For centuries, women went to great lengths to make sure they practiced self-care of their vaginas. But, somehow the art of taking care of the vagina has been lost. My close friend, who is an esthetician, and I were discussing some of the ways you can show love for your vagina. Often, this is an underappreciated and neglected part of our bodies. For instance, if you are taking a shower, did you know that you should not use your body wash on your private areas because this could deplete your vaginal skin of its precious natural oils?
Or, were you aware, according to VH Essentials, that 70% of women at some point in time will experience an unpleasant odor because of an imbalance of their PH levels in the vagina? Taking care of the vagina is important, and lately, there has been a technique that has become more popular, gaining attention from celebrities like Tia (Mowry-Hardrict) and Tamera (Mowry-Housley). It’s called vaginal steaming.
What Is Vaginal Steaming?
Vaginal steaming, or v-steam for short, is a Korean treatment that provides a steam ‘facial’ for the vagina with the goal of detoxing the vagina. V-steams have been said to help women boost fertility, soothe menstrual cramps and offer other health benefits, although these claims aren’t currently backed by clinical evidence.
The v-steam treatment works in this manner: You wear a big tent from the waist down and sit or squat without underwear over a steaming pot which is infused with herbs such as mugwort, basic calendula, oregano, marshmallow root, wormwood, and rosemary. The two dominant herbs in this steam bath are mugwort and wormwood. This process takes place for about 20 to 45 minutes and costs $20 – $75. During this treatment, the v-steam dilates blood vessels, helps to increase blood circulation, provides oxygen to this region and helps relax your pelvic floor muscles.
The American Cancer Society states that mugwort can contribute in treating stomach and intestinal disorders including cramps. Mugwort also helps bladder infections, clears hemorrhoids and kidney problems. It’s used to help menopausal women and women experiencing infertility issues.
It’s claimed that when women v-steam, the mugwort herb stimulates the production of hormones helping the maintenance of uterine health and protecting the uterus from ulcers and tumors. However, Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., clinical professor of ob-gyn at Yale School of Medicine disagrees. “The hormone factory is in the ovaries, and there’s no reason why steam would affect the hormones produced there,” she told Women’s Health magazine. If the steam can reach the uterus (which she isn’t certain of), Dr. Minkin says the bacteria found there doesn’t need to be “cleaned out.”