Today's women have come a long way and we've worked hard to get there. Role models like Oprah Winfrey, Beyoncé, and Hillary Clinton show the world that women can do it all. We can have an accomplished career, find love, and build a family. How inspiring!
But on this search for equality in a male-driven world, have we lost touch with what sets us apart from men? Has our success as powerful women come at the cost of losing touch with our femininity?
Are you in touch with your uterus?
Do you honor and embrace your femininity, the part of you that has the power to change the world and transform (and create!) lives?
Yes, women are just as strong, powerful, and successful as men. But we're also different. And that difference is a wonderful thing, something to celebrate.
Many women struggle with uterine issues, whether it be painful or irregular menses, fibroids, or infertility. Despite the commonality of these issues, talking about them openly has become taboo. They're too "gross." They're too "personal." They're too "womanly." As if that's a bad thing!
Having lost touch with our femininity in our quest for acceptance in a man's world, we've also forgotten how to care for our female selves. Once a common practice in the U.S., vaginal steaming is a long-forgotten remedy for all things related to the uterus.
Did you just say "vaginal steaming"?!
Yes, I did. Yes, it's a real thing. And yes, I'm telling you to try it!
Often referred to as yoni (Sanskrit for "womb") steaming, vaginal steaming is an ancient practice for maintaining the health of the uterus, used to treat everything from painful or irregular menses and infertility to fibroids and ovarian cysts.
Though vaginal steams are a somewhat forgotten practice in the United States these days, they still live on in many other cultures. Dr. Rosita Arvigo, a celebrated naturopathic doctor who lived in and studied the Mayan culture, in which yoni steam is common practice, explains, "If anybody complains about any problem with the uterus, everybody says, 'Have you done your vaginal steam?' just like we would say, 'Are you drinking enough water?' "
How does it work?
This may sound weird, but think of a vaginal steam as sort of like a facial for your uterus.
A pot of warm water is mixed with a unique blend of medicinal herbs. The warmth of the water releases the volatile oils that contain medicinal properties from the herbs, creating a healing steam. Then you simply sit over the pot, wrapped in a blanket or cover to encapsulate the steam, which helps to soften the tissue and open the pores of the outer lips of the vagina, allowing the healing herbs to be absorbed into the bloodstream and uterus.
Oftentimes, issues involving the uterus are related to leftover material from previous menstrual cycles that has hardened along the uterine wall. Following a steam, you may notice some of this release via spotting or discharge the next day, or along with your upcoming period. Think of this process as kind of like a steam cleaning for your uterine wall.
Yoni steam herbs
There are nearly 100 different herbs to choose from for your steam depending on the desired effect. You can purchase prepackaged yoni steam herbs or find a local practitioner who can create a unique blend specific to your needs. Some common herbs used in yoni steaming include:
- Red raspberry: This herb is helpful in toning uterine muscles, calming cramps, normalizing menstrual blood flow and can aid with fertility. You can also drink red raspberry tea as part of your daily routine.
- Nettles: This mineral-rich herb helps reduce stress, calms inflammation and is a powerful uterine tonic. It aids in strengthening bones and nourishing the adrenals, making it particularly helpful for women during menopause.
- Rose hip: This can help ease constipation sometimes associated with a woman's cycle. It's also a great source of vitamin C and helps reduce stress in the body.
- Rosemary: Steaming with rosemary helps increase circulation to the pelvis and can assist in clearing out old blood and fluids that have built up along the uterine wall.
- Mugwort: One of the most commonly used herbs during vaginal steaming, mugwort is very helpful in balancing female hormones. It promotes circulation and can help bring on your period. Its antifungal properties also help maintain uterine health and protect against uterine ulcers and tumors.
- Yarrow: This herb can relieve painful cramps associated with hormones. Along with its cleansing and antibacterial properties, this powerful herb is very helpful for those with heavy menstrual bleeding.
- Calendula: This cleansing herb is great for activating the lymphatic system. It's also very healing for scars or irritated skin, making it ideal for those who are postpartum.
- Lavender: Known for calming the mind, lavender also helps to calm the body, reducing inflammation and nourishing the nervous system. This is another herb that can be a daily tea.
- Rose petals: Both relaxing and uplifting, this herb is said to help release stuck emotions that can burrow into any part of our body (including the uterus).
It's time to reconnect.
Being in tune with your uterus sets women apart from men, something that should be embraced as wonderfully positive. Don't let the bright lights of equality and success disconnect you from what makes you uniquely feminine. You can have it all.
You can be strong, run a business, attain the body you want, and create the success you dream of, all while staying in touch with your inner self, your femininity, your uterus.
If you're struggling with issues related to your cycle or are having difficulty conceiving, consider contacting a local practitioner who is familiar with yoni steaming and the healing powers of medicinal herbs.