What are the benefits of yoni steam?

‘Yoni’ is a term used in ancient Hinduism which symbolizes the feminine life-creating regenerative and reproductive organs, as well as in the sense of “source, origin, fountain, place of birth, womb, nest, abode, and fire pit of incubation”. It is a spiritual metaphor and icon in Hinduism for the origin and the feminine regenerative powers in the nature of existence. Based on the depictions of yoni as the essence of femininity, and reproduction, the term yoni steaming was coined for steaming the Vagina. A relaxing day for a woman at the Spa or at home may include Yoni Steaming.

Yoni steaming is also known as v-steaming, vaginal steaming, chai-yok, or bajo. It is a gentle yet powerful self-care treatment for women. This procedure has been practiced by women, mostly from Asia, Africa, and Central America ages ago. It is believed to support the cleansing of a woman’s soul by connecting to her feminine center.

What is Yoni Steaming?

The Yoni steam process involves a woman sitting over a steaming pot of herb-infused water without underpants, generally for about 10-30 minutes per session depending on her body’s constitution and menstrual cycle history. As the steam rises and the herbs penetrate vaginal tissue, it is thought that the vagina and uterus are cleansed and soothed.

Which herbs are used in Yoni Steaming?

The hot water used in yoni steaming is infused with a mixture of herbs, each believed to serve different purposes. These herbs are:

  • Basil. Even though this is rich in Antioxidants and Vitamins A and C, it is mainly used by practitioners of alternative medicine for cleansing and ridding the body of ‘negative energy’.
  • Rosemary which has been proven to have anti-bacterial and anti-microbial actions
  • Oregano which acts as an antiseptic
  • Calendula which has anti-inflammatory properties
  • Motherwort for cleansing, and pain-relief
  • Mugwort, an all-purpose herb
  • Lavender for anti-microbial action
  • Marigolds for anti-inflammatory action
  • Thyme which also acts as an anti-bacterial and anti-microbial agent

What are the benefits of Yoni Steaming?

Yoni steaming is gaining more popularity in Spas for women due to its purported benefits. The practitioners of Yoni Steaming have several claims about the benefits and uses of this practice. These claims are:

  • cleansing the vagina and uterus,
  • regulating the menstrual cycle,
  • easing the pain of period cramps and bloating, and
  • aiding in healing and soothing after childbirth.
  • Other benefits claimed are relief of stress, depression, hemorrhoids, infections, infertility, hormone imbalances, headaches, fatigue, digestive issues, and generalized pain.

Is Yoni Steaming effective?

Yoni Steaming is a form of Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Many complementary and alternative treatments lack solid research on which to base sound decisions. The dangers and possible benefits of many complementary and alternative treatments remain unproved. While the whole medical systems differ in their philosophical approaches to the prevention and treatment of disease, they share a number of common elements. These systems are based on the belief that one’s body has the power to heal itself. Healing often involves marshalling multiple techniques that involve the mind, body and spirit. This makes it difficult to clearly predict the physiological processes that will lead to the beneficial claims of CAM.

Concerning Yoni Steaming, while celebrities like Christine Tegan claim it is beneficial, experts, agree that there is very little chance herbal steam would penetrate vaginal tissues, and travel to the Uterus through a closed cervix, let alone regulate hormones and improve fertility. Realistically, the steam almost never gets inside the vagina. Steaming would just affect the vulva and potentially scald the skin. Unfortunately, women mix up the vulva and vagina all the time.

The moist heat from the steam however has been proposed to increase blood flow to the vaginal area, and has been proposed to be relaxing. Considering this, a sitz bath or simply soaking in a warm tub is safer, and might have the same effect.

Also, the conditions it is purported to improve have very different causes and origin that it is impracticable that just regulating the hormones alone will cure ALL of them. The various steamed herbs, while proven to have several medicinal properties, have no scientific evidence of being used to cure female reproductive issues like painful periods which may have varied causes like  endometriosis and Infertility, even if they are ingested orally and absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract, let alone in a case of questionable absorption like in Yoni Steaming.  The questions which also begs to be answered are ’which hormones do Yoni Steaming regulate?’ and what is the effective dose of the herbs?’

Is Yoni Steaming Safe?

Yoni Steaming while having no scientific evidence of its effectiveness, it has some potential harmful effects. Firstly, the hot water can easily scald the vulva leading to burns. These burns can easily be infected due to the position of the vulva and can be problematic.

Secondly, the continuous exposure of the vulva and vagina to increased temperature may kill the normal flora of the vagina which is the Lactobacilli and cause an overgrowth of Fungi, leading to a yeast infection or vulvovaginal candidiasis.

So scientifically, Yoni Steaming is not safe, and should be forgone.  The vagina is a self-cleansing organ and regular washing with clean water during bathing, combined with healthy nutrition and safe sex practices is enough to ensure a healthy vagina. Also, the notion that the vagina and the womb is ‘not clean’ due to its several activities and should be cleansed is wrong. Despite all the functions, in a healthy female, the uterus and vagina returns back to their normal healthy state after either pregnancy, childbirth, or a menstrual period. Any deviation from this may be a sign of a disease, which a gynecologist should be consulted.