Erica is the Editor of Karma Tantric Magazine and expert in all things Tantra & Tantric Massage. She specialises in helping men, women and couples unleash their sexual potential through her tantra teachings. | Read More
Even though the yoni stands firm at the centre of so many of life’s main events, from menstruation, to ovulation, sex, and childbirth, we sometimes take it for granted, forgetting that it needs love and nurturing to work in our favour.
Given the list of women’s health conditions and major upsets affecting the vaginal area and our reproductive health – with western medicine often lacking satisfactory answers, it’s only natural that people turn to alternative therapies and the ancient practice of yoni steaming and yoni massage, for more effective and empowering results.
That’s right, you may recall the backlash founder of modern lifestyle brand Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow, received when she advocated yoni steaming. But the healing experience of yoni steaming is very real. It’s just so few people actually understand this ancient ritual, so, just what is a yoni steam anyway?
What is vaginal steaming or yoni steaming?
Yoni steaming, also known as vaginal steaming, is a practice in which a woman allows the warmth of herbal steam to waft upward against the exterior of her vulva and into her vaginal canal in order to help heal and balance a variety of sexual health and wellness issues.
In ancient times, in various cultures in Africa, Asia, and Central America, vaginal steaming was deeply ingrained in the fabric of these societies. It was viewed as a sacred and holistic approach to women’s well-being. These ancient cultures regarded the female body as a vessel of life and thus, the care and attention given to it were held in high regard.
Throughout history, vaginal steaming was not only a physical act but also an opportunity for women to connect with their bodies and embrace their femininity. The benefits of yoni steam included fostering a sense of community and support among women, as they would gather together to partake in this ancient ritual.
Today, yoni steaming is becoming more recognised as an opportunity to reconnect with your body and regulate menstrual cycles. While some spas offer vaginal steaming services, it can be pricey, and DIY home practices are totally doable with the right tools and preparation.
Vaginal steaming benefits
Yoni steaming is used as a natural remedy for addressing issues associated with the female genitalia, namely your vagina, uterus, and the entire reproductive tract. The tangible, recognised benefits of steaming your vagina include the following:
- Aids in menstrual health
Vaginal steaming is believed to alleviate menstrual discomfort and irregularities. The combination of heat and herbal properties can help relax the pelvic muscles and promote healthy menstrual flow.
- Eases menopausal symptoms
Women experiencing menopause may find relief from symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness through vaginal steaming.
- Pain reduction
Yoni steaming can significantly reduce general pain, cramping, bloating, and exhaustion associated with menstruation or other parts of your monthly cycle.
- Hormone balancing
A yoni steaming practice can help balance hormones, regulating irregular, too-heavy, too-light, or absent menstrual cycles, as well as addressing fertility issues and ease symptoms of menopause like dryness or pain during sex.
- Uterine health
You can use yoni steaming to detoxify your womb, reduce uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, uterine weakness, uterine prolapse, and endometriosis—to name a few.
- Relieves chronic infections
Many find a yoni steam for yeast infections is an effective way to treat the often chronic condition, as well as help maintain a healthy odor and discharge more generally.
- Postpartum healing
Many women do yoni steams to accelerate healing and tone their reproductive systems after birth, or help heal a vaginal tear, an episiotomy, or a C-section scar.
- Helps heal haemorrhoids
The anus being in very close proximity to the vagina means that the painful, oftentimes disturbing issue known as haemorrhoids can also benefit from a steamy healing session.
- Enhances emotional well-being
The practice of vaginal steaming resulting in a healthy vagina is often accompanied by a sense of relaxation and grounding, which can improve emotional well-being.
- Alleviates stress and anxiety
The calming effect of the steam and the ritualistic aspect of vaginal steaming can help reduce stress and anxiety levels.
Does vaginal steaming actually work?
Ever since Gwyneth Paltrow’s endorsement of yoni steaming, the popularity of this age-old practice has grown exponentially. Now, vaginal steaming is being hailed as the holy grail of self-care acts and yoni steam benefits as modern-day magic.
And yet—the medical community has a long and colourful reputation of casting the yoni steam in a negative light, just as it does most natural or alternative therapies.
Typical mainstream opponents of yoni steaming maintain that the vagina is self cleansing and is therefore not meant to endure a steam cleaning. However, by this logic, the human body always does what it was made to do and never needs additional support.
While it is true that there is no scientific research to verify whether vaginal steaming is effective, mountains of helpful anecdotal evidence exist to the contrary.
Goop’s yoni steam ingredients
The yoni steam herb used on Paltrow’s yoni was mugwort, typically used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a range of reproductive system problems. A look at several systematic reviews of mugwort found it can help correcting breech pregnancies, but more research (officially recognised by the medical community) needs to be done.
How to perform vaginal steaming safely
1. Yoni steaming precautions for safety
Avoid yoni steaming if you’re pregnant or if trying to conceive. Or—speak with a licensed practitioner on how to best proceed if you’re interested in a yoni steam for fertility.
It’s best to quite literally go with your flow and avoid steaming during your period, opting instead for sessions before and after you menstruate.
Avoid yoni steaming if you have an IUD (intrauterine device), as the possible interactions between herbal steam and IUD devices is not understood and may cause adverse reactions.
While vaginal steaming is generally safe, it’s smart to avoid doing a yoni steam if there is excess heat in your body due to fever, hot flashes, or night sweats.
- Essential oils
Refrain from using essential oils in your steams, as they are typically too harsh for the vagina. Stick with dried or fresh herbs.
Always speak with a midwife and/or holistic practitioner if you want to steam postpartum, are working to heal severe hormonal issues or infertility, or if you experience side effects like discharge, cramps, or spotting after your yoni steam.
2. Choosing the right yoni steam herbs and ingredients
All vaginal steam herbs have unique qualities that make them beneficial for different reasons. Some are drying and others are hydrating. Some shorten your cycle, while others can lengthen it. Sometimes, using an herbal blend can be more effective because many blends are created with total balance in mind—but, ultimately the herb(s) you choose will depend on your specific needs.
The following yoni steam ingredients are offer some of the best vaginal steam benefits:
Motherwort & Calendula
Good for cleansing and supporting the body’s natural ability to release old uterine lining, motherwort and calendula are well-suited to balancing out long cycles with heavy periods and lots of clotting.
Nettle & Raspberry Leaf
After each period your body needs to replenish, post blood loss. Nettle and raspberry leaf aid in blood building, restoring vital nutrients to your body, and supporting your body’s ability to create new blood cells. They also make wonderful teas!
Hibiscus & Lemon Balm
Most of us take for granted how much water our bodies really need to function optimally, as well as how many things we do dehydrate us daily! Hibiscus and lemon balm are kidney tonics which support the body’s ability to properly recycle fluids so you can stay naturally lubricated.
Lavender & Sage
The vagina has its own microbiome, made up of colonies of friendly bacteria that live in harmony with you. If these bacteria become unbalanced (often stemming from an issue with gut health), lavender and sage are disinfecting herbs certain herbs that can help restore harmony.
Yarrow & Shepherd’s Purse
Short cycles and spontaneous bleeding are signs of uterine fatigue and can be supported by steaming with Yarrow and Shepherd’s Purse, both antihemorrhagic herbs. However, a pre-formulated herbal blend containing said herbs may be a better way to go to ensure proper proportions.
Oya’s Paradise: Yoni Steam Herbs Blended w/Healing Energy
This powerful 40-herb blend is great for detoxification, relaxation, and regulating feminine. Specifically blended to naturally help achieve optimal yoni health and alleviate painful bouts of periods and menstruation issues.
Female Rituals: Calming Therapy Yoni Steam Herbs
This mix of herbs and flowers is formulated to help prevent menstrual cramps, increase fertility, and reduce uterine abnormalities. Made from 100% fresh and herbs and smells wonderfully rich and aromatic.
3. The steaming process: how to safely yoni steam at home
While it can be exciting and empowering to plan a DIY yoni steam session from the comfort of your own home, heed the precautions mentioned above, and carefully adhere to the following steps when doing a yoni steam at home for the very first time.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to steam your vagina:
- Claim your throne
You need a comfortable chair or stool with a hole in the seat so the steam source can sit below and waft upwards. See our recommended yoni steam seats below.
Recommended Yoni Steam Seats & Chairs
- Budget option: Bath Hip Bath Tub Kit by She-love
This easy-to-use plastic yoni steam seat can be snapped onto your favorite soon-to-be vaginal steam stool or even your toilet, while holding your chosen yoni steaming mix just below for convenient use. Especially well-suited to those with hemorrhoids.
- Mid-range option: Portable Yoni Vaginal Steam Seat Stool Box by herBotanics
This wooden yoni steam seat is comfortable, durable, and sealed against water damage with linseed oil. It also happens to be small enough to be portable so you can easily move it from room to room or even travel with it.
- High-range option: Vaginal Yoni V Steam Sauna Steamer Seat Box by Kitara Love
Made from lovely red cedar and birch and finished with tung oil, this beautiful yoni steam chair is also equipped to handle longer or advanced steam using a burner. Additionally, side grip handles make for easy mobility.
- Budget option: Bath Hip Bath Tub Kit by She-love
- Herbalise it
Add a cup full of your chosen yoni steam herbs to a pot of hot water. Simmer (not boil) the herbs for 10 minutes with the lid on.
- Let it sink in
Let your mix cool and steep for 1-5 minutes. Then, pour it into a heat-safe bowl/basin and place it under your holy seat.
- Disrobe with delight
While some prefer to be naked, you only need to undress from the waist down to expose yourself to the magic.
- Take it in
Sit on your chosen seat for 20-30 minutes. Some prefer to place their basin in the toilet. Maybe this is when you try meditation!
- Keep it under wraps
Once sitting, wrap a large, comfy towel around your waist and legs to prevent the potent steam from escaping your DIY setup.
- Claim your throne
4. Duration and frequency
The duration of a vaginal steaming session typically ranges from 20 to 45 minutes. However, the exact length of time can vary depending on personal preference and comfort level. Some women may find that a shorter session of 20 minutes is sufficient, while others might prefer a longer session of up to 45 minutes for a more intense experience.
During the steaming process, the herbal steam gently permeates the vaginal area, providing warmth and relaxation. Pay attention to your body’s cues during the session; if you start to feel uncomfortable or overheated, discontinue the steam and allow your body to cool down.
Frequency of vaginal steaming sessions
The frequency of vaginal steaming sessions can vary based on individual needs and health conditions. For general well-being and maintenance, some women choose to steam once a month. However, others may opt for more frequent sessions, such as once a week, to address specific concerns.
Women who experience irregular menstrual cycles, menstrual pain, or other reproductive health issues may benefit from more frequent steaming sessions. In such cases, steaming two to three times a month might be beneficial.
On the other hand, for women with sensitive skin or those who are new to vaginal steaming, starting with one session every few months and gradually increasing the frequency can be a more gentle approach.
What is a Yoni Steam Massage?
A Yoni steam massage, also known simply as yoni massage, is a practice that’s often confused with traditional vaginal steaming. While both practices involve the use of herbal steam for women’s health, they are distinct in their approach and intended benefits.
How Yoni Steam Massage differs from vaginal steaming
Vaginal steaming, as discussed earlier, is a traditional healing practice that involves sitting over a pot of steaming water infused with healing herbs. The primary goal of traditional vaginal steaming is to provide warmth and promote the absorption of herbal properties through the skin in the vaginal area.
On the other hand, a yoni steam massage is a more intimate and hands-on practice that involves the external application of herbal steam to the yoni or the entire external genital area. Unlike traditional vaginal steaming, yoni steam massage is a form of therapeutic bodywork where a trained practitioner performs the massage using a combination of steaming and gentle massaging techniques.
The goal of yoni steam massage is to provide not only the benefits of herbal steam but also the therapeutic effects of gentle touch and massage. This practice is designed to create a sense of relaxation, release tension, and promote energetic balance in the pelvic area.
Yoni Steam Massage benefits
- Improved circulation: The gentle application of herbal steam to the yoni area can improve blood circulation in the pelvic region, promoting better oxygen and nutrient supply to the reproductive organs, potentially supporting overall reproductive health.
- Relief from menstrual discomfort: Yoni steam massage can help ease menstrual cramps and discomfort. The combination of herbal steam and therapeutic touch helps relax tense muscles and reduce the intensity of menstrual pain.
- Stress reduction: The soothing effects of yoni steam massage can reduce stress levels in the body. As stress hormones decrease, the body’s natural healing abilities may be better supported.
- Hormonal balance: Regular yoni steam massage sessions may help promote hormonal balance, potentially benefiting women experiencing hormonal fluctuations during their menstrual cycle or menopause.
- Enhanced sensation and pleasure: Some women report heightened sensitivity and increased sexual pleasure following yoni steam massage. The release of tension in the pelvic area can contribute to a more pleasurable sexual experience.
- Relaxation and emotional release: Yoni steam massage provides a safe space for emotional release and relaxation. The therapeutic touch and the warmth of herbal steam can create a nurturing environment, allowing emotions to surface and be acknowledged.
- Body positivity and empowerment: Engaging in yoni steam massage encourages women to embrace and celebrate their bodies. The practice fosters body positivity and self-empowerment, promoting a deeper connection with one’s femininity.
- Increased self-awareness: Through the practice of yoni steam massage, women can develop a heightened sense of self-awareness. This process of self-discovery can lead to a greater understanding of personal needs and desires.
- Stress relief: Emotional stress and tension can manifest in the body. Yoni steam massage’s ability to release physical tension can have a positive impact on emotional well-being by providing a sense of relief and relaxation.
- Cathartic experience: For some women, yoni steam massage can be a cathartic experience that allows them to process and release emotional blocks or traumas stored in the pelvic region.
- Sacred connection: Yoni steam massage is often considered a sacred practice that honours the divine feminine. Engaging in this ritual can foster a deeper connection with one’s spirituality and sense of purpose.
- Inner transformation: Yoni steam massage has the potential to initiate inner transformation and personal growth. By connecting with the spiritual essence of the yoni, women may experience profound shifts in their perspectives and life journey.
How to perform a Yoni Steam Massage
Yoni steam massage is a sacred and nurturing practice that requires careful attention to detail and the creation of a soothing atmosphere. From setting the right ambiance to post-massage self-care, each step plays a crucial role in providing a deeply relaxing and beneficial experience.
Setting the right ambiance
- Find a quiet and private space: Choose a quiet and private area where you can perform the yoni steam massage without interruptions. Creating a serene and comfortable environment will enable you to relax.
- Dim lighting and soft music: Dim the lights and play soft, calming music to set a tranquil ambiance. This will help you feel more at ease and enhance the overall experience.
- Comfortable seating arrangement: Use a low stool or cushioned chair, where you can comfortably sit or squat over the steaming bowl.
- Use aromatherapy: Consider using aromatherapy to enhance the atmosphere. Scents like lavender, rose, or chamomile can promote relaxation and elevate the sensory experience.
Preparing the steam blend
- Selecting the herbs: Choose a selection of herbs that align with your needs and preferences. Commonly used herbs for yoni steam massage include rosemary, lavender, chamomile, and calendula.
- Creating the steam blend: In a large pot, combine the selected herbs and add water. Allow the herbs to simmer for a few minutes, releasing their therapeutic properties into the steam.
- Testing the temperature: Test the steam’s temperature to ensure it is comfortably warm, not too hot or scalding. The ideal temperature should be soothing and relaxing for you.
The Yoni Massage technique
- Begin with breathing exercises: Take deep breaths and relax before starting the massage. Deep breathing can help release tension and create a sense of calm.
- External application of steam: Gently guide the warm steam towards the yoni area, ensuring that it does not come into direct contact with the skin. Sit over the pot and absorb the herbal steam for about 10-15 minutes.
- Introduce gentle massage techniques: After the steaming session, start the gentle yoni massage. Use your fingertips to apply light pressure in circular motions on the lower abdomen and to the vaginal tissue around the yoni area. The intention is to promote relaxation and release any tension in the pelvic region.
Post massage self-care
- Hydration: Drink plenty of water after the yoni steam massage to support your body’s natural detoxification process.
- Rest and relaxation: Take time to rest and relax after the massage. This will allow you to fully integrate the benefits of the practice.
- Journaling: Journal about your experience if you feel inclined. Writing down thoughts and emotions can further the self-exploration process.
- Warm bath: A warm bath with Epsom salts or essential oils can complement the post-massage self-care routine and promote additional relaxation.
Vaginal steaming and yoni steam massage offer women an opportunity to connect with their bodies and embrace holistic well-being. A yoni massage is something you can do yourself at home, or with a partner, but if you’re unsure how to do it, or you would like to experience the ultimate sexual release at the hands of a trained professional masseuse, book a Yoni massage with Karma Tantric today.