“The good physician is a diagnostician, experienced – a knower of herbs, of stones, of trees, and of roots.” – The Physician, Aztec Florentine Codex, Book 10: The People
Whether you are experiencing female reproductive issues, vaginal infections, or are simply looking to nourish your sacred femininity, these top herbs for vaginal health will help you nourish and heal your most sacred parts! But not only that, this article will show you which natural habits to incorporate into your lifestyle for vaginal health.
Healing with herbs is a natural medical art that was used by all ancient societies to heal illness and bring back the body’s state to homeostasis – or wellness. Herbal medicine was humankind’s primary means of healing illness.
Over time, by studying sick animals that grazed on fields on specific herbs and how certain herbs interacted with the body, the village healers gathered their knowledge through observation and experimentation.
In all parts of the world, herbs grow wild and according to the conditions of their environment, which also dictate the types of ailments that are the most common within those natural conditions. Most herbs either grow as common weeds or proliferate wildly on mountain prairies.
Indeed, similarly to the types of native fruits that grow in a geographical region which changes according to the seasons, the nutritional and healing elements of herbs align with the bodily needs of the population that inhabits that specific environment.
Mother nature is wise and as part of nature ourselves, we can become wise by observing her and living according to her cycles!
Main Reasons Why Women Experience Vaginal Issues
There are several reasons why women may experience vaginal issues. Here are some major ones to consider:
- Vulvar infections, including yeast infections (which can occur when bacteria is introduced into the vagina during sex) and genital herpes
- Bacterial vaginosis, which is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina
- Chemical irritants can cause vaginal problems, including detergents, fabric softeners, and perfumes
- Candida, which is a type of yeast infection that causes vulvar swelling, itching, and pain
- Vaginal tears or muscle tone changes that occur during sex or childbirth
- Irritation, menopause, sexually transmitted infections, or cysts
There are also other, lesser-known reasons why vaginal dryness and infections can occur. Here are some most likely possibilities:
- Certain medications: Some medications, such as allergy medications, antidepressants, and hormonal contraceptives, can cause vaginal dryness as a side effect.
- Autoimmune disorders: Certain autoimmune disorders, such as Sjogren’s syndrome and lupus, can cause vaginal dryness and other vaginal issues.
- Douching: Douching can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina and lead to dryness, irritation, and infections.
- Cancer treatments: Radiation therapy and chemotherapy can cause vaginal dryness and other vaginal issues in women.
- Menopause: As women age, our bodies produce less estrogen, which can lead to vaginal dryness and other symptoms of menopause.
The 6 Best Herbs for Vaginal Health
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Women’s reproductive health is all-time low due to the modern lifestyle and toxification of our environment. As women, it is so important to nourish our bodies and attend to self-care, especially when it comes to our vaginal and reproductive health. In spiritual teaching, the reproductive system is symbolized by the root and sacral chakras – energies symbolize a sense of abundance and stability, belonging, and creativity in our lives.
In her book, Anatomy of the Spirit, Caroline Myss writes that issues of survival are at the root of sacral chakra issues and that fibroids result from creative energy that is not birthed and life energy that is directed into dead-end jobs or relationships.
If we are devoid of these “productive” energies, we are not energetically feeding them in the corresponding chakras in our bodies. As the hermetic principle goes – “as within, so without,” and therefore, our internal health is highly correlated with our external experience of life.
But did you know that if we energize these energy cortexes internally through herbs, foods, and self-care practices, we will be able to change our external circumstances that align with these changes? That’s the beauty of understanding the energy laws of nature and the cosmos!
Indeed, herbs carry conscious energies and have specific personalities based on their nature. They can be detoxifying, tonifying, building, or symptom-relieving and carry out these properties in our bodies when ingested. According to Dr. Robert Morse, a naturopathic healer of 50 years:
Out of 100 clients who came to our clinic and followed a detoxification regimen, 80 were able to eliminate their cancers. I know of no better way to heal, clean, and rebuild the body than through detoxification and regeneration of its cells, through diet and herbs.
The Detox Miracle Sourcebook, pg. 257
Here are my favorite herbs for vaginal health. You can consume them as tea, in capsules, or in herbal tinctures. You can also sprinkle them in your salad and add them to your smoothies!
Remember, when you treat any one condition of the body, think about how all the tissues and organs are related. This will help you understand which herbs are the most potent healers holistically. For example, vaginal issues can stem from fungal issues, skin integrity, hormones (and liver), and external toxins. This means that herbs that help with all of the above can work most powerfully when used synergetically.
With the herbs for vaginal health below, feel free to combine them intuitively or use them alongside alkalizing herbs like stinging nettle (one of my favorite herbal tips!).
Red Raspberry Leaf
Red raspberry leaf alleviates vaginal dryness, reduces menstrual cramps, strengthens the womb, and increases fertility; it is “the” quintessential women’s herb. Red raspberry leaf is one of the most powerful uterus-nourishing herbs and is the ideal herb for women with fibroids, menstrual issues, and pregnancy-related complications.
Red clover helps alleviate vaginal dryness, improves menopausal symptoms, relieves symptoms of endometriosis, and cleans and nourishes the uterus.
Red clover is one of the best lymphatic system cleansers and helps to promote lymphatic movement (toxic waste removal) from the vaginal area and the uterus.
Chamomile acts as an antiseptic cleaner for the vaginal walls and is the perfect remedy for atrophic vaginitis; it protects vaginal pH and nourishes the vaginal flora.
You can simply drink a cup of chamomile every evening and/or use chamomile tea as yoni steam to deliver its vital nutrients directly to the vaginal wall.
A wash with the yarrow flower will tighten vaginal tissues, reduce discharge, and soothe the vaginal membranes; candida and other infections can also be treated with yarrow.
Yarrow reduces menstrual pain and bloating and induces menstruation during an absence of a cycle. It is one of the major herbs used for reproductive health and vaginal wounds/abrasions.
Wild Yam Root
This anti-inflammatory herb is best known for nourishing the female endocrine system. Wild yam root is known to regulate female sex hormones and can treat PMS symptoms and other hormone imbalances. Likewise, it is known to slow down the progression of breast cancer and lower the symptoms of menopause.
Due to the power of its hormone-regulating abilities, wild yam root was used in developing the first contraceptive pill in the 1930s.
This panacea of an herb is beneficial for relieving vaginal yeast infections as well as vaginal itching, burning, and dryness. Calendula is one of the best herbs for skin function and can strengthen the lining and the integrity of the vaginal walls.
Calendula is widely used for vaginal atrophy, as it heals wounds, hydrates the skin (dry vagina), and soothes abrasions.
Tips for Choosing the Most Quality Herbs
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Unless you have access to your own organic herbs from your backyard or the mountains/woods, finding the best quality herbs may seem daunting.
In general, herbs are often sourced and processed very differently depending on the source of production and the company. The source is always important, which shows if the herbs were grown in the wild and if they are organic. The manner of processing is also highly important, since drying, storage, and transport of herbs can have a profound impact on the final levels of quality and medicinal effects of the products.
In fact, due to the rise in demand for herbal medicine in the last handful of decades, many practices of adulteration and chemical processing of herbs have skyrocketed in the industry. And most likely, the consumers are not aware of this, leaving them vulnerable to products that don’t offer healing benefits and which can even cause adverse effects.
This is why it is important to understand the quality parameters available on the market and choose herbs that meet the highest growing, harvest, sourcing, processing, and delivery standards.
Here’s what to look for to ensure you get the best product on the market:
1) The best medicinal plants should be wild-crafted and organically grown without any adulterants; if purchasing products in the US, look for the USDA-certified label that will ensure the products are free from pesticides, additives, and chemicals.
2) Ideally, plants should be harvested at their growing peak; leaves are harvested during the spring, flowers when they just open up (summer), and roots in the fall. Check with the manufacturer to discern the time of their harvest season.
3) Purchase herbs from a reputable company with a personal passion for health and the environment (they commit to sustainable harvesting methods); many companies simply buy imported herbs from other countries in bulk (most likely to lowest quality herbs) and resell them at higher prices under an appealing branding; you can ensure a company’s standards are top-notch if its products have been independently tested by a consumer quality control regulator.
4) Quality herbs should always match the plant’s aesthetics, aroma, texture, and taste; if they don’t, the plant has most likely been contaminated by chemical processing.
5) Buy locally whenever possible; local production ensures freshness and greater potency, and having a closer relationship with the distributor ensures that you have more knowledge about their production methods.
And if you would like a personal recommendation on where to get the most quality herbs online, one of my favorite herbal stores is Starwest Botanicals – one of the oldest, largest, and all-organic herbal stores in the US! They have some of the highest quality controls with an in-house quality control laboratory and their own production space, and commit to using renewable energy, reducing waste, and recycling.
*Starwest Botanicals is the herbal store of my preference and is my affiliate partner. You won't be charged anything by purchasing herbs through the link on my website, but a small part of the proceeds of your purchase will help the growth of my small business. Thank you!
The Best Practices to Keep the Vagina Healthy Naturally
When it comes to health, no one treatment or solution will be sustainable for the long term – healing is truly a holistic process. For optimal vaginal health, these are some of the best practices you can incorporate into your lifestyle so that your feminine essence can be nurtured, protected, and revitalized.
Yoni steam with herbs and essential oils
By combining steaming water and soothing essential oil(s) in a cup, stand over the cup with spread legs and let the steam envelop the vaginal walls. This steam bath will help cleanse the vagina and promote a healthy pH terrain.
Do not use conventional sprays, lotions, and douches
Conventional products are full of chemicals, additives, and even heavy metals that can cause infections, the proliferation of bad bacteria, and disruption of the vaginal flora. Eventually, prolonged usage of these products may cause vaginal and reproductive problems.
Stop using tampons
Tampons, especially the conventional kind, are steeped in fragrances and artificial material which can disrupt vaginal flora and its self-cleansing mechanism. Likewise, coagulation of tissues in the vagina can cause fermentation and overgrowth of bad bacteria, easily leading to infections.
Use organic cotton pads
By using pads, you enable the vagina to self-clean without disrupting its flora and pH. Likewise, by using organic cotton, you enable the vaginal area to breathe without introducing artificial perfumes and chemicals to proliferate in the delicate area.
Douche with herbal tea
You can make a vaginal healing tea using one or multiple herbs listed in this article, let it cool until it’s warm, and use a squeeze bottle or a spray bottle to cleanse the vagina while in the shower. Do not rinse with water afterward.
Use extra virgin coconut oil for yeast infections
If you are experiencing itching, dryness, or symptoms of infection, fill a glass dropper with a bit of virgin coconut oil and insert the oil after showering. Hold it in by squeezing your pelvic muscles and then wipe off the excess liquid.
Wipe from front to back
When on the toilet, make sure to always wipe away from your vagina and not toward it in order to avoid fecal matter and bacteria from entering the vagina.
Wear cotton underwear
Cotton is a natural and breathable material, and wearing cotton underwear will keep air flowing and help offset the potential of yeast infections, itchiness, and other vaginal problems.
Do Kegel exercises
Kegel exercises consist of squeezing the pelvic muscles to strengthen them; this helps to better control the flow of urine and feces, especially with age. The exercises also help support the uterus, small intestines, bladder, and rectum.
Skip scented clothing detergents
Most detergents are heavily perfumed and include many harsh chemicals; in order to ensure the best female hygiene, invest in all-natural washing liquid or wash your clothes solely with hot water and baking soda.
Cut down on consuming processed sugar and dairy
Since yeast infections occur because of the fungal over-growth on the skin, cutting out fungus-friendly foods like processed sugar, milk, and cheese is key. This Candida albicans thrives in an acidic environment, and going on a detox cleanse will help regulate the body and starve off the fungul growth.
Consume an alkaline diet and supplement with herbs
An alkaline diet hydrates the body and purges acids and toxins from tissues. Herbs are highly medicinal and support the detoxification, tonification, and regeneration of weakened tissue. Changing your internal chemistry from acidic (inflammatory) to alkaline will energize all of your cells and help your body heal.
Photo by Yan Krukov from Pexels
Healing with herbs is one of the oldest human practices that connects the quality of our lives directly to nature. Human cultures throughout the world understood that alignment with the laws of nature was a strong precondition for a generous harvest, good health, and successful life.
Since the industrial revolution and the advent of tech, we had been pulled toward an artificial way of living that does not mimic the cycles and laws of nature, fostering a global health crisis of chronic disease.
I believe that the stresses of the modern world are a big culprit alongside artificial work environments (including prolonged computer screen time and sitting at a desk for most of the day), packaged foods, chemical exposure, and EMF radiation.
That is why it is more important than ever to engage in self-care and to prioritize our female “creative” centers. Not only will this help us align with our personal power but it will make us feel more beautiful, nurtured, and secure in our own skin. Whether you are choosing herbs for vaginal health or taking up a creative, self-expressive hobby, make it a priority to give back to yourself daily.
And if you need any help with any steps of your personal healing journey, especially when it comes to the female reproductive system, check out my article, Top Alkaline Herbs and Foods for Shrinking Fibroids and Regulating Hormones.