Ultimate guide to using herbs for vaginal steaming
New to steaming?
These articles will get you started!
Why are herbs beneficial for steaming?
Herbs enhance the power of steaming. Steaming on it’s own is cleansing and tonifying for the uterus. Adding specific herbs to the mix will make your steaming session targeted towards healing the issues you’re suffering from.
For example, steaming with plain water helps increase circulation to the uterus and helps the uterus release any old residue. However, for a woman prone to short cycles, spontaneous bleeding, or frequent spotting, steaming by itself may be too stimulating and could bring an early period. But if she adds specific herbs to the steam it can lengthen her cycle and strengthen her uterus, decreasing the spotting she experiences.
Can I use ANY herb?
All herbs have specific qualities that make them beneficial for health. Some herbs are drying and others are moisturizing. Some herbs can shorten your cycle, while others can lengthen your cycle.
Because herbs all have specific affects on the body, you should be very specific about which ones you choose to steam with.
There are many herbs in your own kitchen right now that could be used in a yoni steam recipe. Check out the recipes at the end of this article or purchase premade herbal blends based on your cycle type.
Using single herbs vs herbal blends
Using an herbal blend can be more effective than a single herb because the blend creates balance. An individual herb may be disinfecting, but rarely do you need only a disinfecting herb and nothing else. In fact, a disinfecting herb on it’s own may be too drying. Adding in a hydrating herb can balance the drying affect. Now you’re getting benefits of both herbs.
How to choose Yoni Steam Herbs
There are 5 main qualities that I look for in an herbal blend for steaming; cleansing, blood building, hydrating, disinfecting, and digestion supporting. A good blend should contain all five qualities and should be formulated around your cycle length.
For example, certain herbs can lengthen a cycle, which is not ideal if your cycle is already 45 days long!
Your cycle length should be your main consideration when creating or buying an herb blend.
The uterus is a self cleaning organ. Every month it grows a brand new uterine lining and every month it sheds that lining unless you become pregnant. Cleansing herbs support the body’s natural ability to release the old lining so that something new can be build up in it’s place. These herbs are amazing for long cycles with heavy periods and lots of clotting. Limit cleansing herbs if your cycle is already very short (less than 28 days).
After each period your body needs to replenish the blood that was lost. Blood is rich in nutrients and blood building herbs support the body’s ability to create new blood cells. Incidentally, all of these herbs make amazing teas that can support you from the inside out.
Water is the often forgotten essential nutrient of life. We take for granted how much water our body really needs in order to function. Certain herbs are known as kidney tonics. They support the body’s ablity to properly recyle fluids so that you stay hydrated.
The genitals have their very own microbiome, colonies of friendly bacteria that live symbiotically with us. If these bacteria become unbalanced (likely stemming from an imbalance in your gut) certain herbs have properties that help balance the microbiome. You’ll notice that many of the disinfecting herbs are also common cooking herbs. Consuming them in a dish can help balance the microbiome in the gut as well. Disinfecting herbs also help with issues of excessive or unusual cervical fluid.
It may seem weird to include digestive support in a Yoni Steam herb recipe, but all health issues start in the gut! In Traditional Chinese Medicine these herbs are known to promote chi circulation. Chi is your life force, your energy. Adding chi and digestion supporting herbs brings vigor and vitality to the body.
Extra Herb Qualities for Special Cases
There are two additional types of herbs needed for women with short cycles, frequent spotting, or a history of spontaneous bleeding. These herbs are anti-hemorrhagic, meaning they stop you from bleeding, and uterine strengtheners. These herbs are your friend if your cycle is short - but you should avoid them if your cycle is long.
These herbs are known as anti-hemorrhagic. Uterine fatigue is not a medical condition, rather a collection of signs that the uterus lacks strength to complete a full, normal cycle. Short cycles, where your period comes too early, frequent spotting and spontaneous bleeding, are all signs of uterine fatigue and can be supported by steaming with anti-hemorragic herbs.
Women in this state are generally very sensitive to stimulation by herbs. If you experience any of the signs of uterine fatigue, I strongly recommend purchasing a pre-formulated herbal blend or working with an herbalist rather than creating your own yoni steam recipe, unless you are an experienced herbalist yourself.
Women prone to signs of uterine fatigue also benefit from herbs that strengthen the utuers. In Traditional Chinese Medicine these are known as chi tonors. They help to tone and strengthen the chi, or life force of the body.
DIY Yoni Steam Herb Recipes
Below are recipes for three of the most common issues I see my clients struggle with. Give them a try or purchase an herb blend based on your cycle type.
Each recipe gives the amount needed for one steam session.
Painful Period Cramps (with cycles 28 days or longer)
2 tsp Motherwort (cleansing & blood)
2 tsp Nettles (blood, kidney)
½ tsp Thyme (disinfect)
1 tsp Orange Peel (digest)
1 tsp Basil
1 tsp Parsley
1 tsp Lemon Balm
2 tsp Motherwort
1 tsp Oatstraw
2 tsp Chamomile
1 tsp Lemon Balm
Using herbs for Yoni Steaming
Heat up about 6 cups of water. Remove the water from heat, add your herbs and cover with a lid. Let the herbs steep for about 10 minutes. If the water has gotten cold, heat it back up, then transfer the pot to your yoni steam station.
Herbs can be used twice. If you plan to reuse your herbs, remove them from the pot before steaming and store them in the refrigerator.