At the risk of sounding obvious, it’s a bad idea to put a wasp’s nest in your, or indeed any, vagina.
The latest holistic herbal nonsense trend? Oak galls, for vaginal tightening.
What’s an oak gall, you ask? It’s basically a calcification that forms when gall wasps lay larvae in oak trees. They are then taken (or fall) from trees and mixed with different things, like sandalwood or nutmeg, to make different medicinal pastes for reducing mouth ulcers, to clean wounds, and more.
And, apparently, up ladies’ hoo-hoos.
Crushed, boiled, and made into a vaginal “wash,” the galls are described as being able to “tighten” and remove smells from the vagina, particularly after childbirth with the assistance of Kegel exercises. One site has a page called “Oak Gall for Vaginal Tightening and Rejuvenation.”
A gynecologist, Dr. Jenn Gunter, noticed the oak galls were being sold on Etsy — yes, homemade craft site Etsy — and wrote a blog post urging women not to do this. “Don’t put dried up wasp’s nest in your vagina,” she said quite plainly in May.
Dr. Gunter says it’s a terrible idea. “It could wreak havoc with the good bacteria. In addition to causing pain during sex it can increase the risk of HIV transmission.”
The specific store Dr. Gunter refers to in her post, “HeritageHealthShop” has taken down the “oak gall” item, but it is still available on sites like Etsy, Amazon, and herbal medicine retailers, often under the name “manjakani.”
Dr. Gunter, in a separate post, reminds women not to put dried herb bags in their vaginas for tightening, as the vagina doesn’t need much external maintenance. “Many plant products and extracts are irritating and certainly none of the claimed contents have been tested for vaginal use,” she wrote.
Definitely keep these bees out of your bonnet.