Does This Ancient Practice Really Heal…Down There?
Thousands of years ago, well before "the West" read: Gweneth Paltrow came to know about it, women in various cultures across the world, steeped well-curated herbs in a pot of hot water and essentially made a tea of the lot. They placed the "tea" in a vessel that could be sat upon, created a sort of tent situation with blankets over their laps and legs and let the herbs and steam work its magic on their nether region.
This practice was called all sorts of things, but here in the US it's called Vaginal Steaming, V-Steam or V-Tox. The more "traditional" name for the practice is Yoni steaming. Yoni, btw "is a Sanskrit word that means “source,” “sacred place,” “womb,” and “vagina.” It originates from an ancient description of the divine feminine and source of life." According to Make & Mary's website.
What is a Yoni Steam?
Make & Mary's further points out that,
Yoni steaming is a practice and ritual that honors this source and physical “womb” through herbal steaming. Its roots reach back to ancient China and Mayan culture, where one would sit over an herbal steam bath, and vapors would cleanse and support the external vaginal areas. The experience nurtures the sacred site by soothing and unblocking physical and/or emotional trauma that may be present. Women were also inspired to yoni steam to unlock the magic of the womb and divine feminine within.
Which Sounds Incredibly WuWu, Except That it's Not.
There are some debates amongst traditional western medical professionals and "alternative" medicine practitioners about the efficacy of yoni steams. The weird truth is that Western medicine is oft skeptical about ancient/homeopathic/global practices it doesn't yet understand. You can read the study WHO compiled about global vaginal practices, including vaginal steaming here.
According to midwife and herbalist Maria Chow of Birth Song Botanicals,
Potential Benefits of Vaginal Steaming:
- Regulate irregular menstrual cycles, reduce painful periods, bloating and exhaustion associated with menstruation
- Decrease menstrual flow as well as reduce dark purple or brown blood at the onset of menses
- May promote fertility
- Postpartum recovery by aiding in the repair of vaginal tears, episiotomy, or C-section scars
- Pain with intercourse
- Heal from emotional or sexual trauma
- Reduce uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts PCOS, uterine weakness and prolapse, & endometriosis.
- Assist with the healing of hemorrhoids
- Relieve chronic yeast infections and UTI's
- Ease menopausal symptoms including dryness or pain during intercourse
- Detoxify the womb and remove toxins from the body
- Release stored emotions
- Stronger & more frequent orgasms
- Tap into our creative potential, art, projects, service and soul work
- Increase libido & reignite sensual passion
- Deepen connection to your feminine essence
Are There Risks with V-Steaming?
For the record, Medical News Today reports that, "Currently, there are no scientific studies that prove these purported benefits. However, some people say it works by enhancing blood flow to the vaginal tissues, which can promote healing." And "The primary safety concern is that the steam could burn the sensitive vaginal tissues if it is too hot."
Note: As with all things that deal with your body, please do your research and consult with a trained professional before starting any new treatment.
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