What is a vaginal steam? (and why YOU should consider doing one)

Alright friends, since we are going to be talking about vaginal steaming today I figured it is okay to call y’all friends, since I wouldn’t talk about this to just anyone. So sit back and hear me out before you rule anything out by just hearing the words ‘vaginal steaming’.

steam my vagina

(And to make it official, I am not a doctor, you should make sure to do your own research before attempting a vaginal steam. This should not be done while pregnant or nursing.)

What is now becoming a new, popular tread, vaginal steaming is actually an age-old tradition meant to cleanse and detox the uterus.

So, let’s get the facts straight.

What is a vaginal steam?

A vaginal steam is basically a steam ‘facial’ only it is for your vagina and uterus. (See? Aren’t you glad I said ‘friends’ because we are talking about personal stuff here!)

What makes the vaginal steam beneficial is what is used in the steam. Typically herbs are chosen that can help increase circulation to the uterus or to aid in cleansing.

Stagnation is not a good thing when it comes to any organ system, but when it comes to the uterus it can cause a myriad of issues with menstruation and fertility.

Herbs can be picked for the individual to help with specific issues and health conditions. Some herbs that are typically used are oregano, motherwort, mugwart or rosemary. (all available at Mountain Rose Herbs)

what is a vaginal steam?

How does this work?

When doing a vaginal steam , you are basically making a ‘tea’ out of herbs and allowing the herbal steam to travel to your vagina and uterus. This sounds kind of hooky, but really the tissues of the vaginal area are very porous and absorb things quite easily.

The steam carries the volatile oils from the herbs to the tissues where it is adsorbed into the body. (Our bodies are so amazing!)

The herbs can help improve circulation and blood flow to the area. The vaginal steams are also said to thin mucus and help the uterus detox and cleanse.

In the past these steams were used to help with irregular periods, fertility issues, and even anxiety. The idea being that the herbal steam goes right where it is needed to aid the reproductive area.

How do you do a vaginal steam?

The hardest part about doing a vaginal steam, in my opinion, is finding some quiet time to do it. (You do not want people banging on the bathroom door when you are trying to relax!)

You need to decide what herbs you would like to use and make a big pot of tea.

1 cup of herbs*
2 quarts of water

You’ll also need a chair or stool with either slats or a hole in the middle (available on Amazon), a couple of chairs next to each other (a cheek on each!), or a clean toilet (turn off the water and flush so it empties the bowl).

  • Bring the water to a boil and let settle for few minutes, add the herbs and stir.
  • You will then want to find a quiet place, which I recommend setting up BEFORE you get your steam ready, to set the basin of water that you will be able to sit over. (If you use a basin that fits into the bottom of your clean toilet, this works well)
  • Once you get the steam ready, sit above it making sure the steam is not too hot. You do not want to burn the area, the vaginal tissue is sensitive.
  • Wrap blankets around your waist to keep the steam trapped in.
  • Typically steams last 20-40 minutes. This is a good time to read, journal, or pray to pass the time.

Once you are done it is a good idea to lay down for a while to allow your body to relax and the herbs to do their work. (This is good to do before bed because then you can just go to sleep and stay resting)

*What herbs do I use?

While it really is something that personal and should be picked on what issues you are trying to work on, these are a few that I found to be beneficial.

  • Rosemary-has been used to help fight infection (steaming should not be done during an active infection)
  • Yarrow-an herb used for cleansing and toning
  • Motherwort-a long-standing herb used for woman’s issues can help with toning the uterus as well as used for anxiety brought on by your period
  • Calendula-a mild, soothing herb that can be beneficial for scarring
  • Lavender-a typically relaxing herb which also has antibacterial properties

When should you do a vaginal steam?

From what I read there really is not set time to do a steam. Traditionally, a safe time to do it is right after your period and before ovulation, this allows any lingering tissue and cells to be cleansed before ovulation.

Some say if you have a lot of menstruation issues that the week before your period is a good time.

I have also read that if you are struggling with  fertility to do it right before ovulation.

However if pregnancy is suspected, do not do a vaginal steam.

A long-standing tradition, vaginal steaming does seem to have it place in the world of herbal remedies. I know that isn’t the most fun thing to talk about, but knowing how herbs work, this practice seems like a great therapy to aid in uterine and vaginal health.

If you are comfortable sharing, I would love to hear from you, what benefits have you seen from doing vaginal steams? 

Read more:

Yup, I’m gonna talk about vaginal steam baths by Stephanie Brandt Cornais

Should you steam your vagina? by Nicole Jardim

Traditional Vaginal Steam for Healthy Fertility by Dalene Barton-Schuster

Are cleaners disrupting your hormones?

Changing your diet is a great way to start on the road to health and happy hormone balance. But your environment can also a large factor in your own personal health. Taking a good look at the products you bring into your home in order to clean it and make it smell nice could be disrupting your hormones.

Are cleaning supplies disrupting your hormones

Have you ever really looked at the chemicals you use in your own home?

Conventional cleaners are full of toxins and chemicals that have been associated with birth defects as well as reproductive problems. Unfortunately manufacturers are not required to place their ingredients on any sort of label. So let’s just look at some of the ingredients that are most common in products.

Alkylphenolic compounds are surfactants and used in all-purpose cleaners as well as laundry detergent. These compounds have also shown to be endocrine disrupters, which means they mimic the hormone estrogen and cause problems with your hormones that regulate reproduction and the development of a baby.

Perchlorethylene, or PERC is found in carpet cleaners, spot removers, de-greasers and also in dry cleaning fluids. This toxin is important to stay away from because when it is inhaled, it can actually be stored in our fat tissue (known as a bioaccumulative toxin). This toxin has also been shown to negatively affect babies in the womb as well as contaminate breast milk.

Petroleum distillates are not only found in hand dishwashing liquid, paint thinners, stain removers, furniture polishes, and oven cleaners, but also in lip gloss and perfume. Exposure to this chemical can cause problems with the respiratory, immune, and most important for those trying to conceive, your endocrine system.

So are these cleaners disrupting your hormones?

If I listed all of the chemicals in regular cleaners, we’d be here all day. But the gist of it is this: we’re bringing chemicals into our homes that get onto our skin (because many of us don’t wear gloves like the bottles recommend) and we breathe them in while we’re spraying and cleaning. Sometimes we might even ingest them if an object hasn’t been rinsed off appropriately!

So how do you keep these hormone disrupting chemicals out of your body? You keep them out of your home and use natural cleaners.

But don’t worry, you don’t need to run out to the store and spend tons of money on the natural products either, though you can if you lack time but not money…

Many of you even have these items in your home already! Here’s a cheap, natural way to keep your house clean.

Here’s what you buy at the store:

  • one large bottle of vinegar (approx. $2-$3)
  • one large box of baking soda (approx. $2)
  • one large bottle of hydrogen peroxide (approx. $2)
  • two small spray bottles (approx. $2-4)
  • one single spray top (or another spray bottle if you can’t just find the top) to use on the hydrogen peroxide bottle as it needs to stay in the brown bottle

Total spent: $8.00

Optional purchases:

Quick and easy cleaners that won’t wreck your hormones:

For an all-purpose cleaner you can use straight up vinegar (or dilute it half and half if the smell is to strong for you) in a spray bottle. Add a few drops of essential oil if you’d like a bit more germ fighting power and/or scent. And don’t worry about your home smelling like pickles, the smell vanishes rather quickly.
*cost per bottle – .10 to .20 depending on dilution and EOs used.

Have a tough cleaning job like a tub or messy stove top? Sprinkle some baking soda around and spray with vinegar. Although this does work very well, you do need just a touch more elbow grease than when you use the highly toxic cleaners. Adding a bit of salt can give you extra scrubbing power.
*cost per bottle plus soda usage – maybe .50 to .60

For a great disinfectant spray the counter down with hydrogen peroxide and follow-up with straight vinegar. When using both together they somehow activate disinfectant properties. I love using this after I cook each night! (make sure you do not mix them beforehand, and always keep the hydrogen peroxide in a dark bottle. Otherwise the hydrogen peroxide will break down and become useless water)
*cost per bottles (one of each) – .30 to .50

As you can see, with such a cheap alternative to toxic cleaners, there really is no reason to overload your home and body with chemicals that disrupt your hormones!

You can also check out the many cleaners I’ve come up with over the years as well as other non-toxic ways of living here – 31 Days to Cleaner Living

 What are your favorite homemade/natural cleaners?

Weekly fertility challenge list

Welcome to the Natural Fertility and Wellness Fertility Challenge where we tackle nutritional, physical, and emotional aspects that can help us better our overall health and increase fertility/balance hormones.

Fertility Challenge

There are a few ways to go about your own challenge.

  1. Start from week one and work your way week by week.
  2. Focus on one aspect at a time. Blue challenges are based on nutrition, pink challenges are physical, and orange challenges are spiritual/emotional.
  3. Pick up right where we are in the private Facebook chat group. (the challenges are not harder as you go along, so any challenge you pick up will be helpful.)
  4. And of course you can simply scroll through the list and pick the ones you need to work on. Just do me a favor and for every three or four nutritional challenges, pick a spiritual/emotional one. I specifically rotate through different challenges to make sure we are treating our whole selves and not sticking to just one part of our health.

You can also have me email them to you! Just sign up below and you’ll get a new challenge in your email every Saturday morning.

drink more water

exercise and fertility

eat more vegetables

meditation for fertility

non-toxic beauty products

click here for the Skin Deep Database

sugar and fertility

charting for fertility

click image above for more information

Journal for infertility

click image above for more information

caffeine and fertility

click image above for more information

skin brushing

click image above for more information

fertility challenge

eat better snacks

research cleaning products

practice gratitude

click image above for more information

eat your greens

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got to bed by 10PM

What if Endometriosis was simple? 3 key areas to target

When I first discovered I had Endometriosis, I had no understanding of what the condition was really all about. I didn’t even know how to pronounce it, never mind trying to understand what caused it or what made it worse. My doctor’s explanation of it, didn’t seem to alleviate this feeling as I was constantly asking questions but not really getting any real endometriosis treatments that worked!

natural treatments for endometriosis

At the time, the only solutions that were offered to me were pain-killers, surgery or hormone treatments. I wanted more choices as somehow I knew that these things were not solving anything but merely suppressing the symptoms of Endometriosis.

After having lived with Endometriosis for over 15 years now, I know it personally. It has visited me in the dark hours of the night and left me wondering where I begin and it ends. Endometriosis was a dominator for so long but eventually I had to find a better way to understand it and stop suppressing it. I have finally found an Endometriosis Treatment that actually works!

I spent 4 years researching all that I could about Endometriosis. I stretched my research into inflammatory conditions, auto-immune conditions and even dived into the digestive system and how it relates to everything within our bodies. I have even gone back to studying a degree in Natural Medicine as the whole experience of learning about my body and it actually worked really made me appreciate it so much more.

Eventually I managed to break Endometriosis down into three key areas that I target within my Eat Endo Happy Program.

My Endometriosis Treatment Protocol:

Area 1: Reduce Inflammation

I got clues that Endometriosis was an inflammatory condition since I was always swollen and bloated. I also felt the changes that occurred with my bowel movements and my bladder, during certain times of the month. So, if I managed to reduce my inflammation, I would reduce these symptoms.

The easiest way to reduce inflammation is to focus on eating a non inflammatory diet. This means avoiding foods which are high acid like meat, dairy and sugar. Also, eating foods which reduce inflammation like loads of dark leafy greens, super-foods and foods loaded with anti-oxidants.

 

Area 2: Build up the Immune System

It was hard for me to accept that Endometriosis was an auto-immune condition. I discovered countless indicators and even a researched papers which illustrated that indeed it was. I decided it certainly couldn’t hurt to approach my immune system and build it up. I focused on natural herbs and adaptogens which allowed my body to also cope better with stress.

The immune system is our “fighter” and if it’s down, then all sorts of nasties can enter the body and create imbalances. With endometriosis there have been links to Candida overgrowth, Epstein-Barr Virus and a low NK Cell count. We can boost our immune system by focusing on gut health, a diet high in adaptogens and anti-oxidants and high amounts of Vitamin C. I also found mushroom powders incredible for building the immune system.

 

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Area 3: Balancing our Hormones

Typically when my doctor approached this aspect of Endometriosis, it was all about simply reducing the effects of the Endometriosis spreading, it was all about control and reducing Oestrogen’s in the body. I wanted to understand why my hormones were out of balance in the first place. It was not as simple as just giving my body more Progesterone! I needed to know why and get to the root of what caused the imbalances. What I discovered is that our hormone health closely relates to our liver health and that ultimately, when I rebalanced and supported my liver, my hormone health improved.

 

I hope this has given you a more simple approach for Endometriosis to explore.

When we approach Endometriosis from this 3 pronged approach, it is amazing how the symptoms and pain just melts away. I would love the new endometriosis treatment protocol to always be handled this way. I couldn’t believe the difference it has made in my own journey with Endometriosis and so many other women with the condition. There is far more to this than just suppressing our hormones!

What has been your experience with Endometriosis? Have you always stuck to just suppressing hormones? Has this opened up some new areas to explore for you?

How to get your period naturally

I never thought I’d see the day where I was happy to have my period.

When I was a teen and all my friends were complaining about cramps, not being able to swim, wear white safely, etc, etc, I just kind of stayed quiet. Sometimes lamented a knowing “Mmm Hmm…” even though I had no clue.

Sometimes I even wondered if Jesus was meant to have a sibling and I was somehow divinely impregnated but the angel forget to let me know. (Hey, you know you thought that at 13/15 years old too!)

But I kind of got used to it and to be honest, didn’t care. Everyone treated menstruation like a plague and I didn’t want any part of that.

I got married young and did what most do, I went on the pill for a few years to wait until we were ready to start a family. I hated the pill for many reasons (migraines, acne, weight gain), but it was normal in the group of people I hung out with.

And a few years later I began to freak out about my lack of periods… because a lack of periods meant a lack of ovulation, and I wanted a baby yesterday!

I really wish I would have known then what I know now, but at the time I couldn’t find any solid ways to get the body to ovulate naturally when my body wasn’t doing it on its own. Yet after months of researching conventional nutrition and medical ways to assist ovulation and pregnancy, I finally found my way to what real foods can do.

get your period naturally

How I got my period back

I’m asked all the time what I did to start ovulating again, and for me (at the time) it was fairly simple:

Eat real food.

  • I threw away all my low-fat margarine spreads (and sprays! ick.), stopped buying skim milk and low-fat cheese, and ditched the processed foods.
  • Instead I bought real butter, didn’t drink milk for a while and then switched to farm fresh, and added healthy fats to my diet.
  • I also severely cut back on my refined sugar consumption, though still indulged from time to time.

Those three things were the biggest changes I made, and at 27 years I began to ovulate regularly for the first time in my life. First it was every 8 weeks for a couple of cycles, then every six until six months after my nutritional change, it went to a “normal” 28 day cycle.

Depending on your age, overall health, hormonal birth control history, and stress level, it may be simple dietary changes that bring back your cycle, or you might need to add in other alternative therapies to assist healing and reproductive health.

Free videos for you

I know from the emails I get that many of you have the same issue with your cycles, or lack thereof, so I wanted to let you know about this free video series called “Bring Back Your Period” that my friend Nicole Jardim put together. She’s the creator of the Fix Your Period programs and is one of my favorite woman’s hormonal health coaches. These videos are the preview to her paid program, but you don’t have to buy anything to watch them AND they are full of great info (not just teasers to get you to buy something). I’ve watched the first two today and I think you’ll really enjoy them.

She knows her stuff and the ins and outs of hormones and how to balance them naturally.

So if you go months between periods or maybe yours are just unpredictable and never have a cycle the same length, you should totally watch these videos.

how to get your period

And if you’ve found changes you made helped you to begin ovulating again naturally, let me know in the comments below!