An aloe vera plant inside a greenhouse.

Do STD Home Remedies Work?

Many people, when faced with a possible STD infection, are tempted to seek out STD home remedies for their infection. It’s understandable: Getting tested and treated for an STD can be intimidating. However, it’s important to know that, no matter what STD you may have, there is nothing you can do at home that will cure or treat the STD. If you think you might have an STD, the first thing you should do is get tested. Getting tested is the only way to know for sure if you have an STD.

Once you’ve tested positive for an STD, then you can get treated, if necessary. If you have a curable STD, you will likely be prescribed antibiotics or other medication to treat the infection. If you have an incurable STD, there might still be some treatment a doctor can prescribe to help you deal with symptoms of the infection.

With that being said, in addition to getting tested and prescribed any antibiotics or treatment, if applicable, there are some things you can do at home to help deal with symptoms while you’re undergoing treatment from a doctor.

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is well known for its antibacterial properties and, as such, is frequently used in topical skincare. Applying it on certain infections can help speed up the healing. To treat your symptoms, dilute a few drops of tea tree oil in water and apply it gently to infected areas.

Garlic

Garlic has been used medicinally for millennia. Garlic has shown to be a powerhouse of antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, which some believe can help abate certain infections. Garlic also has prebiotic effects, which means it can be a boon to your overall immune health, balancing gut flora and encouraging the healthy growth of good bacteria and reducing the risk of infection. Adding garlic to your diet can help with your overall health in these areas. If you don’t like eating garlic in your food, it’s also available in pill and capsule form in most supplement aisles.

Yogurt

Yogurt is another powerful probiotic food that can boost the health of your immune system. It contains good bacteria that can help your body fight off gut, urinary and genital infections. If you’re taking antibiotics to cure a bacterial infection or STD, eating yogurt can also help your body maintain a healthy amount of good bacteria, which is important when taking antibiotics as the medicine can kill this good bacteria as well as the bad bacteria.

Cranberry juice

Research has shown that cranberry juice can help reduce pain and inflammation relating to a urinary tract infection (UTI). While UTIs are not STDs, they can often occur in conjunction with an STD infection. The cranberry juice helps flush your symptoms and remove some of the bad bacteria causing the infection in the bladder or urinary tract. It’s important to note that these benefits only apply to pure, unsweetened cranberry juice, and not cranberry juice cocktails, as these juice mixes contain too little actual cranberry juice and often have added sugar, which can weaken the body’s ability to fight against infections or even exacerbate infections.

Aloe

If you’re dealing with STD symptoms that are giving you itchy skin or irritated areas, pure aloe vera gel can provide a soothing solution. Aloe is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, and pure aloe vera gel provides hydration and encourages wound healing. Aloe can be applied topically or ingested in the form of aloe vera juice, or both. Pure aloe (with no additives; be sure to check your label) is also safe for use in sensitive genital areas.

It’s important to note, again, that while the treatments above might help you deal with symptoms from an STD, they will not treat or cure the STD. The only way to treat or cure an STD is through medicine prescribed by a doctor. If you’re showing symptoms of an STD, do not try to use home remedies to treat it. Get tested to know your status and seek treatment if necessary.