Herbs for Vulvas!
Herbs for Vulvas!
By Kirsten Anderberg (www.kirstenanderberg.com)
Written Feb. 21, 2007
When I see the products that women buy in drug stores to use on their vulvas and in their vaginas, I cringe. So many chemicals! Your genitals do not need all those preservatives and additives! You can make cosmetics, with fresh, natural ingredients, in your home! Vaginas and vulvas have their own moods and styles, but certain things irritate most vulvas and certain things don’t. I am not making any medicinal claims about the recipes that follow, I just know what has worked for me. My own intuition tells me it is safer and healthier for me to use comfrey-infused olive oil on my vulva, than to use some chemical concoction made in a factory. Some of the things you can make for your vulva include special herbal baths, special vulva oil, and natural yeast infection remedies. I learned some of these recipes from my midwife Miriamma Carson, one of the founders of the Seattle Midwifery School. I learned other recipes from the Source Family, and others from medicine women like Susun Weed and Rosemary Gladstar.
You can make nice baths from herbs placed in a cotton reusable tea bag, used in your bathtub, just like it was a big teacup! Various herbs are beneficial to vulvas and vaginas and they made nice baths too! You can make an endless combination of herbs for baths, but if you want to center on vulvic herbs, you can add any of the following to your bath herb mixtures: Nettles, chamomile, plantain, aloe, pot marigold/calendula, comfrey root or leaves...
VULVIC ITCHING, RASHES, ETC.
Slippery Elm is an herb that makes a slimy film when you add water to it. You can heat it or just mix it cold. Take 2 T slippery elm bark powder, and mix it with one cup of water. Mix until thick. This gel can be used on the outside and inside of the vagina and has a soothing effect. You can refrigerate it for extra soothing from the coolness.
Chamomile Compress: You can make a cup of chamomile tea with a teabag and then use the wet teabag like a compress on your vulva tissues, lying down.
Homemade Aloe Vera Gel: This gel soothes vulva tissues but also makes a fabulous hair gel, holds braids well, and soothes burns and irritated skin, in general. The stuff on store shelves has preservatives in it that your vulva does not need. Make it yourself.
Slit open an aloe vera leaf, scrape out the inner gel with a knife and put the pulp into a blender or food processor. Dilute with water to desired thickness. Blend about one minute, and be careful to not overmix it or it turns watery.
Pot Marigold (Calendula Officinalis) Wash: Boil 2 cups water, then take the pan off the burner. Place two handfuls of pot marigold flowers into the water and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain the flowers out of the water and wash the vulva with this liquid for yeast infection irritations.
Yogurt/Acidophilus for Yeast Infections: When I first met my midwife, Miriamma Carson, I had come to the Fremont Women’s Clinic where she worked, for help with a yeast infection. She took out a yeast infection kit from the shelf, pulled out the applicator and then threw the tube of goo right into the trash! She gave me the applicator and told me to take it home and insert live acidophilus culture (via yogurt) into my vagina with the applicator to kill the yeast infection. Honestly, this is the only yeast infection cure I have used my entire life. The yogurt is incredibly soothing to the yeast infection itching and burning and it is effective. Be sure to get live acidophilus yogurt, the yogurt made with pectin doesn’t work. Susun Weed suggests a less messy way to go: she suggests inserting 1-2 capsules of acidophilus powder into the vagina every other day for two weeks to treat yeast infections. Susun also reminds women to treat their sexual partners as well.
When vulva tissues are dry and itchy, you can use oils to soothe and nourish the skin.
Pot Marigold Oil: Fill a jar with pot marigold (Calendula Officinalis) flowers. Pour almond, olive, or wheatgerm oil (or really *any* oil will work, the idea is just that some oils are nicer for skin than others) to cover the flowers. Seal and leave on a windowsill that gets a lot of sun for a month. Strain the flowers out of the oil, then use it as desired.
Comfrey Softening Oil and Soak: Comfrey root makes things soft, hair, skin, etc. And it makes vulva tissues soft when applied in an oil, or even when used as a tea externally. To make comfrey oil, you can place cleaned, cut up, comfrey root in a jar, cover with oil, seal, place on the windowsill in the sun for about a month, then strain and use. Or you can make a tea from the root and then soak a cloth in it, and apply it to your vulva while you lie down on your back.
Chamomile Oil/Soak: Do the same things I detailed above, but with chamomile instead.
Plantain Oil/Soak: Same as the comfrey process above.
Where do you get herbs as referenced in these recipes? Many cities have apothecaries, or medicinal herbal stores, and you can find them in the yellow pages. In Seattle, Tenzing Momo (www.tenzingmomo.com) has been selling herbs for 20+ years and Rosemary Gladstar created a bulk herb store at http://www.wildweeds.com. I sell wildcrafted organic nettles every spring, via my webpage http://resist.ca/~kirstena/pagenettles.html. I will not be selling nettles again until late March ‘07, as nettles are just beginning to show right now where I live in the Pacific NW, and I sold out of last year’s batch. And while we are talking about vulvas, make sure to check out my Vulva Museum, at http://resist.ca/~kirstena/pagevulvamuseum1.html. Or perhaps you would be interested in buying a Vulva Museum 2007 Calendar to see positive vulvic imagery every day of the year in your home. You can buy the calendars online at http://resist.ca/~kirstena/pagesupport.html.
NOTE: Do not use any plant you have not fully studied and identified properly.