Image Credit: Ondřej Mangl/ Wikimedia Commons

Boric acid for vaginal yeast infections?

I have [had vaginal yeast infections] for years now (comes and goes). For almost a year I am vegan. My diet is nutrition dense, whole foods and no processed foods, but I still have vaginal discharges, sometimes very heavy. I rarely drink coffee. Please, do you have an information on this.

LaGuna/Originally Posted in Bacterial Vaginosis and Diet

Answer:

In my practice I found the best cure for recurrent vaginal yeast infections is vaginal suppositories of boric acid. They are cheap (about 2 cents each) and relatively safe. Though the mechanism is unclear, vaginal boric acid suppositories are effective in curing up to 98% of the patients who had previously failed to respond to the most commonly used antifungal drugs.

DO NOT EAT BORIC ACID. Boric acid is toxic if taken orally (if swallowed). Keep away from children and open wounds. Boric Acid should also NOT be used when you are pregnant.

To make your own suppositories, fill up large empty capsules with boric acid (like with the tip of a knife and a baggie). Insert one capsule into your vagina before bedtime every day for 2 weeks. You may want to wear a pad as it tends to be runny. It can also be helpful is to take some of the loose powder and spread it on your labia and under your clitoral hood. Stop the treatment if you experience burning or get a bloody discharge.

Image credit: Ondřej Mangl/ Wikimedia Commons

Discuss

Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.


50 responses to “Boric acid for vaginal yeast infections?

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  1. I used to have almost constant yeast problems. Cold-pressed organic coconut oil was the trick for me. Kills yeast quickly. Also tee tree and lavender oils.

  2. I thought the boric acid had to be compounded…? I have a Rx and it costs waaaaay more than 2 cents a pop. Wow! I had no idea it was safe to use as is. Boric acid and switching to a non-hormonal IUD is what worked for me and I have tried it all

    1. I used boric acid from Humco. I did it for two days. While I feel fine. I noticed I had a small abrasion on the outside of my lady parts from the irritation prior to using the boric acid.. Should I be concerned about kidney damage? I called poison control they said I did not need medical attention unless I developed symptoms such as vomiting or skin rash.

  3. Thanks for answering this. I assume then that this would be instead of clotrimazole.etc? It’s good to have this option, though it takes 2 weeks instead of less than one? Can you still have intercourse on this treatment?

  4. I took 1/8 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide in a cup of water 3x a day. I haven’t had a yeast infection for 15 years or more since then. You and your partner may be passing it back and forth.

      1. Jamie,

        Douche not drink….. Timing will depend on the vaginal colonization and a host of other factors. Typically boric acid douches can be used 1-2 x per day for a number of days or even a week or more while addressing the other issues, including food, stress, clothing, etc.

        You might want to also consider as an alternative a boric acid suppository. This approach has been both a bit less messy and effective.

        Dr. Alan Kadish Health Support volunteer for Dr. Greger http://www.CenterofHealth.com

    1. It would vary depending on the fish and where it was caught. However since the rivers and oceans contain wastes and chemicals such as drugs and mercury they end up in fish. Even without the contamination there is nothing we need in fish that we can’t get from plants with the exception of Vitamin B12.

      1. I used boric acid to treat a yeast infection. I noticed prior to using it I had a small abrasion on my lady parts. If the boric acid got on the abrasion should I be concerned it got into my blood stream? Should I be concerned about kidney damage? I called poison control and they said I would notice if I had any adverse reaction such as a rash or vomiting and that I did not need to go to the doctor.

        1. Topical application with small abrasion shouldn’t be a concern but checking with local poison control always a good strategy as they keep abreast with the latest information. Of course if problems persist checking back with your physician would be important.

          1. I also used it as a anal wash my anus gets itchy at times I think maybe due to yeast. I started to worry because I thought about what if some water mixed with boric acid traveled up my anus. I only used the suppositories twice and the anal wash once. I have not used it since then. Do you think I need to go get checked out. I stopped using it altogether. I read a post about someone using it for 60 days and doctors found huge cyst on her kidneys and she said she had an abrasion. But granted I only used it twice.

            ——————————

            1. Unfortunately medicine is sometimes a contact profession where you need to be examined and treated. The mucous membranes around the anus are very sensitive to chemicals. Many patients that I would see with this type of problem were going to great lengths to keep the area clean with hot water and soaps which can get you in a vicious circle as once the skin is irritated it is more susceptible to irritants and hot water. If the problem has persisted it is always better to have it checked out by a qualified caring health care professional. Good luck.

              1. I think you misunderstand. My anus itched prior to using the boric acid wash. My anus is not a problem I think I suffer from hemrroids. I just fear kidney damage. I heard boric acid could cause kidney damage. I think I may go to the doctor to have an ex ray of my kidneys to check for cyst. I also started my period two days after I used it. This was only a day earlier than I was suppose to so no big deal. I just want to be assured I did not cause damage to my kidneys from using the boric acid. If the two days I used it caused any damage to my kidneys would I know? I do not

  5. I have used boric acid in capsules I make up myself for the last 2 years. Brilliant! As a diabetic, I was used to at least 2-3 yeast infections a year. No more! Haven’t had a one! I use a capsule two nights each week.

  6. I had recurrent ones too until I found that it was caused by gluten and yeast intolerance. I got rid of the gluten and was still having them sometimes, and then removed active yeast from my diet and they were magically gone.

  7. I have observed that eating sweets makes me prone to vaginal infections. It doesn’t matter if the sweets are artificial, like candy bars, or natural, like honey. Anything that raises your blood sugar might make you more susceptible. Might be a good subject for research. Or maybe not, since no one would be able to sell an expensive drug….

    1. I find your post interesting because I am a fruitarian. Fruitarians never mix fat and sugar because it can cause the yeast in the body to ‘bloom’. Once this occurs, the yeast feeds on the sugar and overgrowth occurs. Although sugar is the trigger, fat is what loads the gun-per fruitarian theory. Fat has a coating quality and prevents insulin from doing it’s job and the body is unable to release sugar from the bloodstream hence the the ‘bloom’ and the unwanted symptoms of yeast.

      1. What do you mean…it can cause the yeast to bloom? You can grow yeast in flour and water – you don’t need fat. I think the sugar alone will do the trick.

  8. I used boric acid two days in a row. The last day was yesterday. I had a small cut. I feel fine but do I have kidney damage?

  9. Dr. Greger,
    I have read and heard that one can ingest Borax (the cleaning agent) for a boron supplement (these sources say that people deficient in boron) and that it would cure many ongoing ailments including toenail fungus, eczema, candida infection, and yeast infections in ladies. I also read that one can soak one’s foot in Borax to help with athlete’s foot and fungus nail. I did this, and I do believe that it helped more than vinegar because it has not bothered me since. What do you know about this?
    I also wonder about the truth of candida infections where people must go on extreme dietary treatment plans to eliminate it from their systems. There are some health establishments that do not acknowledge the validity of the candida infection. I have been animal product free, eating whole foods only, for 2.5 years (taking B12 supplements) and have a significantly improved eczema rash that does not completely go away. I wonder about the Borax treatment. I would certainly appreciate an explanation of mold and its relation to health and the body. I don’t mess with mold – I throw food away that has mold unless it is small spot on the outside of a very hard food, in which case I cut off a large portion containing the mold.
    My next question is about safe cookware. Are we to avoid any cookware with aluminum? Is aluminized steel safe? Are silicon coatings safe? What coatings are safe? Is cast iron safe? Is stainless steel the safest for pots, pans, and trays, as I have heard? If so, what about the different grades of it? This is very confusing, and I need some more cookware but cannot make informed decisions.
    God’s blessings to you, Dr. Greger. Thank you for your work. I hope to read a response.

  10. Dear Sir, I want to know that daily intake of Indian gooseberry juice extracted from 15 odd numbers of gooseberry would cause any wrong and bad effect on health. Please advice me Sir. My e mail id is depramod@gmail.com Thank You

  11. Hello, I’ve used boric acid in capsules and I’ve inserted it into my vagina for two nights now. After first night there wasn’t any discharge at all, but after second night there were large amounts of bloody discharge and it got me pretty worried. Did I damage my vagina or something? What does this bloody discharge means?

    1. It would be unlikely that two boric acid capsules would cause damage and a bloody discharge. As Dr. Greger mentioned in his post you should stop the treatment. The diagnosis of vaginal discharge is best done by a qualified health care professional as there are several possible causes. There is a difference between having a discharge that is recurrent that has been properly diagnosed with history, physical exam and appropriate tests and new symptoms that haven’t been diagnosed. So the first step would be to see your regular health care provider. Good luck.

  12. Vaginal yeast infection can be treated with coconut oil and tea tree oil combination. But for many women who have recurrent yeast infections, it’s wise to look at the diet. Here is a link to the video to the connection between diet and vaginal infections. http://nutritionfacts.org/video/bacterial-vaginosis-and-diet/

    Another thing that can be preventative is yoni steaming. Here is a link on what it is and how to do it.

    http://mayamoonhealingarts.com/bajos-vaginal-steams/

  13. Fruitarian women (myself included) find relief from this by lowering fat intake. Everyone is different though. Some are more sensitive than others and find anything over 10% of daily intake causes yeast flair-ups. Personally, I eat fat a few times a week. Usually unprocessed like avocado or nut butters. I never eat concentrated versions even if they are raw like virgin coconut oil. I also never mix sugar and fat. Fat is always with water rich vegetables. Hope this is helpful :)

  14. A friend has recurrent yeast infections even though her doctor says that the pH in her vagina is perfect. She has been through 7 courses of antibiotics in as many months and eats a very healthy diet, almost vegetarian – lots of whole foods and plants. Finally, her doctor tried putting her on the boric acid douche mentioned here. But she is frustrated because it keeps coming back. Her husband also went through a course of antibiotics and he is fine. Any suggestions? She wonders why it keeps coming back when the pH of her vagina is supposedly optimal every time it is tested.

  15. i’ve been using this laundry soap for years (seventh generation) this site says boric acid one of the ingredients is
    of health concern….and that just in washing my cloths not putting in my vagina!
    i have been using the boric acid capsules because i googled that it was completely safe
    contemplating taking it orally for candida as i found a site that recommends that as well
    Whose information is the Right one to Trust???

  16. Years ago a doctor suggested I insert a boric acid capsule vaginally for recurring yeast infections. Later, a different doctor informed me that the boric acid would erode away vaginal lining with repeated use. As for me, I have found Silver Gel to be the most effective for vaginitis & yeast infections.

  17. I have been using 1 600mg boric acid capsule at night before bed. Some websites say you should take 1 in the day as well… what is best? I’m on day 4 and I don’t feel too much relief yet….

  18. Anthea,

    There is no “best”….. just what works. Have you checked the ph between use of the boric acid and I suspect you might need a bit more patience ? Give the treatment another week before you decide.

    One of the questions that needs to be addressed is the cause….please take time to evaluate while you treat. Also are you sure of the issue. Often times clinically when a few tests are run we find a very different set of causes with similar symptoms. this is but one of the laboratories that offer these services.

    Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger http://www.Centerofhealth.com

  19. For anyone who still cares about this topic, you can sometimes get boric acid fairly cheap at a nursery. I think it’s used as a bug killer. You mix it with a little sugar to entice the bugs in the house, they eat it and die. That’s where I used to buy mine when I lived in Georgia.

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