Vinegar has been used as an antiseptic and astringent since the days of Hippocrates in ancient Greece, when he prescribed it to clean wounds and treat coughs. Today, vinegar is used as an environmentally friendly cleaner for everything from windows to floors. A mild vinegar and water solution administered as a douche can also be used to treat several vaginal conditions. Purchase pre-measured vinegar douches, or mix your own at home and administer it with a bulb syringe or douche bag.
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Douching is not necessary for normal vaginal health, but some women feel cleaner with regular douching, particularly after their menstrual cycle. If you want to douche, the California State University Student Health Center recommends using only 1 to 2 tbs. of white vinegar in 1 qt. of water.
To treat vaginitis, also known as a yeast infection, the University of Maryland Medical Center recommends douching with 1 to 2 tbs. of white vinegar in 1 pt. of water for 10 to 14 days. The vinegar creates a more acidic environment which can be inhospitable to vaginal yeast. If symptoms persist or are accompanied by pain, consult a physician.
Catherine Zuver, a registered nurse with the University of Virginia, reports that some menopausal women have found relief from vaginal dryness and itching with vinegar douching. The vinegar helps restore the vagina's natural pH. Use 1 to 2 tbs. of white vinegar in 1 qt. of water.