(Picture: Alikaj2582/Getty)Vaginas are magical and should be treated with the utmost respect.
As such, there are a few cardinal rules: firstly, don’t steam it, douche it or detox it.
Secondly, don’t put foreign objects inside of it unless they were designed specifically for the vagina. Yes, the usual (fingers, penises and dildos) is fantastic, but for your own sake, leave out the parsley, cocaine and Lush’s aubergine bath bomb.
Unfortunately, human beings are a curious species and there’s a new trend in ‘things-not-to-put-up-there’. Namely, garlic cloves.
It’s not actually a new development, but has resurfaced as of late as a suggested home remedy to yeast infections.
Let’s be clear – this is a bad idea.
Vagina whisperer, Dr Jen Gunter, who has previously debunked theories such as putting ozone gas into your vagina and using ground-up dirt to help with period pains explained why the fragrant vegetable doesn’t belong anywhere but on your plate.
Garlic contains a compound called allicin, which the gynaecologist admits might have antifungal properties, but only when experimented with in a lab.
As we’re sure you know, the constitution of a woman’s vagina is very different to that of a petri dish.
Why you should not put garlic in your vagina.A thread.Garlic contains allicin, in THE LAB it MAY have antifungal (i.e. anti yeast) properties. This is in a lab, not even in mice. Just a dish of cells. Your vagina is not a dish of cells. #vaginaisanogarliczone 1/8
— Jennifer Gunter (@DrJenGunter) April 23, 2019
Lots of vaginal garlic aficionados (I SHOULDN’T HAVE TO TWEET THAT IN 2019, BUT HERE WE ARE) recommend inserting a clove. This means they don’t understand for allicin to be released the garlic has to be cut or crushed. Sigh. #vaginaisanogarliczone 2/8— Jennifer Gunter (@DrJenGunter) April 23, 2019
Garlic could have bacteria from the soil. Bacteria from the soil can be pathogenic — bad for the body. That’s why we clean wounds. If you actually happen to have an inflamed yeasty vagina that soil bacteria would be more likely to infect #vaginaisanogarliczone 3/8— Jennifer Gunter (@DrJenGunter) April 23, 2019
She goes on to decribe that garlic will carry potentially pathogenic bacteria from being grown in soil, which is bad for the body. And may well cause more harm to an already ‘inflamed yeasty vagina’.
Garlic aficionados, as Dr Gunter calls them, are also at risk of developing biofilms, microorganisms that can cause other bacterial issues.
She wrote: ‘Garlic can cause biofilms on braces, so could garlic contribute to biofilms in the vagina? Biologically plausible.
‘Biofilms are bad. You do not want them to form especially when you have yeast. Effect of garlic good bacteria also unknown #vaginaisanogarliczone.’
So for garlic to work you would have to crush it and stuff it up somehow. There is still the dirt thing. And the cut up garlic on raw tissues thing (OUCH). And the fishing of the garlic out by the gyno thing. #vaginaisanogarliczone 4/8— Jennifer Gunter (@DrJenGunter) April 23, 2019
Garlic can cause biofilms on braces, so could garlic contribute to biofilms in the vagina? Biologically plausible. Biofilms are bad. You do not want them to form especially when you have yeast. Effect of garlic good bacteria also unknown #vaginaisanogarliczone 5/8— Jennifer Gunter (@DrJenGunter) April 23, 2019
As 50-70% of women who self treat for vaginal yeast never actually had a yeast infection you can’t say much, except half of them never had yeast to begin with so the irritation they had may have been a temporary thing and resolving wasn’t garlic related #vaginaisanogarliczone 6/8— Jennifer Gunter (@DrJenGunter) April 23, 2019
And the placebo effect is strong. If you think vaginal garlic is going to make you feel better, you may very well feel better temporarily. #vaginaisanogarliczone 7/8— Jennifer Gunter (@DrJenGunter) April 23, 2019
If for some reason you have popped garlic into the vagina and are concerned, go and see your local GP or other medical health professional.
And if you’re currently sat holding a clove and thinking ‘hmm, should I?’ – the answer is no.
Remember, the vagina is a no garlic zone.
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