Eight Natural Treatments for Bacterial Vaginosis

These remedies can be very effective in alleviating the itching and burning of bacterial vaginosis. However, to really overcome this infection and inflammation, you should see a gynecologist and follow their treatment.
Eight Natural Treatments for Bacterial Vaginosis

Written by Okairy Zuñiga

Last update: 26 May, 2022

Have you ever wondered if there are any natural treatments for bacterial vaginosis? Vaginosis is an inflammation of the vagina or vulva. For this reason, it is also known as vulvovaginitis. Similarly, it tends to be caused by the growth of a group of bacteria, it’s usually known as bacterial vaginitis or bacterial vaginosis.

Natural remedies became popular as an alternative to accelerate the relief of this problem. However, to date there’s no evidence to prove their safety or efficacy. Therefore, although you can try them, they’re not a first-line treatment for this condition.

Therefore, first of all, we recommend consulting your gynecologist in order to receive a more precise diagnosis and, based on this, a more effective treatment. According to information from the Mayo Clinic, some of the medications that can be prescribed include: metronidazole, clindamycin and tinidazole.

Causes and symptoms of bacterial vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis can affect both adult women and young girls. In its natural state, the vagina secretes a discharge that keeps the tissues in the area moist and healthy.

However, some factors such as sexually transmitted diseases, poor hygiene practices, allergies and hormonal changes can alter the composition of this flow, triggering inflammation of the vulva or vagina.

Often, it’s the overgrowth of bacteria in the area that causes this condition. However, there may be other causes. For this reason, once again, we remind you of the importance of seeking gynecological care.

The most characteristic symptoms of vaginosis are:

  • A white vaginal discharge that covers the walls of the vagina
  • Vaginal discharge with a foul or fishy odor
  • Vaginal pain or itching
  • Burning while urinating
A diagram of bacterial vaginosis.
Bacterial vaginosis can be caused by an alteration of the vaginal pH that leads to an overgrowth of bacteria.

DIY treatments for bacterial vaginosis

Folk wisdom has proposed since ancient times a number of alternative remedies for the discomfort caused by bacterial vaginosis. However, to date there are no scientific studies proving they’re effective against this condition.

In fact, some experts in gynecology advise using them with caution, or simply to avoid them, since they’re usually ineffective or only manage to temporarily reduce the symptoms. If you still decide to try them, these are some options:

1. Turmeric

Drinking an infusion of turmeric can contribute to better health in case of vaginal infections. According to a review published in Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, curcumin, the main active compound of this spice, has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant potential.

Because of these properties, people believe that including the spice in your regular diet helps strengthen the immune system. Therefore, it increases the defenses against the bacteria that cause vaginosis.

  • To consume it, just add half a teaspoon of turmeric in a cup of water or milk. Drink it once a day, until you see results.

2. Hydrogen peroxide

Using hydrogen peroxide appears to contribute to the relief of bacterial vaginosis. In fact, a small study published in Minerva Ginecologica determined that using one ounce of this product, for one week, serves as an adjuvant for this infection.

Yes, it should be clear that there’s no really solid evidence about this remedy and, therefore, it shouldn’t be your primary treatment. Furthermore, you should use it with caution. If there are unfavorable reactions, it should be rinsed with abundant water and its use should be suspended.

3. Neem is one of the treatments for bacterial vaginosis

In some research reported through the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research it was determined that neem oil has excellent anti-bacterial properties. In fact, it’s capable of fighting microorganisms such as Candida albicans and Streptococcus mutans.

  • Neem oil is available as a supplement in herbal stores. It can also be taken as an infusion. Some even suggest that it’s valid to use it on the skin.
Some neem oil which is one of the treatments for bacterial vaginosis.
Neem extracts have antimicrobial potential. Therefore, it seems useful against bacterial vaginitis.

4. Garlic

It’s not good to introduce garlic into the vaginal area as some remedies suggest. However, its consumption can help improve defenses against bacteria that cause infections such as bacterial vaginosis.

A study shared in the Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal states that taking a garlic supplement tablet can help treat this condition.

5. Chamomile tea

Research published in the International Journal of Molecular Medicine indicates that chamomile has shown some potential as a natural anti-inflammatory. Therefore, it can be used to relieve the discomfort associated with vaginosis.

  • To use it, prepare an infusion of the plant. When it’s warm, strain and the water is used to wash the external irritated areas.

6. Natural yogurt

Because of its probiotic content, yogurt’s one of the natural products often used against bacterial vaginosis. For now, there’s still not enough evidence, although certain results have been found in favor.

A small study published in the Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics determined that a mixture of plain yogurt with honey showed positive effects in controlling vulvovaginal candidiasis in pregnant women.

Some yogurt which one of the treatments for bacterial vaginosis.
Due to its probiotic content, yogurt contributes to the treatment of bacterial vaginosis.

7. Vegetable juice

The abundant consumption of vegetables is positively associated with a strong immune system. For this reason, when faced with infections of any kind, it’s recommended to increase their consumption.

A publication in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition recognizes that increased intake of these foods helps strengthen the immune system and reduce inflammation. Therefore, it’s believed that vegetable juice may help with vaginosis symptoms.

  • There are many ways to prepare these drinks. However, we recommend a mixture of ginger, green apple, celery and spinach.

8. Tea tree oil

Some studies, such as one published in the academic journal Clinical Microbiology Reviews, have pointed out that tea tree oil can help fight vaginal infections thanks to its antifungal and antibacterial properties.

  • To test it, just add about 3 or 5 drops in a bowl and make a sitz bath.

Visit this article: 5 reasons you have vaginal itching if you don’t have an infection

Treatments for bacterial vaginosis: the basics

To greatly reduce the symptoms and to prevent bacterial vaginitis from returning, follow these simple guidelines:

  • Keep good hygiene
  • Wear clean underwear every day
  • Shower with warm water and use neutral soap
  • Regularly wash your towels, sheets, pillowcases and other articles of daily use

If the symptoms are persistent and don’t diminish with basic care, it’s best to consult your gynecologist. The professional, after carrying out the tests they considers pertinent, can guide you towards other treatments.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Rosenfeld, J. A. (2009). Vaginitis. In Handbook of Women’s Health, Second Edition. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511642111.013
  • Kairys N, Garg M. Bacterial Vaginosis. [Updated 2019 May 4]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2019 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459216/
  • Dover SE, Aroutcheva AA, Faro S, Chikindas ML. NATURAL ANTIMICROBIALS AND THEIR ROLE IN VAGINAL HEALTH: A SHORT REVIEW. Int J Probiotics Prebiotics. 2008;3(4):219–230.
  • Gautam SC, Gao X, Dulchavsky S. Immunomodulation by curcumin. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:321‐341. doi:10.1007/978-0-387-46401-5_14
  • Mohammadzadeh F, Dolatian M, Jorjani M, Alavi Majd H, Borumandnia N. Comparing the therapeutic effects of garlic tablet and oral metronidazole on bacterial vaginosis: a randomized controlled clinical trial. Iran Red Crescent Med J. 2014;16(7):e19118. doi:10.5812/ircmj.19118
  • Bhaskaran N, Shukla S, Srivastava JK, Gupta S. Chamomile: an anti-inflammatory agent inhibits inducible nitric oxide synthase expression by blocking RelA/p65 activity. Int J Mol Med. 2010;26(6):935–940. doi:10.3892/ijmm_00000545
  • Darvishi M, Jahdi F, Hamzegardeshi Z, Goodarzi S, Vahedi M. The Comparison of vaginal cream of mixing yogurt, honey and clotrimazole on symptoms of vaginal candidiasis. Glob J Health Sci. 2015;7(6):108–116. Published 2015 Apr 3. doi:10.5539/gjhs.v7n6p108
  • Abdelmonem, A. M., Rasheed, S. M., & Mohamed, A. S. (2012). Bee-honey and yogurt: A novel mixture for treating patients with vulvovaginal candidiasis during pregnancy. Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics286(1), 109–114. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00404-012-2242-5
  • Carson CF, Hammer KA, Riley TV. Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) oil: a review of antimicrobial and other medicinal properties. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2006;19(1):50–62. doi:10.1128/CMR.19.1.50-62.2006

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.