trouble than the yeast infection ever would.
Should you need further encouragement to swerve the garlic home remedy, Dr Gunter’s advice has also been backed-up by Mr Ian Currie, consultant gynaecologist at BMI The Chiltern Hospital in Buckinghamshire.
“Garlic itself has been shown in the lab to have an active ingredient called allicin that prevents yeast forming, as well as some antibacterial action,” he tells Yahoo UK.
“However, I’d warn against making a leap from that to assume that it would be effective against Candida, the yeast behind vaginal infections.”
Mr Currie points out that garlic supplements generally come in the form of tablets.
“Assuming for a moment that they are effective against Candida, we do not know what dose would be needed or whether this dose would be different for different women.
“Plus, there would be undesirable side effects of body odour, bad breath and upset tummies associated with a high dose,” he adds.
“It’s a big leap between what we can see in a lab and what we can see in real life.”
And if anyone is thinking about inserting a clove or two into their vagina Mr Currie is keen to advise that they really shouldn’t.
“Don’t put garlic up there,” he says. “Apart from the risk of infection, forgetting it’s there, or how many, and then the difficulty of extracting it, I’d suggest the odour would be terrible.
“I believe there are garlic extract creams available, but these are licensed for use externally not internally and not for a vaginal yeast infection,” he adds.
Instead Mr Currie advises that the best way to get rid of a yeast infection is a combination of pill and pessary specifically designed for that use.