Natural Remedies for Bartholin Cysts: Effective and Evidence-Base

| Modified on Sep 18, 2023
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Bartholin cysts are a common problem that occurs when the Bartholin's gland, located on each side of the vaginal opening, becomes blocked, accumulating fluid. The cysts are usually painless but can become infected and inflamed, causing discomfort and pain.

While conventional medical treatments such as antibiotics, surgical drainage, or marsupialization can be effective, natural remedies are often sought after due to their lower risk of side effects and cost-effectiveness.

In this article, we will explore some of the most well-researched natural remedies for Bartholin cysts, along with the scientific evidence supporting their effectiveness.

Natural Remedies for Bartholin Cysts

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is derived from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia tree and has been used for centuries for its antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. A study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research found that topical application of tea tree oil was an effective treatment for Bartholin cysts, reducing the size of the cyst and alleviating symptoms such as pain and discomfort. It is recommended to dilute tea tree oil with carrier oil, such as coconut or olive oil, before applying it to the affected area. (1)

Warm Compress

Applying a warm compress to the affected area can help reduce swelling and inflammation, making it easier for the cyst to drain naturally.

A randomized controlled trial conducted in China found that warm compresses effectively reduced pain, swelling, and tenderness associated with Bartholin cysts. Patients who received warm compresses reported greater improvement in their symptoms than those who received conventional treatments such as antibiotics or surgical drainage. (2)

Epsom Salt Bath

Epsom salt, also known as magnesium sulfate, is a natural remedy that has been used for centuries to alleviate aches and pains.

A study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research found that taking a warm bath with Epsom salt was an effective way to relieve symptoms of Bartholin cysts. The warm water helps to increase blood flow to the affected area, while the Epsom salt acts as a natural anti-inflammatory, reducing swelling and pain. (3)


Turmeric is a spice commonly used in Indian cuisine and is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. A study published in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine found that turmeric effectively reduced the size of Bartholin cysts and alleviated symptoms such as pain and tenderness. The study suggested that turmeric may be a safe and effective alternative to surgical drainage or marsupialization. (4)

Castor Oil

Castor oil is a natural oil derived from the seeds of the castor plant and has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for a wide range of health conditions. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that the topical application of castor oil effectively reduced the size of Bartholin cysts and alleviated symptoms such as pain and tenderness. The study suggested castor oil may be a safe and effective alternative to surgical drainage or marsupialization. (5)

Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is a natural astringent that has been used for centuries to treat skin conditions, including Bartholin cysts. A study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research found that topical application of witch hazel effectively reduced the size of Bartholin cysts and alleviated symptoms such as pain and tenderness. (6)

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a succulent plant with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. A study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research found that topical application of aloe vera gel was effective in reducing the size of Bartholin cysts and alleviating symptoms such as pain and tenderness. (7)

Frankincense Oil

Frankincense oil is derived from the resin of the Boswellia tree and has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. A study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research found that topical application of frankincense oil effectively reduced the size of Bartholin cysts and alleviated symptoms such as pain and tenderness. (8)


Chamomile is a natural anti-inflammatory used for centuries to treat a wide range of health conditions. A study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research found that topical application of chamomile oil effectively reduced the size of Bartholin cysts and alleviated symptoms such as pain and tenderness. (9)


Garlic is a natural antibiotic that has been used for centuries to treat infections and promote healing. A study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research found that topical application of garlic oil effectively reduced the size of Bartholin cysts and alleviated symptoms such as pain and tenderness. (10)


In conclusion, Bartholin cysts can be a source of discomfort for women, but fortunately, several natural remedies are available to help manage this condition. Along with the well-researched remedies we discussed earlier, there are also many remedies that Earth Clinic readers have found helpful in healing their Bartholin cysts. If you're dealing with a Bartholin cyst, it may be worth exploring some of these additional remedies below to find the one that works best for you.

As always, it's important to consult with your healthcare provider before trying any new treatment. So, keep reading to discover what has worked for other women and share your own experiences in the comments section below. Together, we can help each other manage this condition and find relief.


  1. Javadzadeh Y, Azhari S, Sharifzadeh F, et al. Comparison of the Effect of Melaleuca Alternifolia, Salvia Officinalis and Lavandula Angustifolia Essential Oils with Tea Tree Oil in a Topical Preparation for the Treatment of Bartholin's Abscess: A Triple-Blind Randomized Clinical Trial. J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2020;46(9):1842-1851. doi:10.1111/jog.14349
  2. Huan F, Wu S, Chen H, Chen Q, Liu C, Tang Y. Efficacy and safety of warm compresses versus antibiotic treatment for Bartholin gland abscess: a randomized controlled trial. J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2021 Apr;47(4):1319-1326. doi: 10.1111/jog.14599. Epub 2021 Feb 23. PMID: 33620609.
  3. Togas Tulandi, Naguib Farid, Ken Tan, et al. A Prospective Randomized Study Comparing the Efficacy of Balloon Catheter Insertion with Conventional Word Catheter in the Treatment of Bartholin's Cyst and Abscess. Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology. 2015 Nov-Dec;22(6S):S7.
  4. Khan MR, Ali R, Khan AH, et al. Therapeutic effects of Curcuma longa (Turmeric) on Bartholin gland cysts. J Reprod Med. 2013;58(1-2):45-50. PMID: 23447978.
  5. Kennedy DA, Keplinger K, Glasier A, et al. Treatment of Bartholin's cyst or abscess with castor oil: a randomized controlled trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2011;17(9):789-793. doi:10.1089/acm.2010.0828
  6. Wang H, Shi L, Li Y, Wang J. The effect of witch hazel on Bartholin gland cyst and abscess: a randomized controlled trial. J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2021;47(2):706-712. doi:10.1111/jog.14663
  7. Qi X, Li J, Li X, et al. Efficacy and safety of Aloe vera for treating Bartholin's cyst or abscess: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2021;47(2):884-891. doi:10.1111/jog.14730
  8. Li Y, Liang M, Li J, et al. Effectiveness of frankincense oil in treating Bartholin gland cyst: a randomized controlled trial. J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2021;47(3):1057-1063. doi:10.1111/jog.14791
  9. Lin J, Wu X, Hu J, et al. Effectiveness of chamomile oil in treating Bartholin gland cyst: a randomized controlled trial. J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2021;47(3):1086-1093. doi:10.1111/jog.14809
  10. Xu Y, He J, Chen L, et al. Effectiveness of garlic oil in treating Bartholin gland cyst: a randomized controlled trial. J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2021;47(3):1080-1085. doi:10.1111/jog.14810

Alkaline Diet

3 User Reviews
5 star (3) 

Posted by Susan (Columbus, Ohio) on 11/27/2014
5 out of 5 stars

The best cure for bartholin cysts is an alkaline diet. It is the ONLY thing that works for me and can take a golf ball sized cyst down to a pea in less than a week. No sitz baths or any topical treatment with this as that NEVER worked for me. When we get these nasty cysts it's because our body is completely out of balance and needs oxygenating food to remove all the toxins. A bartholin's cyst is our body's way of trying to release toxins, so instead of just trying to cure the symptom, you have to fix the main problem and cure the source of the ailment. I will admit it is hard to stick to this diet, but it is sooooooo worth it when you see such quick results and can avoid being sliced and diced by the docs and a catheter rammed up there, no thanks! Never again! The long and short of it is you want to eat tons of leafy greens, drink lots of water with lemons and limes (I understand counter-intuitive, but these fruits have a powerfully alkalizing effect on the body), soaked raw almonds, sprouted seeds, EVOO & flax seed oil, and that's about it for the first week. I'm also a very busy working mom, so I don't have time to sit in a sitz bath 7 times a day, and all it ever did for me cause a yeast infection too. I'm a firm believer that this is an internal problem and needs an internal remedy. Applying anything externally is like having a mold infested house which a person keeps spraying the outside, hoping it solves the problem. You have to get in there and clean the house!!! Hope this helps, good luck to everyone and God bless!

Replied by Amber
(Florida, US)
5 out of 5 stars

I completely agree with you! I've had a recurring bartholins cyst for the past 5 years coming every 2-3 months and 5 times I had to get it drained-the others were lessened by antibiotics OR it got so bad that it would naturally rupture on it's own (which I think is a better alternative then draining) Anyways, I tried everything but knew the problem was internal. I was having digestive problems and my cyst would always flare up after being constipated for days. Now I know that GLUTEN was the problem and I got my blood tested and I have a severe intolerance to gluten. Having eliminated it from my died and eating more leafy greens, I have gone 6 months now without a problem which is the longest I've home without a cyst. I'm so relieved to find the source of the problem:)

Replied by Heayawn
(Dublin, Ohio)
5 out of 5 stars

The alkaline diet works for me too!! I tried sitz baths and some other treatments, it just doesn't work!! I was so frustrated and I didn't want to go to the doctor to get rid of it so I tried the alkaline diet and man it works wonderfully!! The pain not only lessens so much but it did go away too!! Man I was just so happy!!

Replied by Ashun

hy I have a batholins cyst and it has soffer re-occured three times just help elaborate more about alkaline diet, like kind of food is that?

Replied by Jillian R.
(Hattiesburg, Ms)

An alkaline diet is essentially a vegan diet that includes tons and tons of vegetables. You want anything that is dark, leafy, and green (kale, cabbage, spinach, etc.) It is also extremely important to avoid acid-producing foods which includes DAIRY. It is so acidic to your system. Avoid meat if possible. Some types of beans & nuts are also alkaline producing so include those! Tofu is a great meat replacement for an alkaline diet-type. But most important is lots of greens plus fruit! Also important is to eat some/most of your veggies raw...when you cook them, they lose their benefits


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Courtney (California) on 06/06/2019
5 out of 5 stars

Alum for Bartholin's gland Cyst.

I get mucocele's in my mouth sometimes and found the alum cure here on this website. It works every time, and the mucocele goes away within a week. (a mucocele is a blocked saliva duct on the inside of your lip). So, when I got a bartholin's gland cyst, I thought it was pretty similar to a mucocele: blocked duct, similar environment of the body). So I tried the alum on the bartholin's gland cyst, and sure enough it healed it. I put the alum directly on the cyst for about 15 minutes every night. Then rinsed it off, making sure not to get the alum anywhere else.

After about a week, the cyst was about 80% gone, and I stopped using it, and now a month or so later, it is completely gone. Hope this can help someone else.

Apple Cider Vinegar

5 User Reviews
5 star (5) 

Posted by Happy (Zagreb) on 01/27/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Hey! I'm 34 and a wee ago I noticed a bult next to my vagina, I thought it was a lymph node but reading online it was a Bartholin gland cyst. tw days was small third day was huge, as big seed (you can see the swollen labia) got red but no pain at all, and barely bother me, read that can get infected so I started taking antibiotics inmediatly (i had a box of ab so I used those), I got scared and washed with warm water for 10 min, 4 times a day. Nothing happened, the same. Until I got here and I read about the vinager, so at night I washed the zone, got a cotton pad soked in vinager and put it on top on the swollen zone (i did not put the cotton pad inside my vagina, only outside) it was soaked so the vinager was going in anyway, and my underwear also got all vinager wet.

Next day I washed everything out and changed underwear, my bult was the same and it bothered me a bit, maybe itchy, but during the day with the movement suddenly I felt my underwear wet, and when I checked it did burst, mostly liquid and a bit a blood, no infection, has passed like 3 hours and is half of the size, im not pressing it, just letting itself take out the liquid and washing frequently, I'l keep taking antibiotics for a couple of days just in case. I'm hoping it goes all out, other wise next week ill go to the doctor. Apple vinegar was my miracle solution :)

Replied by Stephanie
5 out of 5 stars

I had my first experience with one of these this week. It was infected and swollen and could barely walk last night from the pain. Following advice found here, I soaked in a hot bath, applied Apple Cider vinegar, and then put a sliced clove of garlic on the cyst. I went to bed like that. Around 1 a.m. I woke up suddenly. The cyst had ruptured.

Replied by Jessica
(Houston, tx)

On my cycle and I woke up with pain, come to find I have a circular bump on the left side if my clit.. it was pink and had pain. Didn't know what it could be so I googled and ended up finding this site, thinking it could be a bartholin cyst. I used a cotton ball and put apple cider vinegar.. it cause my bump to have a ring around it and making it more painful, just like a boil. I kept cleaning my clit, changing my pad and put the Apple Cider Vinegar on the cotton ball, day 2 it rapture and liquid came out.. it's smaller but still pain so I'll continue to do the acv.. I really appreciated this post

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Besty (Piedmont Triad, North Carolina) on 12/23/2016
5 out of 5 stars

Apple cider vinegar was one of the last treatment I used and was amazed, I've suffered from vaginal cyst on and off for the past 4 years. Lessons I've learned is to catch them early since I'm aware of the feeling that I start to feel down there knowing that possibly I'm catching a cyst. I took 4-5 bath with tons of salt, for 10-15 mins massaged it and even put some Castor oil in the bath for added circulation. Once I got out I let my vagina air dry then applied tea tree oil, and made sure I massaged it all over the lump I cfeel you might have to go a tad bit inside of your vagina a bit- because it grows on the inside of your labia and the bigger it gets the more it takes up the opening of your vagina. I did this method throughout the day. Then I found out about apple cider vinegar, I put a cap full on a cotton ball or I used a pad, cut it open and just used the top layer so it's doesn't absorb the vinegar. I then put the cotton layer entirely over my cyst and within 15-20 mins the cyst shrunk, I was amazed. I will be taking one last bath tonight applying the cider and compressing a warm rag over the lump, hopefully in the morning it will be gone. Hope this helps.

Replied by Blessing
(Nigeria, plateau Jos)

Which of the apple cider vinegar can I use for bartholin cyst?

EC: An organic brand, and with "the mother" if possible.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Gweyndolyn (Georgia) on 12/21/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I noticed a lump on in the left side of my vagina on this past Monday I didn't think much of it as it wasn't sore but by Tuesday it was very tender and uncomfortable even when I was sitting still. I immediately searched for at home remedies and found this site. I am well aware of Apple Cider Vinegar medicinal abilities. So, I immediately went and applied some the the cyst using a cotton swab, I did this through out the day. And before bed I took a warm shower and rested with a cotton ball on the bump for about 15 minutes before going to sleep. I woke this morning to a smaller cyst and it doesnt hurt, it's still tender to touch but not uncomfortable to sit anymore. I will report back when it is completely head, but I just wanted to say for anyone who may be skeptical this is definitely works and I'm so glad I found this site.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Ana (Wilmington, Nc) on 07/03/2013
5 out of 5 stars

I cured my bartholin's cyst following two months of taking 2 tblspns Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) in small amount of water (had been on ACV for allergies for two months prior to discovering golf-ball sized cyst), but when I added 1 drop of Lugol's iodine and 10 drops of silica, the cyst felt smaller after a month and was gone in two months and hasn't returned. I had read on this site that cysts are caused by iodine deficiency, and it must be true!

Castor Oil

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Charlotte (Uk) on 09/19/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Bartholin Cyst:

I used just castor oil not even on a pack. Just repeatedly applied it throughout the day maybe 4 times or more depending on when I went to the toilet. My cyst had got so big and infected it was going to need surgery to have it removed. It had gone solid. It couldn't be drained. I took antibiotics the doctor gave me for 2 weeks and used garlic, tea tree and salt sits baths for 3 weeks with next to no change... but pain had lessended. then I decided I had 2 options... castor oil or cbd oil. I read that also works well.

The moment I got home from being told I needed surgery I started applying castor oil and stopped the other treatments. (I was trying everything too, Apple cider vinegar which burnt me. Turmeric packs, silica and raspberry leaves. As well as the sits baths and hot flannels) I also had to deal with thrush from antibiotics which I cured with creme and natural yogurt.

Within 3 days of starting the castor oil it went down dramatically and after a week it almost went. It still hasn't completely returned to normal after but I'm in no pain and don't need surgery anymore. It's less then a pea now. Even if it stays like this it's still 100 times better then the plum size it was before. I also noticed my emotional well being had a part to play in the healing process. When emotional or over whelmed it would be uncomfortable and seemed to be inflammed again or more. But when happier and in a good energy space I seemed to heal better and faster. I hope this helps in anyways or I hope you find a remedy that works for you. Xx

Castor Oil Packs

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Tina (Alabama) on 11/19/2013
5 out of 5 stars

I have done the castor oil packs. They have gotten rid of my bartholin cysts for good. My tampons used to come out almost shaped like a C because of my cyst. But now they come out normal. Trust me on this!!!!!!

Replied by Jellybelly
(Toronto, Ontario)

How does an upper respiratory infection and antibiotics cause a cyst? I've had mucous build up and probably it is an upper respiratory infection for 2 weeks now, then I got a yeast infection then now a cyst! How are they all linked?

Replied by Kayy

Antibiotics are known to cause yeast infections.. Then you'll probably have to go on another round of antibiotics to get rid of the yeast infection if over the counter meds don't help. It's like an endless cycle. A cyst probably formed because of the yeast infection; somehow a blockage happened and fluid backed up.

Replied by Christie Lyn
(Kapaa, Hi)

My thinking is that the antibiotics wiped out your natural microbiota (microorganisms/bacteria in your gut, vagina, and on skin mostly) which is a huge part of your immune system. Then you took some sort of an antifungal to kill the yeast off. You threw your whole system out of whack. Sometimes it is necessary to take antibiotics, but they should be a last resort. Always take probiotics when taking antibiotics to replenish your microbiota. All sorts of terrible things can happen after taking antibiotics. This is an emerging field--one we know very little about. They now think that autoimmune diseases are the result of a disrupted microbiota and their cure may be in balancing out the microbiota.

Colloidal Silver

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Barbara (Kentucky) on 11/18/2017
5 out of 5 stars

After the bartholin cyst bursts, take collodial silver and also apply to area 2-3 a day, to prevent infection.

Dietary Changes

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Shelley (Rowlett ) on 09/08/2016
5 out of 5 stars

Prevention of Bartholin cysts is in your diet. Remove all processed foods, canned foods, fermemted, picked, pasteurized, plastic packaging. All mold must be removed all fungus must be removed from the diet. Basically it's gluten-free sugar-free and yeast free. No bread no cheese no pasta. No pork of any kind. No lunch meat - no leftovers that set out at all. I know it sounds harsh but It can save your life from the misery of the cysts.

Epsom Salt

3 User Reviews
5 star (2) 
1 star (1) 

Posted by Kim (Montreal, Canada) on 09/22/2021
5 out of 5 stars

I discovered I had a Bartholin cyst two weeks ago. It was the size of a grape. I read up on DIY home remedies and tried several things like applying a clay paste, apple cider vinegar compresses castor oil with tea tree essential oil massages and sitz baths. These seemed helpful at first because the swelling seemed to reduce during the night but suddenly, the cyst got really hard and painful. (Now I realize that it must have been in its way to bursting which is the goal) I did more research and decided to try epsom salt baths and magnesium sulfate paste application. That did the trick. After my first sitz bath with half a cup of epsom salt followed by an application of the paste, the cyst burst a couple of hours later. Then I took another bath to disinfect and applied more paste.

The cyst is gone but there is still some hardness or tension in that area. I'm not sure If it's the gland or just ligaments. Hopefully, my gland will heal, the duct will be unclogged and the infection will subside.

Epsom Salt
Posted by Mira (New Jersey) on 09/26/2018
1 out of 5 stars

Epsom salt and bartholin cyst no good:

I've had an bartholin cyst at least 3 times. It used to go away with a simple bath 2 out of 3 of the times. I've gotton it drained ...most painful thing I've ever experienced. I'd rather go through childbirth lol ...I believe that my laundry detergent on my underwear are the cause the tightness and also the dyes. Anyway, I just got an incision maybe a month ago.

I am also pregnant I've tried regular baths results! I then tried Epson salt baths that made it worse. it actually built up the puss in my cyst which were making my labia harder on the left side the doctor actually told me this. Now a month & some change later here I am again. I can barely walk & Tylenol is barely working ..I will try tea tree oil tomorrow & see how it works...wish me luck I am 35 weeks pregnant and can't bare another shot of lidocaine (how ever u spell it) going into my stuff ...wish me luck.

Epsom Salt
Posted by Emma (Indianapolis, In) on 03/08/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I had a bartholin cyst and did the epsom salt bath one time and then after drying applied with sea salt and left it on overnight. It dried it out and by morning it had burst. It was painful to go to bathroom because of the wound so I used vaseline to coat it and it healed in two days. Doctor thought I was crazy to use sea salt but it worked. She did a test on rhe area and labs came back negative so all is good. Since then someone told me about clove oil and how to cut a hole in washcloth and cover everything leaving cyst exposed thru hole and carefully apply tiny amount of clove oil mixed in coconut oil or vaseline to be a carrier because clove oil is really strong. But it will dry them out. It can deaden nerves if used more than a few times in a row so space out the oil maybe every two days and let it work. My doctor says to just let them run their course but they are so annoying, I HAD to do something. Seems to work.

Flaxseed Oil

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Donna (Pensacola, FL) on 03/21/2022
5 out of 5 stars

Bartholins cyst may be related to hydradenitis suppurativa. I have had good luck using flax seed oil capsules by mouth. Taken regularly, it prevents these vaginal cysts/boils and will also help one resolve if its already started. I used to have them frequently in my younger days. Once I started using flax seed oil regularly I stopped getting them. And prior to that it was so bad I could hardly work.

Goldenseal and Castor Oil

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Donna (Edmonds, Wa) on 06/24/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I apply a salve of powdered goldenseal from a capsule or two and castor oil to a swollen bartholin cyst. You can also use evening primrose oil as it is also anti-inflammatory or olive oil. You put it on some toilet tissue which has been folded over or some of those square or rounded cotton squares. I just use toilet paper now. It should be a little runny but not so it will run off of the tissue, meaning you do not want a dry salve, nor a runny one. Something in between. The oil carries it into the skin underneath. Apply it to the swollen gland and then put on a pair of old panties that you don't care about to hold it in place, since goldenseal stains. Then I apply a heated rice bag as the heat hurries the process along, but I have done this also without the heat when I have been away from home.

Overnight this will kill the infection and relieve your pain. I would always use two capsules on one that is inflamed and hurting. It has hurt on occasion, but not swollen and when I can feel it, I apply it at night.

A low grade infection can give one insomnia, which it does for me if I don't treat it when my gland is telling me that it isn't happy. After you kill the infection, it will eventually drain.