People would usually not want to be near wasps, but it turns out that the insects’ nests are now being used by women in an odd new trend. While most people deal with vaginal problems by heading to the pharmacy to buy prescribed antibiotic creams, some can go as far as using the wasp nests to tighten and cleanse their lady parts.
Online retailers, like craft website Etsy, where most people can find pretty things for arts and crafts, have been selling oak galls, which are ground wasp nests to be used as a medicinal paste for the vagina, The Sun reported.
Oak galls are round, hardened balls considered to be abnormal growths found on trees. As explained in KQED Science, galls on trees are formed when insects, like wasps, introduce chemicals that make plant growth hormones more active. As a result, plant cells will increase in size or plant structures will be altered entirely.
The galls are not exactly home to wasps or the larvae, but more of a nursery for the eggs until they hatch. The galls have the right environment for the larvae to survive in. The words “wasp nests” would most likely discourage anyone from buying the product, so it’s been referred to as oak galls in the online listing.
Websites selling wasp nests for vaginas claim that the powdered form can be used topically to clean the female genitalia. They have also advertised oak galls as a substance that helps with the rejuvenation of the uterine wall following childbirth and healing of episiotomy cuts.
One seller wrote in Etsy:
“The galls, which contain tannin and small amounts of gallic acid and ellagic acid have antimicrobial qualities and are used in South East Asia especially Malaysia and Indonesia by women after childbirth to restore the elasticity of the uterine wall.”
Being the powerful astringent that it is, the seller cautioned that applying the oak gall paste on a cut would sting. Apart from its topical paste form, it was stated that the product can be used as a feminine wash or taken orally for “women’s general well-being.”
Most people would easily find this trend bizarre and disgusting, but according to Popular Science, some studies have shown that oak galls do have antimicrobial properties. Also called manjakani, these wasp nests have been used by women in China, Malaysia, India, and some parts of the Middle East to treat postpartum infections.
But renowned gynecologist Dr. Jen Gunter isn’t buying any of those claims and even branded the herbal product as “dangerous.” In her blog post, Gunter explained it’s a bad idea to use oak galls or wasp nests on the vagina.
“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.”
Furthermore, the doctor, who recently called out Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop site for promoting jade eggs to be inserted into the vagina for better orgasm, explained that oak galls can dry the vaginal mucosa. This would result in painful sex. Also, the astringent can mess up the normal bacteria inside the vagina, which then causes more pain while having sex, and increase the risk of transmitting HIV.
“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.”
Gunter concludes by telling women not to be misled by the claims. The gynecologist gave a confident advice against putting ground-up wasp nest into the vagina. Women with problems in their privates should consult their gynecologist for solutions instead.
[Featured Image by vchal/iStock]