There are a lot of things you’re not supposed to put up inside your vagina. Hot Wheels, Cheetos, and Icy Hot come to mind immediately. Another thing you should definitely not put up there, though, is a little satchel of herbs.
While the idea of a vaginal detox might seem appealing, stop, no, it’s not, it’s bad. But that’s what these newly popular little vagina herb bombs promise customers — a total detox for your most delicate orifice. You know, the one that cleans itself on its own once a month.
As reported by The Frisky, popular beauty blogger xoNECOLE recently wrote about her positive experience using “womb detox pearls.” She wrote that they’re mainly manufactured in India and China, and serve a variety of purposes, like “womb maintenance” and “vaginal tightening.” The idea is that you leave the little herb bomb in your vag for three full days to let it works it ~magic~, and then VOILA, your vagina is fresh like the morning sun.
Except… this is not how your vagina works. You cannot just go shoving basil and grass up there and hope for a miracle. These womb pearls are not FDA-approved, and therefore have zero medical backing. To refute any blogged success with the vaginal herbs, Dr. Jen Gunter, an OB/GYN with Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center, wrote a blog post warning women against purchasing and shoving the potpourri into their nooks and crannies.
“Your uterus isn’t tired or depressed or dirty and your vagina has not misplaced its chakra,” she writes. “Your vagina is a self-cleaning oven. Many plant products and extracts are irritating and certainly none of the claimed contents have been tested for vaginal use. God knows what is in the ‘vaginal tightening’ pearls, but I imagine something caustic or drying – both really bad.”
At best, these little herbal bombs will leave your vagina literally the exact same way as it was before you shoved plants in there. At worst, though, Dr. Gunter warns that using the herbal balls can cause toxic shock syndrome, because they involve leaving porous fabric that harvest bacteria in your vagina for days on end.
Many women feel the need to cleanse their vaginas, for fear that they’re smelly, or gross, or somehow bad. Your vagina is not bad. If you’re worried you have a real medical problem — like bacterial vaginosis, or a yeast infection, or an STI — see a doctor, don’t raid your spice rack for healing solutions.
Nothing good ever comes of sticking random objects inside of your vagina. Stick with what you know. Not with something that comes from Etsy, and promises herbal, vaginal rejuvenation.