Last year, just as summer was hitting, a strange new trend had women going crazy and gynecologists really worried: using crushed wasp nests as a means of improving one’s sex life. The product, sold on Etsy, was reportedly crushed into a paste and applied topically. Beyond one’s sex life it was also advertised to help heal episiotomy wounds, rejuvenate the uterine wall, and clean out the vagina’ after childbirth (there were warnings that it can ‘burn’ when applied).

Because these things tend to have a life of their own and often reappear on Facebook, we thought we’d remind you in case you didn’t see the story last year!

Gynecologist Jen Gunter says the practice uses “drying agents” to tighten the vagina, “Drying the vaginal mucosa increases the risk of abrasions during sex (not good) and destroys the protective mucous layer (not good). It could also wreak havoc with the good bacteria. This is a dangerous practice with real potential to harm. Here’s a pro-tip, if something burns when you apply it to the vagina it is generally bad for the vagina.”1

And this isn’t the first time she’s had problems with vaginal herbal remedies. In 2016 she took issue with the womb detox trend that claimed to help women suffering from endometriosis, ovarian cysts, thrush, and fibroids.

Known as womb detox “pearls,” the bag of herbs is inserted into the vagina for 24 hours, then on day two a different “pearl” is inserted for 48 hours. During days three to six, the womb expells old blood clots, mucus, and skin cells. However, Dr. Gunter and most of her counterparts believe it’s nothing more than an old wives tale and a breeding ground for TSS.

But is it? According to our research, these detox pearls are similar to vagina steam baths and those have been around for centuries. “It has been known for centuries in Central and South America as ‘bajos’, and as ‘chai-yok’ in Korea. While there is still no scientific evidence to support V-steam benefits, this age-old technique has been widely used by Korean women as stress and infertility remedy.”2

Some of the purported health benefits of a V-steam are:

  • Bladder and yeast infections
  • Vaginal cysts
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Infertility
  • Irregular and painful periods
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Perennial tears
  • Scarring from caesarian section
  • Recovery from hysterectomies and laparoscopies

Again, there is no current scientific research to support the validity of the claims made in support of this practice over the last couple hundred years, so you’ll have to decide for yourself if they are a good idea or not. But at least now you have the information you need to make an educated decision.

XO- Erin

Sources and References

  1. NY Post, June 1, 2017.
  2. Healthy and Natural World.