Know the facts before you give your womb a herbal detox
We’re all familiar with the concept of detoxing, especially at this time of year. But in most cases, the process involves carefully controlling what you put into your mouth — not your vagina.
Some women have been carrying out what is known as the "herbal womb detox," which claims to fix a load of "major imbalances" in the womb — such as foul odour, yeast infections, endometriosis, bacteria vaginosis and fibroids — and involves putting "womb detox pearls" into your vagina.
Enclosed in a mesh bag, the pearls are packed with potent herbs — including motherwort, cnidium monnieri, angelica, borneol and rhizoma — "to aid you in releasing toxins from the body," said 24-year-old Tamieka Atkinson, who came up with the idea for the product after growing frustrated with traditional medicine.
According to Atkinson’s website, Embrace Pangaea, the product is "designed to cleanse the womb and return it to a balance state" as well as tighten the vagina, regulate menstruation, improve fertility and relieve itching. The site recommends inserting the pearls into your vagina at least three days after the end of your menstrual cycle. Different packages are available, with prices starting from $15.
One woman who tried the pearls is Tiara Janté, who wrote about her experience on xoNECOLE. She said after four detox sessions, her "vagina feels amazing" and described it as "one of the best decisions I’ve made in regards to my personal health."
Before you rush to place an order, however, you should know what the experts say.
"The vagina is designed to clean itself with natural secretions and should not require a 'detox,'" says Dr. Vanessa Mackay from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
Gynaecologist and pain-medicine physician Dr. Jen Gunter said the entire idea and process is not only pointless but also harmful to women's health, because leaving the herbal pearls inside the vagina for three days could promote the growth of bad bacteria and lead to infection or toxic shock syndrome, which is potentially fatal and is one of the reasons women are advised not to leave tampons inside the vagina for any longer than eight hours.
Atkinson has never consulted a gynaecologist or medical professional, because she claims their philosophy on natural remedies would differ from hers. However, lots of people have been buying her product — she claims to have had over 370 clients since April 2015.