Yoni Steaming: Caring For Our Vulva
As a woman, we are complex and fascinating creatures. Not complex as in that stereotypical high maintenance characteristic, but as in we are able to bleed with the phases of the moon, we are able to create life inside of us and expand our hips to give birth, we are able to create milk within our breasts to feed our young, and our bodies are able to create natural medicine for a sick child. It's all beautiful, magical and everything in between. Being and becoming a woman is a magical phenomenon, but with all of this power, there's a lot of imbalances that can occur.
A few times in your life you will experience hormonal imbalances, and most commonly they occur because of our diets, state of health and forms of contraception. Having an imbalance can cause a number of issues or ailments, like having the lack of a cycle, or too much of one. Perhaps our PH is out of balance or we are not as moist as we should be downstairs making having sex hurt, or maybe a natural occurrence is taking place and we are going through menopause. No matter if we’re aware of it or not, our bodies and minds are exquisitely sensitive to the elements. We may expect our bodies to naturally do its thing, but the truth is, we can personally cause our bodies to work too hard, which in return does not keep us on the right track with our health.
"When considering the premenstrual woman, it’s important to distinguish between what is natural from those symptoms caused by other factors. A natural ebb and flow of hormones may cause a noticeable monthly change in sensitivity and energy, a change which can be honored and celebrated as a part of womanhood. However, for various reasons, some women experience debilitating symptoms from a hormonal imbalance, which can cause excruciating cramps and breast soreness, and irregular periods or amenorrhea." - Herbal Academy
In holistic and herbal practices, one of the most popular ways for a woman to care for her vulva and help nourish vaginal ailments is through yoni steaming. The term yoni is sanskrit for vagina or sacred space. This ancient practice allows the warmth of herbal steam to embrace the exterior of the vagina and is an opportunity to reconnect with your body and utilize the wisdom of plant medicine to heal your cycle and imbalances.
The combination of different complex herbs work to nourish, tone, bring in fresh oxygenated blood, promote cleansing, and liven uterine tissues. The moist heat opens up the pores of the tissues and the water vapor carries the medicinal benefits of the plants, including volatile oils. This is absorbed into the tissues and enters the bloodstream, having a direct healing effect on the reproductive system. Vaginal tissue is one of the most absorbent of the entire female body.
Women will turn to yoni steaming for these reasons: uterine fibroids, painful menstruation and cramping, uterine weakness, uterine prolapse, irregular menstrual cycles, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, reproductive adhesion or scar tissue, previous vaginal tear, dark blood at the end of menses and assists healing of hemorrhoids.
How To Receive A Yoni Steam
Believe it or not, there are some places that you can visit around your hometown that specializes in vaginal steaming, and have specially made thrones for women to sit on! However, you can do this in the comfort of your own home as long as you follow the very important safety protocols. If you continue below, I will provide a few different herbal blends that you can follow for certain ailments, but first let's talk about safety and the do's and don'ts.
While yoni steams are very beneficial for different ailments, it can also be dangerous for certain reasons. Although many turn to vaginal steaming to address menstrual problems, steaming during active menstruation or fresh spotting is not reccommended. Steaming during active bleeding can be dangerous because the steam speeds up the blood flow and can cause heavy bleeding. Instead, steaming should be done before and after the period, which will help aid the natural period cleanse. Also, although very helpful to aid in healthy conception and excellent after giving birth, steaming is contraindicated during pregnancy. Steaming while pregnant can be dangerous because the steam relaxes and opens the cervix, which could result in miscarriage or early labor.
When creating an herbal yoni steam at home the best option is to use your toilet. While some women like to make a DIY wood cut out to put over a bowl of warm herbs, or simply squat over a bowl, you risk the chances of cracking the wood if it's of cheap quality or falling into the steam when you squat, which in return can cause a nasty burn. I get it, you're going ew, the toilet? Yes, just CLEAN IT! Top to bottom, clean it from the inside out until it's sparkly and disinfected. Not only does this give you a fresh seat for your yoni steam, but once you are done you have a clean toilet. Win-win!
Here is what you need:
Stainless Steel, or Heat Resistant Glass Bowl
Kettle, Or Stove
Most plastic bowls hold chemicals that can be released into the hot water, that we will not want steaming over our vagina, that is why it's not recommended in my list of needs!
Once you have your items, and you have prepared your toilet clean, you will heat 1.5-2.0 L of water to a boil. This can be done in a kettle or rolled on the stove. You will then transfer your bunch of preferred herbs to a stainless steel bowl, and pour the steaming hot water over them. You will then quickly cover with a thick lid or towel and allow the herbs to steep in the water for at least 5 minutes to release the medicinal value through the water, and keeping the steam trapped will be best until you are ready to release the medicated steam around your vulva. Then, carefully take your bowl over to your toilet. You will pull up the lid, and carefully sit your bowl at the bottom of the toilet and take off the lid or towel. After your bowl has been placed, you sit back down the lids to the toilet and take off your underwear. You will want to sit with a robe or towel around you so your external body temperature is warm, and you're not freezing butt-naked! Prepare to sit down on the steam for 20-30 minutes. You can meditate or read during this time. That's it! You can do this once a week, or when you feel it's needed.