Frequently Asked Questions about Yoni Steam Bathing
What does the word "yoni" mean?
The word yoni describes the women's reproductive system in its entirety and comes from a Sanskrit word meaning "vagina", "womb" and "origin of life".
Are yoni steam baths good for everyone?
Nope! Women who are pregnant or think they may be pregnant, should definitely NOT do a yoni steam bath. The medicinal properties of the herbs can cause a fluctuation in hormones and can cause the uterus to contract which could be detrimental to the growing baby. Steaming also not recommended for women who have an Intrauterine Device (IUD), or women who have any type of internal infection (cervical, uterine or ovarian inflammation), or a fever. Once the symptoms of infection has passed, women can begin steaming. Women also should not steam while menstruating or when open sores or blisters are present.
Why isn't it recommeded that women with an IUD do an yoni steam?
The reason that vaginal steaming is not recommended for women with an IUD is because the properties of the herbs can be so powerful that they can cause the uterine tissue to shed or contract in such a way that it could dislodge, shift or expel an IUD.
What herbs will you use in the yoni steam bath and why?
Mugwort: In addition to fighting infection through its antibiotic and anti-fungal properties, mugwort balances female hormones and stimulates the production of hormones that help to maintain uterine health as well as protect the uterus from things such as ulcers and tumors. Mugwort steam opens the pores, allowing the beneficial herbs to penetrate into the blood stream. In addition, mugwort helps to stimulate menstrual discharge and ease cramping.
Rosemary: An aromatic and antimicrobial herb, rosemary treats bacterial infection, speeds wound healing, inhibits yeast growth, and stimulates menstruation.
Lavender: One of the most relaxing herbs we have, lavender supports healing, and it also promotes menstrual flow.
Yarrow: Astringent, tonifying and cleansing, yarrow is great for regulating menstrual flow, treating ovarian cysts and supporting overall uterine health.
Partridgeberry: Revered as a wonderful herb for the female reproductive system, partridge berry treats infertility, regulates menstrual cycles and helps decrease severe menstrual pain.
Motherwort: Astringent, tonifying and cleansing, motherwort strengthens and relaxes uterine muscles, eases uterine cramping, and may help treat uterine fibroids. Motherwort stimulates uterine tone and blood flow.
Calendula Flower: Aids in healing of scar tissue, vaginal tears, or hemorrhoids.
Comfrey Root: stregthens uterus and pelvic floor
Rose: A relaxing, uplifting and astringent herb that is wonderful for pampering.
What should I expect after doing the steam?
It is likely that steaming will change the course of your menses. There is often a great deal of material that is "encrusted" or "left behind" inside of your womb, which is expelled after doing the yoni steam. The herbs have a powerful effect on the uterus -- cleansing and toning what needs to be healed. Sometimes this means your flow will change and instead of being light, it will be very heavy, dark and thick. For other women, it may just extend the length of their period. Ultimately, after doing several treatments, your following cycles will be much more consistent, and you'll feel relaxed, rejuvinated, and revitilized. Emotionally, you'll feel your body letting go of past traumas, and you'll feel more connected to your body than ever before.
Does yoni steaming really work?
Modern science would likley say no. However, yoni steaming is a remedy that has been passed on from generation to generation. Women in ancient cultures have shared success stories among one another, and they are just now beginning to be shared with us. I highly recommed reading Red Tent to learn more about the sacred beauty of woman-hood.
How often should I do a yoni steam?
As part of an overall self-care regime, I would recommend that women steam two to three times per month, always during weeks in which you are not menstruating. Women who suffer from pain, bloating or exhaustion during menstruation should steam two to three times within the week before menstruation. Women who are experiencing fertility challenges should steam once per week, and maybe twice during pre-ovulation, to make sure that the tissue is moist and that the cervical fluids are clear and copious. Expect to steam for three months before seeing full results. For the postpartum, a yoni steam may be done three times per week for four weeks to facilitate healing and toning of the uterus and vagina (please be sure there are no open wounds and that you are no longer bleeding). Women who are experiencing or who have passed menopause should steam at least three times per year for maintenance, but may steam more often if it feels right. For chronic challenges, you may want to steam up to three times per week to ensure the greatest results.
When is the best time of the month to steam?
You can steam at any time of the month, as long as you are not menstruating. It is typically recommended that for treating menstrual pain, you do you at least two vaginal steams in the week leading up to your period. After doing so, you will likely see a change in the fluid you pass when your period begins. You may also steam once after your cycle ends, to clear out any excess materials.
How long after birth should I wait to steam?
We recommend waiting at least a week after giving birth, just to give your body some time to heal on its own before introducing the warm steam. Obviously, in cases of extreme bleeding or hemorrhaging, a yoni steam would be contraindicated. There is not a point at which it is too late, as you will receive the benefits any time you decide to steam. Women who choose to do their first steam 4 or more months after giving birth often report getting their first cycle, even while still breastfeeding.
I am struggling with infertility. Can yoni steaming help?
Yes! Ancient Maya healer, Dr. Rosita Arvigo, shares how vaginal steaming is beneficial for women who are trying to conceive. According to Dr. Arvigo, there may be many reasons for infertility, but one of those reasons is induration of the uterine wall. When we combine vaginal steaming with abdominal massage therapy such as, The Shared Journey Fertility Program, we have a very dynamic approach in which we will see great results. Women who are trying to conceive should steam at least once per week, other than when menstruating, for three months before expecting to see results. After vaginal steaming and the abdominal massage treatments, a woman may fall pregnant within one to three cycles.
I have a uterine fibroid. How can vaginal steaming help me?
Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths of the uterus that develop from the smooth muscular tissue of the uterus. A vaginal steam may support this issue in that the medicinal properties of the herbs would help the uterus to shed the excess/non-essential tissue or cells, in this case the tumorous ones. Yoni steams at yinRoot contain Motherwort because this plant is thought to be especially useful for treating fibroids and polyps. The blend also contains calendula and rose, which serve to cleanse and nourish your healthy uterine tissue. The catch is that you should not steam while you are bleeding, especially while bleeding heavily, as is often the case with uterine fibroids. When you are not bleeding, you may try a vaginal steam to gently but effectively encourage the uterus to take care of itself.
How is vaginal seaming beneficial for women pre- or post menopause?
Teacher of Maya medicine Rosita Arvigo states that women who have gone through menopause should still steam at least three times per year, especially in the year after ceasing menstruation. Doing so, she says, women will still pass some dark colored dryish fluid each time. Rosita sees this as a matter of cleansing the uterus of any leftover materials, and she states, "better out than in!". Of course, this is not to imply that the woman's body is not capable of cleansing itself. Its just another opportunity to support our bodies to complete the miraculous tasks they already know how to do! Other experts, such as the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism, say that vaginal steaming can help eliminate pre- or post-menopausal symptoms such as vaginal dryness, discomfort, and pain with intercourse.
I've had a partial or total hysterectomy. Are there any benefits of vaginal steaming for me?
Yoni steaming is great for all aspects of female health, so it can definitely still be beneficial for women who have had a hysterectomy. Even though the physical uterus may have been removed, the energetic center remains and it, too, can benefit from the warmth and cleansing properties of the herbs. Steaming is also great for increasing circulation, eliminating odor and eliminating bacterial infections such as yeast infections, and bacterial vaginosis.
Can I use essential oils instead of herbs?
Essential oils should not be used in place of herbs as they are far too strong for this purpose and can cause damage. You should only use fresh or dry herbs.
Who can I talk to if I have more questions?