5 Natural Remedies for Vaginal Odor

Although these topical remedies to neutralize vaginal odor usually help, it is advisable to see a gynecologist to rule out major problems. We'll tell you more about this common problem here.
5 Natural Remedies for Vaginal Odor

Written by Editorial Team

Last update: 12 May, 2022

Vaginal odor is a symptom that causes concern in many women. In fact, it’s one of the most frequent reasons for gynecological consultation worldwide. In general, it may be accompanied by other symptoms such as itching, burning, and vaginal discharge.

If so, professional care is essential, as it may be caused by infections that require specific medical treatment. While there are some natural remedies that seem to temporarily calm this symptom, they should not be the first choice for this problem.

The most common causes of vaginal odor

According to information published on the Cleveland Clinic website, vaginal odor can be caused by infection or inflammation. Often, this occurs because certain factors generate an imbalance in the bacteria that normally inhabit the vagina.

Specifically, its causes include:

  • Bacterial vaginosis
  • Trichomoniasis
  • Rectovaginal fistula
  • Vaginal or cervical cancer

Of course, the odor does not always indicate a serious problem. Sometimes it’s just a sign of hormonal imbalances or the consequence of a diet abundant in foods such as garlic, onions, flours, etcetera. In addition, sometimes it’s a symptom influenced by other factors.

Risk factors for vaginal odor

  • Wearing tight-fitting underwear or synthetic material
  • Unprotected sexual intercourse
  • Frequent taking antibiotics
  • Parasitosis
  • Urinary or fecal incontinence
Causas frecuentes de mal olor vaginal
Vaginal odor may be influenced by alterations in the natural bacteria that live in the vagina.

How to combat vaginal odor: 5 natural remedies that help

Before trying any remedy for vaginal odor, it’s important to readjust your intimate hygiene habits, because often this symptom arises from bad habits. In this regard, the Mayo Clinic recommends:

  • Wash the external genital area carefully. When doing so, use a minimal amount of mild, unscented soap and plenty of water.
  • Avoid douching. In their normal state, all healthy vaginas contain bacteria and yeast. In general, the acidity of the vagina maintains its balance. However, douching can upset this balance and increase the risk of infection.

Nevertheless, according to this same entity, it’s important to seek gynecological consultation if you suffer from this problem, especially when the odor is accompanied by other symptoms. Although natural remedies help to calm it, they are not a first-line treatment and not a substitute for conventional treatment. Therefore, professional recommendations should be followed first.

Bearing this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the natural remedies that can help.

 We think you may also enjoy reading this article: Say Goodbye to Excessive Vaginal Discharge with These 7 Home Remedies

1. Apple cider vinegar for vaginal odor

Apple cider vinegar is an acidic ingredient that has proven activity to fight against some types of fungi and bacteria. According to anecdotal data, it may be useful in regulating vaginal pH disturbances. However, it should be used in moderation and in small amounts, as too much is irritating.

In fact, in a case published in the journal Alternative Therapies In Health And Medicine, a 32-year-old woman overcame the symptoms of vaginal infection by using apple cider vinegar. Its application controlled the bad odor, itching, and pain in the area.

Vinagre de sidra de manzana
Apple cider vinegar should be used diluted, as it can be irritating. You can use it for up to 2 or 3 days, until the discomfort subsides.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (40 ml)
  • 2 cups of warm water

How to apply it

  • Dilute the apple cider vinegar in the cups of warm water.
  • Then, use the liquid to wash the external areas of the vagina.
  • Finally, rinse as usual.

2. Tea tree essential oil

Thanks to its antibacterial and antiseptic properties, tea tree oil helps against vaginal odor caused by vaginal infections. In addition, it reduces inflammation.

In particular, this oil is useful in treating infections caused by Candida albicans strains, as detailed in a study published in BioMed Research International. Thanks to its antifungal activity, it helps stop the growth of these yeasts and contributes to recovery.

Ingredients

How to apply it

  • To begin, add the 10 drops of tea tree oil to the cup of warm water.
  • Then, put the mixture in a suitable container and use it to wash the vaginal area.
  • Perform this wash twice a week.

3. Vitamin C for vaginal odor

As detailed in research published in the European Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, vitamin C applied vaginally has the ability to increase the acidity of the vagina. Therefore, it inhibits the growth of bacteria associated with bacterial vaginosis. Thus, this remedy can serve as an adjuvant for bad odor.

Ingredients

  • ¼ teaspoon of vitamin C powder (3 g)
  • 1 cup of water (250 ml)

How to apply it

  • First, mix the vitamin C with the water.
  • Then, use the liquid to wash the external areas of the vagina.
  • You should consult your doctor about using this remedy, as too much can be irritating to the vaginal mucosa.

4. Fenugreek tea

Fenugreek is one of the natural ingredients that can help against this symptom. Why is this?
Well, according to a publication in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, this plant has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties that may contribute to stopping the growth of infectious microorganisms.

Té de alholva para el mal olor vaginal
Fenugreek has shown antimicrobial effects. Therefore, it’s believed that it may help with vaginal infections that cause bad odor.

Would you like to learn more? Read: 8 Things You Should Do To Take Care of Your Vaginal Health

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of fenugreek seeds (10 g)
  • 1 glass of water (200 ml)

Utensils

  • 1 mortar and pestle 

How to apply it

  • Grind the tablespoon of fenugreek seeds with a mortar and pestle.
  • Then, bring the glass of water to a boil.
  • Once it comes to a boil, remove it from the heat.
  • Add the fenugreek seeds to the hot water and let it steep for 15 minutes.
  • You can drink the infusion hot or cold, according to your preference. 

5. Margosa infusion for vaginal odor

According to information published in Current Medicinal Chemistry, this plant, also called neem, has antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties that could be useful to inhibit the growth of fungi and bacteria in the intimate area. For this reason, some even suggest that it helps to reduce odor.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons margosa leaves (30 g)
  • 1 cup of water (250 ml)

How to apply it

  • Prepare an infusion with the margosa leaves and water.
  • Then, when it’s lukewarm, use the liquid to wash the external parts of the intimate area.
  • Repeat its use the next day if the discomfort persists.
  • Discontinue use and rinse with plenty of water if any unfavorable reaction is observed.

Recommendations to prevent vaginal odor

In addition to using the above-mentioned remedies, there’s another series of basic care tips that can help eliminate vaginal odor. If you have this problem, put them into practice.

  • Wear cotton clothing.
  • When washing your clothes, don’t combine underwear with the rest of them. Wash your underwear separately instead. 
  • Use neutral soap.
  • Wash your intimate area before and after sexual intercourse.
  • Tight clothing is not recommended.
  • Remember that sponges irritate the vaginal area.
  • Don’t use deodorants, talcum powder, or perfume in this area.
  • Every time you go to the bathroom, wipe the vagina from front to back (never the other way around).

Prioritize gynecological care

These natural remedies against vaginal odor can be useful to control the symptom while seeking gynecological care. It’s important to consult a gynecologist in any case, as many times odor is a sign of a larger problem, such as a bacterial or yeast infection.



  • Mashburn, J. (2012). Vaginal Infections Update. Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1542-2011.2012.00246.x
  • White, B. A., Creedon, D. J., Nelson, K. E., & Wilson, B. A. (2011). The vaginal microbiome in health and disease. Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.tem.2011.06.001
  • Palmeira-de-Oliveira, R., Palmeira-de-Oliveira, A., & Martinez-de-Oliveira, J. (2015). New strategies for local treatment of vaginal infections. Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.addr.2015.06.008
  • Ozen, B., & Baser, M. (2017). Vaginal Candidiasis Infection Treated Using Apple Cider Vinegar: A Case Report. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine23(7).
  • Nagulapalli Venkata, K. C., Swaroop, A., Bagchi, D., & Bishayee, A. (2017, June 1). A small plant with big benefits: Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum Linn.) for disease prevention and health promotion. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. Wiley-VCH Verlag. https://doi.org/10.1002/mnfr.201600950
  • Biswas, K., Chattopadhyay, I., Banerjee, R. K., & Bandyopadhyay, U. (2002, June 10). Biological activities and medicinal properties of neem (Azadirachta indica). Current Science.