Keep It Luscious! Vaginal Health Tips For Women Like You
Support for Yoni Wellness
It's time to offer this extraordinary part of your body some extra special love, and here's how:
1. Take care of your whole body first
Ensure that you're paying attention first to your overall health, because it plays a major role in the health of your vagina. Take a look at the entire toxic load your body has to deal with, both physically and emotionally. Where can you reduce stress and anxiety in your life? How can you address emotional triggers or support yourself to release stored emotions you've been holding on to? Next, ensure that you are eating a light and healthy diet that is low in sugar (especially refined sugars). Avoid alcohol and caffeine, and emphasize essential fatty acids, probiotics, and tissue-healing nutrients such as zinc, vitamin A and vitamin E.
2. Wear cotton undies and sleep bottomless
The warm, moist and sweet environment of your vagina is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria - both the good guys, and the bad guys. To keep good guys healthy and the bad guys in check, do your best to stay relatively dry down there. Wear cotton underwear since it breathes and absorbs moisture, and feel free to go commando while you sleep to make sure your lady parts are able to get a breath of fresh air!
3. Eat yogurt and avoid antibiotics
Since bacteria plays an important role in keeping your vagina healthy, its important to support a balance of the good guys. Systemic antibiotics can severely disrupt you natural bacteria (the "good guys"), which creates the perfect breeding ground for the "bad guys"/ This, in turn, can cause bacterial vaginosis or candida/yeast overgrowth. You can help ensure that your vagina is filled with excellent flora by eating yogurt and fermented foods like kimchi or kombucha, and taking an probiotic supplement. A fantastic probiotic supplement is Dr. Ohhira's Probiotics Original Formula.
4. Don't douche! Yoni steam instead
Some studies have shown that douching can increase your risk for infections, pelvic inflammatory disease, and STDs. So rather than forcefully invading your lady parts with water, try a gentle herbal steam for a similar effect without the risk. Just as herbal steam clears nasal congestion, the warmth and moisture of the yoni steam increase circulation and thin mucus, while the medicinal properties of the herbs are absorbed through the porous external tissue and transported via the blood stream, safely and effectively cleansing, toning and revitalizing the female reproductive system. The results are reduced menstrual cramps, improved fertility, and a happier vagina overall. Make sure to always use organic yoni steaming herbs.
5. Use natural, fragrance-free soaps (and detergents!)
Synthetic fragrances and dyes can be very aggravating to your vaginal health, causing inflammation, rashes and improper pH balance which contributes to bacterial infections. If you're going to use soap on your labia (hint: some naturopathic doctors recommend not ever using soap there!), make sure it contains 100% naturally occurring ingredients (like vegetable oils, essential oils, herbal extracts, etc). Make sure your soap of choice is not alkalizing or antibiotic. The same goes for the detergents you use to wash your clothes and sheets.
6. Practice your kegel exercises
Ensuring that the pubococcygeus (PC) muscle, which supports the pelvic bowl, is strong helps to tighten the vagina, improve sensitivity and increase lubrication. Kegel exercises, which tone the PC muscle, can be done while working at your desk, reading on the couch or even standing in line at the grocery store. You can identify your kegel muscle by practicing stopping the flow of urine midstream. Then, to perform the kegel exercise, squeeze the PC muscle repeatedly for five minutes. Doing this once per day will result in a myriad of benefits for your reproductive and sexual health! Remember to breathe while you flex those muscles.
7. Drink and apply apple cider vinegar
To ensure a good body pH, which is the acid/alkaline balance, drink 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with 1 teaspoon of honey in a 1/4 cup warm water once per day. You can also apply diluted apple cider vinegar to your vagina in case of imbalance (to do so, add a 10% solution to a peri-bottle and rinse the exterior of your vagina twice daily).
8. Use condoms
Yes, we all know condoms prevent unwanted pregnancy, but did you know that using condoms can help keep your vagina’s pH level healthy so that the good bacteria (lactobacilli strands) can survive in there? Having your partner wear a condom can also help prevent yeast infections, UTIs, and bacterial vaginosis.
9. Treat a bacterial infection with garlic suppositories
Yeast infections can be caused by a host of triggers, including emotional stress, poor diet, hormonal changes, vaginal irritations or some prescription medications. If you experience itching, irritation, thick discharge, inflammation or redness, you may have some degree of a yeast infection. If you are experiencing a foul smell accompanied by a thin white or grey homogenous discharge, you may be dealing with bacterial vaginosis.
Natural remedies are effective, but they take some commitment on your part. A great place to start is with a garlic suppository. To try this remedy, simply peel one clove of garlic and then place it in the center of a thin piece of gauze. Twist the corners into a tail, rub a bit of olive oil onto the tip, and then insert deep inside your vagina. Remove the suppository and insert a fresh one ever 3-5 hours until the infection is gone (hopefully 3-5 days). Garlic is highly anti-microbial, so it is extremely effective for clearing the infection. Just make sure to wash your hands well before making and inserting your suppository!
10. Restore the energetic balance of your yoni
By restoring not only the physical but the energetic balance in your yoni, you will heal spiritual fractures and renew your relationship with the sacred feminine. The excellent book Wild Feminine: Finding Power, Spirit, & Joy in the Female Body offers a unique, holistic approach to reclaiming the power, spirit, and joy of your beautiful female body and to understanding its connection to creative energy flow. Through stories, visualizations, and creative exercises, the wisdom arising from the female body has been distilled into this beautiful guide to nurturing, healing, and exploring the feminine nature.
Sierra Brashear, MA is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, DONA-trained doula, herbal alchemist, wellness educator and founder of Vibrant Souls yoni steams. Inspired by the rhythms and elements of nature, Sierra weaves her knowledge of Ayurveda into the products and lifestyle design programs she offers. She invites you to join her 16-week program, The Art of Fertility | Journey to Conception — to clear toxins and nourish your mind and body in preparation for an easeful conception and healthy pregnancy. Sierra is also co-founder of Cultivate Balance and Moon Bath, and lives in Boulder, Colorado.