CONNECTING WITH YOUR WOMB: YONI STEAMS

There is little, if anything, that needs to be done to maintain vaginal balance in a healthy woman. However, giving extra care and attention to our wombspace has incredible benefits, no matter how small or complex the effort. 

Vaginal steaming, otherwise known as yoni steams or bajos are a very ancient practice, most notably rooted in Mayan and Korean cultures. While this practice is old and wise, we are seeing a huge resurfacing and normalization in mainstream media due to celebrity chatter and its availability in high-end wellness spas. With careful preparation and self-awareness, this practice can be done safely at home.

After the birth of my son, I felt incredibly disconnected to my womb. It felt cold, distant, and like there was very little activity or energy compared to the past. Taking time to reconnect through yoni steams not only helped speed healing after birth but allowed the mind-body connection to return to a state of harmony. Vaginal steams can be used for many conditions such as irregular periods, menstrual cramping, bloating, infertility, fibroids, cysts, prolapsed or retroverted uterus, vaginal dryness, infections, hemorrhoids, and more. Because of the increased integrity and circulation that steams encourage, they are also useful for heightening sensation during sex as well as exploring feelings, both physical and emotional, that are held in the womb.

Yoni steams rejuvenate the reproductive system by warming the organs, increasing the circulation of oxygenated blood to the vagina and womb, and restoring moisture, vitality and integrity to the tissues.  The pleasant heat from the rising steam opens the pores of the skin so that the medicinal properties of the herbs can be delivered through the bloodstream. Different herbs can and should be used based on the presenting symptoms. During an appointment, we can formulate a blend that is right for your needs. It is important to consult your healthcare provider before preparing a vaginal steam to ensure safety and optimal healing. Do not undertake a vaginal steam during menses, if you are pregnant, or during an active vaginal infection.

 There are many herbs that bring beneficial healing to the womb. The following herbs are some of the most traditionally used, and can be formulated in many different variations:

Comfrey Leaves, Plantain Leaves, Violet Leaves + Flowers, Mullein Leaves + Flowers, Yarrow Blossoms, Rose Petals, Motherwort Leaves, Mugwort, Sagebrush, Raspberry or Blackberry Leaf, Rosemary Flowers, Juniper, Damiana, Oregano, Basil, Lemon Balm, Ocotillo Bark, Dong Quai, Calendula Blossoms, Chamomile Flowers, Yucca Blossoms, and more.

 

 HOW TO PREPARE AND PERFORM A YONI STEAM:

 

1.    Place approximately one cup of dried herbs or one and a half cups of fresh herbs in a large pot or glass bowl.

2.    Bring 4-6 cups of water boil, and then pour over herbs and cover. Allow the herbs to steep for about 10 minutes. During this time I recommend asking the herbs for help with whatever specific healing you need, and thanking them for their medicinal powers. 

3.    Once the herbs have cooled a bit, test the temperature of the steam with the back of your hand. It should be very warm but in no way unpleasant. If it is too hot, allow the herbs to cool for a few more minutes. It is very important to take care not to burn the delicate tissues of your vagina.

4.    Place the bowl of herbs either inside of a clean toilet bowl, between two chairs, or if it is comfortable for you, you may also simply squat over the bowl. If you enjoy this practice, steaming stools are available for purchase and are a nice option.

5.    Undress your lower half. Make sure that you are warm (warm socks and your favorite sweater if needed!) and contain the steam by wrapping your lower half with towels and blankets.

6.    When you are comfortable and begin steaming, tilt your pelvis towards the steam to gain maximum benefits.  Once you are settled, allow your mind to wander, read a book, journal, listen to music, or do whatever you feel helps you relax and unwind. 

7.    The steam will generally last about 15-30 minutes until the plants exhaust their medicine. Once there is no more steam, re-dress your lower half and stay warm. Rest and allow yourself to soak in the experience fully. Place your hands over your womb and notice if you have any new sensations, experiences, or messages.

8.    If possible, compost the herbs or spread them in your garden. Alternatively you can flush them down the toilet. 

Have questions? A favorite steam formula you'd like to share? Let us know in the comment section below.