Writer Susie Garrard was experiencing burning in her vagina (but not the good kind), suffering pains as a consequence of the condition few people in the word have experienced, called Too Much Sex. "On the erstwhile TV shows of my youth, not one word was mentioned about the evil, soul-destroying, and potentially crippling effects that lots and lots of sex can have on your poor vagina," she writes, evoking both jealousy and curiosity.
However, Too Much Sex is not as glamorous as it sounds, and can actually result in very painful symptoms. Garrard developed cystitis and thrush, an "itching, messy, gotta-stick-a-wire-brush-up-there irritating experience."
Searching for a natural remedy to ease her symptoms, she stumbled upon a source that is often known for fighting vampires: garlic. She says of the secret ingredient to a good Caesar salad:
Garlic is often cited as a superfood in terms of healing; most people are familiar with its uses against colds and flu and even improving heart conditions. Its super-good-for-you qualities are due to the allicin compound found in garlic, which also happens to be considered antifungal (an excellent start when dealing with a yeast infection).
Garrard already had garlic in her kitchen (perhaps to make Caesar salad), and chopped off a chunk. Then she created the ultimate Garlic Tampon, an innovation in engineering.
First, I threaded a string through the clove using a needle, essentially creating a stinky little tampon that could be easily removed. (No one needs to visit the emergency room with garlic stuck up their fanny, no one.) Secondly, I wrapped the garlic in a light fabric to prevent burning.
Up it went, and the stewing garlic soup made it difficult to sleep.
I have to admit that the experience wasn't exactly physically uncomfortable. There was a mild burning sensation, but no pain. Really, it was comparable to using a tampon. However, I just could not push the thought from my mind that I had garlic stuck up my fanny. Even sleeping, I was aware of it as a "foreign object." I also could not shift the thought of what generally occurs when food is left in warm, damp environments. Did I need to be setting up a composting site inside my vagina?
Garrard says that the symptoms did subside after a week, but she wouldn't "go as far as to say the garlic had much of anything to do with it."
There is a community of women who have tried the garlic technique, and Garrard writes that many of them swear by it for regular vaginal maintenance. But every vagina makes a good home for such cloves, resulting in some extreme burns.
Read the whole essay over at XOJane. Warning: You might get psychosomatic sympathy pains, whether or not you have a vagina.