How to Detox Your Vagina

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Whether you’ve been dealing with symptoms like itching, sex problems, or periods, your vulva could use some TLC. But don’t go overboard—over-cleaning can disturb the delicate vaginal balance, causing dryness and rashes.

Here are a few natural ways to detox your vulva. These remedies will also support the liver, kidneys and immune system to help your body naturally metabolize toxins.

1. Yoni Detox Pearls

A growing number of women are using what is being called a vaginal “detox” product that looks and feels like a tampon. The product is called yoni pearls and it promises to cleanse the vagina and uterus. The website says it can help treat a wide range of health issues including hormone imbalance, infertility, bacterial vaginosis (BV), yeast infections, and cysts.

Women are instructed to shove one of these pearls into their vulva and leave it in for 48 hours. This is said to remove toxic buildup from menstrual products and previous sexual partners as well as toxins that are left behind after childbirth. It also helps remove thrush, promotes normalization of the pH of the vagina and reduces inflammation.

However, this method may cause more harm than good. Many gynecologists warn against this type of “detox.” They say the genital area is designed to clean itself through natural secretions and that changing this will likely lead to more problems. Plus, they say, the thick, foul-smelling discharge claimed to come from yoni pearls is probably actually an infection.

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2. Yoni Steam

Yoni steaming, also known as v-steaming or vaginal steaming, involves sitting or squatting over a bowl of water that is infused with herbs like mugwort and rosemary. The steam opens up the pelvic canal, allowing the oils in the herbs to penetrate and cleanse the inner reproductive system, and promotes feminine health and wellness.

Sexual intercourse, mensuration, and childbirth can take a toll on the vaginal area, and this herbal treatment can help restore it to its natural PH balance. It can also help reduce uterine fibroids, cysts, and PCOS, as well as ease menstrual cramping.

It can be done two to three times a week, but avoid it during ovulation or pregnancy. Some women may experience cervical fluid or discharge after a yoni steam, which is perfectly normal and should not be cause for alarm. However, if you do notice any abnormal discharge or pain, consult a doctor immediately for advice. The womb is a sacred space, and we should treat it with the care it deserves.

3. Herbal Tea

The vagina naturally cleans itself with natural secretions and its own pH level, so products that claim to cleanse your vulva actually interfere. Any time you put anything into your vulva, you interrupt the balance of healthy bacteria and can throw off the normal pH level which causes irritation and itching, says ob-gyn Laura Laursen. This includes douching, herbal tampons (also called womb pearls) or vaginal steam.

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According to an ob-gyn, these womb pearls are mesh bags stuffed with herbs like motherwort and angelica that some vendors suggest inserting into the vulva to detoxify it. Doing this disrupts the normal bacterial balance and can lead to an overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria, which can cause itching and odor.

And leaving objects in the vulva for long periods of time can damage the lining, potentially leading to a dangerous condition known as Toxic Shock Syndrome. Instead, drinking lots of water helps lubricate the vulva naturally and may help reduce odors. Green tea is another great choice as it provides the healthy Lactobacillus species with polyphenols, which are the “food” that these bacteria love.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

ACV is known for being an all-purpose home remedy, and many women swear by using it to treat yeast infections. It’s believed that the vinegar’s acidic content helps restore a healthy pH level in the vagina, and may also help kill candida. Some test-tube studies suggest that it may also prevent fungi like Candida albicans from overgrowing and causing infection.

Douching is another popular home remedy, but it’s not recommended as it can wipe out healthy flora and disrupt normal pH levels. Other sanitary products, such as pads and tampons, can contain harsh chemicals that irritate the vagina.

Adding tea tree oil to a vinegar-based douche can help get rid of some of the unpleasant smells associated with yeast infections. This essential oil is a powerful antifungal and antiseptic, and has been shown to destroy odor-producing bacteria. It’s a good idea to test the oil on a small area of skin to make sure it doesn’t cause irritation. Drinking water can also help reduce bacterial growth by keeping the mucous vaginal membranes hydrated. Avoid sugary foods and beverages, which can contribute to high pH levels that encourage yeast overgrowth.

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5. Lemon Juice

A slew of products are marketed as ‘vaginal pearls’ that you stuff in your vagina to cleanse or detoxify, but doctors say these cloth-wrapped ‘pearls’ can be dangerous. The truth is that your vagina does a great job of cleaning itself, thanks to natural secretions and a healthy balance of bacteria.

Washing too often can throw off this natural pH balance and lead to odor, itching, dryness and other unpleasant symptoms. And using soap can wipe out all of the good bacteria, allowing bad bacteria to thrive.

Lemon and its leaves contain a compound called limonene, which has anti-microbial, antibiotic and anti-allergic properties. To use lemon to clean your vulva, boil some leaves in water, let cool, then rinse.

Garlic has also been shown to improve vulva health, as well as immune function. Try eating one to two cloves of raw garlic per day or taking a supplement. You can also boost your immunity with Vitamin C, which is found in citrus fruits, guava, strawberries, kiwi and green and red peppers. Aim for about 2,000 milligrams of Vitamin C each day.

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