Yoni Steaming – really?
by Dr. Leela Klein
Yes, you did hear correctly – this is really about steaming your vagina, your yoni!
Yoni steaming involves exposing the vagina to steam to cleanse it and enhance its health. The practice has recently made the news due to celebrity reports that claim a variety of benefits, ranging from relieving period discomfort to improving fertility.
The origins of Yoni steaming are unknown, yet this practice has been found all over the world – from China, to Germany to Mexico and South Africa, to name just a few places. Vaginal steaming has been practised by women for the purpose of postpartum care, as well as treating gynaecological concerns.
- How does is work?
The warmth of herbal steam softly permeates the exterior of the vagina. During the process, which should last for about 20 to 45 minutes, the steam dilates the blood vessels, increasing blood circulation, providing oxygen, and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles.
Yoni steams bring heat to the womb. The use of specific herbs adds layers of different healing benefits, depending on the health condition being treated. The combination of herbs works to nourish, tone, heal, bring in fresh oxygenated blood, and promote cleansing. The moist heat opens the pores of the tissues it comes into contact with. The water vapour carries the medicinal benefits of the plants, which is absorbed into the tissues, enters the bloodstream, and has a direct healing effect on the reproductive system.
Vaginal tissue is one of the most absorbent of the entire female body.
- Why steam?
Yoni steaming provides gentle and effective support for women’s wellness and is thought to be beneficial for reducing menstrual cramps, uterine abnormalities as well as increasing fertility. It is also thought to be supportive in achieving a perfect menstrual cycle, i.e. 4 days of bleeding, fresh red menses, no side effects, and a 28-30 day cycle.
In traditional medicine Yoni steams is thought to benefit the following conditions:
- Dysmenorrhea (painful periods)
- Amenorrhea (no periods)
- Menstrual complaints & irregular cycles
- Dark blood at the beginning or end of the menstrual cycle
- Postpartum and post miscarriage or post DNC
- Pelvic muscle tension, pelvic pain
- Uterine prolapse
- Ovarian Cysts, PCOS
- Increase fertility, conception preparation
- Vaginal dryness and painful intercourse
- Increase the effectiveness of IVF and IUI
- Helps to relax the vaginal canal and cervix
- Support for cervical dysplasia
Different herbal blends are used depending on the treatment purpose. At Kundalini house we have two herbal packs – one that is supposed to support your menstrual cycle and enhance fertility, while the other one is made to specifically provide support for postpartum care.
- How to steam
The herbs are placed into a bowl with hot water and steeped for a few minutes. You can either squat or kneel over the bowl, or sit on a seat above the steaming water (e.g. place the bowl into the bowl of your toilet, use a chair with a hole cut out in the middle or a commode chair – whatever you have access to). The steam should feel 100% comfortable and soothing.
Steaming is very powerful and some women only need to steam for a short amount of time in order for it to be effective. As a general rule of thumb, allow 10 to 20 minutes for the steam as well as time to rest afterwards. The best time to steam is in the evenings; a few days before and after your period.
- When not to steam
It is important to note that you should not steam for three weeks after a DNC or miscarriage and for six to eight weeks post delivery. Make sure you are not bleeding and that there is no infection!
Also avoid steams:
- During pregnancy
- After ovulation (if attempts have been made to conceive)
- During menstruation
- If you have an infection or open wounds
- If you have an IUD or another contraceptive device in place
- In extremely hot weather
- DO NOT add or use essential oils as they are too strong and may burn sensitive genital tissue.
- If you have genital piercings, take them out as the heat will cause the piercing to burn you.
Having tried it myself I found it to be it is surprisingly a very soothing, relaxing practise.
So enjoy your steam and menstrual health!
*Please note that there is no empirical research evidence to suggest that Yoni Steaming is beneficial for the conditions named above. If you are experiencing any issues related to your gynecological health, please consult your practitioner before using these products.