Human beings privileged enough to sit about wondering about the so-called "toxins" in their bodies often engage in all sorts of bizarre practices, and a new fad has one gynecologist crying foul.
The Independent reported that a company called Embrace Pangea is offering the "Herbal Womb Detox Pearls" for between $85 and a whopping $480.
"The firm claims that the herbal balls can correct foul odor, bacterial vaginosis, fibroids, endometriosis and yeast infections," added Tech Times.
On its website, Embrace Pangea touts the product for the blessed "wombman" of the Earth who have "forgotten to take care of our most precious possession." The company explains that the "pearls" are full of "potent herbs that aid in the removal of toxins from the vagina."
Precisely which toxins the company is talking about remains unclear.
The Guardian did a thorough takedown of herbal and diet detoxification myths in 2014, explaining that the body already has a detoxification system called the liver.
"The ultimate lifestyle 'detox' is no smoking, exercising and enjoying a healthy balanced diet like the Mediterranean diet," Catherine Collins told The Guardian then. Collins is a dietician with the British National Health Service.
Psychologist Susan Marchant-Haycox added, "There’s a lot of money in [selling detoxification] and there are lots of people out there in marketing making a lot of money."
Writing for women's product and lifestyle blog xoNecole, Tiara Janté reviewed the vaginal herbal balls. She said that using them made her more conscious of eating healthier and that the balls "pulled out" toxic discharge from her uterus.
Gynecologist Jen Gunter was unimpressed with the idea.
Gunter explained that the vagina "makes excess discharge" when there is either irritation, infection or an absence of good bacteria which might explain the "results" users are seeing. "This discharge isn't some toxic swill that the vagina was hiding that only the 'pearls' could release, it's a sign that these 'pearls' are damaging."
Gunter likens the vagina to a "self-cleaning oven" that doesn't need to be fiddled with.
"Your uterus isn’t tired or depressed or dirty and your vagina has not misplaced its chakra," Gunter wrote on her blog. "They want no real help from you unless there is something wrong and they will tell you there is something wrong by bleeding profusely or itching or cramping badly or producing an odor. Don’t blame malaise, or fatigue on your uterus or vagina."
Gunter added that the vagina is like a "self-cleaning oven" and that fiddling with the process by inserting random wares off the Internet is a bad idea.
"Do not under any circumstances put a mesh baggie of herbs in your vagina," Gunter warned.