I love garlic. I love it roasted and spread on bread; blended into rich aioli; mixed with sauces and seasoning braises and stews. But you know what combo I don't like? Garlic and vagina. Here's the deal.When one gets yeast infections easily - at the first whiff of an antibiotic or the slightest weakening of the immunities - you know the early warning signs, a slight burning itch that predates the proverbial "cottage-cheese-like discharge" (ew) by a few days. When I felt it the other night, I cursed my bad luck: I didn't feel like the hassle of calling the doctor and dreaded the chemical burn of the Monistat egg. (I like the little egg.) In any event, the pharmacy was closed for the night. I took to the internet, hoping to find a useful home remedy. And, as is generally the case with homeopathic remedies, the answer was garlic - which, if you believe some of these sites, is prevented from conquering penicillin only due to sinister medical conspiracies involving drug companies. Having, on the internet's advice, attempted placing a garlic clove in my ear (ear infection) and eating raw cloves (a cold) in the past with no great rate of success, I was dubious. But I was eager to stop the infection in its tracks, and lord knows I had a full braid of garlic in the kitchen. What did I have to lose? Besides, I liked the idea of brewing my own cures and outwitting the medical industry with ancient female know-how. According to the various sites I consulted, the treatment was no more complicated than slipping in a peeled clove and going to bed. Said Midwifery Today, with authority, "the reason that the treatment is done at bedtime is that there is a connection between the mouth and the vagina. The moment the garlic is placed in the vagina, the taste of the garlic travels up to the mouth. Most people will find this strong flavor annoying during the day, so the treatment is recommended for nighttime. " As someone who's never fully understood why lead can't be turned into gold, this explanation made complete sense to me. Although a few sites recommended wrapping the garlic in a bit of cheesecloth, I deemed this a frill. Besides, I didn't have any cheesecloth handy and was sick of bringing cheese into the conversation. Luckily my boyfriend was working a night shift; I can think of few things less erotic than slipping into bed with intimate love on your mind and coming into contact with a garlic clove in someone's vaginal canal, like a secret vampire deterrent or something. I tossed and turned. I fancied I could feel the garlic moving through my body to my mouth. I could smell it. I had a garlic clove up my vagina. At three a.m. I leapt up, furious. The garlic was not working! I decided to up the dosage, which apparently meant chopping a clove in half so the antioxidant juices could better make contact. First I had to get the old one out, which was no easy matter; the garlic clove had migrated. I had a moment of panic when I was convinced I'd never be able to retrieve it. I managed to do so only by means of complicated muscle exercises which do not bear getting into but will doubtless come in handy should I ever need to birth a baby, After this narrow escape, I decided to wrap the new, higher dosage in - well, I didn't have any cheesecloth, so I used a clean scrap of vintage handkerchief. I went back to bed. And, then, the garlic hit. It was agony - far, far worse burning than anything I'd ever experienced from Monistat - which hurts. I stuck it out for three minutes or so, then could bear it no longer. Luckily the tail of cloth I had made facilitated things this time around. The experiment was over; it had been an abject failure -or I had. The next day, two showers, a bath and a dose of Monistat later, I was on the mend. But when I went to my mom's house for dinner and she produced chicken with forty cloves of garlic...my appetite was diminished.
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