Ready for a V-Steam or Nay?
According to Medical Daily, vaginal steaming, which is more commonly known as v-steaming (or known in other cultures as the bajo, Chai-yok, or yoni steam), is “an ancient Korean treatment that provides a “steam facial” for the vagina to tone the muscles and release toxins. Although there is no clinical evidence to support the benefits of v-steams, there is a great deal of anecdotal evidence that supports its healing abilities. But how does it work, and what are the risks or concerns? We’ve taken a look and found the biggest pros and cons on the matter.
How Does it Work and How Much Does it Cost?
V-steams usually go like this: the woman squats over a steaming blend of herbs in water, which often includes a variety of herbs but usually contains mugwort and wormwood.
Mugwort and wormwood: not just for Harry Potter stories anymore
Mugwort is supposed to support healthy stomach and digestive functions, alleviate endometriosis, menopausal and menstrual ailments, stimulate uterine hormones and promote uterine health and fertility. Wormwood is said to also promote healthy digestion, as well as immune system support, menstrual and hormone regulation, and provide antimicrobial and sedative effects. Additional herbs added to the blends can vary, including lavender, dandelion, rosemary, lemon balm, marigold, peppermint, chamomile, and burdock root.
The Costs and Potential DIY Methods
The treatment, offered in numerous wellness and alternative health centers across the country, which lasts from 30 to 45 minutes, costs anywhere from $25 to $75, and can be done at home with the purchase of an approved kit. Some also swear by their own DIY home methods.
According to Some, What it Does for your Body is Complex
Done properly, it is supposed to relax pelvic floor muscles, tone the cervix, vagina, and uterus, increase oxygen flow, dilate blood vessels, and increase blood circulation. The herbal steam is also said to thin mucus and help the body discard unneeded build-up which improves the functioning of the entire reproductive system.
* Some insist it improves the recipient’s sex life. Celebrities who’ve tried it rave about the benefits. Others are convinced it aids fertility and helped them get pregnant.
* It alleviates menstrual cramping and other discomforts. It’s proponents also believe it decreases menstrual flow, regulates the cycles, speeds after-birth healing, tones the reproductive system following birth, helps treat uterine fibroids, prolapse, and endometriosis, as well as ovarian cysts.
* It can help heal hemorrhoids, vaginal tearing, episiotomy, or C-section scarring.
* Proponents claim it treats yeast infections and promotes a healthy odor
* It can alleviate menopausal symptoms.
* It’s said to “detoxify the womb and remove toxins from the body.”
* Strongest proponents believe it has historically been used for health reasons and its benefits far outweigh any risks or concerns. Director of Naprapathy and Master Herbalist Rosita Arvigo explains that her years of studying yoni steams with Mayan women who use the treatment regularly revealed it to be “universally effective for any aspect of uterine pathology.”
* It lacks scientific substantiation. According to Dr. Draion Burch, a Pittsburh ob-gyn,”There’s no scientific evidence that shows it works.” Burch also believes v-steaming can lead to potentially harmful side effects.
* It’s unnecessary. Since the vagina is self-cleaning, there is no need for “extra” cleaning of any kind. If there is an infection, most doctors recommend probiotics or other such remedies. Additionally, a 2004 study in the American Journal of Nursing stated that women who douched (similar to yoni steaming) were more likely to get bacterial vaginosis, a disruption in the normal flora in the vagina. Live Science also shares that,“Bacterial vaginosis, in turn, is also associated with an increased risk of contracting HIV. And a 2001 study in the Maternal Child Health Journal suggested that douching during pregnancy could increase the risk of preterm labor.”
* You can get burned. Some say the steam is very hot and should be closely monitored for proper temperature before exposing the vagina or any body parts to it.
* It can cause problems if you have an IUD or are pregnant. Some warn that loosening up the muscles too much with steam (or using the wrong combination of herbs) can cause the IUD to become improperly placed and a possible miscarriage to occur.
*as with all my posts, please consult your physician before attempting any of the treatments, exercises, or diet strategies listed here. If you plan to do an at-home v-steam, please consult your doctor first, especially if you are pregnant or have an IUD.