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Traditional Vagina Steam for Healthy Fertility

Traditional Vagina Steam for Healthy Fertility

Since the dawn of humanity, there have always been healers in every community. These healers were revered as important members of society, because they possessed extensive knowledge of the plants and their healing powers. Traditional healers spent countless hours, formulating and experimenting with ways to use these plants, to heal the members of their communities. They also taught the peoples the importance of using the plants to maintain vitality, which today is known as preventative medicine. Maya healers and midwives used bajos, an ancient healing practice. Bajos (ba-hoes) is a Spanish word that translates to Vaginal Steam Bath. Traditional Korean healers used this healing method as well, they call it chai-yok. Healers use the vagi-steam (vagina steam) to aid women with chronic fertility issues, as well as to maintain healthy fertility. A vagi-steam is a great way to support many fertility programs, especially while performing a fertility cleanse.

Benefits of Vaginal Steam Baths
Vagina Steam baths bring heat to the womb. The use of specific herbs adds layers of different healing benefits, depending on the fertility-related health condition being treated. Different herbs have different healing actions. Typically, more than one herb was chosen and formulated in a blend, specific to the woman’s unique fertility needs.

  • The combination of herbs works to nourish, tone, heal, bring in fresh oxygenated blood, promote cleansing, and make supple the vaginal and uterine tissues.
  • The moist heat opens the pores of the the tissues it comes into contact with. The water vapor carries the medicinal benefits of the plants, including volatile oils. This is absorbed into the tissues and enters the bloodstream, having a direct healing effect on the reproductive system. Vaginal tissue is one of the most absorbent of the entire female body.

The combination of some or all of these herbs, used for traditional bajos, had specific healing intention. I am not aware of the traditional herbs used by other cultures for vagi-steam; because of this I will share with you herbs used for Maya bajos, with the exception of two herbs used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The purpose of the vagi-steam is to aid as an internal cleanser of the membranes of the vaginal tissues and the uterus. This is considered especially important for stagnant fertility conditions, and/or incomplete emptying of menses each cycle, signs of which are:

  • PMS
  • cramps during your period
  • brown/dark/purple menstrual blood
  • blood clotting during menstruation
  • absence of menstruation
  • Endometriosis
  • PCOS
  • long cycles
  • bleeding less than 4 days per cycle

Women who may benefit from a vagi-steam would be those with the following conditions: uterine fibroids, painful menstruation, uterine weakness, uterine prolapse, irregular menstrual cycles, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, reproductive adhesion/scar tissue, previous vaginal tear or episiotomy, and dark purple or brown blood at the onset or end of menses.

Naprapathic physician, herbalist, director of The Arvigo Institute and teacher of Maya medicine, Rosita Arvigo, DN, says, “There may be many reasons for infertility, but one of those reasons is induration of the uterine wall. When we combine vaginal steaming with abdominal therapy – the deep external massage on the uterus – we have a very dynamic approach with great results (if that happens to be that issue that is causing the infertility, which it may not be).”

In some cases, a woman should not do vagi-steam, these are: extremely heavy menstrual cycles (do not do during your period) or if you have a vaginal infection, open wounds, sores, or blisters; do not do if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant. If you have genital piercings, take them out, the heat will cause the piercing to burn you.

Note: Do not use essential oils in your vagi-steam bath, this is because they may burn the delicate tissues of the genitals.

Traditional Herbs Used for Vagi-Steam

Rosemary: Increases circulation to the reproductive organs, aids in clearing out of old fluids, is also antiseptic and purifying.

Lavender: One of the most relaxing herbs, calms the mind and body. Nourishing to the nervous system. Lavender is antiseptic to the vaginal tissues. It is also an antispasmodic, aiding in healthy uterine function.

Oregano: Used to bring on menses. Increases scanty flow. This herb is used for its antiseptic, stimulating, and strengthening qualities. Oregano is a wonderful herb for aiding in prevention of infection.

Marigold: Tagetes erecta is used to induce perspiration and cleansing of the vaginal tissues. It is also healing to wounds. Calendula officinalis aids in the healing of tight scarred tissues of the labia and perineum due to episiotomy or vaginal tear. Note: Do not steam an open wound, this could cause pain and swelling.

Basil: May reduce painful menstruation. Helps to bring on menstruation.

Rose petals: Rose petals are gentle and astringent to tissues of the genitals. Rose is a relaxing and uplifting herb.

Other herbs used in combination with above herbs: Burdock leaf, Motherwort, St. John’s Wort, Yarrow, Red Clover, Damiana, Chamomile, Dandelion, Yellow Dock, and Squaw Vine. Traditional Chinese Medicine herbs often used are Mugwort and Wormwood.

Healing Steam Rises Again
Many of you who are reading this may be in shock. Steam yourself? You mean down there? Yep, that’s right! In fact, spas across the U.S. are offering traditional vaginal steam baths. This therapeutic treatment goes for a pretty penny. An average cost of a 30-minute vagina steam session is between $50-$75. Vagi-steam baths are simple, so simple you can make your own at home for very little cost. You can do this by using household items. The only thing you may need to pick up would be herbs. You can find these at your local health food store.

Video: How to do a Traditional Mayan Vagi-Steam for Fertility

How to Make a Vaginal Steam Bath

What You Will Need

  • A slatted chair or modified stool/chair to let steam through. Preferably made of natural materials such as wood, canvas, or bamboo.
  • 2 large natural fiber blankets. Wool or cotton are preferred.
  • A large stainless-steel stock pot, large enough to boil a gallon of water. You may also want a large ceramic or Pyrex bowl to pour the hot water and herbs into. Do not use a cracked bowl, the hot water may split the bowl more.
  • Herbs of choice. A cup of dried herb, or a quart mason jar loosely filled with fresh herbs.

1. Place your chair, blanket, and whatever else you may want in a location that will be comfortable. Place a cutting board under the chair, or place chair on a tile floor. Have a glass of water, music and/or reading material set up in advance. Be sure you are wearing a long skirt, no underwear, and a warm natural fiber top.

2. Boil 1 gallon of water with 1 cup herb mixture for 10 minutes. Continue to steep off of the stove for an additional 5 minutes. If transferring to a ceramic bowl, do so now. Place pot or bowl under the chair/stool.

3. Test how hot the steam is. Put the inside of your forearm over the steam to test. Remember your genitals are very sensitive to heat, you do not want to burn them! Do not sit down until the steam is comfortable for you.

4. Sit down. Be sure you are not wearing underwear and none of your clothing is hanging in the pot.

5. Cover your entire lower half, all the way to the ground with the first blanket. Make a tent all around the chair, to keep the steam in.

6. Wrap the second blanket around the upper half of your body. Keep it wrapped around you, stay warm.

7. Steam for 20-30 minutes.

8. Keep warm, go to bed for 1 hour.

Vagi-steam is best done every two weeks when used for treating a fertility issue. For general fertile vitality (preventative maintenance), Vagi-steam baths are best done twice a year, and can be timed to be done bi-annually in conjunction with a fertility cleanse. Give your yoni some love, treat her to a Vagi-Steam!


Dr. Christine Traxler M.D., OB/GYN
Dr. Christine Traxler M.D., OB/GYN

Dr. Traxler is a University-trained obstetrician/gynecologist, working with patients in Minnesota for over 20 years. She is a professional medical writer; having authored multiple books on pregnancy and childbirth; textbooks and coursework for medical students and other healthcare providers; and has written over 1000 articles on medical, health, and wellness topics.  Dr. Traxler attended the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences and University of Minnesota Medical School,  earning a degree in biochemistry with summa cum laude honors in 1981,  and receiving her Medical Doctorate degree (MD) in 1986.

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  1. Avatar

    Hello, I would really like to try yogi steaming, but unsure which herbs to use. I have amenorrhea and don´t have any menstruation. can you give me any advice?
    Thank you in advance

  2. Avatar

    Can you v steam on ovulation day?

  3. Avatar

    I would like to know if I can use fresh herbs for the steam? I see the popular way is the dry herbs.

  4. Avatar

    I’m going to be starting the vsteam in a few days. I’m wondering is it ok to reheat the herbs or do I just use them once?

  5. Avatar

    I would like to find out if dry herbs can be used in yoni steaming?

  6. Avatar

    i have PCOS and i am also trying to conceive. what herbs would you recommend i use please.

  7. Avatar


    How soon after my period can I do yoni steaming? I have a chocolate cyst in my left ovary and am hoping yoni steaming would help.

    Thanks a lot.

    • Dear Christine,

      Yoni steams can be used immediately after menstruation completely ends. While this may offer some level of support, chocolate cysts or endometriomas are cysts that form when displaced endometrial cells attach to the ovary and form a growth (endometriosis). So, consider also learning more about natural therapies for endometriosis.

  8. Avatar

    Hi there, i recently had a smear test due to very light bleeding after sex and discovered a polyp on my vaginal wall. Would yoni steaming benefit or help reduce the size? I read that frankensense was good for healing these. I’m just sure how you would use the oil. I read that you do not recommend essential oils.

    • Dear Debs,

      A vagina steam may offer some symptom relief and support. We actually do support the use of essential oils externally, just not in a vagina steam, as support for a natural fertility program, as well as for emotional health. They can be very powerful! It is best to use dried herbs in a vagina steam.

  9. Avatar

    How many v steams would you recommend for boosting fertility??

    • Dear Ashley,

      I’m not sure to be honest. Vagi steams would be complementary to a natural fertility program and should not be relied upon alone. Their effectiveness will also depend on a woman’s overall health and what she is dealing with I guess.

  10. Avatar

    I am pregnant with my second so obviously I can’t use this now. But I was wondering can you do a v steam while nursing? I plan on nursing my second like I did my first and is concern with the herbs have any ill effect on my milk and/or baby.

    • Dear Jessica,

      We are more fans of ice packs and sitz baths for 4-6 weeks (or more) until well healed after giving birth. Vagi-steams could be considered after that as they aren’t known to impact breastmilk. It would be best not to hold your child while steaming simply to ensure his/her skin is not touched by the steam.

  11. Avatar

    How often can I do a steam? Why is it not wise to steam while menstruating or pregnant? And how close to my cycle can I steam?


    • Dear Nicole,

      Vagi-steams can be done every two weeks for 20-30 minutes at a time when used for treating a fertility issue. To support general fertility health or fpr preventative maintenance, Vagi-steam baths are best done twice a year.

      We feel this natural therapy is best done prior to menstruation and then after menstruation ends, not during menstruation/a period for few different reasons:
      – it may be quite messy
      – it enhances circulation, which may cause flow to be heavier in turn leading to more mess
      – Doing a vagi-steam is a way for that area of the body to take a deep drink of the herbs and be hydrated. This may be counteractive while bleeding because a woman’s bleeding time is like a deep exhale for the body, a time of release. The natural flow/direction of this release during menstruation is counteracted when the uterus takes that “deep drink” of both herbs and water.

      There are no solid rules for how close to menstruation that one can steam. The day before may be fine, yet this really is up to you and how your body reacts to vagi-steaming.

  12. Avatar

    Can you recommend where I would buy the herbs for a vagi steam?

    • Dear Tamara,

      There are many sources, yet a few reputable resources for dried herbs are Mountain Rose Herbs, StarWest Botanicals or Frontier. Consider also talking with local growers at a Farmer’s Market near you or a local co-op.

  13. Avatar

    Very helpful. When in my cycle should I do a steam?

    • Hi Kat!

      Traditional vagina steams can be used after menstruation ends until ovulation when actively trying to conceive. One steam in two weeks is generally all that is suggested.

  14. Avatar

    I am very interested in a vagi-steam, but I am 51 and no prior problems with my yoni . So is it fisible to try it?

  15. Avatar

    Hello, I would like some clarity around doing vagina steams during ivf. I was going to receive the transfer of our embryo but the cycle was cancelled due to thin endometrium. It was 5,2mm 5 days prior to transfer. We are now going to try to get my lining thicker on a natural cycle, and since I am a few days away from my menses, I was wondering whether: a) it would be appropriate to do one or two vaginal steams before and one after my menses in preparation for the transfer; b) would this affect the hormonal treatment I have been receiving these past weeks (estradiol patches and pills)? c) in case I go ahead with the steams, what herb combination would you suggest? Many many thanks xox

    • Hello Marigold!

      I could only suggest considering a vagina steam if your reproductive endocrinologist agrees and you have support from an herbalist you can work with one on one. It is a better natural therapy to use sparingly in preparation for IVF rather than during.

      What is worth learning more about are Fertility Massage or perhaps having a few acupuncture treatments.

      No matter the reason for thin uterine lining, be sure to move your body each and every day. Sitting a lot compresses the reproductive organs.

      I wish you all the best!

  16. Avatar


    I’m very interested in trying this, as you know, I am TTC. When would be the appropriate window to do the steam?

    • Dear Sonovia,

      A Vagi-Steams could be considered one time between the end of menstruation and ovulation when actively trying to conceive based on traditional suggested use.

  17. Avatar

    This website is an amazing resource, and I am so grateful for the information that you are sharing! I have my set up all ready to go as well as some herbs! However, knowing different herbs produce different effects, I am wondering if you could possibly add on to the list above to make it a little more comprehensive? You mentioned other herbs (Burdock leaf, Motherwort, St. John’s Wort, Yarrow, Red Clover, Damiana, Chamomile, Dandelion, Yellow Dock, and Squaw Vine, Mugwort and Wormwood). I didn’t want to do random research as I don’t know if the effects vary wildly by route and method of administration etc., also I’m not an herbalist so I wouldn’t want to find wrong information. Thank you!

    • Dear Sophie,

      Thank you for your praise! Re: adding onto this list, more is not necessarily better and the herbs we have shared of are traditional herbs used for vagi-steam. While we know there are many many more herbs that share their medicine with us, it may be in different ways or unrelated to reproductive organ health, or their use is in a different form like tincture, oil topically or tea.

      Did you have a fertility health issue that isn’t addressed here?

  18. Avatar

    i just wanted to know about bleeding happened to me every time i have sex with my husband this past few days. I have previous history of tiny mayoma when i was 45 years old. now I am 52 years old. Is this advisable for me to do yoni steam?

    • Dear Clarissa,

      It could be due to lack of vaginal secretions or cervical mucus which can make the friction of intercourse cause bleeding. It may also be that there’s another myoma. Your doctor is best able to help you know the cause. So, consider reaching out to him/her.

      Yoni steams are not contraindicated for women 50 and older. Continue to do your research to help you decide if they may be right for you. A Yoni steam is not to be done when bleeding.

  19. Avatar

    Where can I order this specific chair you have on your site?

    • Dear Marie,

      We actually don’t sell the chairs. I have seen them available from others, but am not recalling a specific site. A search on the web or Etsy may lead to a great one. Best wishes!

  20. Avatar

    I have just found out that I miscarried 2 weeks ago (around 9 weeks), but have had no spotting or bleeding or other symptoms. I really want to avoid a D&C and get my body to release the fetus naturally. Would a yoni steam be okay to help this process?

    • Dear Derby,

      I am so sorry for your loss!

      I can’t suggest a yoni steam without guidance from a naturopath or midwife. What I do want to share however are easy steps to nourish and recover from miscarriage in our guide After Miscarriage: 5 Steps To Recovery.

      It is important to know that often the body will miscarry on its own without intervention. Your doctor will likely monitor you through this process with your best interest in mind.

      My best!

  21. Avatar

    Is vaginal steaming good for a menopausal woman? Due to the hormonal imbalance causing hot flashes and vaginal dryness I am miserable (my husband is understanding but it makes far an uncomfortable intimate time) but I do not want to take HRTs. I was wondering if vaginal circulation would help through steaming.

    • Dear Dottie,

      I’m sorry for what you’re going through! I have read that vagina steams can he helpful for those unwelcome menopause symptoms, but to be honest herbal support in menopause is not my area of expertise. Do continue to research or reach out to a practitioner who specializes in menopausal support.

      My best!

  22. Avatar

    Hello, I am currently on day 2 of my 5 day clomid prescription. I was going to do my v steam after I’m done with my pills before I ovulate. Is that a good idea? I forgot to do it right after my period before starting clomid. Thank you!

    • Dear Libby,

      This is truly up to you! It may depend on the herbs you wish to use and why you are wanting to do a vagi-steam, but from what I know now, I don’t see why not. If you will be actively trying to conceive, you wouldn’t want to do a vagi-steam after ovulation.

  23. Avatar

    Im wondering if i can do a steam while fighting cystitis, and which herbs would you recommend?


    • Dear Josephine,

      Perhaps a steam could be helpful, but it would be best to work with an herbalist near you to decide which herbs would be best for you. Consider learning about herbs that are anti-inflammatory. There are many known foods that aggravate IC too, you may already know this information. If not, consider searching for this information online or asking your healthcare provider.

      Best wishes!

  24. Avatar

    Do you sell something or maybe Amazon that has all the top herbs that would be good for a vagi-steam, without having to walk into a health store and guess which ones are more important to use?

    • Dear Elizabeth,

      I am not sure if anyone makes a ready-made vagi steam tea for purchase as the recipe is likely to differ from woman to woman. In this guide we share Traditional Herbs Used for Vagi-Steam and I have created Therapeutic Herbal Vagi-Steam Recipes to consider. Loose herbs can be purchased from retailers that sell them this way, Mountain Rose Herbs is one reputable resource (there are several Etsy shops that do as well, although be sure to verify company reputability and the quality of the herbs they offer).

  25. Avatar

    Is it possible to use pure essential oils rather than the dried or fresh herbs?

    • Dear Kate,

      Essential oils are not suggested in a Traditional Vagina Steam. It is better to make a strong infusion from dried or fresh herbs to steam with.

  26. Avatar

    I would like to know how often the steam can be used?
    Can someone with candida problem use it or not? Can it cure candida?
    Or the heat is not the best option for candida?

  27. Avatar


    I am trying to conceive. Doing a clomid and hcg trigger IUI this month. I read the article and watched the video. I just wants to check about timing of the steam. I can do the steam after period ends but should I not do it during two week wait (therefor only during the steam once a month rather then every two weeks. On the video I also heard her say something about doing it twice a year if you are trying to conceive.mdid I hear that correct?

    Thank you

    • Dear Lunden,

      Vagi steams are not suggested when actively participating in IUI, not with medications. It should not be used during the two week wait, in pregnancy or during menstruation should IUI not be successful.

      For general support, Vagi steams are best used twice yearly. If uterine tone or fertility health issues are a concern, Vagi steams can be used every two weeks.

      Best wishes with IUI!

  28. Avatar

    Is it ok to use marjoram instead or oregano?

    • Dear Bethany,

      To my knowledge marjoram and oregana can be interchanged. They are both from the Origanum genus and as the Herb Society of America states, “…in much of the history and folklore of the genus it is difficult to distinguish between sweet marjoram and oregano since many authors have used the name marjoram to describe both plants, and historically, both O. majorana (sweet marjoram) and O. vulgare (wild marjoram/oregano) have been called marjoram.”

  29. Avatar

    I have been having missed periods this past year (I’m in my early 30’s). I will go up to 58 days without a cycle. I just did my first vagi-steam today. How soon approx. should I get my cycle?

    • Dear Mart,

      I have to be honest and share that I’m not able to answer your question. Vagina steam alone may not be all to that is needed to bring back menstruation. We feel a holistic approach to supporting the body is key – focusing on diet, maintaining healthy stress levels, and addressing existing health conditions or imbalances.

      Consider taking time to learn the causes of absent menstruation, called amenorrhea, and the natural ways to support the return of menstruation in addition to using the traditional vagina steam.

      I hope this is helpful!

  30. Avatar

    is there a certification on how to do a V- steam I would like to offer the service in my office

    • Hi Trina,

      There is a company called The Womb Sauna. I am not sure of their credentials or anything about their business, just that they exist. Other than that, I am not sure there is any formal education for this sort of thing. It may be offered as part of Maya Abdominal Massage practices, or traditional Mayan healing arts. You may be able to get more information by contacting Dr. Rosita Arvigo.

      Best Wishes!

  31. Avatar

    Hello! I did the vaginal steam twice for this month. WHY? My fallopian tubes are blocked, I have a hormone imbalance, I don’t see a normal cycle and I suffer from anovulation and amenorrhea. My doctor recommended a surgery, but I want that to be my last option. I strongly believe natural medication can help me. Presently I am using Dong Quai. I would like to also use something for systematic enzyme therapy. Please help me.

    • Hello Sweety!

      While the Traditional Vagina Steam may be helpful in some ways, it is but one tool for supporting reproductive system health. Given all that you are dealing with, there are other considerations to make. In effort to save you lots of time and effort in weeding through the amount of information we have to offer, as well as in order to receive the most accurate natural fertility program for your specific fertility health needs, the best way we can serve you is through a Fertility Consultation. Click here to learn more about a Fertility Consultation…

      In the meantime, the enzyme blend we support for use in Systemic Enzyme Therapy is FertilicaTM Choice Enzymes. This is a therapeutic blend of systemic enzymes which are not medications or medicine.

      I hope you will participate in a Fertility Consultation and best wishes!

    • Avatar

      Find a good acupuncturist. There are literally hundreds of herbs that have different effects on hormones in the body. It’s best to work with a professional who can help you find exactly what will work for you. An acupuncturist can also help correct imbalances and access your diet and lifestyle so you can make the appropriate changes in order to get better. The female body is extremely complex, as is trying to heal yourself naturally. You will surely have a better shot with some professional advice. Good luck!

    • Thank you for offering your thoughts Ashley! We too feel that in many cases, especially when one is dealing with a multitude of fertility health issues, that is it best to work with a professional for personalized guidance. This is why we offer Fertility Consultations and support the use of Acupuncture as a natural therapy to enhance fertility health.

  32. Avatar

    Generally, Is there a certain amount of distance the pot should be placed beneath you for best results during the Mayan Vagi-Steam Bath?

    • Dear Joann,

      This will depend on the stool or chair you choose. There is no specified distance, although it should be close enough to you that the steam reaches your lower body. The chair in the video within this article is a good example.

  33. Avatar


    I was wondering what you do with the steam water after done the vaginal steam.
    Do you recycle or compost?


  34. Avatar

    Hi Elizabeth,
    I am an acupuncturist and my cycle is short and their are many signs of stagnant blood. I would like to help move some of this stagnant blood out of my body and allow the blood to flow more freely. How often and for how long would I do a steam to get this result? I had read in another article to be doing the steam every other day for up to 3 months.
    Thank you!

    • Dear Rebecca,

      Thank you for reaching out to us! As shared here our resources and senior herbalist feels that the Vagi-steam is best done every two weeks, 20-30 minutes at a time, when used for treating a fertility issue. If working one on one with a natural health practitioner, they may feel differently, but they are also able to monitor your progress while using this alternative therapy and we are not.

      Consider also learning more about Fertility Massage and Castor Oil Therapy, which are both known to support increased circulation to the reproductive organs.

  35. Avatar

    Thank you for this article. I was recently diagnosed with a hemorrhagic cyst on my left ovary and a fibroid on that same side (I’ve always only had cramps on that side.). The cyst ruptured 2 months ago and I passed out. I’ve been researching and I’m wondering if vaginal steaming can help reduce the fibroid? I’m already switched to a diet that helps decrease excessive estrogen and mucus (just veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, some lean protein from organic meat.)

  36. Avatar

    Is it better to use dried herbs or would fresh herbs be just as beneficial?

    • Dear Lia,

      Many herbs are best used dried in this natural therapy. The volatile essential oils are more concentrated in fresh herbs, and these oils from some plants may irritate or burn the delicate tissues in the vaginal area.

  37. Avatar

    Is it possible for steaming to change your cycle? I am usually very very regular, and after 3 steams i was late about 4 days. No change in diet or stress..

    • Dear Nicole,

      I first have to ask if you could be pregnant. It is important to know this before continuing with this natural therapy or another natural fertility program.

      I have not heard of the Traditional Vagina Steam dealing menstruation. This natural therapy is not as know to impact hormonal balance as it is the vaginal and uterine tissues.