For thousands of years vaginal steams have been performed in order to maintain balance and the healthy function of a woman's reproductive system. Long before OB-GYNs were a thing. Ancestors would gather the necessary flowers, herbs, and roots for a traditional steam whether after childbirth to encourage healing or following her full moon cycle to restore her sacred energy. Vaginal steaming is a practice that enables women to reconnect with their feminine energy and to the wisdom of plant medicine. It allows us the space to celebrate our bodies but more specifically our wombs, which many of us have been taught to dislike at least once a month. A woman’s womb is the sacred center from which we possess the capacity to change the world. Vaginal steaming provides us an opportunity to reclaim ownership of our personal health and encourages us to tap into our intuition. Each flower, herb, and root used for steaming is a gift from the Earth, to support our feminine health and wellness.
Thank you, Mother Earth and the lineages of women before us, for providing plant medicine and the wisdom to perform acts of womb wellness integral to our health.
BENEFITS OF STEAMING
Regulates irregular or absent menstrual cycles
Assists in the repair of vaginal tears, episiotomy, and C section scars
Decreases heavy menstrual flow
Relieves symptoms of menopause such as dryness or pain during intercourse
Speeds healing and toning of the reproductive system after childbirth
Reduces dark purple or brown blood at the onset and end of menses
Treats uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, prolapsed/weak uterine, chronic vaginal/yeast infections, vaginal odor, PCOS, and endometriosis
Reduces pain, bloating, and exhaustion associated with menstruation
Releases stored emotions
Detoxes the womb and removes toxins from the body
Assists in healing hemorrhoids
Relieves symptoms of menopause such as dryness and pain during intercourse
Treats chronic vaginal/yeast infections
Maintains pH balance
Promotes healthy odor
HOW IT WORKS
When dried flowers, herbs, and roots are steeped in water on gentle heat, volatile oils containing medicinal properties are released into the water. The steam and moisture of healing oilsare carried up to the vulva. The moisture from the steam increases circulation to the labia, or lips, causing it to expand and expose the inner labial mucus membranes. The tissue of the labia is very porous and absorbent allowing the volatile oils from the steam into the bloodstream and carrying them into the inner reproductive system, which includes the uterus. Once inside the moisture containing volatile oils continue to improve circulation and restore the inner workings of the reproductive system. It thins and expels unnecessary mucus membranes and build up. The result is a healthier womb and an easier cycle.
WHAT TO EXPECT
You should expect changes in vaginal discharge, and a slight or sudden shift in your menstrual blood. Note that duration of cycle and onset may shift as well. This is a sign that the womb is cleansing and is normal.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
Vaginal steam herbs [reference the list below]
A steaming chair or stool [optional]
A large towel or blanket
2-8 quart kitchen pot
A large glass or stainless steel bowl [only for steaming, no plastic]
FRESH FLOWERS, HERBS, & ROOTS
Choose up to 7 herbs that you feel spiritually drawn to or herbs with specific healing properties. Do not use essential oils
Astragalus, basil, burdock leaf, calendula, cedar berries, chamomile, damiana, dong quai, juniper, lavender, lemon balm, motherwort, oregano, peony, peppermint, plantain leaf, red clover blossoms, red raspberry leaf, rosemary, rose petals, sage, squaw vine, thyme, witch hazel, wormseed, and yarrow are all effective herbs and flowers to use.
[Note] 1 quart of fresh herb is equivalent to 1 cup of dry.
HOW TO STEAM
[Tip] Before your steam, place pot of healing herbs under moonlight overnight and say a prayer over the herbs asking them heal and restore your womb, ridding you of any imbalance
Create your steam blend or use your Floral Steam Blend by Ankhology
Place healing herbs in a pot of lukewarm water
Bring your healing herbs to a gentle simmer with the lid on, for 10-20 minutes
Designate a steaming space in your home to steam away from electronics
Make your space cosy but playing gentle/relaxing music, lighting candles, and/or your steeping favorite cup of tea to accompany your steam
Pour your herbal steam water into your separate glass or stainless steel bowl
Place your bowl under a steam stool or on the floor where you can kneel comfortably over it for the duration of the steam
Remove your clothes from the waist down - socks are optional
Sit on your steam stool or in your designated area over the steaming herbs making sure the pot is placed directly underneath you so the steam reaches the perineum
Place a large towel or blanket over your lower body making sure it extends all the way to the floor to ensure the steam is enclosed. Be cautious to avoid burning yourself - create a small vent allowing excess steam to escape, if necessary
Sit over your vaginal steam for 10-20 min., or as long as steam lasts. Be present during your steam and enjoy the healing space you have set for yourself
After your steam, dry off and rest in a warm area for another 20 minutes - free of interruption
Release the healing herbs and water back to the earth and express gratitude for their support in your healing journey
WHEN NOT TO STEAM
Do not steam if you are pregnant or after ovulation - if attempts have been made to conceive, if you are bleeding heavily or during the flow of period, if you have an acute infection, and/or if you have vaginal sores or blisters.
Happy healing, Sister!