DIY Coochie Steams!

Any kind of healing tenderness to the Cooch is of great benefit to humanity and the earth at large.  Treating  vaginal issues can be challenging! Yeast, Bacterial vaginosis, atrophy, are all difficult-to- resolve issues.As a health care practitioner, this has been a great asset to my practice as a DIY for patients when herbal formulas and acupuncture have fallen short. Coochie Steams are all the rage lately, offered up as Vaginal Steam or “V Steam” at salons and spas in many major cities. Origins are multiple, from Mayan culture to Korean. Its seems the cooch is getting lots of new and tender attention and care these days, and its about time. I have been prescribing at home coochie steams to my patients with the following complaints:

Sexual trauma, disconnect with sexuality, bacterial vaginosis, foul smell, yeast infection, pre/peri menopausal vaginal dryness and/or atrophy, amennorhea, irregular menses, and painful menses.

Use what you got! Or got to your herbalist for special recs.
Use what you got! Or got to your herbalist for special recs.

Though I have found no references to vaginal moxa or steams in Chinese medical literature, there is a practice of applying moxabustion to acupuncture point Conception vessel 1 (CV1), hui yin, yin meeting point also called “doorway to the earth” (Bensky).  It is also a Sun Si Miao Ghost point.  Ghost points treat the spirit, chasing entities or bodily inhabitants out…which can include in this case, energy from past partners, parasites, fungus and bacteria, anything that may be taking up residence.  This point is located on the perineum, on the mid-line, midway between anus and labia or anus and scrotum. Some call it the “taint,” for “t’ain’t the vagina and t’ain’t the anus.” Moxa applied to CV1 can have the following benefits:

 

  • cleansing and toning benefits for vaginal tissue in menopausal vaginal atrophy
  • decreased menstrual pain
  • improved sleep
  • enhances fertility from cold in the womb
  • resolves hernia
  • clears bladder and vaginal damp heat/candida infection
  • heals hemorrhoids
  • Strengthens the lumbus and boosts the kidney

I am going to make the leap that vaginal steams will treat the same and similar conditions.

WHAT MY PATIENTS ARE SAYING

“I just experienced my first ever, “Yoni Second Chakra Steam.” My cycles have been progressively becoming longer and longer in the last 18 years, to 32-35 days. I have 1-3 days of brown blood before my red flow starts and when my red flow starts, I have clotting and intense bleeding. This lead me to try the vaginal steam to help heal my uterus. The first thing that I noticed after my steam was that I needed to rest, and as I did so, I felt my pelvic bones have 8-9 powerful adjustment and this was followed by an intense emotional release. When I did have my cycle, after my first steam, black, thick blood came out, with no cramping, as if the old blood got liquified by the steam. It’s another tool in my belt for healing and I hope that it will bring profound healing for you as it did for myself. -Monica Tomasi

“I recently had a negative sexual experience that left me feeling … unclean, used and discarded, like a dirty rag. Soon after this encounter, I noticed a distinct and unpleasant odor coming from down there. The smell was persistent and repulsive. The next week my acupuncturist recommended doing an herbal steam to help shift the environment down there and hopefully alleviate the smell. She gave me a special yoni steam herb blend. As I sat the scent of the herbs wafted up to me, comforting me with the familiar scent of mugwort, an old ally of mine. My yoni felt warm and comforted, like I had built a sacred sauna, just for her. After I was finished, I was delighted by the beauty of the herbs floating in the bowl of warm water. My yoni scent has returned to normal, a gentle and pleasant smell that I am used to. The unpleasant odor has vanished!

Doing my steam feels like a ritual of self care specifically dedicated to remembering and honoring the feminine aspect of myself. Like the yellow flowers opening their petals in the water, I feel myself opening and relaxing into the warmth of the steam, the scent of the herbs, and the tenderness of a simple act of self nurturance. By giving this special love an attention to my vagina, I remember to honor all parts of myself with equal reverence, because they are all part of the greater whole of me.-SL

“I have had amennorhea for 8 years, and only recently has it worried me, when my womb began to feel empty, lifeless and dry. I did not want my sex life to dissipate and I wanted to feel whole as a woman!  When I saw Anna for acupuncture and herbs she prescribed me a tea, and a yoni steam with my favorite herbs, mugwort and shizandra. My second round of steaming created a day of my uterus and cervix vibrating! I waited a few weeks and then again, did the coochie steam with the same herbs. Again! I experienced vibrations or flutters from uy uterus all the way down to my cervix! There is no doubt in my mind the healing steam of these intelligent plants at the gateway of my womb is bringing Her back to life!! Woo hoo!!” -Brooke Sullivan

“I have had chronic yeast infections/candida on and off since my 20s. It had begun to cause fissures and pain from sex, so severe that I had to abstain from sex.  I received a special herbal steam blend from Anna. I have done 3 steams and my last sexual interlude was pain and fissure free.” -NW

HOW DO I DO IT AT HOME?

coochiesteamsetup

Best to do during premenstrual phase, or when bleeding is complete. Best to do it right before bedtime.  Put 2/3 cup of herbs into a pot with 8 cups of water. Bring to boil and turn off to steep and cool for 15 minutes. If at that time it is not cool enough, just add a bit of cool water to make it manageable. You can also get a  metal bowl large enough to fit into our toilet without falling in! Wrap yourself well with a blanket so as to keep in the warmth. Sit for 15-30 mins. It is important to wrap yourself up and go to bed so you can keep your womb warm, and not let cold into your relaxed and open womb. Let the effects of the steam resound throughout your lower burner as you rest. There are also vagi stools available that have an opening, under which you can place your hot pot of herbs. Another idea from Monica Tomasi is to put your pot under a milk crate and sit on top with a blanket wrapped around you. I have tried this and it works well! Do be mindful that the steam is not too hot, so as not to burn your butt or cooch!

vsteamchair

Chinese Scutellaria Baical, Cnidium, Angelica sinensis, Lily Bulb, Schizandra and Mugwort is a great blend for the peri/post menopausal cooch who feels frequent irritation from love making with fissures and a growth of yeast.

Calendula, plantain, mugwort is a simple blend for moving menstrual blood to clear cramps, and toning the vaginal tissue.

Here are some of my suggestions for my patients: Calendula, Plantain, Mugwort, Scutellaria Baical, Oregon Grape root, Schizandra, Marshmallow, Cnidium, Lily bulb, rosemary. The variety of herbs suggested can treat many things.