Vaginal discharge, medically known as leucorrhea, can be tricky. For some women, it’s perfectly normal to have it every day, while others only have it once in awhile. Healthy discharge is usually clear, white, and doesn’t cause any irritation. Nothing a panty liner can’t fix! But how do you know it’s become a problem?
Leucorrhea may or may not be a sign of infection. If it is, the color will be yellowish or greenish, compete with a foul odor. Infections will also cause lots of itching and irritation. At the same time, hormonal fluctuations during your cycle might also bring on discharge, as rising estrogen increases exfoliation of the vaginal epithelial cells.1 2
Pay attention to your level of normal discharge. When something seems off, don’t ignore it. A visit to the gynecologist can tell you what’s going on.
Reach for some sumac. This spice is a traditional remedy for vaginal discharge, that offers antioxidants and muscle-relaxing effects. Sumac has a tart, lemon-like flavor. It can be used in dishes instead of vinegar or lemon juice. It’s a staple in Middle Eastern cooking, so try it with hummus or roasted chickpeas. For an easier option, brew a cup of sumac leaf tea or take supplements.3 4
Ayurveda honors amla as one of the best rejuvenating remedies. Also known as the Indian gooseberry, amla possess anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties. It’s used as a cardiac tonic, diuretic, laxative, and astringent, but ayurveda also regards it as a leucorrhea remedy. Amla berries can be eaten raw, but the juice is also tasty. The powder can also be added to honey or taken as a supplement.6
According to a 2016 study, anise is another anti-leucorrhea remedy. Traditional Iranian medicine honors it as a disinfectant that is also used to relax muscles and treat dysmenorrhea. If your vaginal discharge is caused by an infection, the antimicrobial effects of anise will work in your favor. Lovers of licorice will adore anise. To make a tea, add 1 tablespoon of crushed seeds to boiling water and strain. Tea bags and supplements are also available at health stores.7 8
The Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences lists sorrel as a traditional remedy. This herb has strong antimicrobial properties, making it useful for all kinds of infections. Sorrel has a lemony taste like sumac, but it’s sourer. Add it to dishes just like other herbs or drink it as a tea. If the flavor is too strong, add honey or ginger for balance. Capsules can also be found at the health store.9 10
Check with your doctor before taking any of these herbal remedies. It might interact with prescription drugs, including the very medication that treats the infection.
|↑1||Vaginal Discharge. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.|
|↑2, ↑3, ↑5, ↑7, ↑9||Dehdari, Sahar, and Homa Hajimehdipoor. “Herbal Medicines for Leucorrhea According to Iranian Traditional Medicine.” Iranian journal of medical sciences 41, no. 3 Suppl (2016): S36.|
|↑4||Alghadir, A. H., and S. A. Gabr. “Efficacy of Rhus coriaria (sumac) juice in reducing muscle pain during aerobic exercise.” Acta Physiologica Hungarica 103, no. 2 (2016): 231-242.|
|↑6||Sawant, Laxman, Nancy Pandita, and Bala Prabhakar. “Determination of gallic acid in Phyllanthus emblica Linn. dried fruit powder by HPTLC.” Journal of Pharmacy
|↑8||Shojaii, Asie, and Mehri Abdollahi Fard. “Review of pharmacological properties and chemical constituents of Pimpinella anisum.” ISRN pharmaceutics 2012 (2012).|
|↑10||Humeera, Nisa, Azra N. Kamili, Suhaib A. Bandh, Bashir A. Lone, and Nisa Gousia. “Antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of alcoholic extracts of Rumex dentatus L.” Microbial pathogenesis 57 (2013): 17-20.|