words by Torie Leigh @reyahealth
originally published for Reya Health
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 a radical 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 came across Momotaro Apotheca’s Salve when I was doing my late-night ponderings: why do some vaginas look the way they do? Well, for starters, vaginas are different from vulvas. In simple terms, the vulva is the whole shebang — everything you see externally — while the vagina is the inner canal to the cervix and uterus, where menstrual flow comes out, and where we insert tampons (or cups), toys, and penises.
Fast forward to more late-night thoughts that led 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 really do it all? The answer for me is an overwhelming YES.
Let’s start off with the basics.
What is the Salve?
Vaginal Salve is a soothing and cooling balm that melts into skin to instantly address vulvovaginal dryness, itching, and irritation.
With 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
How do I use the Salve?
Apply a pea 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 the Salve is, back to discussion on why I (love to) use it.
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 our whole adulthood with chronic UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections), Yeast Infections, or BV (Bacterial Vaginosis). As one of many vagina owners, I feel like we can all relate to the struggles that can (and do) arise from pH imbalance — 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. Seriously, try not to self-diagnose yourself. If your doctor has dubbed you infection-free *sigh of relief* but you’re 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 sensitive, in which case it’s about time you get up to snuff on a few natural solutions for these issues.
Salve is formulated to function as a natural alternative to harsh antibiotic and antifungal treatments to naturally soothe symptoms of yeast infections, UTIs & BV
I am sure we’re all familiar. It’s so frustrating — you’re getting itchy and the smell is unusual — especially with bacterial vaginosis. (You know it — dare I say, kinda carp-y?). Anyone who has been plagued with BV, yeast infection, or a UTI knows the annoyance and the possible (self-imposed) embarrassment that can come from any of these common vaginal issues.
Let’s be realistic. When your spidey senses start tingling and feel you’re due for a fresh case of BV or infection, you don’t always manage it well. You might avoid the doctor because vaginas are still so terribly “embarrassing” (seriously, though, your doc has seen it all, so you should never feel embarrassed to talk to your healthcare professional about your vaginal health). So what’s the alternative? You’re going to subject yourself to the bitterness of that all-natural cranberry poison juice? You’re going to stay up all night googling yogurt tampons? You’re going to wander through the pharmacy aisles to try to find something topical to relieve it — whatever it is. Here is where I insert myself. Before you get to any of those alternatives I recommend you start with Momotaro Apotheca’s magic Salve.
To be clear, the Salve is not marketed as a cure vaginal infection or irritation, only relief from symptom. But the overwhelming number 5-Star reviews indicate that there is definitely something behind the creamy balm. There are literally hundreds of reviews by people with vaginas praising the Salve for being their ultimate weapon to combat symptoms of major irritations. I will leave you to review the reviews when you have time to see the immense support for those issues behind the all-powerful salve.
For me, after stumbling across the Salve 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 vaginal health. I had also gotten into a better habit, now in my 30’s, of not sleeping in the 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.
Salve is Safe & Accessible
The cost of a Salve is $35, or 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 initially worried that it would stain my underwear, being oil-based, 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. My vagina stopped being a concern, and I started to have more vagina confidence. There is no scientific explanation behind it — I just feel more empowered using it.
I’ve completely eliminated any and all reason to wonder is this normal? What do these symptoms mean? Why is my vagina doing that? And since I’ve started incorporating Salve into 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 my vagina is happier and far less angry with me for forgetting to do nice things for her. You’re welcome.
Additional uses for Salve 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,” apply the vaginal Salve after sex or toy use to get some mild-moderate relief from post penetration irritation.
Lip balm. Why not, right?
Nipple cream. If you have dry or cracked nipples, the Salve 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 opinion) 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 the balm during your period, and could 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 does and perhaps they work out and chafes, too, or maybe would just enjoy a mildly cooling sensation? No? Okay then, back to vaginas….
I know we do our best to do everything we can at home to prevent the dreaded difficulties that come along with owning a vagina. If we are going to drink straight bitter cranberry juice or rub antifungal up and down and in and out (please don’t do the latter), we should certainly give the Salve consideration as a safe alternative. I am not selling you a cure or selling anything at all. I am simply letting you know that Salve could be a magnificent tool in your toolbox. Even if you’re between issues, or have a fairly well-adjusted pH, the Salve can elevate your self-care experience. It feels empowering to not have to worry about your vagina and what it’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.
Is the Salve right for you? Take a quick quiz for personalized recommendations to help you find the right products for your body. Take the quiz.