Best Herbs For Vaginal Health
For many years herbs are consumed for relief from the problems due to menstruation.
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According to : Mayo Clinic (mayoclinic.org), World Health Organization (WHO) (who.int), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (cdc.gov), American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) (acog.org), Office on Women’s Health (OWH) (womenshealth.gov)
- 75% of women will experience at least one yeast infection in their lifetime.
- 30% of women in the United States experience some form of vulvodynia (chronic vulvar pain) at some point in their lives.
- Approximately 20-25% of women experience dyspareunia (painful intercourse) at some point in their lives.
- Bacterial vaginosis affects approximately 29% of reproductive-aged women.
- About 10% of women have recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (recurrent yeast infections).
And nowadays, botanical medicines provide strong medicine for modern women. Women’s body is a wonderful gift of nature that is capable to produce a new life.
- The vagina is the most important and integral part of a woman’s body when it comes to women’s health.
But, you don’t want to talk about it and you can’t neglect it either.
Women’s health can be intricate, as numerous hormones relate to one another.
- Vaginal health is affected due to stress, depression, hemorrhoids, infections, infertility, and hormone imbalances.
- This may result in vaginal dryness, vaginal itching, vaginal odor, and also headaches, fatigue, digestive issues, and generalized pain.
Sometimes these vaginal problems are more troublesome, at times can be absolutely intolerable.
We’ve all been there.
- Pre-menopausal, menopausal, and post-menopausal conditions affect the vaginal health most.
- It leads to vaginal dryness which results in itching and burning. It can make sex painful and as a result, sexual health is affected. The common symptom includes frequent urination.
This article discusses includes some natural remedies for vaginal health and tips on lifestyle changes you can try to relieve your symptoms.
What causes vaginal health problems?
According to doctors and health experts, the most common cause related to vaginal health is estrogen level.
- Estrogen is a hormone produced by ovaries and its main work is to keep the vagina moist.
Less secretion of this hormone leads to dryness in the vagina.
- Other reasons for disruption of estrogen levels are menopause, hormone therapy, radiation or chemotherapy, childbirth and breastfeeding, some medications, stress, and also some hygiene products or lubricants.
Discomforts of vaginal health
It leads to uneasiness, irritation, itching, burning, redness, infection, and pain during sex.
Adding a natural and chemical-free moisturizer along with treatment will provide some immediate relief.
Some best herbs for vaginal health
The use of herbs can be helpful to women in all phases of life.
Some good herbs include mugwort, wormwood, chamomile, calendula, basil, and oregano.
Herbs considered best for vaginal health include:
1. Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa)
- It is helpful in suppressing vaginal dryness, hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats, and heart palpitations.
- It belongs to the buttercup plant family so also used in the treatment of arthritis as it relaxes muscle pain.
- It contains fukinolic acid compounds which have similar properties to estrogen so it is considered a natural hormonal therapy.
Pills, powder, and oil are made from its stem and roots which can be consumed as a dietary supplement in oral form.
2. Linseed (Flaxseed)
- It suppresses vaginal dryness, mood swings, insomnia, and bone loss.
- It is rich in phytoestrogens which is a plant-based female hormone that acts like estrogen.
- Studies reveal that a 3-month course of Linseed results in decreased menopausal symptoms and also the quality of life is increased.
The recommended daily dose is 25 grams. It can be chewed or added to meals.
3. Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)
- It has phytoestrogens in abundance that acts like estrogens. It reduces hot flashes, pain, dryness, and night sweats.
- Red clover is a wonderful herb to regulate the proper menstrual cycle.
- It has a very satisfying taste so this herb is usually taken in a form of tea.
- It is very easily available and you can grow insecticide and pesticide-free red clover in your own garden.
It has anti-tumor properties and is prescribed for the treatment of ovarian and lymphatic cancers.
4. Dong Quai (Angelica archangelica)
- It has a wonderful fragrance and is a perennial plant typically found in Asia.
- It has greenish-white flowers.
- It cures female reproductive problems like vaginal dryness, premenstrual and post-menopausal symptoms, hot flashes, inflammation, etc.
- It contains coumarins which help in opening blood vessels allowing blood flow easily. It increases the quality of blood.
It can be taken orally in a form of pill or powder or can be added to tea or soup.
5. Margosa or Indian Lilac (Azadirachta indica)
- It is commonly known as neem and belongs to the mahogany family (Meliaceae).
- It has antibacterial and antifungal properties which help in suppressing infections in the vagina.
Many Ayurveda doctors advise neem water (neem leaves when boiled in water) or neem oil which can be used for cleaning the vagina.
6. Chaste Tree Berry (Vitex agnus-castus)
- Vitex helps better communication between the brain and ovaries so that ovaries can produce healthy levels of estrogen and progesterone.
- It tastes very strong but the results are just awesome.
It helps women with the short menstrual cycle, trouble conceiving, and PMS.
7. Common Madder or Indian Madder (Rubia cordifolia)
- It is commonly known as manjistha and belongs to the Rubiaceae family.
- It has anti-inflammatory properties.
- This herb is used to control bleeding.
It can be taken in the form of powder or paste.
8. Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis miller)
- Aloe vera is part of the cacti family, Liliaceae or Asphodelaceae.
- It has anti-fungal, anti-microbial, and antiseptic properties.
- Apply fresh aloe vera gel over the area and let dry naturally. Rinse with warm water and dab dry.
- It reduces the itching and burning sensation of the vagina.
Use under doctors’ guidance.
9. Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus)
- It helps in balancing women’s hormones.
- It stables energy levels and a healthy sex drive.
- Asparagus supports fertility and soothes the damaged vaginal tissue thus reducing the burning sensation.
It is taken orally in a powder form or can be taken as a capsule.
10. Water Hyssop (Bacopa monnieri)
- It is commonly known as Brahmi. It is a creeping herb.
- Brahmi increases immunity and is loaded with antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties.
It can be taken in the form of oil, concoction, and infusion as per the doctor’s advice.
11. Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
- It is commonly known as mulethi.
- It is used as an effective herb for the digestive, respiratory, and reproductive systems.
- It boosts the level of hormones in body.
It can be taken with milk or decoction or with ghee as per your doctor’s advice.
12. Turmeric (Curcuma)
- A very common root, turmeric is known for its anti-bacterial properties. It belongs to the Zingiberaceae family.
- It helps to increase blood flow and remove stagnant blood in the uterus.
- The enzyme curcumin is present in it which acts as an antifungal and helps eliminate yeast infections.
Turmeric extracts have been known to be used in modern medicine.
13. Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius)
- It balances the production of both estrogen and progesterone in our bodies.
- It eases the problems of pre-menstrual and menopausal problems.
- Ginseng remakes vitality, upsurges energy and stamina, and lessens fatigue.
- It can be taken orally in powder form or 10-20 drops of tincture daily.
It should be avoided during pregnancy.
14. Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla or M. matricarioides)
- It has anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antibacterial, sedative, and pain relieving properties.
- It regulates the menses cycle properly and is beneficial for short or irregular menstruation and for menopausal uneasiness.
It is mostly taken in the form of chamomile tea.
15. Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
- It is full of phytosterols, the roots are used to prepare an effective tonic for the reproductive system.\
- Dandelion roots control and steady hormonal production.
Its hinder the growth of the fungus answerable for vaginal yeast infections.
16. Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca)
- Motherwort is an excellent tonic for the uterus and reproductive organs, is unfailing at relieving menstrual cramping, and will consistently bring on menstruation when late.
- Motherwort is a very good herb for girls just coming into puberty and just 10 drops in the water a few times a week will help regulate menstruation and ease their transition into womanhood.
Also an ally of high repute for menopausal women, motherwort will balance hormones, moderate mood swings, and ease hot flashes, depression, and heart palpitations.
17. Nettle (Urtica dioica)
- American Indian women drank nettle tea during pregnancy to strengthen the fetus and ease delivery. They also used it to stop bleeding after childbirth.
- Menopausal women also have a friend in nettle. With its rich stores of minerals, especially calcium, regular use of nettle will nourish your nervous system, calm and steady your nerves, and strengthen your bones, thereby preventing osteoporosis
Steady use of nettles will show improvement in energy levels, erase depression, and mood swings, and maintains the healthy functioning of the adrenal system, naturally stressed during menopause.
Best foods for vaginal health
- The vagina requires healthy bacteria to fight infections and to maintain the normal ph. Level.
So, such foods should be incorporated into your diet which flourishes good bacteria like yogurt, tempeh, sauerkraut, and kimchi.
- Healthy fats like almonds pistachios, cashew, oily fish, and avocados should be included.
All these foods help to create healthy mucosal lining by maintaining estrogen levels that help to remove infections.
- Isoflavones are found in soy, which acts like weak estrogens in the body. They help eradicate vaginal dryness.
Water is another important thing to ward off vaginal infections. Keep hydrated with water or herbal teas.
We can summarize the best foods for vaginal health as:
- Prebiotics & Probiotics
- Nuts & Healthy Fats
Harmful foods & drinks for vaginal health
- Sugar-loaded sweets/candies/bakery products
Sugars destroy important vaginal bacteria, as they lead to vaginal yeast infections & soreness.
- Refined & highly processed foods
Processed foods can suppress your immune system which can allow harmful bacteria to take over.
- Animal dairy/meat containing artificial hormones
The artificial hormones in dairy products can block estrogen from the vagina, damaging the mucosal lining, which again can leave you open to infections.
Smoke & alcohol can cause dryness & dehydration in the body & especially around the sensitive vaginal area and leave you with irritation & redness which leads to vaginal infection.
How can you increase the natural lubrication of the vagina?
- Natural lubrication of the vagina can be increased by eating a healthy diet, following pelvic exercises, drinking a lot of water, avoid douching with chemical-loaded sprays and soap.
- Besides this, some essential oil like tea tree oil, and wild yam cream are also used.
- Your vagina is a self-cleaning machine and doesn’t need help or cleaning with soap, sprays, or shampoo. Rather they alter the vaginal bacteria ecosystem.
Remember to eat right for your vaginal health.
- Vaginal health is usually affected by estrogen loss, medication, or other health conditions.
Maintain hygiene. Avoid using dirty toilets. Wear clean undergarments. These will help you stay away from vaginal infections.
- Follow pelvic exercises and eat healthy to improve fertility, and balance hormones.
Also to maintain vaginal health avoid using chemical products as they can hamper the vaginal ph balance.
- Instead, you can use chemical-free vaginal moisturizer to avoid dryness and that should always be consulted with your doctor.
Herbs may be natural, but they’re also potent. They may cause an allergic reaction. And the last place you want an allergic reaction is your vagina.
- There are harmless ways to use heat and herbs for time relief. You can use a hot water bottle on your pelvic area and sip a warm cup of herbal tea.
More research is needed to confirm the use of these herbs.
- If you want to try herbs consult with your doctor or a qualified alternative health practitioner to weigh the pros and cons.
Maintain your personal cleanness, hydrate, and evade harmful foods as mentioned earlier.
Hope this helped, inform you & helps you understand your body a little better.
Can vaginal health be maintained by drinking more water?
It’s possible – if you’re really dehydrated. You can counteract dehydration by drinking water and other non-alcoholic, unsweetened fluids, and increasing your intake of juicy fruits, vegetables, and soup
Which foods can prevent or treat vaginal dryness?
There is some interesting research on this topic. A 2014 study involving 731 women found that those who ate an apple daily had better sex lives, including better vaginal lubrication.9 Soy products such as edamame and tofu are also associated with better vaginal health.
Name some natural lubricants I can use during sex?
Certain vegetable oils such as avocado, coconut, peanut, and olive oil are effective lubricants. However, if you use latex condoms to prevent pregnancy or infection, these oils can cause them to break down and become less effective.
Are there any herbs that can help get rid of vaginal dryness?
Yes, Ayurveda advises some herbs to cure vaginal dryness. Some of them are Red Clover (Trifolium pratense), Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis miller), etc.
Are there any natural cures for female dryness?
Some natural remedies may include the usage of certain herbs like Black Cohosh ( Cimicifuga racemosa), Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) etc but more studies and research is needed.