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Using Steam to Cleanse
may have heard of vaginal douching but what many people are
wondering about these days is vaginal steaming (known in Central
and South America as bajos and in Korea as chai-yok).
The first time one hears it they often are confused or think
it is a joke, but it is a real thing and offers health benefits
which in turn is making women seek them out.
It has recently become quite popular in the United States, particularly
in southern California and New York through spas and holistic
health clinics. The quickest way to describe it is to imagine
an herbal steam bath for your lady parts or a facial for your
Lisa S. Lawless, Ph.D.
Psychotherapist & Sexuality Expert
CEO & Founder of
Holistic Wisdom, Inc. & NAASAS
Copyright © Holistic Wisdom, Inc.
women do them a day or two after their periods are complete by sitting
over an open bench (vagi-stool) that allows
an herbal infused steam from a pot or bowl below to rise into their
vagina. In some cases, men are also getting their perineum and anus
steamed to help with prostate health (a.k.a. - prostate steaming).
Vaginal steam baths are used to detox by cleansing and toning your
vaginal lips, vaginal walls, cervix and uterus. They have been done
for centuries so it is not a new trend, rather, it is simply a reemerging
practice that has been used in ancient medicine.
Sex Stool like the one above can
be used for easy vaginal steaming (AKA Vagi-stool).
Do Vaginal Steam Baths Do?
practitioners along with many western physicians have indicated
that there are health benefits in having a vaginal steaming
done. Below is a list of the health issues that vaginal steam
baths have been helpful in treating-
and yeast infections
and painful periods
from C-sections, hysterectomies and laparoscopies
Steaming also reduces stress and anxiety
Does Vaginal Steaming Work?
steaming helps improve health as it increases blood circulation
to the pelvis and therefore provides oxygenation, dilation
of blood vessels and relaxes the pelvic floor muscles. In
Chinese medicine it is seen as helping to relieve coldness
and stagnation in the body. In addition, there are two herbs
that are most commonly used during a vaginal steaming which
are mugwort and wormwood, both of which have been used in
Eastern medicine for thousands of years.
(also known as artemisia vulgaris) contains natural antibiotic
and antifungal properties which allows it to fight infection.
It is used in Chinese medicine particularly during acupuncture
treatments through a process called moxibustion. It causes
uterine contractions and helps speed up the healing processes
in the body. The steam opens the pores and allows it to penetrate
into the blood stream. It balances female hormones and stimulates
the production of hormones that help to maintain uterine health
as well as protect the uterus from things such as ulcers and
tumors. In addition, mugwort helps to stimulate menstrual
discharge, ease headaches, nausea, fatigue and cramping. Mugwort
can also be orally consumed through a tea.
(also known as artemisia herbal) has natural antibacterial
and antiviral properties and has been used throughout history
to treat a large variety of ailments from bladder infections
to eczema. This herb relaxes the blood vessels and promotes
detox within the body by encouraging the discharge of bile.
It is best used by women who have chronic bacterial and /
or viral vaginal infections. The active component of wormwood
is artemisinin, which can be neurotoxic so only use small
amounts of this herb if you use it at all.
to Know When Getting Vaginal Steaming
you pay to have your vagina steamed or you do it yourself, make
sure that only organic herbs are used. The last thing you want
to do is allow for toxins through pesticides to penetrate your
steaming takes about 20-45 minutes.
sure that the steam is not too hot or close as you do not want
to burn your skin.
any herbs that you have allergies to.
can do vaginal steaming at home (instructions below). You can
also get them at spas and holistic health centers. Many holistic
practitioners offer vaginal steaming ranging in price from $20
to $330 and typically offer a pelvic (abdominal) massage along
with it when offered in higher price ranges.
- The best time
to have a vaginal steam is before or after your period. It is discouraged
to do them during menstruation or if you think you may be pregnant.
- It is normal
to have some discharge or slight cramping the day after a vaginal
steam, particularly after the first time you do it.
- There are no
studies that have reviewed health claims for vaginal steaming, so
many western practitioners find it to be simply an unknown. However,
if you are open to Eastern medicine you know that many things have
been long proven regardless of studies. The problem with studies is
that typically someone has to be able to make money off of a product
in order to fund it for a study. Being that these are common herbs
there is simply no incentive to have any studies done to determine
if there are measurable health improvements other than personal testimonials.
There are plenty of those that say that vaginal steaming has helped
them so as long as you are safe in your practice of vaginal steaming
it seems like something that could be beneficial for most women.
- Douching and
shower heads do not allow for the pores to open as well which is why
vaginal steaming is the most efficient way to allow the herbs to penetrate
deep into the body. Also, drugstore douches can disrupt a healthy
pH balance, which will not happen if you use the right herbs for vaginal
- How does the
steam and herbs penetrate the cervix? Holistic practitioners indicate
that the steam thins the mucus (similar to clearing a nasal passage)
and allows the herbs to penetrate the vaginal tissue which is mucosal
and epithelial. This means it is very porous and absorbent.
How to do Vaginal Steaming
first step is to determine what herbs you are going to use. Examples
of commonly used herbs are mugwort, wormwood, basil, oregano, calendula,
marshmallow root and rosemary. You may want to consult an herbalist
before combining herbs as they can work against one another and
if you are taking medications, you may also want to check with your
pharmacist or physician to see if they will have any adverse side
effects. Remember that any herbs that you use to steam will be absorbed
by your body and make their way into your bloodstream so it is good
to be careful in making your selections. Some people just use one
or two herbs, while others use blends they purchase from an acupuncturist
or other holistic practitioner. Do not use essential oils as they
are typically too concentrated and their quality can be difficult
on the size bowl or pot you have, boil up to 8 cups of filtered
water and add either fresh or dried herbs. Typically about 1/4 of
a cup and then let them steep for approximately ten minutes. Take
only half of the water and pour into a bowl to use for the first
steam and sit with a blanket or large towel around your waist making
a tent around the bowl. If the water is too hot, allow it to cool
a bit as you do not want to burn yourself. If your stool is low
to the ground you can put the water in a pan to keep it lower and
away from you. After ten minutes of steaming, go and get the rest
of the water and continue for another ten minutes. You can vary
how much water you use and the time you allow based on personal
increase the absorption of the herbs you can do a self massage on
your abdomen. We also recommend using a vibrator
to help continue to stimulate the blood flow for maximum results.
One in particular that is very effective is the Hitachi
with Gspot attachment. You can use the attachment internally
as well as the wand externally around the labia and on your abdomen.