When Kegels just aren’t enough

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I have seen a whole lot of old wives tales in my time — tossing salt over your shoulder for luck, and herbal remedies including putting onions under your feet to detoxify your body and putting an orange peel on your head to get rid of a headache — but none as wacky as this one: Oak galls.

For what you say? Well, The New York Daily News ran an item last week explaining the trend.

Per the News: “Oak gall is basically a calcification that forms when gall wasps lay larvae in oak trees. They are then taken (or fall) from trees and mixed with different things, like sandalwood or nutmeg, to make different medicinal pastes for reducing mouth ulcers, to clean wounds, and more.”

The “more,” apparently, is tightening a women’s nether regions post-childbirth, and making it smell as pretty as an Irish spring morn. Yuck, yuck and more yuck!

Yes, women can regain that not-so-flesh feeling in their bele chose (Chaucer), by just using a bit of this miracle paste. A little dab ’ll do ya!

“Crushed, boiled, and made into a vaginal ‘wash,’ the galls are described as being able to ‘tighten’ and remove smells from the vagina, particularly after childbirth, with the assistance of Kegel exercises,” the article continued.

Dr. Jennifer Gunter, a gynecologist with a practice in San Francisco who was interviewed for the article, had noticed that oak galls were being sold on Etsy. She wrote on her blog in May, “Don’t put dried up wasp’s nest in your vagina.”

“It’s a terrible idea. It could wreak havoc with the good bacteria. In addition to causing pain during sex, it can increase the risk of HIV transmissi­on,” she wrote.

The Etsy page for “HeritageHe­althShop,” where Dr. Gunter saw it, has subsequently removed the oak gall concoction, but there are still more sites on Etsy, as well as other herbal internet companies, still shilling the stuff.

Amazon offered an oak-gall ointment called Manjakani Putri Binari, but the site now states it is “currently unavailable.”

Dr. Gunter added, “Do not put dried herb bags in your vaginas for tightening, as the vagina doesn’t need much external maintenance.”

Absolutely. Mother Nature designed our bodies quite well when it comes to keeping all working parts in the pink, especially the you-know-hoo-hoo.

Not for Nuthin, the article ended with “Definitely keep these bees out of your bonnet.” Sage advice if ever I heard it.

As to all those old wives tales and other herbal remedies, I don’t know how well a cut onion removes toxins from the body, but a cut slice rubbed on a bug bite does take away the itch and sting and the rind of an orange on your forehead does help a headache. And I always throw a bit of salt over my shoulder, just in case.

Follow me on Twitter @JDelBuono.

Joanna DelBuono writes about national issues every Wednesday on E-mail her at
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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