Can Garlic Cure Your STD?

We have all heard of the many wonderful benefits of garlic. According to the Cleveland Clinic, garlic is good for your heart, can clear up your skin, works as an anti-inflammatory for joints and muscles, and can even boost your immune system. No wonder we are all adding it to our pizzas! But many are wondering if garlic can be used to treat sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea and chlamydia.

After all, a 2021 study published in the journal Frontiers of Microbiology showed that the sulfur compounds in garlic have a wide range of antibacterial properties, even showing efficacy against some antibiotic-resistant strains. In a 2005 study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research, scientists found that about half of the 19 different garlic extracts and products they tested were able to inhibit the growth of neisseria gonorrhoeae, the microorganism behind gonorrhea infections.

So does this mean garlic should be your front-line defense against STDs? The answer is a hard no. Let us explain why.

Garlic is not a safe treatment for STDs

While garlic does show a wide range of medicinal properties including potent antibacterial effects, it should not be used as an at-home cure or remedy to treat actual STDs. As Healthline points out, sexually transmitted diseases can cause long-term damage to your body if not treated right away and properly. Even though garlic has shown activity against some bacteria, it has not been proven to completely rid your body of the bacteria involved in STDs, meaning you could still be harboring the disease and risking damage to your organs and health if you rely on garlic alone.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for treating STDs, each sexually transmitted disease has its own specific treatment that should be used, many of these only available by prescription. Left untreated, or not treated properly because of reliance on a home remedy, gonorrhea and chlamydia can cause infertility, and syphilis can be fatal (via Planned Parenthood). Those are not risks you want to take.