After four years of intending to conceive, and having tried everything from surgeries to injections, Onika discovered the ancient practice of yoni steaming. Within weeks of learning and practicing this herbal home remedy, Onika’s dream of carrying a baby finally came true.
Yoni is the Sanskrit word for vagina, womb and goddess. Yoni steaming, also known as vaginal steaming, is a holistic health practice whereby a woman experiences the warmth of herbal steam gently permeating the exterior of her vagina. This gentle yet powerful ancient remedy has been used by women worldwide. Mayan healers and midwives used yoni steams or bajos to provide effective support for the female reproductive system, helping to improve fertility.
How does it work? One of the most common reasons for fertility challenges is induration of the uterine wall. This means that if the lining of the uterine wall hasn’t completely shed during each cycle, it can create a build up of old material. This old tissue can adhere to the folds of the uterus, and can contribute a number of reproductive challenges – from menstrual cramps during the cycle, to an inability of the fertilized egg to attach to the wall of the uterus. Yoni steaming carries herbal medicine through the subtle channels to the uterus, where it helps the womb to loosen this old matter and deeply cleanse itself. The material is then released through menstruation during the next cycle, making space for the fertilized egg to successfully implant and grow.
Not only is yoni steaming a highly effective treatment to help improve fertility, it is also very simple, inexpensive, and can be done at home. Here’s how:
Yoni Steaming Supplies
- Yoni steaming herbs. Make your own blend of yarrow, mugwort, lavender, oregano and/or calendula, or buy the trusted blend, Vibrant Souls. You’ll need one heaping cup of herbs per steam.
- Yoni steam seat. You have options! Choose one of the following…
- Place two chairs 6 inches apart, and place the bowl of water and herbs between them on the floor
- Cut a large hole in a lawn chair, and place your bowl directly below
- Place a shallow metal bowl in a clean toilet (not glass to avoid breakage)
- Purchase a handmade yoni steam seat from Etsy or Vibrant Souls. Your bowl with herbs and water will be placed inside a bucket, with the seat on top.
Yoni Steaming Ritual Preparation
- 3 Quart stainless steel or glass bowl (heat resistant)
- 2 Quarts of water (filtered if possible)
- 4 Quart sauce pan or pot with lid + hot pads and/or ladle
- Warm socks
- Bathrobe and/or blankets
Yoni Steaming Ritual in 10 Steps
- Place two quarts of filtered water into your sauce pan or pot and bring to a boil.
- Add one heaping cup of yoni steaming herbs to the water. Stir well.
- Cover and steep with lid on for five minutes.
- Turn off heat and allow water to cool with the lid on for 5 minutes.
- Remove the pot with water and herbs from stove and carefully pour into your 3-Quart stainless steel or glass bowl.
- Position bowl under the yoni steam seat you have set up for yourself. The goal is to have the bowl of hot water about 15 inches below your seat.
- Disrobe from the waist down (except for warm socks) and carefully sit down on the chair or seat, and begin to feel the steam rising up to meet you.
- Wrap your legs and waist with a warm blanket to keep the steam inside. Note: The steam should feel warm and gentle – if it feels too hot, separate your legs or stand up to avoid burns.
- Stay sitting, wrapped in warm blankets, over the steam for 25 minutes. Take this time to visualize your future baby, journal and/or gently massage your lower abdomen to encourage the herbal steam to work.
- After the steam is finished, move directly from the seat to bed, and wrap yourself up with warm covers. Lie down for at least one hour, or ideally for the entire night.
You will likely pass darker, thicker blood during your next period. This is normal, as it is the result of your uterus releasing the old matter. Yoni steaming is part of a cleansing process that prepares your body for pregnancy. This means that, ideally, you relax for a few cycles from actively aiming for conception for two to three months so that your reproductive system can fully detoxify and release any residual tissue before you carry a baby. During these two to three months, it is recommended that you practice yoni steaming a twice week on the weeks that you are not menstruating (never steam during menstruation).
Take these months as an opportunity to cleanse your whole body, mind and spirit. Remove coffee, alcohol, gluten and processed foods from your diet, and focus instead on eating a plant-based diet that includes the bitter, astringent and pungent tastes (eat a cooked bitter green like collard greens, kale or broccoli at every meal!). Reduce stress in your life, and integrate practices that support you to release any pain from the past, such as meditation, affirmations or counseling.
After two to three months of yoni steaming and cleansing, return once again to your intention to conceive. As you actively begin your conception process, you should discontinue yoni steaming. This is important since its purpose is to help your uterus shed its lining, which of course you don’t want to do once your fertilized egg implants! Continue to avoid coffee, alcohol, gluten and processed foods, but start to incorporate more blood building foods. Fertility is nourished by sweet and salty tastes along with sticky, stable, heavy, warm and oily qualities. Sweet and salty foods such as honey, coconut oil, almonds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, help build reproductive tissue, so these are great to eat during this time.
By combining the deeply cleansing and spiritually nourishing practice of yoni steaming with a detoxifying diet and a little patience, you’re setting yourself up for success like Onika. When you do, you take your fertility in to your own hands, using wisdom that has been passed down by grandmothers for generations. Remember to love yourself and to connect souls with your partner or support system of women throughout your process. Blessings to you on your fertility journey, and to welcoming in the spirit of your sweet little one!
Note: Please do not yoni steam if you are menstruating, currently pregnant or have an intrauterine device (IUD).
Sierra Brashear, MA, is an Ayurvedic Practitioner, doula and founder of Vibrant Souls, a wellness company that makes organic yoni steaming herbs, yoni steam seats, and herbal tea blends available to women around the world.