Trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis. Some people call it trich for short.

An estimated 3.7 million people in the United States have the infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Many don’t know they have it because it doesn’t always cause symptoms.

But once diagnosed, trichomoniasis is easy to treat with antibiotics. While some people who are hesitant to seek treatment may turn to home remedies, these generally aren’t a good idea.

Trichomoniasis isn’t a new infection — people have spent centuries attempting to treat it. To date, antibiotics remain the most effective treatment for trichomoniasis.

Black tea

Researchers in a 2017 study tested the effects of black tea on trichomonads, including the parasite that causes trichomoniasis. Black tea wasn’t the only herb they studied. They also used green tea and grapeseed extracts, among others.

The researchers exposed black tea extracts to three different parasite types, including the one that causes the STI. They found that black tea extract stopped the growth of the three trichomonad types. It also helped to kill off antibiotic-resistant strains of trichomoniasis.

However, the study results were obtained in a laboratory and haven’t been replicated in humans with trichomoniasis. More research is needed to understand how much black tea is needed and whether it’s effective in humans.

Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a natural antimicrobial that some people use to prevent infections. Some Internet searches suggest that hydrogen peroxide may be able to treat trichomoniasis.

However, research hasn’t proven this is the case, according to an article in Clinical Microbiology Reviews.

Participants in a research study used hydrogen peroxide douches, but these didn’t treat their infection.

Also, hydrogen peroxide has the potential to irritate delicate vaginal or penile tissues. It can also kill off healthy bacteria that may otherwise protect you from other infections.

Garlic

Garlic is for more than just adding flavor to food. People have used it as an herbal remedy for centuries.

A 2013 study observed different garlic concentrations and their power to kill off parasites that cause trichomoniasis. Researchers found that various garlic concentrations help to stop the movement of these parasites, killing them off.

The study was done in a laboratory and not on people, so it’s hard to know if garlic could have the same effects in practice. More research is needed to figure out how to use it effectively in humans.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has natural antimicrobial properties. People have tried everything from apple cider vinegar baths to soaking tampons in apple cider vinegar to try to cure trichomoniasis.

However, there’s no evidence that any of these remedies work. Plus, apple cider vinegar is very acidic, so it’s best to keep it away from sensitive genital tissues.

Pomegranate juice or extract

Pomegranates are flavorful, red fruits that also have medicinal properties. A 2011 study found that extracts of the pomegranate (Punica granatum) fruit helped to kill the parasite that causes trichomoniasis.

However, this parasite-killing ability depended on the pH of the environment. Because pH can vary in infections, it’s hard to say if a person has the right body pH to kill off the infection.

This remedy was also not tested in humans, so more research is needed to manage effectiveness in people with trichomoniasis.

Antibiotics, which your healthcare provider can prescribe, are the most effective and reliable treatment for trichomoniasis. In many cases, you’ll just need a single dose.

Some strains are harder to kill than others, so your healthcare provider may have you come in for some follow-up testing to confirm you don’t need additional treatment.

Since trichomoniasis has a high rate of reinfection, especially in women, it’s important to get retested after treatment.

You should also recommend that all of your sexual partners be tested. You should abstain from sexual activity until all partners have been treated and the infection is resolved.

Left untreated, trichomoniasis can cause inflammation that makes it easier for viruses, such as HIV, to enter your body. It can also increase your risk of other STIs, which can have lasting effects without prompt treatment.

If you’re pregnant, it’s especially important to get tested and treated. Untreated trichomoniasis can result in preterm labor and low birth weights.

There’s aren’t any proven home treatments for trichomoniasis. Plus, this STI often doesn’t cause symptoms, so it’s hard to gauge whether home treatments are effective.

It’s best to err on the side of caution and see a healthcare provider for any potential STIs. In many cases, you’ll just need a quick course of antibiotics.