B A J O S // Nourishing Vaginal Steams

To open one's physical being is to open oneself in all other ways as well.  Nevermore is this true than when a woman invites a lover, a medicine, a teaching deeply into her body.  How powerful it is; how healing it can be.  While often the there is little, if anything, that needs to be done to maintain vaginal balance in a healthy woman, giving extra care and attention to our wombs and vaginas periodically brings not only greater health, but a deep sense of empowerment and sacredness to our bodies and to the larger story of our lives.   Bajos--also called yoni steams or vaginal steaming--are a soothing, safe, and sensual way to invite healing into your womb and your World.  A woman's womb is a locus of consciousness unlike any other in the body.  The head, the heart, and the gut all have their ways of knowing but it is within the womb that the most potent seeds of dreams and all new ideas are gestated. The womb is the seat of all creation and the bed of rich and fertile soil from which new life springs.  To nourish it is to nourish your whole Self and to in turn be able to share your precious gifts with the world from a place deeply rooted in the strength of your Being.

Bajos are a fine ritual for connecting with the deep and timeless feminine wisdom which resides within your womb. They can also help to relieve stagnant or deficient conditions of the vagina, womb, and reproductive system as a whole such as menstrual cramping, amennorhea, dysmennorhea uterine prolapse, incontinence, bacterial imbalance and many other conditions.  Because of the increased vitality and circulation that Bajos encourage, they are also useful for bringing heightened sensation during lovemaking and greater awareness in general of feelings, both physical and emotional, that arise from the womb.  Bajos can also have incredibly beneficial effects post-partum, but alas that is beyond the scope of this blog post.  Bajos rejuvenate the reproductive system by warming the organs, increasing the circulation of oxygenated blood to the vagina and womb, and restoring moisture, vitality and integrity to the tissues.  The pleasant heat from the rising steam opens the pores of the skin as well as the those of the vulva so that the medicinal properties of the herbs are delivered deeply into the pelvis and womb through the bloodstream. Different herbs can and should be used based on the presenting symptoms and needs of each woman. For specific indications, please consult a trusted herbalist.  Do not undertake a bajo during menses, if you are pregnant, or during an active vaginal infection.  Please consult your healthcare provider before preparing a vaginal steam if you have any concerns.

Herbs To Consider

There are many more herbs than those listed below that will bring beneficial healing effects in the context of a vaginal steam.  The following herbs are some that are traditionally used in South + Central American Bajos and/or are specific to the Southwest United States (the region in which the author resides).  Get to know the herbs that grow close to your home, cultivating an intimate relationship with them and then experiment with using them in your steams.

To Moisten, Cool, and Soothe //
Comfrey Leaves, Plantain Leaves,
Violet Leaves + Flowers, Mullein Leaves + Flowers

To Nourish, Tone + Strengthen The Tissues // 
Yarrow Blossoms, Rose Petals, Motherwort Leaves, Plantain Leaves,
Mugwort, Sagebrush, Raspberry or Blackberry Leaf

To Bring Warmth + Increase Circulation //
Rosemary, Juniper, Mugwort, Sagebrush, Damiana
Oregano, Basil, Lemon Balm, Ocotillo Bark, Dong Quai

To Encourage Optimal Bacterial Balance //
Rose, Calendula, Yarrow Flowers + Leaves,
Oregano, Basil, Chamomile

To Bless + Honor The Womb //
Calendula Blossoms, Rose Petals, Basil, Mugwort, Juniper,
Motherwort, Ocotillo Blossoms, Yucca Blossoms, Rosemary Flowers

O U R   F A V O R I T E

Our favorite blend, called simply, BAJOS is made with Wild New Mexico Sagebrush and
Texas Juniper, Calendula Blossoms, Red Rose Petals, Motherwort Leaf, and Chamomile Flowers

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The Ritual Of Steaming
[ How To ]

Place roughly one cup of dried herbs or one and a half cups fresh herbs
 in a large metal or sturdy glass bowl + cover with water.


Leave the bowl outside beneath the Moon at night and then bring the
herbs to a bare simmer in a pot on the stove the following morning.


Alternately, skip the step above and simply pour boiling water over
the herbs and cover. Allow the herbs to steep for about ten minutes.
Take this time to offer a prayer of thanks for the herbs, talking to them
if you wish, and asking them for their help with whatever specific
healing or guidance you may need.  A simple prayer of gratitude to
honor the gift of the plants is just fine too.


Once the herbs have cooled a bit, position yourself over them and test the
temperature of the steam.  It should be very warm but in no way unpleasant. 
If it is too hot, allow the herbs to cool for a for minutes and then return to the steam.
Please take care not to burn the delicate tissues of your vagina with too-hot steam.


The Steaming Stool // Made from lightweight yet sturdy Western Red Cedar and burned with the phases of the Moon, these Steaming Stools make the ideal perch for Bajos. The Steaming Stool also doubles quite well as a nightstand, end table, or altar when not in use. A most convenient disguise.


Place the bowl of herbs either inside the steaming stool, beneath a chair with slats in it, or
in a clean toilet bowl with the water turned off on the pipes.  If it is comfortable for you, you may also simply squat over the bowl or pot filled with herbs.  The steaming stool seems the most pleasant and natural option as it allows you to squat slightly, relax fully, and open yourself deeply to the experience in all ways.  Whatever method you choose, make sure that you are warm and that the steam is contained by wrapping your lower half in a towel or blanket.  Heavy socks and your favorite sweater are recommended in Autumn + Winter.


While you invite the steam into your womb, take time to just be.  Allow your mind to wander.  Bring your attention to your breath.  Place your hands on your breasts, your belly, your heart.  Listen to whatever messages arise within you, noticing each thought and sensation and honoring them all as valuable information.


The steam will generally last about twenty minutes the plants exhaust their medicine.
When you feel satisfied that the experience is complete, wrap yourself in a blanket or
put on warm clothing. Do not allow yourself to become chilled.  Rest and allow yourself
to soak in the experience fully.  Pay attention to any insights you have or messages you
receive during this time.  Place your hands over your womb and notice the sensations
you experience. 


Always return the herbs to the earth
and give thanks for the healing and
nourishment they have provided.

Please note // Do not undertake a bajo during menses, if you are pregnant, or during an active vaginal infection.  Please consult your healthcare provider before preparing a vaginal steam if you have any concerns. You should not experience any onset of  pain during or after the steam.  Please consult a medical professional if any pain persists.

Above // Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) is a favorite herb used in our BAJOS blend

. . .

Want to learn more about luscious medicine
for vaginal health?  Click here!

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Have questions? A favorite steaming formula you want to share with the world? Let us know in the comments below!

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  1. I had this treatment in Bali (they actually steamed my husband too). It felt amazing!

  2. Hi there, just wondering if this practice is contraindicated for women with an IUD. Any thoughts would be appreciated! Unfortunately I feel like most doctors wouldn't know what to say if you came to them with a question about vaginal steaming...

  3. This is a great question. This practice is NOT recommended for persons with IUDs.