Updated: Jul 21
What is yoni steaming?
AKA vaginal steaming, v-steaming, yoni steaming, womb steaming, bajo, etc.
Steaming your yoni with herbs is an ancient healing tradition originating from African, Asian, and Central American cultures. The ritual has been passed down by women from generation to generation. It's most commonly called 'yoni steaming'.
'Yoni' is a Sanskrit word meaning 'origin of life' or 'sacred space', hence why it's used to refer to the female reproductive area i.e. the womb, vagina, vulva etc.
'Yoni' is also a Hebrew name deriving from 'Yonatan' or 'Yonathan' and means 'Gift of God' or 'Given from God'.
Specific herbs are boiled in water. The properties of these [fresh or dried] herbs infuse in the water and you then sit over water, allowing the steam to rise into your vagina, cervix, and potentially womb space. Sometimes citrus fruits or Himalayan salt are used as alternatives to herbs.
The vagina is one of the most absorbent tissues of the female body and so this is why womb steaming is used as an effective form of self-healing.
Plants have been used for thousands of years to aid health and well-being. There are certain herbs that are particularly helpful for the female reproductive organs, menstrual cycle, and postpartum care. In some cultures, a female elder (e.g. a grandma, an aunt etc.) is known to visit younger new mothers in their homes to perform a steam session after childbirth to help their reproductive area heal and re-tighten.
Steam As Medicine...
Steam has been used as medicine for thousands of years. Steam helps clear mucus & the sinuses, it increases blood circulation, steam opens blocked pores and detoxifies the cells, steam disinfects...
What are the benefits?
Sitting over the steaming herbs allows the healing properties & essential oils of the herbs to absorb into:
the delicate skin of your labia; and
the pores of the walls of your vagina (the steam encourages the pores to open)
As the steam cools down, the pores close and trap in the healing properties allowing the healing to continue even after your steam session.
Periods- before, during & after:
steaming improves menstrual flow by facilitating the release of clots and old/stagnate blood from the womb (your first period after steaming may therefore be slightly heavier, thicker or darker for the first couple of days as everything is detoxed)
steaming lightens your cycle
steaming reduces and prevents painful menstrual cramps
steaming helps alleviate pain before, during, and after your menstrual cycle
steaming reduces menstrual bloating
steaming treats irregular and absent periods by improving blood flow & circulation to the pelvic area
Post-partum & post-miscarriage:
steaming helps the uterine (womb) walls contract back to their pre-pregnancy state
steaming helps to heal and repair sore vaginal tissue
steaming facilitates the release of clots and old/stagnate blood leaving the womb after giving birth
steaming helps the pelvic floor organs to move back to their original position- it helps with uterine prolapse
steaming helps with vaginal dryness by increasing cervical fluid; dryness may be experienced after childbirth
steaming with herbs that are known to calm the nervous system (e.g. lavender buds). can help relieve stress, anxiety, can help with minor sleep issues etc.
steaming promotes self-reflection and self-development if you e.g. journal, pray etc. while steaming
steaming reminds you of God's goodness- God created herbs and when we spend time in/with nature we are reminded of the creative power of God.
steaming can help you become more knowledgeable and aware of your menstrual cycle as it's a practice that encourages you to chart your cycle (to know when you're ovulating and expecting to bleed) and that encourages you to look out for changes/improvements to your cycle (especially if you've been suffering from cycle issues)
steaming balances your hormones
steaming is said to help prevent early menopause
steaming is said to clear chronic vaginal irritation & peri-menopausal vaginal symptoms
steaming is said to tighten the opening of the vagina (and so some use it to enhance sexual pleasure)
steaming is said to help with vaginal dryness by increasing cervical fluid (and so some use it to enhance sexual pleasure)
steaming is used to treat & prevent endometriosis, PCOS, yeast infections, and womb cysts
steaming is said to help with infertility (PCOS etc. reduces fertility. Also, each month your womb sheds its inner lining if an egg isn't fertilised. The following month, a fertilised egg will need to attach itself to the inner lining to start developing into an embryo. As steaming helps with the removal of any old dead lining, it's said to help increase the chances of a fertilised egg attaching itself to the womb's fresh lining to start multiplying into cells.)
Although there are no known clinical scientific studies on v-steaming, there is lots of anecdotal evidence supporting the benefits of the practice.
How does it feel?
The steam is warm and so it feels very relaxing and soothing.
It relaxes your entire body (not just your pelvic area) because it stimulates blood flow/circulation.