Some independent online retailers are selling ground up wasp nests (oak galls) meant to tighten, cleanse, and rejuvenate vaginas. Sellers claim this is especially true for women who have recently given birth.

The oak galls are sold whole. Buyers are instructed to grind them up and mix them with water to make a paste that can be applied to the outside and inside of the vagina. They are also instructed to eat or drink them or to make a vagina wash.

The screenshot below shows what exactly is being sold (the shop shown in the image no longer sells this item):

Here are some instructions that come with the item:

Gynecologist, Dr. Jen Gunter, warns against this new trend:

This product follows the same dangerous pathway of other “traditional” vaginal practices, meaning tightening and drying the vagina which is both medically and sexually (for women anyway) undesirable. Drying the vaginal mucosa increases the risk of abrasions during sex (not good) and destroys the protective mucous layer (not good). It could also wreak havoc with the good bacteria. In addition to causing pain during sex it can increase the risk of HIV transmission. This is a dangerous practice with real potential to harm. Here’s a pro-tip, if something burns when you apply it to the vagina it is generally bad for the vagina.

So, when it comes to vagina care, the rules are really quite simple. Warm wash on the outside is all you need to stay fresh. Soap or douching can disrupt the natural pH of your vagina which can lead to infections.

Dr. Jen Gunter