January 23, 2012

unconventional use of garlic

I'm immunosuppressed due to the medications that I take, and this means that I get frequent infections. I average a sinus infection and resulting Z-pack every other month or so, not to mention every cold that comes around (which with a preschool child is quite a lot). I also get yeast infections more often than I'd like due to the frequent use of antibiotics. Yeast infections, as most women know, cause maddening itching, pain, redness, and gross vaginal discharge. Yeast is among the "normal flora" of our bodies, but when it gets out of hand it's no fun at all.  

A couple of years ago (coincidentally around the same time I started on immunosuppressants) I recognized the early symptoms of a yeast infection and since I knew I wouldn't be able to get to the store for a couple of days, I Googled "natural cures for yeast infection," or something along those lines and decided I didn't have anything to lose by giving one of the results a try. The one I chose to try was garlic. The next day I had no symptoms of the yeast infection, and they didn't return (that time around). It worked! And it always does, as I've seen no reason to use anything else ever since. All you have to do is: first, recognize the early symptoms, or "warning signs," of an impending yeast infection. Then, peel a clove of garlic, squish it a little, and then insert it into the vagina just like a tampon.

Now stay with me here. I know this is pretty hippy or whatever, but it really does work. According to an article by Midwifery Today addressing garlic for vaginal yeast infections, garlic kills not just yeast but also many harmful bacteria. Plus it doesn't have any side effects, as opposed to OTC yeast treatments (like Monistat or other brands) which can cause stomach pain and fevers as well as increasing the irritation in the vagina (PubMed Health). It's probably already in your pantry, so you don't have to go to the store (potentially delaying treatment) and buy a box of over-priced and over-packaged medication. Better for you, your wallet, and the environment! 

So yes, it's pretty hippy or whatever. I'm ok with it.

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