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Garlic "cure" for GBS?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 

With my last pregnancy I tested positive for GBS. (I never got the antibiotics, though, because I was almost ready to push when I got to the birth center.) I was talking about my upcoming screening (in 2 weeks) with my doula, and she recommended using garlic to pass the test. Not to "cheat" the test, but to actually pass it. She said to take a clove of garlic and insert it in my vagina every night before bed for about a week before the test (and take it out in the morning), and also to rinse with an apple cider vinegar/water solution after every time going to the bathroom. She said the garlic would kill any GBS bacteria that may be present. Have any of you heard of this, or tried it? I'm certainly willing to try it out, but it sounds goofy so I was wondering if other people have had success with it. I think mostly I'm worried about doing it, and then going in for my test and smelling like garlic, haha.

post #2 of 32
I've not tried it myself, but yes this garlic method is often recommended.
post #3 of 32

I have heard that garlic can work.  Also, yogurt spread on a pad and applied to the area helps colonize with the good bacteria you want!

post #4 of 32
My midwife recommended doing that if you tested positive. She also recommended (before taking the test) to take a probiotic and colostrum supplement. This can help crowd out the bad bacteria with good. I didn't do anything special to prepare for the test ( did it today) though. I'll try to find the paper she gave me on it, because it laid out several things to do to prevent being positive and ways to treat GBS if it the test does come back positive.
post #5 of 32

I tried this with my first pregnancy, though I think it may have been after I tested postive (can't remember). The thing I do remember is the almost instant garlic taste in my mouth, even though the garlic was in the vagina. I couldn't stand it! I also delivered fast, before I could get antibiotics.


With my second pregnancy, my midwife recommended taking probiotics (a certain brand called Florajen 3) the entire 3rd trimester. I also drank a lot of kefir. I tested negative that pregnancy.


I haven't tested yet this pregnancy, but am doing the Florajen 3 again. The other day at my appointment, the midwife assisant said they had a mom that was taking a different probiotic (an enteric coated one) and she was their first GBS pos. in a really long time.


You may also want to do some googling about Hibiclens washes. It is an evidenced based treatment for GBS, often used in other countries instead of IV antibiotics for treatment of GBS in labor. Some people use it to get a negative test (but they may actually be positive, which is a good thing to know).

post #6 of 32
What week are you ladies being tested? How is the test performed? My Dr hasn't mentioned anything about it yet...
post #7 of 32
I think generally it is done between 35 and 37 weeks. My midwife does it at 34 weeks so there is time to treat and retest if it's positive. My problem with all of this is that just because you test negative at 34 (or 37) weeks does not mean that you will be negative at 41 weeks (for example) when you go in to labor because the bacteria can come and go. :/ I guess it's not perfect, but the testing is the best line of defense they have against the baby getting infected. I'm planning a water birth again which decreases the risk of baby being infected. So does avoiding premature rupture of membranes. (and my first was born in the caul)

Anyway, I'm 34 weeks and 2 days. The test is done by swabbing the vagina and rectum, then the swab is sent to a lab.

Here's the handout my midwife gave me:

Rec. for prevention by decreasing colonization of bad bacteria and encouraging colonization of beneficial bacteria:

Take one Immune Power Colostrum capsule daily.
Take two probiotic daily, preferably KE-99 or acidophilus pearls. (Both have high survival rate through GI tract.)
Eat lots of garlic in diet or two garlic capsule daily
Boost Vit. C naturally by eating lots of foods high in Vit. C every day or taking Vit. C capsules with bioflavonoids. (250-2000mg daily)
Take Zinc supplements (Zinc and Vit. C help strengthen amniotic sac to avoid PROM)

If 34 week test comes back positive:

Have clean catch urine culture done for GBS to determine how heavily colonized.
Increase Immune Power Colostrum to 4 capsules daily
Continue 2 probiotic daily
Take at least two raw cloves of garlic daily. Crush or press garlic and let sit for 10 minutes. This activates natural antibiotic properties. Wash down with orange juice.
Insert 1 raw clove of garlic into vaginal vault every night at bedtime. Peel and bruise garlic 10 minutes prior to inserting. May sew a string through clove to make removal easier.
Purchase organic or natural tampons, organic olive oil and tea tree oil. Twice daily, soak tampon first in olive oil until saturated then soak in tea tree oil. Insert into vagina and leave for 30 minutes. Do same thing with Q Tip (soaked first in olive oil, then tea tree oil) and insert tip rectally for 30 minutes.
Do vaginal garlic and tampon every day for 7 days, then every other day for 10 days, then daily again until delivery.
Edited by PhilsBabyMama - 4/3/13 at 3:59pm
post #8 of 32

I used it inserted vaginally during my first pregnancy.  I was GBS negative, whether that was due to the garlic or not i don't know.  The one thing I would say is to tie a string to the garlic!  Sort of embarrassing but I actually "lost" a clove too far up and trying to reach in to get it was NOT fun.  bag.gif

post #9 of 32
Thread Starter 

Thanks, everyone! I think I will definitely be trying this, and maybe some of the other things too. And thanks for the string recommendation. Getting it "lost" was one thing I was worried about. What about the odor? If I do this for a week, but don't do it for a couple days before my appointment, do you think I will still smell like garlic? I know I shouldn't care, but I don't want to smell like garlic when I get swabbed.

post #10 of 32
I've actually swabbed myself with both babies, so it may not be an issue. I'm sure there would be a slight garlicky smell, but not sure how long until it would go away. Good luck!
post #11 of 32

I just wanted to add a link to this thread: http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1364899/if-you-are-gbs-consider-this-protocol as I had remembered seeing it way back in the fall.


I was negative for my first PG and hadn't been doing anything special (no probiotics, garlic, etc.).  I did my swab last Wednesday at 35 weeks since I won't be seeing my MW again until 38 weeks and have been taking a probiotic this go-round.  Fingers crossed it's negative, if not I'll be looking to garlic, yogurt, you name it, too!

post #12 of 32

Crap, I think I jinxed myself!  I just got an email from my MW saying that I am GBS+.  The email didn't say what the number was.  So bummed.  I am only 36 weeks today, so I've asked her if I can be re-swabbed at my 38 week appointment.  That gives me 2 weeks to get on top of one of these protocols! 


I really want to avoid antibiotics during delivery as I do think that colonization of the gut is important, but the risks of early onset GBS infection (which the antibiotics actually fight, as opposed to late onset) really are scary, even though the rate of infection is quite low.

post #13 of 32

Oh I am so sorry NS!  I hope you can find a good protocol and retest!  Probiotics are always a good idea anyway.

post #14 of 32

Thanks Co!  I was already taking probiotics, but am going to follow one of the protocols (haven't decided which yet).  My midwife was also really re-assuring.  She said that I can still have a HB if I decide to have antibiotic treatment (she can administer the antibiotics) and she is going to re-swab me at 38 weeks. 


Some other information from her email, which may be of interest:


Try not to worry about the GBS results...approximately 1
in 4 women carry it as part of their colony. It's only
responsible for half of the neonatal infections, but we
devote a lot of attention to it prenatally in this part of the
world. Despite the recommendations for IV antibiotics in
labour, research supports only treating prophylactically
(in labour) with a second risk factor, which I listed last
night. There is a hypothesis that there is a risk of
transmission prior to rupture of membranes but the
evidence is weak, and probably related to misdiagnosis
of rupture of membranes.   GBS does make babies very sick, so it's important to do
your research. 1/200 of babies get sick of those whose
mother's are colonized and don't get adequate
prophylaxis. That being said, "adequate prophylaxis" is
defined as two doses of PenG, 4 hours apart, prior to
birth, which generally doesn't happen with second babies
despite our best efforts. I'll also add that the only baby
I've seen who had GBS, had a mom who had screened

post #15 of 32

I had my GBS test today and my midwife just had me insert the swab 2 in ches into my vagina, leave it there for 5 seconds and remove it. No swabbing externally. With my first I swabbed from my vagina backwards to my anus externally in one swoop and that was it. I was negative last time, hopefully I am this time too. I'm 35w3d today. 

post #16 of 32

I hope you get good news Tig!


Ok, so here is the protocol I've come up with.  It's a combo of the three I've seen (in this thread and the one I linked).  They all have similarities.  I'm also including my other supplements in case anyone knows anything about interactions and thinks I should alter my timing/consumption of anything.



- probiotic (HCP 30, 30 billion active cells of colonizing flora)

- Prenatal vitamin (New Chapter)

- 3-6-9 Supplement (Udos)

- vitamin D 1000iu

- vitamin C 1000mg (I bought a powder supplement (Sisu is the brand) for added absorbancy and it does have bioflavinoids)




- Pre-natal

- 15 drops grapefruit seed extract

- ecanachia (I can't find usnea tincture in stock anywhere, and from my bit of research it seems that usnea is used in place of echinacea but also that it is an antibacterial, so that would make it along the lines of the tea tree oil)

- 30 drops oregon grape root tincture

- Zinc 20mg

- 2 cups RRLT



- pro-biotic

- prenatal

- 3-6-9 supplement

- vitamin D (1000iu)

- 2 cloves raw garlic, smashed as suggested by PBM



- tea tree and olive oil soaked tampon and q-tip, per CBM for 30 mins (I couldn't find a tea tree oil suppository either)



- Raw garlic deposited in the vagina, per CBM's suggestion (I'll remember the string!)


I am hopeful that this will get rid of the colonization, but won't be able to say if I am + again if it has reduced the colonization as my MW wasn't given a "value", just that I am GBS+.  I'll let you know how it goes in 3 weeks time (get swabbed at 38 weeks, after 2 weeks on this protocol and 1 further week to get results).


I also predict not getting lucky again until 6 weeks PP.  I'm going to smell wonderful with all this garlic, and my vajajay is going to be otherwise occupied all evening. lol.

post #17 of 32
Good luck, nstewart!
post #18 of 32

I just tested pos for GBS and, how awesome, yeast. Both "heavy growth". Awesoooooooome. 


I've been using garlic on and off throughout my pregnancy (tested positive for GBS at 18 weeks with "scant growth" so have done it on and off) but am gonna get more serious about it now. Really not looking forward to doing it every friggin single night for the next 4 weeks though. I also don't want to trick the test (for when I get tested again). I know people say GBS isnt a huge deal but I don't want to take my chances. I do plan to take antibiotics during my homebirth and I'm just sort of worried if I am good about doing garlic every night and test negative that it could come back 2 days before labor and i dont know it. So it's this weird situation to be in. I do feel badly about the idea of my baby getting antibiotics :( and am scared at the idea of him/her getting thrush and then us passing it back and forth but if I still have yeast down there he/she may get thrush anyway. 


Ugh, why can't I just be normal!irked.gif

post #19 of 32

Oh and in my experience, the garlic mouth taste and any odors go away immediately when the garlic comes out, to anyone wondering. 

post #20 of 32
I'm being tested next Friday (in 8 days). Ideally I want to be negative, and negative at birth. However, if I'm positive, I want to do the antibiotics at birth. Will inserting the garlic cause a "false" negative? If I insert the garlic this week and get a negative, does that mean I need to insert the garlic every day for the next ~4 weeks until birth?
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