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Garlic Tablets do not Relieve Vaginal Thrush

Update Date: Dec 17, 2013 11:00 AM EST

Vaginal thrush is a common yeast infection that cause itching, irritation and swelling in the vagina and the surrounding area. In some cases of vaginal thrush, a creamy and white discharge that resembles cottage cheese could occur. Even though vaginal thrush is relatively harmless, it can be extremely uncomfortable and could reoccur. There are many anti-thrush medications that can either be prescribed by a doctor or bought over the counter. These medications can come in pill form or in as an ointment. For people who want a more natural remedy, they turn to garlic, which many people believe can be effective as well. However, in a world-first study, researchers found that garlic does not work in alleviating vaginal thrush.

For this study, the researchers from the University of Melbourne and the Royal Women's Hospital headed by PhD candidate, Cathy Watson, set out to examine the relationship between oral garlic treatment and vaginal thrush, also known as vaginal candida. The research team recruited 63 women who had vaginal candida. The women were put in a randomized, double-blinded controlled experiment where some of them were given three garlic tablets and others were given three placebo tablets to be taken at two points throughout the day. The participants took either set of tablets for two full weeks.

The researchers concluded that the oral garlic tablets did not provide better treatment than the placebo ones. Until more research is done, the team stated that using garlic as an alternative therapy for vaginal thrush is not effective. In order to relieve the symptoms of vaginal thrust, women should stick to anti-thrush medications for the time being.

"Many women have difficulty clearing thrush, and complementary and alternative (CAM) therapies are very popular," Watson said according to Medical Xpress. "Our study shows more investigation should take place in this field and properly inform the public of the benefit of alternative therapies."

The study was published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

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