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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

    I am thoroughly impressed and want to try this. However, if currently trying to conceive, is there ever a time it is safe to do this and if so what times of month? I have heavy cycles and very painful. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

    • Dear Freda,

      The Traditional Vagina Steam can be used from after menstruation ends until ovulation when trying to conceive (not after ovulation).

  2. Avatar

    Hi! I am 44 years old and I need to get pregnant. So, is this vagi steam going to help me do you think?

    • Hello Hibo!

      The traditional Mayan vagina steam is but one natural therapy that could be considered to support fertility health. There may however be other ways to do so especially if faced with a specific fertility health issue.

      I would recommend exploring Natural Fertility or a Fertility Consultation with our fertility herbalist. She will be able to help guide you in the right direction with the right natural fertility program for your specific needs.

      Best wishes!

  3. Avatar

    Natural Fertility Info. is where I found the information for the vagina steam. Since I learned about this steaming of the yoni, I have been wanting to get it done, but the prices were way out of my range. I would like to know of a reputable company that I could purchase the herbs from.

    • Dear Lue,

      There are a number of stores that sell bulk herbs, from co-ops and natural food stores to specialty stores. One reputable bulk herb seller is Mountain Rose Herbs (with which we are not affiliated). I hope you are able to find the herbs you are looking for.

  4. Avatar

    Thanks for the information! Can one use drops of one of the oils you mentioned in a bowl of hot water to do this vagi steam ?

    • Dear Ngozi,

      It is not suggested to use essential oils in a Traditional Vagina Steam. They may burn the delicate tissues of the genitals. It is only advised to use dried herbs to make a strong herbal infusion that then gives on a medicinal steam.

  5. Avatar

    Hi! Do you need to put all the herbs in one bath, or how can you combine them? Is it better just to use one and what quantities?

    • Dear Karla,

      It is best to choose only the herbs best suited for your specific fertility health needs. This can be just one or several, say 3 or 4. For each 1 gallon of water, it is suggested to use 1 cup of herb, or herb mixture. In general the herb that resonates with you most, or that suits your fertility health needs best, is the one that should be in the largest quantity in an herbal blend.

  6. Avatar

    Thank you !!!!
    Very informative! I will be getting my certification as a vaginal stream practitioner & this was very easy to follow. I’m also looking for stools. If you’re able to direct me, I would greatly appreciate that. Thanks again!

    • Dear Angel,

      We are glad this article was helpful!

      The chair shown here was homemade. At this time we don’t know an any artisans making Vagi-Steam chairs.

      Best wishes to you!

  7. Avatar

    This may sound strange, but if you are overweight and also have large outer labia, how can you get the steam to reach into the vaginal area? Its like a fortress…

    • Dear Suzan,

      The external, or outer vaginal tissues, which include the labia, absorb the medicinal properties (volatile oils) of the herbs and essential oils steeping in the pot. There is a much more lovely explanation of the Vagina Steam’s full benefits under the heading Benefits of Vaginal Steam Baths in this article.

      Overweight women could still benefit from Traditional vagina steam. If one’s thighs cover the vagina, adjust the seated position to open up this area of the body, perhaps by straddling the chair, sitting facing the chair’s back.

      Crazy comment!

  8. Avatar

    Hello, thanks for the wealth of information and comments you provide here. I have been battling infertility for about 8 years now. I tried many treatments like clomid and medications some of which I developed side effects. I also developed high blood pressure from using medications.
    My periods have been irregular from 35 to 60 days accompanied by heavy clots. The clots are so large at times with severe pain upon discharge. For the past 5 or 6 months, I barely bleed much but still having heavy clotting on day 3 and 4. After landing on this site, I blend my own herbs that I have and did the v-steam. My second try was last Friday and had a period on CD 33, Sunday! Really worked for me! Thanks!

    • Dear Faith,

      Thank you for sharing your experience and I am happy about your success!

    • Avatar

      You are welcome. I am glad to say that I barely have any clotting on this cycle. Will definitely continue to do the v-steam because I haven’t had a 35 or 40 day cycle in a long time. I hope it will regulate my periods back to normal. I did not have the mugwort and some of the other herbs mentioned above. Is that ok?

    • Dear Faith,

      It is okay that not all the herbs listed in this article are used.

      All my best!

  9. Avatar

    Hello! Thank you very much for this information! I am very eager to begin my at home twice a month steaming. I was recently hospitalized for 4 days with a ruptured ovarian cyst that bled into my abdomen (about 2 months ago) and they said I had PID as well. It was an awful experience. I was very close to having to have surgery but waited it out. They treated me for pain and constipation from the pain meds., etc. But didn’t treat the PID. I thought they did. It came back with severe acute cervical pain. I went to the clinic and got tested for STD’s, but didn’t have any that would cause it. They did however treat me with a painful shot for the PID. It got better. They said Vaginitis was the probable cause, which I have had a problem with last Spring. Now my fears of permanent damage are at an all time high with the PID thing. I am still having cervical pain flare ups, and what’s worse is that I am terrified that I may end up the same as my mother who had a hysterectomy right after having me. She had ovarian issues amongst other issues in her whole body.If I have any damage done from scarring from PID, (not to mention my Dysmenorrhea), what would you specifically recommend be in my mix of herbs? Thank you very much for your time and care. Blessings.
    I am 27, have no children, but would like to maybe have one/some, some day God/Goddess willing. Thank again.

    • Dear Valerie,

      I am sorry you have had to go through all of this. Consider taking time to learn more about Systemic Enzyme Therapy using Wobenzym N.

      There are also a variety of Natural Remedies for Painful Menstruation that are worth learning more about.

      I do not have the capacity to design an herbal formula specific for you as this time, but if you are interested in personalized one on one guidance, our fertility herbalist is happy to work with you through a Fertility Consultation. This allows you to receive a personalized natural fertility program designed specifically for your fertility health needs.

      I hope this is helpful information!

  10. Avatar

    Thank you for this information! It has come up quite recently for me from multiple angles, so I’m glad to have this information. I was wondering though because I seem to be getting conflicting information – I’ve read how wonderful vaginal steaming is for both endometriosis and fibroids, which both cause heavy periods, but your notes above the video recommend not doing a vaginal steam if one has heavy periods. As I understood, a vaginal steam would help to release old blood and adhesions which could be contributing to the heavier flow. Could you advise? And again, thanks so much for such a wealth of natural information on your site!

    • Dear Mrs. G,

      We have learned through our study of this natural therapy that a Traditional Vagina Steam may be beneficial for those who experience fertility health conditions where there is stagnation and excess tissue growth. It is suggested that if experiencing heavy menstrual blood flow, a vagina steam should not be done during menstruation. It can be done when not menstruating however.

  11. Avatar

    Hello! So much good advice here. What herbs do you recommend for vaginal scar tissue and how often should use them? Do you know of anything else that might help to get rid of this problem? Doctors here say surgery… Thanks a lot!

  12. Avatar

    This is wonderful information! It makes so much sense! I did read another article by a physician who totally disagrees. But then again, I don’t know too many western medical Drs that agree with alternative treatments. Thank you!

  13. Avatar

    Thank you for sharing this information! I have also worked with many women who have had positive experiences doing vaginal steams in their own home.

  14. Avatar

    Is it true that you can also use onion?

    • Dear Zuki,

      We do not have information about using onion in the traditional vagina steam. This being said, onion is in general known for it’s anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties, among a variety of other health benefits. It is my best advice to either find a practitioner who can guide you or continue to do research to decide if using onion meets your needs.

      Take care!

  15. Avatar

    Wondering why you are not supposed to do this on period? I thought I read that’s when to do it? I have been doing it this week of my period and had a HUGE clot today. It does relax me though— if someone could let me know why/when to do it. Thanks

    • Hello Tanya!

      The Traditional Vagina Steam’s main fertility benefits is to increase circulation to reproductive organs. We feel this natural therapy is best done prior to menstruation and then after menstruation ends. Our Senior Herbalist Dalene shares a few reasons for this break during menstruation – why you would want to avoid a vagina steam during your period…
      – it may be quite messy
      – it enhances circulation, which may cause flow to be heavier in turn leading to more mess
      – A woman’s bleeding time is like a deep exhale for the body, a time of release. Doing a vagi-steam is a way for that area of the body to take a deep drink of the herbs and be hydrated. The natural flow/direction of this release time during menstruation is counteracted when the uterus takes that “deep drink” of both herbs and water.

      I hope this is helpful and makes sense!

    • Avatar

      Thank you!! 🙂 I will enjoy this other times of the month— great!



  16. Avatar

    What herbs can I us to treat PCOS? I have had fertility problems for about 10 years. I have not had my period in about 15 years. How many times a month should I do this?

    • Dear Wanda,

      I am so sorry you have dealt with infertility for 10+years, how challenging!

      Consider learning how to support your body in re-learning balance by promoting healthy hormonal balance, a healthy uterine lining, regular ovulation, improved estrogen metabolism, reduced cravings for sweets and improved digestion. Learn these things and more through our article How to Reduce the Damaging Effects of PCOS on Fertility Through Diet and Herbs.

      Regarding the Vagi-steam, it is best done every two weeks when used for treating a fertility issue.

      It may also be helpful to consider working one on one with a fertility herbalist through a Fertility Consultation. Through a Fertility Consultation, you will submit your comprehensive intake form, including fertility history, your 3 detailed questions and overall goal for your fertility and within 5 business days one of our Master Herbalists will review, layout and explain each step of the program she creates for you. Learn more about a Fertility Consultation here…

      I hope this is helpful!

  17. Avatar

    I tried a steam and already felt that it alleviated some of the stagnancy associated with my endometriosis. However, I just read that these are not recommended with IUDs. Needless to say, I’m very disappointed. Do you happen to know why or what the associated risks are?

    • Dear Shel,

      Traditional Vagina Steams promote circulation to and cleansing of the uterus. Many sources suggest not using vagi-steams if you have and IUD so the uterus doesn’t try to expel it. Should your body try to expel an IUD, there could be scarring and damage to the tissues around where it is inserted.

  18. Avatar

    Thank you! This is tons of age-old wisdom not to be taken lightly. Thank you for your advice on this!

  19. Avatar

    Which combination of herbs is good to balance hormones?

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Dear Anna,

      The combination of hormone-balancing herbs may be different for every woman in need of hormone balance. Consider educating yourself on how to Restore Hormonal Balance for Improved Fertility as you work to learn what is best for your fertility health needs.

      Our customer care team can connect you with a staff herbalist for further guidance if you would like to share more of your story and about your fertility health concerns. Contact customer care here…

  20. Avatar

    I reside in the Southern part of Africa (Namibia) what herbs can I find here for fertility healing?

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Hello Ndapandula!

      The Natural Fertility Shop can ship to Namibia. Contact customer care for guidance on placing an order if you are interested. I am sorry I am not well versed in what herbs grow and are available to you locally in Namibia.

      Take care!

  21. Avatar

    Sacred Soul Sister, thank you so much for reviving this method! I love this article and am so happy to have come across it. I am committed to healing my fertility naturally and feel blessed by the work that you are doing and your commitment to natural healing for women, as well. Thank you, again. I will be passing this on! Love and Bright Blessings, Yeshe

  22. Avatar

    wow! Africans have been doing this since time immemorial. There is even a soft vagi-steam with special herbs after having a baby to heal the muscles.

  23. Avatar

    Hiya! Is there a recommended mix for painful menstruation?

  24. Avatar

    Do you have a recommended blend of herbs that might help with shrinking a uterine fibroid?

    Thank you

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Dear Natalie,

      We support dietary and lifestyle changes, as well as herbs, nutritional supplements and natural therapies to promote hormonal balance, support the body’s natural ability to reduce occurrences of occasional growths within the uterus and assist the body’s natural ability to maintain normal uterine health. Consider learning more about supporting a healthy uterine environment here…

  25. I have came across this vaginal steam a few times this couple of weeks. In Singapore, the Malay community use vaginal steam after childbirth for healing and to blood clog if any. I know a fertility massage specialist shared that vagina steam can be used for both women and man too for general health. So, I am hoping to get the herbs and try it out myself. Is there specific amount of herbs to use?
    Thank you so much for sharing this information.

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Dear Kong Choon Yen,

      It is suggested to use one cup of any combination of herbs of your choice when making your Traditional Vagina Steam. Use equal parts of each specific herb you choose. For example, if you choose to try four of the herbs on the list here, you would use 1/4 cup of each herb.

      Best wishes!

  26. Avatar

    Hey, If I bleed for long lengths of time with little break could I try this method at any time of my cycle to help rid some possible old build up? (don’t worry I am trying to sort this all out not ignoring the fact I shouldn’t be bleeding like this)

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Hello Rose!

      One of the main fertility benefits of the Mayan Traditional Vagina Steam is to increase circulation to the organs of the reproductive system. I am not certain this therapy would be right for you given you bleed for so long that you have little break between periods. A longer period may be a sign of hormonal imbalance. Consider taking some time to learn how you might support your body when having long periods.

      Take Care!

  27. Avatar

    Hi, are there any herbs for Lichen sclerosus genitalis ?…Thank You

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Dear Susanne,

      While we don’t have specific information about Lichen sclerosus genitalis, we do have information to educate you about supporting thyroid and immune system health, both possibly involved in this disease. It is important that you learn the cause of this for you and if it is impacting your fertility, and only your healthcare provider is able to help you know that.

      I wish you well!

  28. Avatar

    What herbs would you recommend after a miscarriage? Also, should I wait for the bleeding to stop completely? It has almost stopped and I was hoping this may help my body cleanse itself completely… Thank you

    • Elizabeth Willett, MA, CH

      Dear Terra,

      I am very sorry for your loss! There are wonderful ways to support your body in recovery. We have a product RecoverWell to help with the transition. This herbal blend is fine to take through the entire transition. Post-recovery, another article that I think may be helpful would be Pregnancy and Fertility After a Miscarriage.
      Blessings to you!

  29. Avatar

    Why should you not do this during your period? What if it’s before the flow begins? I have very bad menstrual cramps and I think this would really help.

    • Hi Theresa,

      This type of therapy is fine to do prior to beginning your period. There are a few reasons you would want to avoid this during your bleeding time…
      -May be quite messy.
      -Enhances circulation, which may cause flow to be heavier…again, more mess.
      -A woman’s bleeding time is like a deep exhale for the body, a time of release and doing a vagi-steam is a way for that area of the body to take a deep drink of the herbs and hydration. This is countering the natural flow/direction of that release time. I hope that makes sense.

      Doing the steam just prior to menstruation may greatly help with menstrual cramps. Click here to learn natural therapies for menstrual cramps…

  30. Avatar

    what combination of herbs would you recommend for pcos?

  31. Update 2014 – We are back! We have been away for a while and we sure have missed all of your wonderful questions and thoughts on our articles. Moving forward, one of our staff herbalists will be here to respond to comments! We look forward to connecting with our readers once again!

  32. Avatar

    Hi there, is it ok to use any combination of these herbs?

  33. Avatar

    just curious what herbs did you use?

  34. I purchase the herbs at Mountain Rose and make my own large tea bags with equal parts of an herbal blend. It is a bit time consuming but well worth it because it makes clean up very easy. 🙂

    Just pop one of the large filled tea bags into a small crock pot and voila…’ve got an optimal situation for vaginal steam.

  35. Avatar

    I am intrested in trying this, but what are the measurements used for the herbs so it is properly mixed?

    • Hi Deidre,

      It is 1 cup total of herbs to 1 gallon of water. So if you used 3 different herbs, you would put 1/3 cup of each herb.

      Best Wishes,


  36. Avatar

    Hi. If you have recurrent UTI and Thrush. Is it OK to use Vagi-Steam?

    • Hi Clare,

      I would say to not do it during an active infection, especially a yeast infection. Heat and moisture create an environment for yeast to spread and grow. Vagi-steam would be good a preventative maintenance though.

      All the best,


  37. Avatar

    Dear Hethir,
    This is really interesting. I was thinking of doing the vagi birth, but my question is how can we get the herbs. Is there a way you blend these herbs like you did for the fertility cleanse and put on sale?