Unsplash | Yuliya Kosolapova

This Expert Would Like To Remind Women Not To Put Garlic In Their Vagina

Amy Pilkington 25 Apr 2019

Yeast infections suck and I understand any woman's wish to clear it up as quickly and easily as possible.

I also understand the preference for more "natural" remedies, but when it comes to the health of my lady parts, I'm going to leave things to the experts.

And by experts, I mean people like Dr. Jen Gunter.

Twitter | @DrJenGunter

A practicing OB/GYN and pain medicine physician, Dr. Gunter has been called "Twitter's gynecologist."

She's famous for taking down dubious women's health advice with actual science and more than a dose of humor.

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Her latest target is the idea that inserting a clove of garlic into your vagina will cure a yeast infection.

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This is one of those old wives' tales that sticks around thanks to a small amount of scientific evidence that's then applied wildly out of proportion.

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In small laboratory experiments, the allicin released when crushing or chopping garlic has shown some antifungal properties.

Twitter | @DrJenGunter

Allicin is also what gives garlic its eye-watering smell.

In testing, allicin was shown to break down into diallyl disulfide (DDS) and diallyl trisulfide (DTS), which can then enter yeast cells and kill them.

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As Dr. Gunter points out, allicin is only released when the clove is crushed or chopped.

Twitter | @DrJenGunter

So already we're looking at a very small, very preliminary lab experiment that may or may not work the same in humans, and 100% won't work if the garlic is still in clove form.

Also: "vaginal garlic aficionados" is the name of my hipster Pussy Riot cover band.

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So, okay, you need to chop up the garlic and stuff it up there, then?

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If you don't think a garlic glove would get lost up their easily, try explaining the garlic puree to your gyno as they scoop it out for you.

Oh, and BeeTeeDubs, the allicin actually coming from that crushed garlic is going to BURN when it hits that raw vaginal wall.

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She also notes that garlic often has traces of dirt and bacteria in it.

Giphy | kirun

That's why we wash produce and cook it to kill the bacteria. An "inflamed yeasty vagina" is a bacterial jackpot and infections can happen easily.

That explanation to your gyno is getting more and more awkward isn't it?

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And most women who think they may have a yeast infection, don't.

Twitter | @DrJenGunter

They feel some discomfort down there, don't see a doctor, stick a clove up their hoo-hah, and then whenever the not-yeast discomfort fades, assume the garlic worked.

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Though she initially only intended for the thread to be 8 tweets, Dr. Gunter thought of one last point.

Twitter | @DrJenGunter

Yes, your vagina is the perfect breeding ground for the bacteria that causes botulism.

Maybe just go to the pharmacy and buy some Canesten, okay? Some things are better left to professional medicine and not the contents of your pantry.

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