These herbal satchels for vaginas are freaking us out
Listen up, folks. Steer CLEAR of a majorly bizarre (and potentially deadly) beauty trend: herbal womb detox pearls. Yeah, they’re as horrifying as they sound.
The pearls are marketed as a “womb detox” that carry “ancient herbs” and are designed to “cleanse the womb and return it to a balanced state.”
They’re also claimed to treat conditions such as “bacteria vaginosis, foul odor, yeast infections, endometriosis, and fibroids,” according to Embrace Pangaea, where you can buy the pearls in bundles of one ($15.00) to 12 ($75.00). They’re even claimed to tighten the vagina and the womb (which begs the question, why would you even want to tighten your womb?). And on top of all that, they smell like flowers!
Maybe that last fact is true, but the rest of it? Total nonsense, according to experts, and they should go NOWHERE near your vagina.
First of all, there’s the major issue of safety. For a “deep cleanse,” the company recommends that you place three satchels in your vagina and leave them in their for 72 hours. That’s three days. “Popping an unregulated herbal supplement into the vagina for three days is grounds for toxic shock syndrome, which is potentially deadly,” Sara Gottfried, MD, gynecologist and author of The Hormone Reset Diet, told Seventeen. “Would you put a tampon in for three days? Me neither.”
Also, the point of the product completely ignores a major biological fact. “The vagina is designed to clean itself with natural secretions and should not require a ‘detox,’” Dr Vanessa McKay, a spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, told Metro. “It contains good bacteria, which are there to protect it. If these bacteria are disturbed, it can lead to infection, such as bacterial vaginosis or thrush, and inflammation. Perfumed products, soaps, gels, antiseptics, and vaginal douches can all affect the pH levels and the healthy balance of bacteria in the vagina, and cause irritation.’”
Plus, as Dr. Jen Gunter highlighted in a blog post, these pearls could very well be “caustic and drying” — two words you don’t want to be associated with your vagina and don’t exactly sound “cleansing.” “These herbs (or whatever, because you really just don’t know – hey it could just be dirt from someone backyard) could be damaging to your lactobacilli (the good bacteria) or be directly irritating to the vagina mucosa (the lining) and both of these outcomes will increase your risk of infection,” she wrote.
On top of that, the one possible truth to the product — that it smells like flowers — would end up being totally pointless, because after three days, you bet it’s gonna smell awful. “What happens when you leave something in a vagina for 3 days is that anaerobic (not good) bacteria grow,” Dr. Gunter wrote. “I have removed many retained tampons over my career and the smell is so bad we typically have to close the exam room for the rest of the day. . . Bad bacteria smells bad – this smell alerts you there is a serious issue somewhere.”
Please, please, PLEASE don’t purchase these products or use them under any circumstance. Your vagina wants to be left alone to do its own self-cleaning thing. Repeat after us: Don’t mess with a happy vagina.
(Image via Twitter.)