Herbal Remedies for Bacterial Vaginosis

Within this article you’ll find 6 of the most effective herbal remedies for Bacterial vaginosis.  (BV) is the most common type of vaginal infection which affects women. It is caused when there is an imbalance in the levels of healthy bacteria in the vagina. Common symptoms for this condition are listed below, however, over 85% of women with BV don’t manifest any of these symptoms!

• Strong fishy odor.
• Vaginal itching.
• Grayish or whitish discharge.
• Light vaginal bleeding.

BV is more common in pregnant women because of their increased discharge which reduces the acidity in the vagina. If left untreated, BV can lead to other serious medical conditions like

- Post-surgical infections.
- Increased susceptibility to STD’s.
- Preterm birth.
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.

Herbal remedies for bacterial vaginosis or antibiotics?

The first course of treatment which most women seek is antibiotics. Antibiotics are only aimed at curing the symptoms and not eliminating the root cause of the infection. Hence, most women who use these antibiotics develop BV symptoms after a few weeks of completing treatment. Antibiotics also have many side effects and some like Clindamycin can cause yeast infection in some women.

On the other hand, herbal remedies for Bacterial Vaginosis rarely have any side effects because they don’t have toxins which react adversely with the body. They work by strengthening the healthy bacteria (mainly Lactobacilli) in fighting off the bad bacteria.

Examples of herbal remedies for bacterial vaginosis are:

1) Goldenseal
Goldenseal contains several bioactive compounds, one of which is barbering, that is known to have antibacterial and antifungal qualities. It also boosts the immune system and thus helps in fighting off the bad bacteria that cause BV. Goldenseal is available as a supplement which can be ingested orally.

2) Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is an effective herbal remedy for bacterial vaginosis. You can use it as a douche by pouring a few drops of tea tree oil in your bath. This douche helps to get rid of the fishy odor and reduce the swelling. The second option is to buy tea tree oil pessaries which you insert into your vagina. However, don’t try to soak tampons in this oil before it is diluted. It can cause severe burning sensation.

3) Garlic
Garlic has been used for centuries to treat many infections and diseases due to its powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties. You can wrap peeled garlic in gauze before inserting it into the vagina for one hour. You can also take 1 or 2 garlic capsules a day until the symptoms subside.

4) Black Walnut
Black walnut is a natural antiseptic and antifungal agent. It is available as black walnut supplements. Take four walnuts supplements per day until the BV symptoms subside. Black walnut supplements are available at most pharmacies.

5) Tracheal
Tracheal is a traditional herb which is used to eliminate harmful organisms such as bacteria out of your body. It also helps to restore the normal flow of internal body fluids. Soak one teaspoon of dried tracheal in 1 cup of hot water for 5 minutes then drink the water before bedtime. Do not add sugar to the water. The second option is to consume two 500mg capsules of tracheal before going to bed. However, the first option is more effective.

6) Olive Leaf Extract
This is one of the best herbal remedies for BV. It inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria in the vagina and also helps to reduce the increased vaginal discharge caused by BV. The extract is available in form of capsules.

Other less common herbal remedies for BV are:

- Lavender oil mixed with myrrh.
- Witch hazel.
- Coneflower.
- Echinacea.

Are Herbal Remedies Effective?

Yes. In fact many women who have been let down by antibiotics have always relied on herbal remedies to give them long lasting relief from BV. Herbal remedies aim at balancing the levels of healthy bacteria in the vagina. By doing this, herbal remedies eliminate the root cause of BV rather than treat the symptoms only. Antibiotics kill both the good and bad bacteria and thus only offer temporary relief. Most herbal remedies are generally safe to use by pregnant women.

However, despite the effectiveness of herbal remedies, BV can still recur if you don’t observe certain preventive measures. Prevention measures which you can adopt to minimize your susceptibility to BV are:

• Do not douche using scented soaps or perfumes. These products usually contain chemicals that kill the healthy bacteria.
• Do not have unprotected sex
• Eat a balanced diet.
• Observe good genital hygiene.
• Avoid excessive intake of birth control pills.

Always consult your physician before using any of the above herbal remedies for Bacterial Vaginosis. The main reason for this is to make sure you are not suffering from other types of vaginal infections which have similar symptoms to BV.

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