Doctor warns women to stop putting garlic in their vaginas

Your private parts will thank you. Photo: Getty
Your private parts will thank you. Photo: Getty

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.

In case you missed it, the list of things you you really shouldn’t be inserting into your lady-parts includes cucumbers, make up sponges, glitter bombs, ozone gas and wasps nests. Why, ladies, why?

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.

A doctor has issued a warning about the dangers of putting garlic cloves in your vagina to treat a yeast infection. It’s an old wives tale that’s been doing the rounds for quite some time.

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, it 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.

Garlic cloves are not an effective treatment for yeast infections [Photo: Getty]
Garlic cloves are not an effective treatment for yeast infections [Photo: Getty]

Should you need further encouragement to swerve the garlic home remedy, Dr Gunter’s advice has also been backed-up by Ian Currie, consultant gynaecologist at BMI The Chiltern Hospital in the UK.

“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.”

Experts are warning women not to insert garlic cloves into their vaginas [Photo: Getty]
Experts are warning women not to insert garlic cloves into their vaginas [Photo: Getty]

Ian 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,” he said.

“Plus, there would be undesirable side effects of body odour, bad breath and upset tummies associated with a high dose.

“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 Ian 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 he advises that the best way to get rid of a yeast infection is a combination of pill and pessary specifically designed for that use.

Got a story tip? Send it to

Want more lifestyle and celebrity news? Follow Yahoo Lifestyle on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Or sign up to our daily newsletter here.