Vsteam & the Power of Steaming Herbs
Medicinal herbs have been prized for ages by many cultures, especially found in Chinese medicine and ayurvedic medicine to heal and prevent various illnesses. Even modern medicine has its roots in Herbalism. One of my favorite museums is the Oklahoma Drug Store Museum, located in Downtown Guthrie, Oklahoma. Right next to their building is the Apocathery garden with different species of herbs, trees, and medicinal flowers. When you browse the museum you find that many elixirs are made from herbs, tree barks, and other plant species.
Ibrow Studio and Spa pride itself for its holistic approach to beauty and skin wellness. From nature based skin care, natural sanitary hair removal, to reiki healing sessions, we focus on a whole approach to beauty and skin health, so our clients have a radiant natural beauty, that isn’t and doesn’t look fake. Vsteam is a holistic addition, we’re now offering.
During a trip to a Dallas Korean Spa, I experienced and learned about the benefits of the V-Steam. Which is an herbal steam sitz bath. It has been used by women in Korea, Japan and China for years since the ancient times. It is known to prevent uterine cancer and feminine aliments such as premenstrual cramps, menopausal symptoms, vaginal itching and yeast infections. It is detoxifying and refreshing. The powerful herbs are packed with anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Many are astringent and toning. While others are anti-inflammatory, soothing, and calming. The following is an in-depth look into the benefits of steaming herbs and a breakdown of each organic herb used in our Vsteams, their medicinal properties, and their benefits.
You don’t just have to consume herbs to get their benefits. You can steam them too! In fact, many herbs contain minerals and elements that are heat activated, or are water soluble. So steaming is one of the most effective ways to utilize them. When the water and heat in your steamer extract these essential nutrients, the steam picks them up. As your skin comes in contact with this herb-enriched steam, they enter your system, and are absorbed very quickly.
A steam doesn’t just serve cosmetic, or facial needs. It has many uses. Steaming for health is one significant way a steamer is utilized to improve your overall health, or to target certain conditions or ailments.
Each herb has its own distinct set of properties and characteristics. Each condition, ailment, disease, etc. has its own distinct set of causes and attributes. If you have a yeast infection for example, you will want to strengthen your immune system, and kill any fungi. By combining herbs in a blend, you can attack each of these factors in one steam session – so keep that in mind as you read the following list.
1.Tulsi (Holy Basil)- As a testament to the plant’s curative powers, to this very day, it is widely regarded as one of the preeminent herbs in the ancient Indian system of medicine known as Ayurveda, where it is classified as a rasayana—an elite class of adaptogenic herbs prized for their ability to fundamentally restore balance and harmony in the mind, body, and spirit. Not wanting to be left out of the party, contemporary health researchers have also taken an interest in Holy Basil, making it one of the rare herbs that has substantial science backing up its borderline miraculous healing properties. A host of studies have demonstrated it to be a powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immune system modulator, as well as a promising treatment for conditions ranging from liver disease to arthritis, to diabetes and cancer, which is in line with its traditional Ayurvedic uses.
Chinese Medicine classifies Holy Basil in a similar regard to Ayurveda, as a rare and highly sought after “Shen tonic,” loosely translating to an herb that nourishes the spirit, which should come as no surprise given it’s supposed divine origins. And as effective as it is for treating common health ailments, perhaps its greatest benefit is the restorative effect it has on the nervous system. Tulsi is a powerful corticosteroid modulator, meaning that it has the unique ability to reduce circulating stress hormones in the body, making it an ideal herb for today’s hyper-stimulated digital culture.
2. Calendula – In herb form, calendula is the dried flower portion of the calendula plant. If you have calendula growing in your backyard, you can just dry the flower portion yourself. Calendula is often used in OTC gels and creams, but is also available as an oil.
Calendula contains methanol and ethanol – both of which are anti-microbial, and anti-fungal. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, both methanol and ethanol show comparable results to the prescription medication Fluconazole, which is often used to treat fungal infections. This makes it very effective against fungal infections on your skin.
3. Chamomile- One of the most ancient plants in modern use, chamomile has a history stretching back at least 3,000 years as a medicinal plant. From the Greek word for ground apple, chamomile has been used as an age old remedy by many ancient civilisations. The Romans were prescribed this herb by the noted physician Pliny, to ward off headaches, ease liver and kidney inflammation and facilitate digestion. The Greek physician and botanist Dioscorides used chamomile to heal intestinal, nervous and liver disorders and prescribed it for women’s ailments. Chamomile was considered one of the nine sacred herbs of the Anglo-Saxons and was used ritually to ward off diseases and to promote health.
Medicinal plants such as this one contain a complex series of phytonutrients that work individually and collectively to ease a wide range of complaints. Whilst science tries to find “the chemical” that makes a plant effective, in reality it is the combined workings of these compounds which ultimately provide relief.
Chamomile reduces muscle spasms and period pain. According to a study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Chemistry, Chamomile tea has pain-relieving and antispasmodic properties. It relaxes the uterus and decreases the production of prostaglandins (hormone-like substances that cause inflammation and pain).
As a relaxant, chamomile depresses the central nervous system, reducing anxiety while not disrupting normal performance or function. This is due to the active principles of chamomile including flavonoids, glycosides, and essential oils.
In a 2011 study published in the journal, “European Neuropsychopharmacology”, showed that the phytochemicals in chamomile have 3 effects on the central nervous system that contribute to the herb’s anxiolytic and sedative properties. It binds to the GABA receptors which in turn reduces the activity of the cells in the sleep centre of the brain.
4. Mugwort- The chemicals in mugwort might stimulate the uterus.Women take mugwort forirregular periods and other menstrual problems. This tall and hardy plant was named for the Greek Goddess of the moon “Artemis”, in respect of this herb’s benefits to women’s health – especially in menstruation, childbirth and the menopause. Historically it has been used as a herbal inhibitor for menstrual cycles and to provide relief from symptoms of the menopause. It was considered the universal herb for protection and prophecy – also used for pain, healing. Mugwort is a uterine tonic and an emmenagogue (a substance that stimulates or increases menstrual flow). The uterus depends on healthy circulation to the pelvic region and strong uterine muscles to function properly. A toned uterus that is receiving good blood circulation allows for healthy monthly periods. Before using this herb to stimulate monthly menses it is advised that a pregnancy test is done first as this powerful herb can cause miscarriages and is contraindicated during pregnancy and lactation.
5. Wormwood- Wormwood is a bitter herb affecting the bitter sensing tastebuds that send signals to the brain to stimulate the entire digestive system, (salivation, stomach acid production, intestinal tract movement). It also stimulates the release of bile from the liver, the storage of bile in the gallbladder and other secretions from the intestinal glands, which will enhance the body’s ability to digest food. A common cause of weak digestion is too little stomach acid (not too much) – acid reflux is the result of weak stomach acid that is unable to properly digest food. Hydrochloric acid (HCL) production is stimulated by Wormwood, and it will optimise bowel flora whilst killing off dangerous organisms such as Helicobacter Pylori which can lead to duodenal ulcers if left untreated. It can also help the recovery from long term illness by improving the uptake of nutrients.
Recent evidence has also shown that Wormwood can be an effective treatment for SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). One particular study found that 84% of IBS patients tested positive for SIBO. This bacterial overgrowth can break down the lining of your stomach leading to “Leaky Gut Syndrome”. Once the lining has been compromised it leaves the immune system exposed to foreign particles from food, bacteria and other microbes. This can then trigger an immune response that will irritate the enteric nervous system, creating the havoc that can lead to IBS and many other problems. Wormwood, along with other anti-microbial herbs such as oregano and thyme, have been shown to provide broad-spectrum coverage against the types of bacteria most commonly involved in SIBO.
- Anti Parasitic
Worms – especially roundworms and pinworms are effectively neutralised by Wormwood. General parasitic infections are commonly treated with Wormwood, Black Walnut and Clove – these three herbs taken together are said to break the life cycle of the parasite, thus killing off the infection.
- Anti Inflammatory
Wormwood contains the phytochemicals “azulenes”, compounds which are proven to have powerful anti-inflammatory activity. Whilst inflammation is a necessary step in the healing process – persistent, low level inflammation is at the root of practically all known chronic health conditions, including everything from rheumatoid arthritis and high cholesterol to dementia. This anti-inflammatory effect is responsible for the relief Wormwood can provide from the pain and swelling of arthritis.
- Liver Health
Wormwood has demonstrated hepatoprotective effects in animal models by reducing oxidation and exhibiting anti-inflammatory properties, thereby reducing liver damage. It can also be used as part of a liver flush to clear out congestion in this important organ.
6. Oregano- Oregano was used in herbal medicine as long ago as the Ancient Greeks. Hippocrates used it as an antiseptic.
- Antibacterial properties
Oregano oil contains an essential compound called carvacrol, which has antimicrobial properties.
The herb has shown antimicrobial activity in a number of studies. One group of researchers found that Origanum vulgare essential oils were effective against 41 strains of the food pathogen Listeria monocytogenes.
Another team from India and the United Kingdom (U.K.) reported that the essential oil of Himalayan oregano has strong antibacterial properties that may protect against the hospital superbug, MRSA.
“We have done a few preliminary tests and have found that the essential oil from the oregano kills MRSA at a dilution 1 to 1,000. The tests show that the oil kills MRSA both as a liquid and as a vapor and its antimicrobial activity is not diminished by heating in boiling water.” Prof. Vyv Salisbury, the University of the West of England, Bristol. The project won an award from the United Nations in 2008.
- Anti-inflammatory properties
Scientists from Germany and Switzerland identified an active ingredient in oregano, known as beta-caryophyllin (E-BCP), which may help treat disorders such as osteoporosis and arteriosclerosis. E-BCP is a dietary cannabinoid.
- Protecting against cancer
Research published in the journal PLoS ONE in 2013 suggested that oregano exhibits anticancer activity. The scientists concluded that Origanum majoranacould help prevent and treat breast cancer by slowing or preventing its progression.
In 2014, food scientists discovered that the popular culinary herbs oregano, rosemary, and marjoram contain compounds that may have the potential to manage type 2 diabetes in a similar way to some currently prescribed drugs.
- Antifungal, Antibacterial, and May Even Kill MRSA
Carvacol and thymol, two phytochemicals in oregano, are powerful antimicrobials. Research has shown essential oils from oregano may kill the foodborne pathogen Listeria and the superbug MRSA (making it a useful addition to hand soaps and disinfectants). According to one of the researchers involved in the MRSA study:
“We have done a few preliminary tests and have found that the essential oil from the oregano kills MRSA at a dilution 1 to 1,000. The tests show that the oil kills MRSA both as a liquid and as a vapor and its antimicrobial activity is not diminished by heating in boiling water.”
Studies have also found essential oils of oregano to be useful against certain Candida species.
- Useful for Upper Respiratory Infections
Oregano also has potential anti-viral activity, and a spray containing aromatic essential oils from five plants, including oregano, was found to significantly relieve symptoms “immediately” in those with upper respiratory infections.
If you come down with a cold or the flu, oregano oil can also be useful. Generally, the higher the carvacrol concentration, the more effective it is. Interestingly, oregano encourages sweat production as a mode of detox, and ingesting it may help your body to get rid of unwanted phlegm in your lungs.
Steam sitz bath for women’s health.
The power of herbs is amazing! Wouldn’t you agree? These 6 herbs discussed in this article were hand selected for your Vsteam sitz bath. We use only organic herbs in our treatment. The medicinal steam is highly beneficial if you experience discomfort during periods, are having difficulty during menopause, suffer from chronic yeast infections, BV, infertility, dryness or itching, or just want to feel fresh. And is held in high esteem by women in Asia for centuries. If you’re ready to try this amazing treatment schedule your Vsteam today.