Paavo Airola - Let's Live - September 1975Index


A Natural Approach

Vaginal infections and problems of various kinds have become a major female disorder in recent years. Vaginal complaints have been around a long time but only within recent years have the so called infectious kinds sky-rocketed. Now virtually every woman experiences multiple occurrences of the yeast-like growths that cause one or all of these symptoms: intense itching, swollen and red vulva, a burning sensation during urination, thick, white, curdy discharges and patches in the vaginal area, and pain during intercourse (the muscles contract to "protect" the "ailing" vagina and cause too much tightness). Previously called Moniliasis or Trichornoniliasis, or Thrush, it is now known, by doctors, as Candidiasis, from the Candida organisms associated with it. There are many dozens of kinds of these "Infections" and doctors have difficulty diagnosing specific varieties, generally just referring to the collection of symptoms as "vaginitis." Doctors are also fairly mystified about the cause of the problems. A number of leads give one an idea of how to avoid most of these vaginal afflictions, however. The nutritional approach, even in this specific area, has been tried very successfully. We will discuss the nutritional approach to vaginitis a little later in the article.

A Growing Problem

Up until recently, only diabetic and pregnant women were subject to repeated vaginitis attacks. The acid-alkaline balance of the vaginal fluid, the glycogen (sugar) content of the vagina, and changes in the lining cells of the vagina during the menstrual cycle are known to affect the susceptibility of individuals. Candida normally exist all over the body - including the mouth, intestines, and vagina - and are generally no problem.. A large increase can occur through contact with an area that harbors flourishing Candida - such as through improper wiping of the so called infection. Males can also harbor and even show symptoms of the so-called infection. Generally, washing the genitals with soap and water will end the problem, but the wearing of tight pants and underwear made from synthetic fabrics will provide good chances for Candida to proliferate again. Of course, the mere presence of Candida would not cause the problems of vaginitis to occur. Several researchers have advanced some probable causes of the special flourishing of Candida and symptoms of vaginitis that accompany it.

The main increase in vaginal "itching diseases" came at the same time that antibiotics were introduced - which not only killed the so-called harmful bacteria but also the beneficial ones, which play a decisive role in keeping Candida population down. Pantyhose, tight pants, and underwear made of synthetic fabrics or worn in several layers, provide a warm; moist environment in which Candida multiply. Actually, all tight underwear is biologically unsound. The panty is a relatively new innovation. Just a few generations ago and throughout history women never wore underwear, which was a good practice since it allowed good ventilation and kept this vital area of the body dry, preventing infections. For this reason, I favor the no panty trend among young women of today. Tampons have also been indicted as a source of irritation and contamination as they do not allow a free drainage of the vaginal fluid. Detergents, if not washed out of underwear thoroughly, can irritate the skin, and in fact, almost any kind of irritation can break down the resistance of the body in that area. A hotly debated point among doctors is whether or not the birth control pill causes vaginal infections by both the deficiency of Vitamin B6 it induces and the chemical imbalances of the vagina similar to pregnancy it can bring on. I, for one, believe that the causative relation between the Pill and the vaginal infections is well established. Now that the topic of vaginal afflictions is no longer "taboo" there is a chance to find out exactly what the causes, preventive measures, and remedies are.

Vitamin Remedies

One of the most effective remedies for vaginitis is the intake of a large amount of all the B vitamins - about 100 mg. of B1, B2, and B6, and 200 mg. of B3, as well as pantothenic acid and the rest of the complex, supplemented with B vitamin rich foods such as brewer's yeast. Administration of the large doses of B complex should not be for more than two months. Relief from the itching sensations has been reported with the application of a B6 salve directly. Vitamin B6 and pantothenic acid seem particularly effective, since they stimulate the production of antibodies and white blood cells. There are other vitamins which seem important in the control of vaginitis. Vitamin C is well known for its ability to render bacteria harmless and inhibit further growth, as well as provide some kind of immunity to further infections when taken in large doses. Vitamin C also aids the production and strengthens the effectiveness of white corpuscles. A number of doctors and individuals have found Vitamin C to be indispensable for stopping any kind of infection. Vitamin E (as little as 200 I.U. for 3 days) has a good healing effect (partially due to its protective effect for Vitamin A) in remission of vaginal infections, especially the inflammation and itching, according to some studies. Garlic, incidentally, is another natural substance that should be used in quantity for any kind of infection, including vaginitis and urethral infections, both in male and female. Raw garlic is best, but even garlic pills can be used. Vitamin A has been especially effective in many cases, being vital to the health of the mucous membranes (including the vagina). One study reported good results with 50,000 units per day," while Dr. Alan Nittler, of Santa Cruz, uses as much as 100,000 units per day over a short period of time. Of course, a complete nutritional program, an Optimum Diet, as described in my book, How to Get Well, will strengthen the entire body against local weakness, and is nearly as important as any specific aids. There are other sources of relief besides nutrition and vitamins. Douches are, of course, the oldest and most tested approach. Most recommended is a douche of 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to one quart of warm water, twice per day. Other variations include one teaspoon of salt plus one teaspoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide in one quart of water. When taking a douche, the tip should be inserted and the vaginal opening well sealed with the hand so the water fills, stretches, and cleans all parts of the vagina. A teaspoon of lactic acid in two parts of water; chlorophyll (especially wheatgrass juice) - a few tablespoons to a waterbag; and douches of herbs - golden seal (1/2 to one teaspoon) as well as bayberry, black willow, beth root, bilberries, and slippery elm, are usually recommended as effective douches. All of these herbs possess antiseptic effects and relieve the inflammation. To prepare the herbs, add one ounce of cut or powdered herbs to one pint of boiling water, steep for 15-20 minutes and when infusion is lukewarm, place it in a douche bag.


Various suppositories have been used with success. One recommendation is the insertion of a gentian violet suppository (a tampon is suggested in conjunction, to prevent staining of clothes by the dye). Most effective herbal suppositories use golden seal in a base of cocoa butter (formed into a two-inch oblong on waxed paper and allowed to cool in the refrigerator), but other herbs which seem to help are squaw-vine, slippery elm, yellow dock, chickweed, black cohosh, and mullein (usually a mixture). The insertion of the suppositories should be done for several consecutive nights, with douches during the day for greater, quicker effects. Dr. Stuart Kabnick, of Philadelphia, developed a biologically effective vaginal suppository called "cabasil" (available through health stores as well as doctors). Cabasil also comes in oral tablets and oral and douche powder forms as well. Many have found remarkable relief from its use. Made famous by "women's lib" groups, yogurt, put into the vagina (as well as taken orally), has relieved many. Its bacteria are similar to those that keep Candida from multiplying. Acidophilus works on the same principle, but is taken in tablet or liquid form orally. Other reports tell of the oral use of golden seal and the use of glycogen tablets.

Some doctors have found one other thing effective in controlling vaginitis: Staphage Phage Lysate, which they consider semi-natural and about the best one can offer in extreme cases. It is also used for infected males. It is administered in a dosage of 0.1 cc intradermally for at least 12 weeks and as long as 24 weeks. It works by increasing resistance to staphylococcus, which usually are mixed with the Candida, and gives the body strong resistance to further infections. A reaction to the shots, ranging from a fever to itching at the site of the injection, can be expected by some.

One other very common form of vaginal irritation is herpes simplex, which appears as small, gray-white ulcerations at the vaginal opening. Temporary relief might be found in direct application of aloe vera gel, Vitamin E, or B6 salve, but the program is generally the same as for yeast infections. Administration of B complex (especially B6) and large doses of Vitamin C around the clock produce speedy results. The following herbs have also been found effective in combatting herpes: golden seal, black willow, and ground ivy. A good bathing of the area with plain water a couple of times a day is extremely important and very effective in helping the body's healing activity. One physician also reported zinc oxide, witch hazel, and other natural remedies effective. There are no drugs, not even antibiotic drugs, that can cure herpes simplex virus infections, since antibiotics are ineffective on viruses. Therefore, the above mentioned natural and biological remedies are the only effective means to attack this problem. Also, keep in mind that herpes infection is aggravated by severe mental or physical stresses.


In conclusion, I wish to stress the importance of building and keeping the body's resistance at the highest level. The basic premise of Biological Medicine is that disease does not attack the healthy body. Only when your resistance is weakened does the disease enter and take hold. This applies even to such conditions as vaginal infections. Often, various fruitarian, vegan, and other popular diets, which are too alkaline because they leave out all grains, create an alkaline condition in the bladder and vaginal fluids. It is important, therefore, that your diet contain plenty of acid-forming grains, beans, etc. Bacteria and viruses do not thrive in an acid medium. When the bladder content is too alkaline, fresh cranberries or cranberry juice are extremely effective to change the alkaline condition into an acid one.

This article introduced to you some of the natural and biological remedies available today for the treatment of vaginal infections - a disorder which is becoming more and more common. Much more research is needed in this area and the final word has not yet been spoken. Being a nutritional guru for many ashrams and other youth groups I have had a great deal of exposure to this female problem. I also have made an intensive study of all the available natural treatments reported in reliable herbal and biological medical literature. The recommendations and conclusions in this article are based on these studies and experiences.

In trying some of these remedies, please keep in mind that no remedy is perfect for all - while one herb, vitamin, or douche is effective for one, the other herbs or vitamins may be effective for another. By trying and experimenting you may find the effective therapies for you, suitable for your personal needs. Needless to say, your best bet would be for you to find a good biologically oriented doctor - and undertake the discussed therapies and nutritional and biological approaches with his cooperation and supervision.