Maya Khamala is a Montreal-based poet, (copy)writer, editor, and fire-starter interested in all things erotic. She has been a writer at Karma Tantric magazine for some time, exploring some fascinating and informative topics. Connect with her on social channels for more information. | 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 favor.
Given that the list of pesky symptoms, chronic conditions, and major upsets affecting the vaginal area and reproductive system is long and harrowing (and western medicine often lacks satisfactory answers), it’s only natural that people are turning to yoni steaming for more effective and empowering results. But what is a yoni steam, anyway?
What is vaginal 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 vagina in order to help heal and balance a variety of health and wellness issues. This vaginal steam treatment is actually an ancient therapy respected by healers worldwide. Thankfully, today, yoni steaming is becoming more recognized as an opportunity to reconnect with the body and regularize 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.
Benefits of yoni steaming
Yoni steaming is used as a natural remedy for addressing issues associated with the vagina, uterus, and the entire reproductive tract. The tangible, recognized benefits of steaming your vagina include the following:
Yoni steaming can significantly reduce general pain, cramping, bloating, and exhaustion associated with menstruation or other parts of your monthly cycle.
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.
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.
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 hemorrhoids
The anus being in very close proximity to the vagina means that the painful, oftentimes disturbing issue known as hemorrhoids can also benefit from a steamy healing session.
Does vaginal steaming actually work?
Let’s face it. Ever since Gwyneth Paltrow’s endorsement of yoni steaming, the 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. All told, I like the sound of a 30-minute treatment addressing the majority of life’s problems, and naturally, so do lots of other women with problems.
And yet—the medical community has a long and colorful reputation of casting the yoni steam in a negative light, just as it does most natural or “alternative” or DIY therapies. While it is true that there is no scientific research to prove whether vaginal steaming is effective or safe, the same can be said for many natural therapies (most of which do not have adequate research funding—largely because they’re “alternative”). Meanwhile, mountains of helpful anecdotal evidence is often dismissed as irrelevant. Typical mainstream opponents of yoni steaming maintain that the vagina is self cleansing and is therefore not meant to be steam cleaned. However, by this logic, the human body always does what it was made to do and never needs additional support.
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 recognized by the medical community needs to be done.
Personally, I know at least 3 highly badass, competent, well-studied women who run yoni steaming practices of their own and a whole lot of other women who have nothing but positive things to say about them. In fact, one of my closest friends recently told me that her favorite thing about her yoni steaming experience was its ability to simply relax the muscles of her vagina and vulva in a way that she had never experienced before. The result: she felt light and happy. As for myself, I have an appointment next week!
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.
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.
What yoni steam herbs and ingredients should you use and why?
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 some of the best herbs for vaginal steaming:
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.
How to safely do yoni steaming at home
While it can be exciting and empowering to plan a DIY yoni steam session from the comfort of your own home, be sure to 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.
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.
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.
Improve your vagina health with yoni massage
While there are many invaluable and incredible benefits to yoni steaming, as with any treatment, it may or may not be the best idea for your yoni. Trying it out a reputed spa may be the best route if you’ve never tried it and want a safe, controlled environment and an assurance that you’ll avoid any yoni steam side effects. Also, consider the added benefits of integrating yoni massage methods into your vaginal health routine too. To learn more, check out Karma Tantric’s Ultimate Yoni Guide here.