Yoni Steam 101: Benefits & Best Practices (+Myths Dispelled)

alternative treatements complementary medicine women's health women's wellness yoni steam

Is there a better way to keep your lady parts in pristine condition than over-the-counter medicines and chemical products? We think so! Read on and decide if you should complement your personal care routine with a yoni steam.

A yoni steam is a unique way to experience feminine wellness. Many women have found that by having regular yoni steams, their bloated lower bellies are diminished and their reproductive health improved dramatically. This is an ancient practice that was around long before you were going to your gynecologist annually to demonstrate that you’re a well woman. 

By using an herbal steam in your most precious region, you may be able to effectively cleanse the vagina and promote increased circulation to the reproductive organs. Yoni Steaming is acclaimed by countless women as an effective and even “miracle-working,” natural form of vaginal maintenance.

While we agree with these women, we do feel it's important to dispel a few myths as we dive into the truth behind this powerful feminine wellness practice.

Here’s what’s in store:

Now, let’s get to it… 

What is a Yoni Steam? 

A yoni steam -- aka ‘vagina steam’ or ‘v steam’ -- is an alternative wellness treatment practiced by women around the world. Essentially, you sit or squat over steaming water that contains a blend of beneficial herbs (and steam) to heal and bring balance to your womb. 

Contrary to popular misconceptions, the steam is not pushed up into the uterus through the cervix, but permeates the area to gently relax and soften the pelvis and vagina. The warmth and relaxation leads to increased blood and lymph flow as well as triggers the body’s inherent self-cleansing response. 

Compounds and oils from the herbs are carried in the steam and are meant to reach and permeate the tissues for specific, desired effects.  

Yoni steaming has been revived and is gaining popularity in the western world because it is a simple and natural way to promote vaginal health and enhance feminine energy. In Sanskrit, the term “yoni” means “sacred space.” 

The yoni steam can be described as a spa treatment for the vagina, but it is much more than this. It is a worldwide wellness ritual that women find deeply relaxing and full of benefits.

Chinese medicine explores vaginal steaming as an option to treat infertility and sexual dysfunction. 

In Malay, a traditional post-natal practice called tangas exposes steam derived from a blend of herbs to the perineum to help shrink what has expanded during pregnancy. 

Some Indonesian practices involve a traditional vaginal steam called betimun, which has been studied academically, and found to have proven benefits. 

In Korea, the yoni steam practice is called Chai-yok, and is commonly seen in spas.

South and Central American midwives and traditional healers (Bajos) regularly offer vaginal steaming treatments.   

In the US, you can receive a yoni steam treatment from a professional in a spa setting, at home with a doula, or using a DIY method

Traditional Yoni Steam Herbs 

Before you dive in and start steaming, you should know that you can’t just throw your spice rack into a yoni steam. The herbs you use will depend on the desired effects you wish to achieve. Each herb used in a traditional yoni steam serves a distinctive purpose. 

Yoni steam herbs customarily include some blend of the following: 

  • Rosemary - Aromatic and antimicrobial for healing and inhibiting yeast and harmful bacteria. 
  • Mugwort - Antibiotic, anti-fungal, and hormone-balancing for stimulating hormones to maintain uterine health. 
  • Egyptian basil - Menstrual regulator and anti-inflammatory to reduce the pain of uterine cramps. 
  • Wormwood - Antiparasitic, antibacterial, and antifungal to cleanse and soothe the vagina. 
  • Damania - Vasodilator to improve blood circulation, increase libido, and stimulate vaginal lubrication. 
  • Rose petals - Anti-anxiety to reduce stress and promote relaxation. 
  • Nettles - Anticoagulant to aid in iron absorption and prevent anemia post menstruation or childbirth. 
  • Lavender - Aromatic and antimicrobial for healing and inhibiting yeast and harmful bacteria.  
  • Hibiscus -Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant to nourish the reproductive organs and support kidney function.
  • Calendula - Anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial to prevent infection and heal vaginal tissues. 
  • Peppermint - Antimicrobial and cooling for inhibiting yeast and harmful bacteria while soothing the womb.  

The herbal blend you use might depend on where you are in your menstrual cycle. For example, after menstruation or childbirth, you might want a cleansing blend while during menstruation, you might prefer a blend that helps decrease inflammation and pain. 

Can You Use Essential Oils in a Yoni Steam? 

Most practitioners advise against essential oils in a yoni steam, since the oils are usually too harsh for vaginal tissues. Essential oils can burn the sensitive pelvic area and cause severe discomfort, irritation, and even burn your skin. They are concentrates of medicinal herbs that are intended for aromatherapy and should not be used in a yoni steam. 

What are the Benefits of Yoni Steam?

Yoni steaming is said to penetrate deep into the vaginal walls to increase reproductive wellness in more than one way. Here are the benefits of a yoni steam that have been reported by countless women who have tried yoni steaming for themselves. 

  • Relax the pelvic area 
  • Stimulate blood and lymph flow 
  • Relieve pain and cramps 
  • Increase libido 
  • Cleanse the vagina 
  • Decrease vaginal odor
  • Revive beneficial bacteria 
  • Regulate menstruation
  • Accelerate metabolism
  • Reduce bloating 
  • Tighten vaginal tissues 
  • Treat vaginal dryness 

In the US, yoni steam benefits are largely informal at this point, and the western medical community generally advises against it as a treatment option for any reproductive problems. Some gynecologists have said that it, “might help with relaxation.”

On the other hand, the Korean medical community specifically concludes that further studies on benefits on the benefits of yoni steaming should be done. One publication in the Journal of Korean Medicine states that “studies about diverse therapies such as pharmacoacupuncture and herbal medicine steam bath on pelvis are thought to be needed,” for the treatment of dysmenorrhea (a chronic medical condition that causes painful menstrual cramps and can lead to infertility). 

Korean researchers also found that vaginal steaming contributed positively to a holistic approach in complementary and alternative fertility treatments.  

What’s more, in Indonesia, a promising study appeared in STRADA Jurnal Ilmiah Kesehata. The researched concluded that the formula traditionally used in vaginal steaming practices had antifungal, antibacterial, antioxidant, antiglycation, antihypertensive, sedative, and astringent properties. 

Furthermore, the same study found that the herbal steam treatment played a positive role in preventing and treating vaginal discharge; eliminating body odor, fatigue, and aches; postpartum recovery; and accelerating metabolism to slow the aging process. 

When is a Yoni Steam Recommended? 

Practitioners might recommend yoni steaming as a maintenance practice at any time, even when no problems are reported.    

However, some women might experience heightened benefits during and after mensturation, when trying to conceive a child, after childbirth, and during menopause. 

How Much Does a Yoni Steam Cost? 

To do a yoni steam at home, it can cost as little as $4 for a bag of single-use herbs. In this case, you might be able to use implements that you have lying around the house. Bowls designed specifically for this purpose are also available at inexpensive prices. 

If you want the luxury DIY yoni steam experience, you can purchase a complete yoni steam kit in the $120 range. 

In a controlled spa setting, an individual yoni steaming session can cost around $45 and up. These services are commonly offered in packages and for groups as well. 

How to Do a Yoni Steam at Home

If you want to save yourself a trip to the yoni steam spa or you can’t find one in your area, you can do a DIY yoni steam at home. 

Here’s how: 

 

 

If you don’t have a seat or crock pot like the ones in the video, another option is to use a small metal bowl on the floor and squat or sit in child’s pose over the steam. 

How Long Should You Steam? 

The typical yoni steam lasts 20 to 45 minutes. You should never steam for a duration longer than this without the advice of a professional. If you feel that you should have a longer or shorter steam, consult a yoni steam practitioner for guidance. 

How Often Should You Steam? 

Steam schedules will vary from person to person, based on any issues they are trying to resolve. With a basic steam plan, you should steam about once a week, before and after each period and twice in between. 

When trying to balance irregular menstrual cycles, some practitioners recommend steaming with the moon cycles: i.e. steam with the full moon, new moon, waxing moon, and waning moon. 

And, when trying to increase fertility, most experts advise that you avoid steaming on your most fertile dasy and immediately after ovulation, because steaming is thought to help your body shed away the cells it doesn’t need, which could interfere with implantation. 

Yoni steaming is contraindicated for pregnant women

⚠ Possible Side Effects of Yoni Steaming 

The most common, normal side effect of a yoni steam is post-steam cervical discharge. In most cases, this can serve as a sign that the steam has triggered your body’s natural cleansing response. Normal post-steam discharge should not have a strong odor and should be clear, milky white, yellow, or brown in color. 

If you experience odorous discharge, pain, itching, or any type of rash, it could be the sign of an allergy to the herbs, an adverse reaction, or another health issue, and you should consult a medical professional. 

As with all steam treatments, another potential side effect is a burn. When steaming, you should position yourself far enough above the water pool that you are comfortable with the temperature of the rising steam. 

Finally, infections can occur after a yoni steam. However, it is not likely to be the herbs or steam that cause infection. Rather, this probably occurs when the yoni steam seat or bowl is not properly cleaned before use. 

You can avoid side effects by taking precautions and being aware of the herbs that are in your steam. Don’t steam without knowing what is in your herb blend, never use herbs that you have a known allergy or sensitivity to, always use sanitized implements, and make sure that you are comfortable with the temperature of your steam. 

Wrapping Up

Your yoni is the most important tool you have for cultivating and growing self-trust -- trust of your intuitive path, and trust in your capacity to be responsible for yourself and your life. The womb births new life… it is the center of who you are. If you do not honor this beautiful self-regenerating passage then, quite simply, you may never find peace inside your own body.

If you decide to do a yoni steam at home, do so with care. Avoid temperatures that are too high for your comfort. Use fresh or dried herbs, not essential oils. Sanitize your implements before and after each use. Stay away from herbs that you have a known allergy or sensitivity to. And, consult a physician if you experience an adverse reaction or if you think you may have an infection.   

Give yourself the gift of self care and try yoni steaming. If you already have, tell us about your experience in the comments.  

(Bonus) Answers to Related Questions

Here are some quick answers to common questions related to yoni steaming. 

  • Does yoni steam help with smell? 
  • Many women declare that, yes, yoni steaming does help eliminate vaginal odor by cleansing, improving blood flow, and promoting overall reproductive health. 

  • How can I clean my uterus? 
  • Your reproductive system, including your vagina and uterus, are “self-cleaning.” Most gynecologists recommend that women allow their uteruses to clean themselves. However, doulas, midwives, and yoni steam professionals often recommend yoni steaming for uterine cleansing after menstruation and postpartum.  

  • What language is “yoni?” 
  • Yoni is a Sanskrit word, which translates to “womb,” “the source,” and to refer to female organs of generation. 

     

     

    Our statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. We do not claim to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, because only a drug can make such a claim.


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