Updated: May 20
If you ask me, our vaginas do not get the TLC they deserve — nor do we talk about it enough. Vaginas are personal. They do weird things that we just don’t discuss with others. They smell, they leak, they bleed, they itch. BUT vaginas also provide a source of empowerment, sure it takes acceptance of the aforementioned weirdness and an appreciation of the same to get there, but they do, above all, empower us.
So as a proud vagina owner of the past thirty-something years, I am here today to add something to the discussion. Vaginal Salve. I have been specifically using a brand from Momotaro Apotheca.
I came across the salve when I was doing my late-night ponderings; why do some vaginas look the way they do? Vaginas are different from vulvas. In simple terms, the vulva is the whole shabang, and the vagina is the inner canal to the cervix and uterus, where menstrual flow comes out, and where we insert tampons (cups), toys, and penises. Fast forward to more late-night thoughts bringing me to the topic at hand – why do we do the bare minimum to take care of our vaginas? However unique they can look to the eye, we sometimes neglect adding them to our wellness routine.
My question in trying the salve was: Can this salve do it all? The answer for me is an overwhelming YES.
Let’s start off with – What is Vaginal Salve? What is the recommended use?
Vaginal Salve is a soothing and cooling balm that melts into skin to instantly address vulvovaginal dryness, itching, and irritation. The one I have been using is a coconut and jojoba oil base. It helps protect your skin’s natural moisture barrier to protect you from everyday stressors and general irritation from sex, clothing, or exercise. Natural anti-inflammatories goldenseal, echinacea, and calendula help comfort symptoms associated with yeast and bacterial infections. Ideally, when used regularly, this naturally vitamin and antioxidant rich topical safely works with your body to help balance pH and naturally supports your body’s natural ability to heal itself without disrupting hormones, pheromones, or medication. Point form notes:
Topical Vaginal Salve
Helps with Dryness, Itching and Irritation
Goldenseal, Echinacea + Calendula
Helps to balance pH
Apply a dime size amount around the vulva or affected area with clean hands as needed. Safe to be used daily.
Avoid contact with broken skin and mucous membranes.
Ok, so now you know what it is, back to discussion –
My vagina leaves me screaming FUCK FUCK FUCK pretty often - and not always in the sexy way. Like the way that I yell (aka initiate the Google) IS THIS NORMAL?
Vaginas are delicate ecosystems. We like to think they know what they are doing down there, but sometimes we can’t help but question if they know-it-all. Many of us are so susceptible to infections and imbalances, and spend their whole adulthood with chronic UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections), Yeast Infections, sometimes BV (Bacterial Vaginosis). Being a vagina owner, one of many in the world, I feel like we can all relate to the struggles that can (and do) arise from wearing tight clothes while working out to excessive sweating, shaving, and sex. We put our precious puff pillows through the wringer and oftentimes do not know what to do when irritation ensues.
In all seriousness though, most first reactions when irritation occurs is to freak out at our friends or to slather antifungal cream on (our evaluation of) the situation and call it a day. And you should definitely see a medical professional if your symptoms are stubborn and debilitating (try not to self-diagnose yourself). If your doctor has dubbed you infection-free (sigh of relief) but you are still struggling with mild or moderate irritation — whether it be from frequent sexual activity, working out, grooming, or constricting clothes — then you might just be extra sensitive, in which case, it is about time you get up to snuff on a few natural solutions for these issues:
Yeast Infections / Urinary Tract Infections (aka “UTI”) and Bacterial Vaginosis (aka “BV”):
I am sure we are all familiar. It is so frustrating, you’re getting itchy and the smell is unpleasant (especially with BV - you know it, kinda dare I say, carp-y). Anyone who has been plagued with BV, Yeast Infection or an UTI knows the annoyance and the possible embarrassment that can come from any of these common vaginal issues. Let’s be realistic, when you have the slight inclination, you’re in the market for a fresh case of BV/Yeast Infection or a UTI (your spidey senses start tingling). You’re avoiding the doctor because vaginas are still so terribly “embarrassing”. SO – you’re going to subject yourself to the bitterness of that all-natural cranberry poison, you’re googling yogurt tampons, and you may finally find yourself wandering the pharmacy through the aisles to find something topical to relieve it. Here is where I insert myself – at this time I would recommend you start with the salve from Momotaro.
To be clear, it is not marketed as a cure, just symptom relief, but the overwhelming reviews off the website can indicate that there is definitely something behind it. There are thousands of reviews by women praising the salve for being the ultimate weapon to combat the symptoms of our major irritations. I will leave you to review them when you have time to see the overwhelming support for those issues behind the all-powerful salve.
For me, after stumbling across it by chance and leisurely reading about it, I was curious. I am considered lucky in the sense that I am for the most part PH-balanced. Admittedly, to achieve that status, I take a cranberry pill everyday (which is when I actually remember to, but on a moderately regular basis) and I take a probiotic dedicated to women’s health. I had also gotten into a better habit, now in my 30’s, of not sleeping with makeup on, washing my face morning-and-night, and I have a pre-emptive combative wrinkle routine, but I wasn’t doing anything for HER. I wasn’t sure what the salve would have to offer me, but I was hopeful that if women were seeing benefits when their vaginas were being particularly pesky, maybe I would find benefit in its daily use.
The cost of a salve is roughly $45 Canadian. When I tell you that it is worth it, I truly mean it. I applied twice a day and just went about my business. I couldn’t believe it. I am being honest about being pleasantly surprised by my body’s response to the salve. It’s cooling but not in a ‘whoa hey there’ way when it is applied. It does have a mild scent to it, it reminds me of stepping into somewhere “healthy”. Or - being surrounded by nature, breathing in the air and feeling like you just boosted your lungs, you know? That smell. I was worried about it being oil-based and if it would stain my underwear, so I researched several pairs of undies to conclude that there was no staining present on any fabric.
I don’t know if my vagina was just dying for something to up it’s game, but I can’t really describe the enhancement without sounding like I’m on psychedelic drugs and everything is so very euphoric. It was immediately a positive change. I can say that I stopped worrying about HER. She stopped being a concern, and I started to have more vagina confidence. There is no scientific explanation behind it, I just felt empowered. I’ve completely eliminated any and all reason to wonder… is this normal? That does this mean? Why is she doing that? And since I have started using the salve in my daily routine, I can say with confidence I have not googled a vaginal concern on my own behalf. The salve is my magic weapon. I just feel like she’s happier and far less angry with me for forgetting to do nice things for her. She’s welcome.
Here are some additional uses I would like to submit for consideration:
Post grooming. Whatever you do down there in the way of hair removal, applying this afterward has been a game changer. It just reduces the spiciness. It takes away the razor burn feeling and the redness.
Post Sex. If you find that afterward your vagina needs some extra “me time”, applying the vaginal salve after sex or toy use is a great way to get some mild-moderate relief.
Lip chap. Why not, right?
Nipple cream. If you have dry or cracked nipples, this would be an excellent product to apply. It’s very different from a lotion, and I am sure anyone who has breastfed can understand that nipple cream does come in a small tube for a pink price. This would work (in my submission) equally to anything you could buy at the pharmacy for your nipple care.
Post period. I think it’s common to feel a little funky post-period. If you are using a menstrual cup or tampon you can absolutely apply it during your period, it would certainly make you feel less self-conscious about that period scent we THINK is real down there.
Testicles. If you don’t have them that’s ok – I don’t either. Maybe your partner might and perhaps they work out and have chafe, or maybe they would just enjoy a mildly cooling sensation? No? OK, back to vaginas –
We all have one, and I know we do our best to do everything we can at home to prevent the dreaded aforementioned difficulties that come along with them. I am not selling you a cure or selling anything at all. I am simply letting you know that this could be a magnificent tool in your toolbox. If we are going to drink bitter straight cranberry juice or rub the antifungal up and down and in and out, we could certainly give the salve consideration. Even if you are in between issues, or like me, with a fairly well-adjusted PH-Balance, you can elevate your self-care experience. For me, it’s empowering to not have to worry about HER and what she’s up to.
So, to proud owners of vaginas everywhere I say this, as we navigate their ecosystem with respect and confidence: May the odds be ever in our favour.
Edited By: Lisa Hou & Momotaro