Yoni: The Sanskrit term for 'womb' and the organs associated with that generative system. Refers to the Shakti or life-giving energy. It is usually seen encircling a Linga, otherwise known as a phallus.
You've may have sat in a sitz bath after giving birth, especially after vaginal birth. These soothing warm soaks calm irritation to the perineum and genital area as well as speed healing. Applying warm water to this area alone increases circulation and blood flow. Add herbs and you'd be surprised at what a sitz bath can do! It's recommended for these times and conditions:
- Post-surgery to the genital or anal area
- Post-partum and miscarriage healing
- Pelvic pain
- Increasing fertility
- Yeast infections
- Anal fissures
A sitz bath is a small plastic tub that fits over your toilet bowl found at most pharmacies. It's worth investing in if you're dealing with chronic imbalances in the lower abdominal, pelvic, or genital area; if you're healing postpartum or surgery; or if you'd like to strengthen your reproductive organs before conception. I was forced to deal with chronic pelvic pain after I contracted Bartonella, a bacteria that attacks your pelvis among other parts of the body. A doctor told me to try sitz baths and after I realized I could make a tea to steep my privates in, well, Fanny's your aunt (a British expression for "I was all in!"). Note that it's slightly different from Yoni steaming but you could alter the below method to steam your bits instead of steeping them. Read on for a tried-and-true method and some herbal sitz recipes.
Preparing a Sitz Bath
2. Boil your kettle or a pot of water.
3. Place sitz bath over the toilet bowl.
4. Put herbs like raspberry leaf, mugwort or nettle into a cloth pouch. Tie it shut and add it to the sitz bath.
5. Pour the boiled water into the sitz bath. Let the herb pouch steep in the water for at least 10 minutes.
6. Adjust the temperature of the water so that you don't burn your tush! It should be comfortably hot but not scorching. If it is, add a little cold water. Remember some water will drain when you sit inside.
7. Sit comfortably in the sitz bath for 15-30 minutes. Leave the pouch in and even give it a squeeze to release the herb infusion. Light a candle, get a mag, listen to an audiobook. Heck, meditate. It's you time!
8. Repeat 1-3 times a day for acute symptoms and 1-3 times a week for chronic ones.
*If you'd like to do a vaginal steam instead, let the herb pouch steep for 5-10 mins and then stand or squat over the sitz bath so the steam relaxes you bottom-up.
**If you do not have a cloth pouch, allow the herbs to infuse for 10 minutes in a pot of newly boiled water, then strain and pour the infusion into the sitz bath.
Period Relief Blend
2 parts raspberry leaf + 1 part motherwort + 1 part marshmallow root + 1/2 part fennel seeds
Postpartum Recovery Blend
1/2 part epsom salt + 1/2 part sage + 2 parts lavender + 1 parts yarrow + 1 part uva ursi
3 parts horsetail + 1 part red clover blossoms + 2 parts nettle + 1/4 part cinnamon bark
2 parts calendula flowers + 1 part comfrey + 3 parts chamomile + 1 part baking soda + 1/2 part natural salt
Try visiting your local health store for bulk herbs to add to your sitz baths or even your regular bath, which I do almost daily! Trust me, you get hooked: herbal baths to me are much more enjoyable than essential oils and salts alone. These shops likely have cotton cloth pouches or large tea strainers to use and reuse. In Prince Edward County, two stockists I'd recommend are County Sunshine and Savon du Bois. Two Canadian wholesalers I also like are Zhi Herbals and Inglewood Apothecary.