The Top 10 Home Remedies for Vaginal Itching (Research Based)
Having an irritating vaginal itching is quite common among women of all ages but usually, having an itchy vagina is not a sign of a serious condition. Vaginal itching can be due to bacterial or yeast infections, eczema, or using harsh soaps and body washes that irritate the delicate skin around the vulva. Depending on the reason for the irritating vaginal itch, you may also experience burning, swelling, irritation, and an unpleasant vaginal odor.
Most of the causes for vaginal itching can be easily treated with natural home remedies. These natural treatments help to kill off infections that cause the itchiness and irritation. The soothing natural remedies also help to reduce the other related symptoms of genital itching and irritation such as redness and swelling. For example, apple cider vinegar, garlic, and tea tree oil contain antimicrobial compounds to destroy itch-causing infections. Other ingredients like coconut oil and yogurt help to provide relief from burning and itchiness around the vaginal opening and vulva.
In this article, you will find many helpful home remedies for vaginal itch. These natural anti-itch treatments are very quick and easy to make and they may provide you quick relief from your discomfort and urge to scratch.
Best Home Remedies for Vaginal Itch
A healthy vagina contains a delicate balance of bacteria and has a low pH level to protect it from various infections. It is also normal that your vagina secretes small amounts of odorless milky discharge to help keep itself clean. If any of these conditions become out of balance, the result can be an infection, irritation, and itchiness.
The first step to get rid of vaginal itching is to make sure that the irritation isn’t caused by any harsh soaps, body washes, or shower gels. These can strip the protective barrier from the sensitive skin in your vagina and disrupt the balance of “good” bacteria.
Here are some of the best natural methods to restore good health to your vagina and get rid of a vaginal itch.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV)
You can use raw unprocessed apple cider vinegar as an effective home remedy to reduce vaginal itching and its related symptoms. Apple cider vinegar is an effective cure for itching caused by both yeast infections (Candidiasis caused by the Candida fungus) and bacterial infections (bacterial vaginosis).
Research carried out by a team of scientists in Bulgaria found that acetic acid (apple cider vinegar contains high levels of acetic acid) effectively destroys many yeast strains, including candida.1
Bacterial infections in the vagina also cause elevated pH levels.2 The acidic nature of apple cider vinegar helps to reduce pH levels in the vulva to prevent itching. Studies into the effects of acetic acid on bacterial infections found that its antibacterial activity naturally kills off many strains of bacteria.3
To reduce itching in your vagina and reduce swelling in labia, soak a tampon in a diluted mixture of equal parts of raw apple cider vinegar and water. Insert into your vagina for 30-60 minutes to help kill off the microbes causing the itchiness. Remove the tampon and rinse the genital area with warm water and dry completely. Use the apple cider vinegar remedy to regularly provide relief from vaginal itching and irritation.
Alternatively, you can add 2 cups of raw ACV to a bath and soak for about 20 minutes. This will help to reduce the itchiness caused by irritants, eczema, as well as bacterial and yeast infections.
Virgin coconut oil can also effectively relieve vaginal itching caused by eczema, bacterial vaginosis (BV), or candida. The fatty acid content of coconut oil helps to soothe itchy skin and its antimicrobial properties fight vaginal infections. Coconut oil is also a natural remedy for vaginal dryness.
The effectiveness of virgin coconut oil in combating fungal infections was confirmed in a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food. It showed that coconut oil was more effective as an antifungal treatment than fluconazole, a popular medication used to treat Candidiasis.4 The lauric acid content in coconut oil also effectively inhibits the growth of bacterial infections5 and nourishes damaged skin caused by eczema.6
To use coconut oil to soothe the itchy symptoms of vaginal infections or eczema, soak a tampon in liquefied virgin coconut oil. Insert the coconut oil-soaked tampon into your vagina. Leave for 8 hours (or overnight) to help reduce the infection and get relief from itchiness. Rinse off with warm water and dry the affected area. Use daily to reduce itching and vaginal infections.
To boost the antibacterial power of coconut oil, you could add a few drops of tea tree oil to the mixture.
Tea tree oil
Another natural remedy to fight the infection and reduce vaginal itching is tea tree oil. The antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties of tea tree oil make it an effective anti-itch remedy for your genital area. Tea tree oil is a natural anti-itch treatment if the irritation is caused by candida, bacterial infections, or eczema.
According to information published in the journal Clinical Microbiology Reviews, the medicinal properties of tea tree oil are due to a chemical compound called terpinen-4-ol. This is a powerful antimicrobial agent that is effective against germs causing bacterial and yeast infections. Tea tree oil can also help to soothe vaginal itch because it reduces inflammation on the skin.7
There are a number of ways to use tea tree oil as an effective home treatment for vaginal itching and related symptoms such as soreness, burning, and swelling. One way is to fill a small bowl with warm water and add a few drops of tea tree oil and mix well. Use the tea tree oil to rinse your vagina daily and reduce the sensation of itchiness. Or as mentioned previously, add a few drops of tea tree oil to your coconut oil-soaked tampon and leave for 30-60 minutes.
Use garlic to control the growth of infection-causing microbes in the vagina and reduce itching. Garlic is a powerful antibiotic that has many medicinal uses including helping to heal skin infections. The antimicrobial activities are due to a compound in garlic called allicin.
The Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine explained the therapeutic benefits of garlic in combating various microbial infections.8 It showed that the antifungal properties of garlic are effective in fighting candida infections. Also, its antibacterial activities help to kill off the infection on the skin and in the vulva.
Another study showed that taking a 500-mg garlic capsule twice daily helped to treat the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis. In fact, the garlic capsules were just as effective as taking metronidazole, a pharmaceutical drug prescribed for fungal infections.9
Take a garlic capsule twice daily to help clear infection and boost the effectiveness of other topical treatments for vaginal itchiness. Alternatively you can consume fresh minced garlic as a natural way to get a relief from an itchy vagina.
Regularly taking garlic for its medicinal properties can also help improve your immune system and make you less susceptible to picking up other bugs and viruses. If you decide to regularly use garlic for your general health, you should avoid some common mistakes when using garlic as an antibiotic.
Boric acid is an effective natural remedy to provide relief from vaginal itching and burning caused by Candidiasis. Boric acid has many uses around the home, but it is also an effective and safe antifungal agent to inhibit vaginal yeast overgrowth.
A scientific review of studies of boric acid as a natural treatment for candidiasis have confirmed it’s effective to be used as a safe home remedy for vulvovaginal Candidiasis. Vulvovaginal candidiasis is the name often given to Candida albicans infection of the vagina associated with a dermatitis of the vulva (an itchy rash). In some cases, it was more effective than pharmaceutical anti-fungal medication and didn’t cause drug resistance.10
Boric acid suppositories (like this one) are an excellent way to get natural relief from vaginal itching. Insert the suppositories twice a day into your vagina for 6-14 days to get rid of the yeast infection and relieve the itching sensation. If the itchiness and other candida symptoms persist, continue using the boric acid suppositories for another two weeks.
Use food grade hydrogen peroxide to kill yeast and bacteria in the vagina and get rid of the itching that they cause. Hydrogen peroxide is a natural antiseptic that can help get rid of any microbial infection.
Researchers in Thailand found that douching with hydrogen peroxide helped to clear up Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) in over 60% of women and, unlike medicated antifungal treatments, showed no signs of side effects.11
To reduce vaginal itching and help speed up the healing process, mix equal parts of water with 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide. Soak a tampon in the liquid and insert into your vagina for 20-30 minutes. Repeat applying the home remedy daily for up to 2 weeks until you no longer have itching around your vulva, labia, or vaginal opening.
Raw, natural yogurt can help to give you fast relief from vaginal itching and swelling and restore the natural pH balance of your vagina. Raw yogurt can help in two ways to reduce itching in your vagina. First of all the soothing effect of yogurt can help get rid of the irritation. Secondly, raw yogurt contains probiotics which can help to promote the growth of good bacteria. Raw yogurt is also one of the best foods to improve the vaginal health.
When looking at the effectiveness of using yogurt to treat the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis, a study from 2012 found that consuming 100g of probiotic yogurt twice a day can help to treat Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) by reducing vaginal pH levels.12
You can increase your intake of yogurt containing strains of lactobacilli bacteria to help boost the growth of good bacteria.
Alternatively, you can get instant relief from vaginal itching by applying cool, raw yogurt directly to your vagina. To apply the yogurt to your itchy vagina, soak a tampon in plain, raw yogurt and insert into your vagina. Leave for 2 hours and repeat the process twice a day until your itchy symptoms have gone completely.
Another way to promote the growth of good bacteria and maintain a healthy vagina is to take probiotic supplements. Although probiotic supplements may not provide the fast relief from vaginal itch that yogurt provides, they can help to prevent recurrences of vaginal infections.
A study into the effects of probiotics on vaginal health found that they help to maintain a healthy balance of bacteria to prevent infections in the vagina. Probiotics can help to stop the growth of “bad” bacteria and prevent itching and irritation. Probiotic supplements are just as effective for bacterial infections as they are at treating yeast infections.13
Because probiotics help to maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in your vaginal area, they also help to get rid of and prevent vaginal odor.
You can get relief from a vaginal itch by adding a few drops of oregano oil to the home remedies. The antibacterial activity of oregano oil can help increase the effectiveness of other home remedies in treating various bacterial infections.
The Journal of Medicinal Food reported that essential oil extracted from oregano is highly effective at destroying various strains of bacteria, even those that are resistant to pharmaceutical medication.14
To relieve itching and kill off infections in the vagina, add 2-3 drops of oregano oil to a tablespoon of virgin coconut oil. Apply this natural antibacterial ointment to the labia, vaginal opening, or clitoris to reduce itching and help get rid of any infection. Leave for 2 hours before rinsing with warm water. Repeat the remedy until any itchiness and signs of infection have gone.
A cold compress can give you fast relief from itching in and around your vaginal area. The cold pack helps to numb the itching sensation and reduce swelling and inflammation.
To use the cold compress, put a few ice cubes in a bag and wrap in a clean cloth. Place the ice pack on your vagina for a few minutes. Remove for 10 minutes before reapplying. Do this a few times to stop vaginal itching.
Vaginal Itching – When to See a Doctor
Please see your doctor if the above mentioned home remedies don’t help to relieve your itchy vagina. It is also a good idea to consult your doctor if you have any concern or if the itchiness becomes worse.
Vaginal itching can also be a symptom of more serious health conditions like sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). STDs can be difficult to treat and it’s essential to recognize the early symptoms like:14
- Painful urination
- Cloudy discharge from the genitalia
- Lower abdominal pain
- Painful bowel movements
- Vaginal itching and / or irritation
- Anal itching
Read these related articles:
1. Foods That Improve Your Vaginal Health
2. Swollen Vaginal Area: Causes and Natural Treatments
3. How to Get Rid of Vaginal Odor: The Best Natural Remedies
4. The Top 9 Home Remedies for Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) – Research Based