by Jenny Jones
Okay, so when someone told me there was an exciting new beauty craze, I was all ears and ready to try it. That said, sitting spread-eagle and semi-naked over a pot of hot water isn’t exactly what I had in mind.
Detoxing your vagina may sound like an odd and even painful ordeal, but Korean women have been doing it for centuries to regulate their menstrual cycles. The ancient tradition uses a combination of herbs that claim to reduce stress, fight infection, clear hemorrhoids and aid fertility, as well as countless other health benefits. Its key ingredients – mugwort and wormwood – have long been used to stimulate hormones, treat bladder infections, fevers, constipation and induce contractions during labor.
It’s well established that heating an area promotes circulation, which can lead to increased blood flow and a better supply of nutrients, antibodies and oxygen. This can only be a good thing for your delicate parts, right?
So what can you expect from the treatment? For $30 – $75 you can get a 45 minute session and this is the experience you’re paying for: on entering the salon you will be led to an individual room where you are asked to strip naked from the waist down and hover over an open-seated stool. Although you must remain underwear-free, a poncho preserves your modesty – this means you can indulge in a little group steaming if you really want! Or if you’re really brave, you can take your boyfriend along for the male equivalent – an A steam – you work it out!
Once seated, the boiling pot of Mugwort and Wormwoodtea, mixed with other herbs – rosemary, lavender, oregano, marigold and basil – is placed under the stool and the steam rises upwards and does its magic.
But what magic exactly? And is there any proof? Some women have claimed that vaginal steaming has helped them conceive, but Midwife Melissa Stone of Southend Hospital says, “It’s difficult to talk about specific health benefits without scientific proof, but I’d always be cautious about any treatment focused around or near the vaginal area, particularly just after giving birth.
“The PH sensitivity of the vagina can be susceptible to many different external factors such as strong shampoos and soaps – so I’d be wary of intentionally steaming that part of the body with a concoction of herbs.”
The theory behind the treatment is rather simple. It’s well established that heating an area promotes circulation, which can lead to increased blood flow and a better supply of nutrients, antibodies and oxygen. This can only be a good thing for your delicate parts, right? Ultimately though, you are effectively sitting on a mug of expensive tea, however you look at it – whether that’s worth the money is difficult to say.
So although I wouldn’t advise skipping a doctor’s appointment in favour of a ‘V-steam’, if your nether regions are suffering and you want a natural alternative to chemical-based cures, then maybe it is something worth looking into. Western beauticians have always looked to Asia for new and exotic treatments, but whether this is just flavor of the month or a long-standing treatment with great benefits, only time will tell. One thing’s for sure, you’d be a braver girl than me.
For an article on how to do an at-home vaginal steam, read here.
Looking for spas that offer V steams?
In Santa Monica, Ca, go to Tikkun
In Los Angeles, go to Daengki Spa (only $20 for 45 minutes!)
In London, go to Tres Chelsea
Photos from this source. Article copyright HealthyBeautyProject.com