Apart from the countless benefits of the internet and social media, one of the major drawbacks is the appearance of numerous bizarre beauty trends, strange fashion tips, suspicious natural remedies, and articles full of fake info.
Yet, what surprises me is that a lot of people would try or believe anything they read about online!
A Malaysian “health shop” advising the consumption and insertion of mushed up oak galls into the vagi*a, as a way to clean, heal, and tighten it in an “organic” way, has enraged doctors.
The product was offered on the e-commerce site Etsy. According to its instructions, women should boil the oak galls, and use them as a hygiene wash around the time of their period.
Moreover, to “restore elasticity of the uterine wall”, customers are advised to drink a boiled oak gall for 40 days.
The product was also advertised as a way to “heal episiotomy cuts, rejuvenate the uterine wall and clean out the vagi*a” after childbirth, but women were warned that its application might “burn”.
Oak galls are created by gall wasps, and are small spheres, usually 2 to 4 centimeters in diameter.
The larvae of the wasps live within these galls, which are created by inducing the tree to produce abnormal growths.
The shop’s listing claimed:
“The galls, which contain tannin and small amounts of gallic acid and ellagic acid have antimicrobial qualities and are used in South East Asia, Malaysia, and Indonesia by women after childbirth to restore the elasticity of the uterine wall.
Some women take mankanni [oak galls] to improve their sex life; some say that it can tighten vagi*a, so they say.”
Yet, it has been removed after people were advised not to be fooled by such pseudoscientific claims.
Oak galls do offer some medicinal properties, but they are not meant to tighten or restore the vagi*a.
Also, the potential side-effects of their application are numerous, so trying such a product is not worth it. Oak galls contain astringents, which can dry out and irritate the vagi*a, leading to painful increased friction during intercourse and bad infections.
Such “alternative medicine remedies” are potentially harmful as they are not scientifically backed up.
Dr. Jen Gunter, a certified gynecologist, wrote a blog post about this practice, called: “Don’t put ground-up wasp nest in your vagi*a”, explaining:
“Drying the vagi*al 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 vagi*a it is generally bad for the vagi*a.”