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Home » Sexual Resources » Sex Articles » Holistic

Vaginal Steaming
Using Steam to Cleanse the Vagina

You 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 vagina.

Lisa Lawless
By Lisa S. Lawless, Ph.D.
Psychotherapist & Sexuality Expert

CEO & Founder of
Holistic Wisdom, Inc. & NAASAS

Copyright: Holistic Wisdom- Do NOT Copy Warning

Copyright © Holistic Wisdom, Inc.

Many 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.

A Sex Stool like the one above can be used for easy vaginal steaming (AKA Vagi-stool).



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What Do Vaginal Steam Baths Do?

Holistic 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-

  • Bladder and yeast infections
  • Vaginal Cysts
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Infertility
  • Irregular and painful periods
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Perennial tears
  • Scarring from C-sections, hysterectomies and laparoscopies
  • Vaginal Steaming also reduces stress and anxiety

How Does Vaginal Steaming Work?

Vaginal 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.

Mugwort (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.

Wormwood (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.

What to Know When Getting Vaginal Steaming

  • Whether 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 bloodstream.

  • Vaginal steaming takes about 20-45 minutes.

  • Make sure that the steam is not too hot or close as you do not want to burn your skin.

  • Avoid any herbs that you have allergies to.

  • You 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 steaming.

  • 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

The 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 to regulate.

Depending 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 preferences.

To 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.


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