Yoni or Vaginal Steaming 101

Updated on:
December 8, 2020
Aimee Hughes

In recent years, yoni steaming, vaginal steaming, or v-steaming has become increasingly popular due to high praise from celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, and Chrissy Teigen. However, do you know that this is a self-care practice that women have used for centuries to tone and heal their yoni?

What is Vaginal Steaming or Yoni Steaming?

Vaginal steaming is the process of gently steaming the yoni using healing herbs. It is an effective, simple, and ancient practice where women from various indigenous cultures from:

  • Asia – Thailand, Indonesia
  • Central America – Among the Q’eqchi’ people who are Mayan people of Belize and Guatemala
  • Africa – South Africa, Mozambique

Yoni steaming has been described in spas as an ancient Korean treatment used for the treatment of several ailments. It is now used as an alternative health treatment.

How Does Yoni Steaming Work?

It is believed that the warmth of the herbal steam permeates and relaxes the yoni. The warmth is thought to open the pores and soften the skin and vulva while the herbs are absorbed to impart medicinal effects. In yoni steaming, the woman sits or squats over steaming water containing herbs such as Wormwood, Rosemary, Mugwort, Basil, Oregano, Calendula, Lavender, Rose, and many more.

Among vaginal steaming practitioners, many believe that the most important consideration are the herbs you choose to use. More potent yoni steaming herbs include Yarrow, Neem, Juniper, Sage, and Peppermint.

When using more potent herbs, it can be helpful to work with a professional for a specific guidance or to obtain a custom blend. Choose a balanced blend that suits your needs. To get started:

  1. Boil about 3 quarts (about 3 liters) of filtered water.
  2. Once boiling, add approximately a cup of your chosen blend to the water.
  3. Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for approximately 5 minutes.
  4. Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes or to your desired steam temperature. 
  5. Transfer to a cool basin. The steam should not feel too hot. If it is, allow it to cool more.
  6. Remove your lower garments.
  7. Squat or sit (if you have a steaming seat) over the basin.
  8. You can wear a long skirt or wrap a towel around your waist to stop the steam from escaping.
  9. The steam session lasts about 20 to 60 minutes depending on individual preference. 

Yoni steaming is usually done once or twice a month. In cases where there are more complicated issues such as infertility or after childbirth, it may be best to consult a professional well-versed with vaginal steaming. 

What are the Purported Benefits of Yoni Steaming?

Vaginal steaming has been thought to heal, tone, and nourish the vagina. Some of purported benefits include increasing circulation and improving stagnation.  The herbal steam is thought to carry healing properties to the tissues and helps to cleanse the womb and removes a build-up of old residue in the vaginal canal. 

Emotionally, it is thought to be a powerful act of self-love that helps women reconnect to their femininity. Some women have also reported that it helps to alleviate menstruation issues such as menstrual cramping, bloating, exhaustion, decreases heavy flow, and regulates the cycle. 

Alternative practitioners believe that it Increases fertility, helps with menopause, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, and promotes healing after childbirth. It may also help with pelvic pain, vaginal dryness, vaginal tightness, and pain during intercourse. It is thought to benefit those with stress, hemorrhoids, depression, headaches, infections, hormonal imbalances, and digestive issues.

Are There Any Contraindications to Vaginal Steaming?

Yes, for safety purposes, there are several situations or conditions where you should not be practicing vaginal steaming or yoni steaming. You should not perform vaginal steaming if:

  • You are trying to conceive as you may be pregnant without realizing it.
  • You are pregnant.
  • You are having your period.
  • You are using an intrauterine device (IUD).
  • You have any type of infection.
  • You are experiencing hot flashes, night sweats, or having a fever.

If you are interested in vaginal steaming after childbirth, experience infertility, or has severe hormonal issues, talk to a midwife or holistic practitioner. 

Does Yoni Steaming Really Work?

There is no scientific evidence to support the benefits of vaginal steaming. The warmth from the steam may have similar effects to a sitz bath or soaking in a warm tub to help increase blood flow to the vaginal area. 

However, there are many women who have shared the improvements in their symptoms and benefits they experienced with vaginal steaming. For example, an article by the Endometriosis Foundation of America shared several testimonies from women who found vaginal steaming to have helped their endometriosis and pelvic congestion syndrome.

Is Vaginal Steaming Safe?

Vaginal steaming is generally safe if done properly. The primary concern is that the steam could cause burns if it is too hot. This is why it is crucial that you ensure that the steam is not too hot before beginning your steaming session. Vaginal steaming should also not be performed in several situations as mentioned above. 

Medical Advice: The purported health benefits of the yoni steaming are reported by yoni steaming practitioners and not backed by evidence based research. If in doubt, seek professional medical opinion.

Are There Any Adjuncts to Yoni Steaming?

Like vaginal steaming, there are some rituals that can help boost your general health by increasing blood circulation and flow. Some of it includes:

  • Hydration – Make sure to drink enough fluids every day as it helps your body to function optimally.
  • Exercise – Establish a regular exercise routine as it is good for both physical and mental health.
  • Meditation – Take at least 5 to 10 minutes a day for yourself to meditate or focus on deep breathing.
  • Womb massage – This is thought to help support reproductive health or the reproductive system.
  • Infusions – Some women find that drinking herbal infusions that contain herbs such as nettle leaf, burdock, or red raspberry leaf can help support the female system especially during menses. Red raspberry leaf has been used to relieve menstrual cramps. 

If you are interested in trying vaginal steaming or yoni steaming, make sure to do the proper research and purchase the equipment needed from a trusted source. Talk to a qualified alternative health practitioner or your doctor to weigh the pros and cons for your situation. 

Aimee is a mindfulness enthusiast who's practiced yoga for 21 years. She earned her B.A. in French from Tulane University and a Doctorate in Naturopathy from Clayton College.
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