First things first, let's understand what bacterial vaginosis is. BV is a common vaginal infection caused by an imbalance of the naturally occurring bacteria in your vagina. While it may not be your favorite topic to delve into, it's essential to remember that taking care of your intimate health is just as vital as taking care of any other part of our body — and getting to know what's going on is the first step.
Common symptoms of BV include an unusual and unpleasant vaginal odor, increased vaginal discharge that may be white or grayish, and sometimes discomfort or itching. BV can be triggered by a range of factors, including hormonal changes, sexual activity, and using certain soaps or products that disrupt the delicate vaginal pH balance. It can come on fast, and it can be pretty surprising when it does. Fortunately, the ancient practice of vaginal steaming can help alleviate the discomfort and symptoms associated with bacterial vaginosis.
Herbs such as rosemary, yarrow and lavender, which are often included in yoni steaming blends, have antimicrobial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties may help rebalance the vaginal flora and reduce the overgrowth of harmful bacteria, making it an excellent complement to more conventional BV treatments. Before you give vaginal steaming a try, it's crucial to do so safely and mindfully.
- Gather the Right Herbs: Select gentle herbs known for their soothing and antimicrobial properties — such as mugwort, motherwort, yarrow, rosemary, calendula and lavender. Be sure to source high-quality, organic herbs — or choose a pre-made blend that has proven safety and efficacy such as the Devi Steam® Organic Yoni Steaming Herbs.
- Prepare the Steaming Setup: Find a comfortable, quiet space in your home where you can set up your yoni steam ritual. Simmer your herbs on the stove for 15 minutes (with the lid on) before transferring to your set up. Use a large bowl or a specialized yoni steam seat with a hole in the center to allow the steam to rise effectively while you sit comfortably. Be sure to wrap your body in a plush robe or warm blankets, all the way down to your feet, to stay warm as you steam.
- Check the Temperature: Allow the simmering herbal water to cool slightly before steaming. The steam should be warm and soothing, not scalding hot. Always test the temperature before sitting over the water, as the steam should feel gentle and nice.
- Timing and Frequency: You can steam 1-2 times per week when dealing with BV, but avoid steaming during your menstrual cycle or if you are pregnant. Limit your steaming sessions to 20-30 minutes to prevent any potential irritation. After your steam, gently pat your vagina dry and allow it to breathe for a moment so as to limit excess moisture, before getting into your cozy bed for the night so the herbs can work their magic.
- Listen to Your Body: If you experience any discomfort or irritation during or after steaming, stop immediately.
Vaginal steaming is a gentle and natural way to pamper your beautiful yoni and support your well-being. I hope you enjoy this luxurious home remedy, that it brings you relief from BV, and that it promotes overall balance for your body, mind and spirit.
Sierra Brashear, MA is Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, women's health advocate, doula and founder of Vibrant Souls. She believes that by tuning in to ancient earth-based wisdom traditions, we will discover contemporary ways to heal ourselves, our families and our planet. Inspired by the rhythms and elements of nature, Sierra weaves systems thinking and her knowledge of Ayurveda into her heart-centered work supporting individuals and organizations to thrive. She is originally from the mountains of Colorado, but currently resides in Mexico City. Work 1:1 with Sierra to bring balance to your life with Ayurveda.