BAJOS, YONI STEAM, V-STEAM,
What is a Bajo or Yoni steam?
Bajos or vaginal steaming is the ancient practice of administering mild steam along with herbal preparations to benefit women for a wide range of reproductive organ conditions.
The practice of pelvic steaming has been used across the world for centuries. The ritual of yoni steaming, also known as Bajos, Chai yok, Peri-Steam Hydrotherapy amongst others, has been revered by midwives, herbalists, healers, shamans, medicine women and sisters from all walks of life from Africa, Central, South and North America, Asia, India to Northern Europe, to heal our bodies, connect with the earth and bring balance into our lives.
A yoni steam is NOT the same as douching. The purpose of a Yoni steam is NOT to clean your vagina. Your vagina by design isn’t dirty. A bajo It’s very similar to a sitz bath. Both use water to heat and nourish the perineum (the tissue between the vagina and anal opening) to support healing.
How does it work?
Heat is medicine for the feminine body. Good blood flow is essential to yoni health. Plants are our Healers and Teachers.
In the Physical body as the herbs heat up in your covered pot of boiling water, they release volatile and aromatic oils, which infuse in the steam that builds up as you boil. The herbal steam relaxes your pelvic muscles, enters your vulva and is carried by the heat up into your womb. The steam opens and releases, increasing circulation and blood flow to our uterus, bringing life-giving heat and warmth essential to detoxing and directing the medicinal oils of the herbs where they need to go.
In the Emotional body, our womb is where we carry emotions around anger, resentment, inability to forgive and let go of past traumas. It is also where we carry our creativity, self-expression, ability to manifest abundance and most importantly, the magic of our life-giving, compassionate, feminine essence. When our womb is full of one, there is no room for the other. As science is now finding out, our emotional and physical bodies are connected - our emotional state determines our physical health. Yoni steaming supports the release of past trauma to welcome in the new seeds we wish to grow. We forgive ourselves and others to set ourselves free!
Steaming carries the medicinal herbs even farther into the body, deep into the pelvic tissue, cervix, womb, and vagina.
Clears cervical fluids
Helps relax the vaginal canal and cervix
Nourishes and tonifies the uterine lining- Reproductive Adhesion
Restoring and balancing of Irregular Menstrual Cycles - P.C.O.S. (loss of cycle, bleed too much/too little)
Eases fatigue, headaches, abdominal discomfort and nausea
Cleanse the uterine lining of old blood.
For new mamas:
The increased circulation can help speed up tissue repair necessary after labor and birth
Speed healing and tone of the internal reproductive system after childbirth
Healing of womb and emotional body after miscarriage
Episiotomy scar healing
Improve perineal tone preventing prolapse
Provides a space for emotional release
It can bring vitality to vulva and the internal and external vaginal tissue supporting the healing process for:
Fungal and bacterial infections
Symptoms related to candida
Itching and irritation
Vaginal dryness and painful intercourse
Relief for hemorrhoids and rectal inflammation
Reduce Endometriosis, treat uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, uterine weakness & uterine prolapseIt can make for greater sensations during sex due to the excess blood flow.
Preventative of infections
Relieve symptoms of perimenopause and menopause including hot flashes and vaginal dryness
Increases the production of healthy vaginal fluids
Reignite Libido & Sensual Passion
After Hysterectomy or other pelvic surgeries: The heat and warmth can be a soothing therapy for scar tissue. When combined with castor oil packs and massage it helps to increase vitality after surgery. Doing a Yoni Steam may also be helpful in emotionally and energetically reconnecting with your feminine center after an invasive procedure and experience. Your feminine center always remains even if you no longer have your physical womb or ovaries.
Stimulates the Creative chakra.
Balances the root chakra.
Increases the production of “feel good” hormones like oxytocin and endorphins.
Creates deep relaxation and aids the body to release stress and tension.
DISCLAIMER!!!!! The information shared here is based upon my own experience and what I have been taught by my Native American elders and through my training as a Doula. This information is not a claim to diagnose, treat or cure any illness or injury. Nor is it a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional. If you are interested in a yoni steam for a chronic condition, I recommend you consult a midwife or naturopath for guidance regarding your condition.
How to Yoni Steam at home
To do your Bajo at home you will need:
2 liters of clean water.
2 cups of dried herbs or 3 cups of fresh herbs.
Cozy socks and/or slippers – SO important to keep your feet super warm and cozy.
Heavy Blanket (wool or thick cotton) or couple of bed sheets, this will wrap around your lower body creating a cloak to trap in the steam.
Towels to place for your comfort and dry after.
Vaginal Steam stool, clean toilet bowl, shower or bath tub, or safe private area to place the pot on the floor.
Ritual elements to your heart’s calls.
Step by step instructions
Set your altar and the space with those elements that will help you relax and release, feel nourished and comforted. You can set candles, flowers, incense, music crystals, aromatherapy, tarot cards, journal etc.
Collect your plants with prayer and intention. Find yourself a cozy spot to sit while you make a ritual of pouring your love, and intention into the herbs while massaging them with your hands for a few minutes, say a prayer, or ask them for help with the healing or guidance you need. We often forget to take time for ritual and to thank nature for all it gives us, so it's important to offer a simple intention of gratitude. Call in the healing and nourishment your feminine body needs.
Place the water herbs into a large pot and bring your water to boil.
Add the herbs and cover it, simmer on the stove for 10-15min. This will bring out more of the essential oils in the plants. Once the herbs have steeped...
Place the pot under the steam stool if you have one.
if you are going to use a toilet, make sure the bowl is clean and disinfected and the put fits inside with the seat down and won’t touch your skin.
If you are placing the pot on the floor, bathtub or shower, place a big towel or bathroom rug under so it doesn’t move.
Get undressed from the waist down. You want to keep your body warm. Put your socks or slippers on. Wrap a blanket around you. The blankets should reach all the way to the ground so they create a tent around your body. Keep in mind that the heavier and thicker the blankets you use, the hotter the steam will be.
If using the toilet or the steam stool: Seat Down, Wrap yourself in the blanket or large towel covering as much of the space around you and the stool or toilet to trap the steam.
If you are placing the pot on the ground: the ideal position is to squat. This brings the most open position to the pelvis, but may not be available for everyone or comfortable for long periods of time. You can also switch between squatting and kneeling while bending over with your elbows on the floor, you can lie in child’s pose with your pelvis positioned over the bowl...get creative here, basically any way that you can position your body over the pot and feel supported and comfortable. You could also try sitting on the edge of your bathtub. Whatever method you choose, you want to be sure you are as warm and comfortable as possible, so don’t be afraid to use props and extra blankets to get set up. Make sure you wear socks and wrap the blankets closely around you and the pot, so all the heat stays inside.
Release the steam very slowly. Be careful when you sit to not burn the sensitive tissues of your vulva! You will probably need to let it steam off for a few moments before you can sit over it, The steam should be very warm but by no means unpleasant. Let it cool a little longer if you find it too hot. be gentle and allow your body to relax slowly into the heat.
Now invite the steam to enter your body. Take your time, take it slow, and allow your mind to empty. Focus completely on your experience and your breathing. Listen closely to what's happening inside of you, what guidance or messages might come up. Everything your body is telling you in this moment can be honored and seen as precious information. Allow yourself to tap into this feeling of receiving. You can use this time to meditate, go inward, write in your journal, be contemplative, read poetry, listen to music or a guided meditation, whatever you feel you need in the moment. Breathe this feminine nourishment into your womb and wise woman bones.
Enjoy your steam for a minimum of 20 minutes. After about 20 minutes, the herbs exhaust their medicinal properties and the ritual is complete. Place your hands on your heart and womb and notice if anything is happening there.
Stand up and dry off with a towel. Get dressed in warm,comfortable clothing and/or wrap yourself in a blanket. You’ll want to stay warm for as long as possible after your steaming session.
Compost your herbs. If compost is not available, find another way to return them to the Earth.
Rest and nurture yourself afterwards, stay warm, drink some herbal tea and move slowly.
Lay down in a warm bed for at least an hour, or preferably for the entire night. After sleeping soundly, you’ll wake up refreshed, revitalized and reconnected!
Changes to expect after your Bajo
While the effect of Yoni steaming varies among women, here are a few Important things to keep in mind:
Every woman has a different body and will have different results. Various changes may follow after a bajo, from healing to emotional and physical releases to blissful relaxation.
Enjoy the ritual, you may feel reconnected, relaxed and rejuvenated during and immediately after your yoni steam. Take this time to release stored emotions, and send loving intention to your womb. This is the first and primary benefit. Enjoy it!
Be patient, some women experience radical shifts in their menstrual cycle and/or symptoms right away. For others, it takes time and dedication to the practice to achieve desired results. You probably won’t notice any significant discharge or change in your cycle during or immediately after you steam. This gentle treatment requires patience before any significant physical changes are noticeable. Now is the time to trust that the medicinal properties of the herbs have entered your bloodstream and are quietly doing their work on your system.
Things might get "worse" before they get better, Things you might see include changes in your menstrual cycle, Some women experience increased feeling in their womb space, from cramping to heaviness, release of dark blood and clots, some may have significant changes or dark syrupy blood releasing with the next moon-time. This is a result of the herbs supporting the body to contract and release old blood and tissue that may have been storing from YEARS of incomplete bleeding if there has been stagnation or menstrual imbalances. For others the changes may come more slowly and be much more subtle. Many women will receive their menstrual cycle a few days early the first time they steam, some can have a longer, heavier , shorter or lighter cycle. Just sit back, relax and go with it. As you continue your steam ritual, your cycle will become easier and reduce PMS symptoms. There may be benefits you can't see with your eyes, if you notice no change after steaming once or twice, that’s also normal. Your uterus may not have excessive build-up, or it may take more work to dislodge it. In either case, stick with the yoni steams for at least another two to three months. Steaming regularly helps your uterus stay clear and toned, and keeps you feeling balanced and centered, so even if you aren’t able to see a major shift, just know that your strongest organ is still gaining a benefit. As you continue to do your bajos it will become a joy and you will welcome your increased awareness of your feminine body.
Keep a close eye on areas of particular concern, if you are working to heal a vaginal tear, irritation, hemorrhoids, or any other condition be sure to keep a close eye on your areas of concern after steaming. Be sure these areas do not feel itchy or hot to the touch, and that no excess discharge is present. If symptoms worsen after steaming, stop immediately and seek support from your holistic healthcare provider.
The bottom line is… things change down there after steaming! You tried steaming because you wanted to make a big change in your body and your life, and this is it!
Steaming is great for healing after birth, if you are steaming to enhance healing and toning of your system after giving birth, know that you are utilizing the wisdom of traditional midwives! Note that steaming may increase your discharge of lochia, especially in the month after birthing. This discharge will last 6-8 weeks after birthing, with or without yoni steaming.
During and after your steam you might feel tired or emotional, and it’s important you take the time to rest and stay warm after your Yoni Steam.
Bajos can bring back past trauma in order to heal it, surges of emotion, crying, sadness, laughing, deep sense of relief and other strong feelings can arise during and after the vaginal steam, be gentle and compassionate with yourself. Using the bajos to release old pains and hurts from your body and emotions will repay your efforts a thousand times over throughout the years.
Increase relaxation, increase of the libido and the censorial connection to your yoni are also possible after effects of the Bajos.
Every time we steam we are creating a permanent shift in our health and wellness – we can never go backwards, so reward yourself with positive affirmations every time you make the time to treat yourself to a steam.
My advice to you is to enjoy the ritual of yoni steaming as the delightful experience it is, to be patient, and most importantly, to understand your beautiful body as it miraculously cleanses and heals itself.
Precautions and Contraindications
+ Steam is HOT! Be very, very careful, as you don’t want to burn the sensitive skin of your vagina. Read the instructions for at-home-steaming thoroughly and be slow and mindful in the process.
+ Do NOT steam if you are pregnant or even if you think you might be pregnant. While yoni steams can be beneficial for conception and after birth in the postpartum period, steaming during any stage of pregnancy is absolutely contraindicated. If you are actively trying to conceive, do not steam after ovulation during the luteal (2nd half) of your cycle.
+ Do NOT use essential oils for vaginal steams, as they are much too harsh for vaginal tissue.
+ Do NOT steam if cancer is present anywhere in the body.
+ IUDs. There’s much debate about whether women with IUDs should steam or not. The main concern is that the medicinal herbs could cause the uterus to contract, which could potentially cause problems with the placement of the IUD. That being said, some people with IUDs still steam and find it to be beneficial. Talk to a trained practitioner to learn more and see if steaming would be a good option for you.
+ Do NOT steam when you are actively bleeding. You can however steam the day after the last day of your period to help move out any remaining blood. Steaming in the week leading up to your period can help with cramps and other menstrual complaints. But never steam when you’re actively menstruating. If you are prone to heavy bleeding, it is recommended to wait to steam until your cycle is more regulated, as steaming increases circulation to the pelvis, which could result in more bleeding.
+ Do not steam if you have genital piercings (remove any vulvar, labial or clitoris piercings). The steam can heat up the metal and burn you.
+ It is NOT recommended to steam with any active infection.
+ Do Not steam if you have open wounds or sores
AMANKAY BAJO BLENDS®
Depending on what you hope to achieve during your bajo, there are many different blends you can use for various conditions. As a menstrual awareness educator, Doula and Medicine Woman, I also craft herbal blends, here are some of my most popular herbal blends and the conditions they help:
Healing and nourishing blends:
The healing properties of steam bring blood flow, circulation, and nourishment to the pelvic floor and perineum. Regular use promotes pelvic rejuvenation in prolapsed organs and toning of the muscles of the perineum. These Bajo Blends work on the vulva, perineum and internal reproductive organs to bring deep nourishment, both internally and externally, and help support the healing of inflammatory conditions, for an optimal vaginal environment and work on maintaining balance.
Soothe and moisturize blend
Comfrey leaves (high in vitamin C and calcium), plantain leaves (antibacterial and anti-inflammatory), violet leaves and flowers (moisturizing), and calendula blossoms (soothing).
Tone and nourish blend (vaginal tissue)
Rose petals (anti-inflammatory), motherwort leaves, plantain leaves, sagebrush (purported menstrual regulator), mugwort (balance), and raspberry leaves
Balance blend (vaginal bacteria)
Rose petals, calendula blossoms, yarrow flowers and leaves, oregano (antimicrobial), basil (soothes itching), and chamomile (antiseptic)
Cornsilk (Anti-inflammatory, coating the urinary tract lining and thwarting infection. Reduces the risk of bacteria build up by creating the urge to urinate and flushing out the urinary tract.), Rose Petals (Boosts the immune system and is anti-infective, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant), Pau D’Arco Bark (immune system stimulant, reduces inflammation, anti oxidant, Anti-viral & antifungal), Dandelion Leaf (liver detox, diuretic, replaces lost potassium, antioxidant), Uva Ursi (diuretic, astringent and muscle-relaxant. Anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory, fight kidney infections, Antiseptic which protects the mucous membrane of the urinary tract. Anti-fungal. Soothes stomach cramping).
Female cycles blends:
These blends are for different stages of the woman’s reproductive cycles, cleansing and offering support to the organs well being and emotional changes.
Menstrual balance blend
Motherwort (great for fatigue, cramps, and to aid relaxation), Mugwort (promotes suppressed menses), Basil (Uterine stimulant), Rosemary (increases circulation to the reproductive organs), Calendula (Cleansing, lessens inflammation), Chamomile (Soothing to the vaginal tissues).
Mugwort (promotes suppressed menses), Oregano (soothing, brings circulations and cleansing to the uterus), Raspberry leaf (strengthens and tones the uterine and pelvic muscles, and is a pelvic and uterine relaxant), Red Rose Petals (Cooling, gentle and astringent to the tissues of the genitals, Cleanses blood. Raises our vibration and enhances positivity of the mind. Reduces menstrual pain. Calms nerves and eases stress & tension.).
Basil (Uterine stimulant), Raspberry leaf (strengthens and tones the uterine and pelvic muscles, and is a pelvic and uterine relaxant), Marshmallow (vaginal dryness), Sage (Astringent. Spiritually cleansing), Chamomile (Soothing to the vaginal tissues), Damiana (improves blood circulation to sex organs, increases libido, potency and frequency of vaginal orgasms. Reduces vaginal dryness. Balance menopause symptoms), Calendula (alleviate hot flashes)
These blends support the healing and reintegration for the new mother.
In many regions women put the steam baths to use after giving birth. It is part of the traditional remedy to get back energy, health, and pelvic floor tone after birth. In traditional Native cultures women are instructed to do a vaginal steam with herbs every day for 2 weeks after birth to tonify, restore the pelvic floor and completely clear the uterine lining. This blend is very useful to help heal the vulva, labia and vagina from tears or an episiotomy and supports tissue growth and healing.
uva ursi (antimicrobial), yarrow, plantain leaves, sage leaves, witch hazel leaves (anti-inflammatory), comfrey leaves and roots, and sea salt (disinfectant).
Mother Blessing blend
A different blend of herbs is used after women finish their “Dieta” or 40 day postpartum period to help the new mother finish her cleanse, soothe the womb and integrate the new stage in her life. When used regularly it helps soften scars associated with childbirth or pelvic surgery in the perineum.
Oregano (soothing, brings circulation and cleansing to the uterus), Rosemary (increases circulation to the reproductive organs), Raspberry leaf ( strengthens and tones the uterine and pelvic muscles, and is a pelvic and uterine relaxant), Calendula (Cleansing, lessens inflammation), Yarrow (Astringent. Cleansing. Antibacterial), Comfrey leaves (healing and soothing).
Recovering from a miscarriage can be difficult, emotionally as well as physically, nourishing your body, and allowing yourself time to release your emotions will help the healing process. After a miscarriage the womb and other internal tissue can remain inflamed for this reason, we recommend to consider a series of vaginal steams after a miscarriage or D&C.
Mugwort (promotes suppressed menses), Oregano (soothing, brings circulations and cleansing to the uterus) Calendula (Cleansing, lessens inflammation), Lavender (antiseptic, antispasmodic, sedative, relaxing nerving).
Bless my womb blends
Fertility blends as focus on the womb health support. This blends feel very gentle and soft when used during steaming, which deeply honors the womb and yoni.
In some cases unexplained infertility can be related to the presence of old tissue residue lining the walls of the uterus which can interfere with implantation, tissue inflammation that hasn’t been detected, weakness of the uterine wall or unbalance ph in the vagina. Yoni steaming can help clear the walls of your uterus and increases circulation of the blood as well as balance bacteria in your vagina.
Womb blessing blend
Calendula blossoms, rose petals, basil (antimicrobial), rosemary, mugwort (uterine stimulant), juniper (anti-inflammatory), Damiana and motherwort
Rosemary (increases circulation to the reproductive organs), wormwood (Antifungal and antibacterial), basil (Uterine stimulant), calendula (Cleansing, lessens inflammation), chamomile, red rose Petals (Cooling, gentle and astringent to the tissues of the genitals), lavender (antiseptic, antispasmodic, sedative, relaxing nerving).
Moon Magic Blend
Magical blend of 28 herbs to use in those special times like the full moon, solstice and equinox or for women’s healing gatherings. The use of this blend is recommended for ritualistic purposes and the use of womb meditation as it helps you:
cleanse from attached energies in your womb temple
rid your body of bad energy, memories and trauma
relieve feelings of stagnation and coldness
release stored emotions and open your heart
relax your mind
warm up your womb and connect spiritually with your creative centre
revitalize and energize your uterus,
the warmth of the steam can also be an orgasmic experience, as the rush of blood to your clitoris can be stimulating and give you that feel-good factor
relax your pelvic floor muscles and help you to connect with your feminine center.
Reconnection to the Earth and ancient women’s wisdom and rituals.
Embrace your femininity and feel the Magic of being woman
Access to the feminine energy that gives rise to our vibrant radiance and creative potential.
connect with your root and find stability
contains : Cinnamon, star anise, cloves, mugwort, holy basil, black cohosh, dong quai, calendula, mexican oregano, marshmallow root, rosemary leaf, motherwort, yarrow flowers, red raspberry leaf, lavender flowers, fennel, oregano, rose petals, jasmine flowers, linden flowers, orange peel, nettle leaf, mediterranean sage, marigold, plantain leaves, damiana, lemon balm and chamomile flowers.