Dealing With Trich - Trichomonas Vaginalis - The Wise Woman Way
"Herbal remedies for trichomonas are among the least impressive home remedies. None are more than 50 percent effective." (1)
Trich is short for trichomonas: a single-celled, four-tailed, protozoan parasite. About five million new cases of trich are diagnosed yearly in the USA.
Trich is normally present in a woman's vagina, intestines, and rectum without causing problems. Trich is pH sensitive. When the vagina becomes alkaline, trich overwhelms the healthy flora and causes symptoms. A trich infection, or overgrowth, is difficult to diagnosis (without a microscope) and harder still to kill (without poisons).
Trich is an STD and can be spread by intimate contact. But sex is not required; hardy trich can live in wet, warm places like toilet seats, towels, underwear, and swimsuits.
In women, symptoms of trich infection include a thin, foamy, itchy vaginal discharge that is yellowish green or gray in color and foul/fishy in odor. Infected men are often symptom-free.
Trich can move from the vagina into the urethra and up into the bladder, leading to a urinary tract infection. Conversely, if you have a UTI that won't respond to treatment, it might be trich; check it out.
The homeopathic remedy for women with vaginal discharges that are green and itchy is Sepia.
In my experience, herbs that can coat and dessicate the trichomonas kill them about as well as poisons, either herbal or pharmaceutical.
Powdered charcoal, the kind used against poisoning, is so fine that it drowns the parasite; it also makes a black mess on everything, from your underwear to your sheets and towels.
Oak bark is a first class antimicrobial and drying agent; sitz baths are a classic way to use oak.
Milled medicinal clay, such a kaolin, can be used to dry out and coat the vagina and the trich, likewise, slippery elm bark powder.
The easiest way to use any one of these herbs is buy them already powdered and in capsules. If 4-6 capsules are put well up into the vagina, against and behind the cervix, body heat and vaginal moisture will dissolve them, freeing the agent within. For best results, repeat at least once a day for two or three weeks.
The alkaloid berberine sulfate - found in tinctures of the roots of barberry (Berberine vulgaris), gold thread (Coptis groenlandica), golden seal (Hydrastis canadensis), Oregon grape (Berberis repens), and yellowroot (Xanthorrhiza simplicissima) - is an antimicrobial agent shown to inhibit the growth of - and to induce morphological changes in - Trichonomas in the lab and in the field. A study in India found a Trichomonas-free rate of 90% in berberine sulfate group and 95% of the drug group; at the one month follow up, 83% of the berberine group and 90% of the drug group were still free of trich. The authors of the study commented on the lack of side effects in those receiving berberine.(2) The anti-trich dose of any berberine-rich tincture is 10-20 drops several times daily for 3-4 weeks.
Several weeks of hysterical hygiene are called for when dealing with a trich infection. Strip your bed and your bathroom and wash everything, using bleach or vinegar. Wash your hands after toileting. Swab off the toilet seat with dilute bleach. Remember, trich is hard to kill and persistent.
The standard treatment for trich infection is Metronidazole (Flagyl), a "highly toxic drug that is often ineffective due to resistance, particularly by trichomonas ..."(3) Flagyl is a very strong antibiotic; it is not safe for pregnant or nursing women, or anyone with a blood disease, a peptic ulcer, or a central nervous system disorder. Side effects - lowering of white blood cells (which fight infection), nausea/vomiting, headache, diarrhea, joint pain, flushing, a metallic taste in the mouth, and numbness in the extremities - are common and are worsened by consumption of alcohol, vinegar, and mayonnaise. Coltrimazole is a milder drug with fewer side effects; it has a sixty percent cure rate against trich infections.
Herbalist and healer Joy Gardner says regular use of spermicidal jelly can help prevent trich infections.
European herbalists, including my friend Rina Nissim, swear by essential oils to kill all manner of vaginal infections. Valerie Ann Worwood suggests a blend of 5 drops tea tree EO, 4 drops cypress EO, 8 drops lavender EO, and 3 drops red thyme EO to get rid of trich. Of this mixture, she uses four drops diluted in two cups water, or a cup of yogurt, or a teaspoon of olive oil and applied inside the vagina.
Legal Disclaimer: This content is not intended to replace conventional medical treatment. Any suggestions made and all herbs listed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, condition or symptom. Personal directions and use should be provided by a clinical herbalist or other qualified healthcare practitioner with a specific formula for you. All material contained herein is provided for general information purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or consultation. Contact a reputable healthcare practitioner if you are in need of medical care. Exercise self-empowerment by seeking a second opinion.
1. Rina Nissim, Natural Healing in Gynecology, Pandora, 1986
2. S. Gupre, Am J Des Child, 129(866), 1975 (quoted in "Antimicrobial Actions of Berberine Sulfate," D. Hoffman, Townsend Letter
3. M Torii, et al "In vitro effects of berberine sulfate on the growth of Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia lamblia, Trichomonas vaginalis," Annals Tropical Med Parasitol, 85(417 25), 1991
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