Lifestyle

Yup, I am Gonna Talk About Vaginal Steam Baths

Oh Lordy, y’all are gonna think I am insane. But I have already talked about eating my placenta and making sure yourΒ uterus is in the right position. Besides,Β Martha Stewart and Oprah have talked about vaginal steam baths, when I originally posted this article two years ago, and now even good ‘ole Gwyenth Paltrow is on the vag steam train, so here it goes!

Vaginal steam baths are basically a detoxing facial for your lady parts. They cleanse, tone, and nourish your cervix, uterus, and vaginal tissues. Women Β have been doing them for centuries and they are just starting to come back in fashion as women like me are starting to lift the veil and search out ancient traditional healing methods that got lost in the shuffle of the last several generations.

They are helpful for:

  • bladder and yeast infections
  • hemorrhoids
  • infertility
  • irregular and painful periods
  • uterine fibroids
  • perineal tears
  • scarring from C-sections
  • hysterectomies and laparoscopies
  • it also boosts circulation to the pelvis — which means increased oxygenation, dilation of blood vessels, and a relaxing of the pelvic floor muscles that tend to cramp or spasm before or during menstruation

They are great to do after a couple days of doing castor oil packs on your abdomen and/or after your period.

I did my first vaginal steam bath after my most recent period – my first period after my Mayan Massage training course. I also did it on the 6th day of my 7 Day Cleanse as way to add in some additional detox and relaxation to the cleanse.

First, I gathered some fresh herbs from my herb garden. You can use any kind of fresh herbs that you want. I have fennel, rosemary and parsley growing right now so that is what I used. Each herb has different medicinal properties to it, so you may want to get specific based on your specific needs. For example, use an herb like basil for its antimicrobial properties.

A good blend of herbs to try are Basil, Calendula, Oregano, Yarrow and Lemon Balm.Β 

Before cutting off any herbs from the plant, I asked permission from the plant to cut off some of its leaves to aid in my healing, said a prayer to God to have this herb help heal me, and thanked the plant for aiding in my healing.

Then I brought a pot of water to a boiling point and added the herbs. I again said a prayer and asked for God to bless the herbs and the properties of these plants to aid in my healing. In Mayan tradition, the prayers are extremely important to the actual process and without the prayers the vaginal steaming will not be helpful. I’m Catholic, so I felt called to pray to Mother Mary, and pray for her blessing and help in healing my fertility and female parts. You can pray to whomever you want to pray to.

I stirred and prayed and let the herbs infiltrate the water for about 10 minutes, then I turned off the heat and got my chair ready. I used a wooden chair with slats on the bottom so that steam could actually get to my lady parts. If you don’t have a chair with openings, you could also place the pot of water in the bottom of your toilet seat and sit on your toilet. You just want to make sure the distance between the steam on your hooha is far enough that you don’t burn yourself.

Then I put the now gently boiling pot of water and herbs underneath the chair, took off my panties and sat down with my iPad mini. You want to stay seated for 20 minutes and do something relaxing. Some women like to meditate, some like to read and just be quiet and relax.

After the steam you may notice some slight cramping or vaginal discharge. This is normal and ok. The cramping is a way for the uterus to rid itself of toxins and any blood that is stagnant and old.

I really enjoyed my first vaginal steam bath and do feel that it helped me detox and heal. Vaginal steams are now going to be integrated into my regular self care routine. Self care is so important! Whether it’s something a little far out there like a vaginal steam bath or something more main stream like a yoga class. I so hope that you will give this a try yourself and take charge of your own health and healing. Your vagina, cervix and uterus will thank you!

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  • Rachel
    May 7, 2013 at 3:42 AM

    What herbs would you recommend for infertility with the steam?

    • Stephanie
      May 7, 2013 at 4:51 AM

      I am not sure if there is one herb over another that works best for infertility, but am taking an advanced course in Mayan Massage this summer, so I will know more then. My best advice is go with your inuition. Do any herbs seem to stand at the forefront of your mind? Any herb will be helpful.

  • Sherra
    May 7, 2013 at 4:05 AM

    Well, I now consider myself quite informed! πŸ™‚ Great post M+BL! Keep ’em comin! May be trying this soon as ‘AuntFlo’ due to depart soon and she was very very rough this visit! Thanks!

    • Stephanie
      May 7, 2013 at 4:49 AM

      Glad you liked it!

  • Rachel
    May 7, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    Awesome article!! Can’t wait to try!!!

  • KimberlyAlecia
    May 16, 2013 at 8:35 PM

    Thank you for sharing this and the Mayan massage. Self care I can do! Thank you, thank you.

  • Michelle
    May 18, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    Thanks for sharing this wisdom and healing technique. We need to relearn all these mystery traditions of caring for ourselves and each other.

    Are there any contraindications that you know of?

    • Stephanie
      May 21, 2013 at 12:59 AM

      Amen! Pregnancy is the only one I know about. I take my advanced Mayan Massage training course next month, so I will learn more then and share of course!

  • Amy C
    May 19, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    I hear red clover blossoms have been used for years in the Cherokee tribes for infertility. My grandmother (100% Cherokee) told me about vaginal baths years ago and I actually remember laughing it off. After 6 years of infertility and hearing more and more about them, I’m giving it a try…hey can’t hurt right πŸ™‚

    • Stephanie
      May 21, 2013 at 12:50 AM

      That is awesome! Thanks for sharing! Many blessings to you!

  • Lisa
    May 20, 2013 at 10:43 PM

    Do you think this is safe or beneficial to do during pregnancy?

    • Stephanie
      May 21, 2013 at 12:48 AM

      I don’t think so. It is detoxifying and you don’t want to do any detoxification while pregnant, but I will double check for you.

  • Athena
    May 21, 2013 at 2:25 AM

    Essential oils recommended for infertility all have to do with cleansing candida, things like lemon, melaleuca & oregano. I know oregano oil can burn if not diluted so i would use caution on using the oil but i don’t see why you can’t throw a lemon and fresh oregano in the bath for infertility cleansing. πŸ™‚ I’m doing lots of studying on oils these days and different classes to get myself better suited for self care and family care. So I may do this using oil and using fresh and see how each goes.

  • Lauren
    May 21, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    Hi, I just had my daughter four weeks ago ( c-section ) do you think there is a certain amount of weeks after labor before doing this?! Your posts are great

    • Stephanie
      May 22, 2013 at 2:23 AM

      I might wait another two weeks, but just listen to your intuition. Congrats on the birth of your daughter!!

  • zenia
    August 2, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    Is this safe to do with an iud? Not trying for infertiliity but just to cleanse any herbs you reccomend?

    • Stephanie
      August 2, 2013 at 6:14 PM

      No, I don’t think so. I am pretty sure you need to not have an IUD in when you do this.

  • DANIELLE
    August 3, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    WHAT HERB IS USED TO TIGHTEN

    • Stephanie
      August 4, 2013 at 6:57 PM

      I am not sure specifically, I think Mugwort is the best for tightening. But if you do this regularly, it will help with tightening for sure. In other parts of the world women start doing this after about 6 to 8 weeks post partum to help them heal and tone their uterus.

  • Pat Harris
    August 5, 2013 at 6:41 AM

    Not 100% related Stephanie, but I just finished a book tonight that sounds like you’d like it – you were cracking me up, asking permission for cutting the herbs. The Hummingbird’s Daugher by Luis Urrea has a couple of traditional, herbalist healers (one of which becomes a Joan of Arc-esque icon) and I think you’d love it. I’m only half-hippie, and I loved it.

    • Stephanie
      August 6, 2013 at 1:06 PM

      Lol, I am only half a hippie. I feel ya. In some areas I am full blown hippie, but in others not so much, I drive a big ole SUV and shave my pits. πŸ™‚
      But that book does sound awesome, I will have to read it soon, thanks!

  • Cristy
    September 4, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    Epsom salts in the bath or a sitz bath is also a great way to help many of these issues.

  • Donna
    September 4, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    I PCOS Ploycystic Ovary Syndrome. which means I have rough and long periods. I once had a period for 30 days and then go six months or more without a period. Do you think I would benefit from this? I would like to give it a try.

    • Stephanie
      September 4, 2013 at 9:55 PM

      Um, YES!!! Read my other uterus posts too!

  • Alison
    September 4, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    While the concept of a vaginal steam bath seems awesome……I would find it VERY hard to take the time to talk the herbs before harvest, talk to “god” before I touch the plants in the earth and then the long process after of prepping and bathing. I am proud of myself for just brushing my teeth each day and putting a pair of clean underwear on! With two toddlers the idea of vaginal steaming is NOT one bit of practical and sort of comical! But I guess we all could dream…..or hire a nanny while we cleanse ourselves!

    • Stephanie
      September 4, 2013 at 9:53 PM

      It takes two seconds to pray. I pray all day long. I do my self care whether it is a detox bath, yoga, meditation, journaling, vaginal steam baths, at night after my daughter is in bed. I would never do a vaginal steam bath in front of my toddler. Now that is comical. πŸ™‚

  • Tina
    September 5, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    What is the best herb to use for hemorrhoids?

    • Stephanie
      September 6, 2013 at 5:59 PM

      Mugwort and Wormwood.

  • Maria
    September 25, 2013 at 1:51 AM

    I love this post and would love it if you provided a list of herbs and what they can do for you

    • Stephanie
      September 25, 2013 at 7:53 PM

      Thanks Maria. I will add that to the post to do/coming soon pile. πŸ™‚

  • Roemary
    October 14, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    Am a mother of 4 kids,my last baby is 1+ 6 months,can vaginal steam bath help 2 tighten my vagina?

    • Stephanie
      October 15, 2013 at 12:30 AM

      YES! Women in Asia do this for this reason and this reason only. They just want to be tight for their man. Which is insane to me, I don’t do anything just for a man! But it is a nice extra benefit if you are interest in that. πŸ˜‰

  • Jess
    October 20, 2013 at 6:13 AM

    Any updates? Did it help in getting pregnant?

    • Stephanie
      October 21, 2013 at 3:52 PM

      Hey Jess! Thanks for asking. I am still working on getting ready, so we have not officially begun to try yet. But I will keep everyone posted for sure. I do however believe everything I mention in my fertiliy posts will help.

  • Nicole
    October 23, 2013 at 2:52 AM

    Hi. I have been battling interstitial cystitis for months now and traditional medicine is bringing no relief. Do you think I would benefit? My IC has recently brought on vulvodynia as well so I am desperate for any type of relief. Any recommended herbs? PS. I love your site!

    • Stephanie
      October 23, 2013 at 7:51 PM

      Yes, you would find this helpful. As well as mayan massage! Is there a practitioner in your area?

  • Serenity
    November 20, 2013 at 4:08 AM

    As a Haitian woman I can contest to these, we do this after childbirth and your period. African and guyanese women do this too. This has been our culture for centuries, its not crazy, its very natural and cures your body.I had horrible cramps and this cure it. It keeps your vagina tight and fresh.One thing I will suggest once the water cools, wash your vagina with the herb water. We use mint/peppermint/ginger. You will feel so different. Lighter periods too!

    • Stephanie
      November 20, 2013 at 6:25 PM

      Awesome, thanks so much for sharing! Yes, my periods have been much lighter, since I started doing the abdominal massage combined with the vaginal steam baths.

  • leila
    December 19, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    Hi! I love your site.
    I would like to try this. I have a warm mist humidifier. Do you think that would work? It has a place where you can put essential oils that will disperse in the mist, i wonder what oils would be good?

    thank you

    • Stephanie
      December 19, 2013 at 7:14 PM

      No, you can’t use oils, only herbs.

  • Shenigirl
    January 17, 2014 at 6:38 AM

    Great info. Could you please list herbs to help with healing a prolapse uterus. I have been trying to find a remedy for 8 years. Thank you

    • Stephanie
      January 17, 2014 at 3:10 PM

      I am not sure of specific herbs, but I do know that an actual Mayan Massage treatment will correct a prolapse. Look at the uterus posts I wrote and click on the link where I say you can find a practioner in your area here.

  • Rose
    March 14, 2014 at 1:03 AM

    Is this safe during breastfeeding? Can dried herbs be used in winter? I had 2 natural miscarriages in the past year. One of which was a blighted ovum (no baby ever formed, just the sac and placenta) that I carried for 12 weeks. Then a “real” miscarriage at 8 weeks. My uterus needs some attention! Thank you for all these posts

    • Stephanie
      March 24, 2014 at 2:18 PM

      Yes! You will detox a bit, but it will all come out from your pelvis and you will either pee it out or get increased mucus..so its not like the toxins are going into your blood stream and in your breastmilk. Go to ArvigoTherapy.com and try to find a practioner in your area. The self care stuff I write about is super important but if you have major healing to do, you should go get a session. It’s so relaxing and incredible effective. If you are in Florida, come see me!

  • Mariah
    September 6, 2014 at 3:57 AM

    i cant wait to try this ! but i wonder … is there any way we can use fruits too ? to add a scent i gues… i read that we shouldnt use essential oils, so could we possibly throw a orange slice or apple maybe into boiling pot ?

    • Stephanie
      September 8, 2014 at 10:07 AM

      I guess you could if you really wanted to!

  • Zuli
    September 16, 2014 at 2:26 PM

    Hi, I was recently searching all over to find some good methods for cleansing away like bad odors and tightening and ran into this post. I have an IUD (I seen you already answered this) I’m just so curious why isn’t it a good idea?

    • Stephanie
      September 16, 2014 at 4:03 PM

      Girl, that is a post in an of itself. I will write it one day I promise. πŸ™‚

  • Mar
    October 2, 2014 at 7:26 PM

    Hi, I love this site… Great way to heal naturally… I would like to know what herbs are good to use for fertility problems, I all about herbs… I am trying to conceive after 10 years (my son is 10 years old)… Had a miscarriage (blighted ovum) last year…

    • Stephanie
      October 8, 2014 at 12:11 PM

      Oh yes, herbs are very helpful for that. Check out my female tonic on my shop page. Plants are so healing!

  • Erika
    January 30, 2015 at 4:58 PM

    I’ve been seeing a homeopath for some feminine issues, and may incorporate this as well.

    To me this doesn’t sound crazy, more like “duh, well that makes sense!” πŸ™‚

    • Stephanie
      February 4, 2015 at 6:38 PM

      Well, you sound pretty smart! Best of luck with your healing!

  • monica
    February 21, 2015 at 2:39 AM

    Hi stephanie. I really enjoy your blog as a mother of 6 month baby πŸ™‚ This would be my first comment to your blog.
    I am currently living in South Korea and vaginal steam bath is pretty common in here.Main herd, we use here, is mugwort. I often did vaginal steam bath after a natural delivery and it made the vaginal recovery faster. Thanks for the wonderful post!

    • Stephanie
      February 22, 2015 at 10:44 AM

      Hi Monica! Yes, that is what I have heard! In fact, I have really been interesting in trying to buy one of the Korean style steamers! It looks like it would be so much eaiser than boiling water on the stove and tranfering to a chair with slats or holes!

      • monica
        February 25, 2015 at 9:26 AM

        Korean people usually go to the private hot sauna place to do this or do it at home with the portable steamer. Yes, I am sure it would be easier to use the machine instead of doing it manually. I don’t own it for myself but it seems like many people use the steamer by the brand name unix. The price is about $100 but I’m not sure if they do the international delivery. I hope this helps πŸ™‚

  • Heather
    March 9, 2015 at 2:45 PM

    Hi Stephanie,
    I did my first vaginal steam last month after my period ended. This month, I have a lot of dark blood and LARGE clots. I have looked everywhere on the internet and the most common explanation is “old blood in the membrane of the uterus,” without offering any more details. Do you have any additional information on the cause of this dark blood and large clots? Are there any books or resources you would recommend?
    Thank you so much for your time!

    • Stephanie
      March 10, 2015 at 10:44 AM

      Good for you Heather! That is a great sign that your uterine lining is beginning the healing process! It can also be a mix of old blood, and cellular debris (which can be a mix of all sorts of things, residual hormones, chemicals that get into the blood stream, scar tissue, etc).

  • Jessica
    April 8, 2015 at 10:54 AM

    So, I am suspected to have PCOS, my husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for years. My periods are so weird. Sometimes I have them and sometimes I don’t, Like right now, I havent had my period in a while and I kind of suspected I was pregnant because I have sore breasts, I have been extremely fatigue and my eating has increased. But I took a test, and negative. I need help! I want to get pregnant! So what herbs would be good for infertility? I’d love to try a mixture for infertility and for relaxation. I am always stressed. :/

    • Stephanie
      April 12, 2015 at 2:26 PM

      Hi Jessica. So sorry to hear you have been struggling for years-you will be in my thoughts and prayers.
      I would search supplements for hormones in my site and pull up my article on the herbs and supplements for fertility that I recommend.

  • Livia H
    May 23, 2015 at 7:01 PM

    **Mind blown!** Very interesting article. I’m excited to try this! Sharing with a friend that is having infertility problems. xx

  • Felicia Tisdale
    August 6, 2015 at 9:58 AM

    Hello, I have endometriosis and have very painful and long menstrual cycles. Is there any specific herbs you recommend?

    • Stephanie
      August 6, 2015 at 9:02 PM

      The blend of herbs in Female Tonic. I am out of stock right now but if you go to ArvigoTherapy.com and search for herbs, you can buy the herbs in bulk and make your own tinctures or buy from another practitioner who makes them.

  • Carolyn
    April 21, 2016 at 9:21 AM

    I love doing steam baths, so relaxing and reinvigorating! I’m really looking forward to doing them again after a break during my pregnancy! I have a blend of postpartum herbs that I plan to use once I get the go ahead from my midwife.

  • Rushdha
    July 25, 2016 at 12:14 AM

    HI. … I am TTC for last 4 yrs . Since every month I am trying so can’t take vaginal steam before period.so shall I do after period ends or during itself will help? How many times shall I do? Please help.