Bacterial vaginosis is a vaginal infection that comes from a pH imbalance in the vagina that results in a malodor accompanied by a discharge. Other symptoms may include itching, swelling, tenderness, discomfort, intense, cramp-like stomach pains and fatigue.
Changes to the normal or balanced bacterial content of the vagina may come from the use of antibiotics. Once the pH level of the vagina is greater than 4.5 it is considered alkaline with a strong likelihood of a bacterial vaginosis infection being present. Once the vagina is imbalanced it allows the bacteria most common with bacterial vaginosis infections to multiply.
Bacterial vaginosis is more common in women who have recently changed sexual partners but a woman does not need to be sexually active to become infected. Narrow undergarments like thongs are frequent causes of the infection when bacteria from the anus come into contact with the vagina. Improper hygiene, douching, strep and psychological stress can all lead to the infection and pregnant women who are deficient in iron are more likely to become infected.
Many women who have bacterial vaginosis do not seek treatment or erroneously believe that the fishy odor and discharge they are experiencing are a yeast infection which they can treat with over-the-counter drugs without the embarrassment and cost of a clinical visit. Women who prefer natural treatments and remedies have a number of herbal options available to them.
According to the experts at BacterialVaginosis.com, herbal remedies for bacterial vaginosis include a variety of antifungal, antiseptic and immune-strengthening agents. Some of these remedies include Tea-tree oil products which are used to eliminate unwanted bacteria; Lavender oil mixed with myrrh, with apricot kernel oil is applied to the labia; Juglone (a compound from black walnut) fights bacteria. (Don't use if you are pregnant or breast feeding.); Coneflower is an antibiotic; Garlic is also an antibiotic (often considered one of the best); Witch hazel has astringent qualities; Pau d'arco tea fights the bacteria; Sage, raspberry leaf, mullein, goldenseal root and apple cider vinegar with a drop of tea tree oil mixed as a douche is a cure; Tracheal, an Ayurvedic herb, is made into a tea and used to fight Bacterial Vaginosis; Dried triphala herbs: amalaki, (Indian gooseberry), haritaki and bibitaki are considered a super-herb combination. They are antioxidants; Cranberry juice is noted to reduce itching and yogurt added to the diet to assist in balancing the bacteria.
Women who decide to explore herbal remedies should inform their physician of any remedies they are using and consult with them to prevent adverse drug interactions.