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Magic Lube

Chris Pederson over at the Minnesota Skeptics Facebook group posted about Yoni’s Bliss, a “revolutionary homeopathic lubricating gel”.

Hoo-boy. Let’s do this.

According to the website, Yoni’s Bliss is a water-based lubricant. It also contains aloe, which they describe as “the base on which Yoni’s Bliss was created”. Aloe gel is mostly water, so that fits, but I can’t tell what percentage aloe is in the final formulation. Aloe is not an uncommon ingredient in vaginal lubricants, especially those marketed as “natural” – in this case, that seems to usually mean without glycerin, paraben and with a minimal amount of additives. I found a ton of personal anecdotes about the use of raw aloe from fresh plants as lubricant.

The Mayo Clinic describes aloe allergy in some people, but the Yoni website claims that chance of you being allergic to their product (even if you have a history of allergy!) is “minimal to non-existent”. That strikes me as pretty dismissive, but without knowing the concentration of aloe in the formulation or the incidence of aloe allergy in their target audience it’s hard to evaluate this claim.

Yoni’s Bliss also contains these ingredients. I have italicized Yoni’s descriptions, and my responses or notes are in bold.

Carageenan Derived from seaweed, carageenan gives the gel its body. I found “gives the gel its body” to be a vague statement. Wikipedia says that carageenan is a moisturizer that doesn’t leave a sticky residue after evaporation. I also learned that carrageenan may inhibit HPV infection, but no one is making claims that Yoni confers any protection in that arena.

Citric Acid. Brings Yoni’s Bliss into alignment with the vagina’s natural pH balance. Awfully flowery language for “used to adjust pH of the lube.” But that’s marketing for ya.

Chamomile 6C. Soothing to irritated tissues. Homeopathic. Doesn’t matter what they say it does.

Natrum Muriaticum 6C The homeopathic element in Yoni’s Bliss, Natrum Muriaticum promotes water tissue balance and the energetic freedom of “letting go.” Blarg on your energetic freedom. Actually, it’s nice when the prep is homeopathic; that cuts down on my research time a LOT.

EDIT (6/28/12 – 0840 CST): Holy SHIT. I got curious about from what plant Natrum Muriaticum is derived. Get this: it’s TABLE SALT. Not a plant. Salt water. Well, water that once had salt in it. Un-frickin’-believable.

Sodium Benzoate and Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate – No description provided by Yoni’s Bliss, but these are both preservatives that inhibit the growth or reproduction of fungi and bacteria.

This gel is probably a decent lubricant – the base is moisturizing and non-sticky and there’s nothing in here that I recognize as a yeast promoter.

Let’s look at cost, then. I grabbed the list price of Yoni’s Bliss from their website since I couldn’t find any distributors via a quick online search. Data for AloeCadabra I obtained from Amazon.com. I gathered the rest of the data from buzzmillions.com, a review website. Lowest listed price was used. Data was standardized to calculate $US per fl.oz. (cost per fluid ounce in USD).

These are all estimated values, and do not take into account differences in list price and what you can find them for in any given store. But as you can see, that doesn’t really matter – Yoni’s Bliss is above and beyond the most expensive personal lubricant. It’s even TWICE the price of the other aloe-based organic lubricant, AloeCadabra.

I did a search for “homeopathic personal lubricants” and came across one more option that actually exceeds Yoni for price. I found Puremedy from Bioceuticals starting at $9.33/fl.oz. (the Puremedy website offers it for $13.95/fl.oz.), but Puremedy is oil-based and thus not good for sex with a latex condom (oil breaks down latex). It also “contains”:

  • Sambus nigra (1x) HPUS (elderberry)
  • Organic calendula officinalis (1x) HPUS (marigold)
  • Pinus lambertiana (2x) HPUS (pine resin)
  • Abies blsamea (3x) HPUS (balsam fir)

For those playing at home, a 1x is a 1:10 ratio, a 2x is a 1:100 ratio and a 3x is a 1:1000 ratio. These are actually fairly high compared to other homeopathic preparations I’ve seen that use the 6C (1:1,000,000,000,000) – this is what Yoni’s Bliss uses – and 30C (1: 1 with 60 zeros after it) dilutions, so there is a chance that some elderberry and marigold are getting into this lube. But only a chance and only a very small amount.

Homeopathy – there’s nothing in it, but they sure charge you like there is, don’t they? I think I’ll stick with the non-homeopathic, non-organic water and silicone-based lubricants.

Comments

  1. subbie says

    I think I’ll stick with the non-homeopathic, non-organic water and silicone-based lubricants.

    If you stick with them, you’re not using them right.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist. Carry on.

  2. says

    Carageenan is a thickener. Citric acid is there to make the lube more acidic, but I’m not sure how making the lube closer to the pH of the vagina is beneficial. I suppose the argument could be made that a sufficiently acidic environment keeps the microbial balance where it should be, but IDK. Table salt is frankly terrifying in a product that’s supposed to go in the vagina, but if it’s homeopathic then it simply does nothing rather than doing harm. The Yoni’s Bliss stuff sounds a lot better than the Puremedy. Pine resin and balsam fir in my hoo-ha? Um, no.

    • says

      As far as I understand, pH balancing is good. A product that has a great enough difference in pH from your skin or mucosa could cause irritation, dryness, or discoloration.

      • says

        Okay, the citric acid is a good thing, or at least it’s used for a good reason. That they think salt is a good thing to put in a vaginal lubricant, however, is scary.

        • Uncle Glenny says

          It’s a 6C dilution, meaning 100^6 = 1:1,000,000,000,000
          I’d actually think they might want a touch, but let’s say this isn’t my area of expertise.

  3. Happiestsadist says

    The ones I use (Sliquid Organics) has carrageenan, aloe and citric acid as well, and a bunch of other stuff, though nothing homeopathic. Works well, and doesn’t have glycerin in it, which is good, because glycerin doesn’t go there.

  4. kim says

    There is a podcast call Sex Is Fun (website is sexisfun.net) and they did an episode regarding PH of lubricants. The body is acidic, but if you’re trying to conceive you might want it slightly more alkaline. And they checked the PH of a variety of lubes.
    If your PH is off by too much you can get infections more easily.

    • says

      I love the SIF podcast, and know the peeps who host it! I haven’t listened in few months, but may have to catch up on an upcoming roadtrip to southern Illinois.

  5. Stevarious says

    Wet Platinum actually sounds (for no reason I can figure out) like a pretty awesome name for a lube.

    Sliquid strikes me as a bit squicky, but not in a good way.

    AloeCadabra made me laugh out loud! I’m trying to think of a joke that references Harry Potter but can’t come up with one that doesn’t come across as creepy.

  6. says

    I would suggest that Yoni’s Bliss is not technically homeopathic. They put the word on the front of the bottle to get around certain regulations. This is not a homeopathic product according to the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the U.S., listing in which the FDA uses to determine if something is homeopathic. It’s not homeopathic because… 1. the dilution is to small. 6C means there probably isn’t enough for it to have an effect, but it isn’t diluted 30C and there might be some left. 2. It contains other ingredients that are active ingredients and would contaminate the homeopathic effect, which was a problem for Zicam users who can’t smell anything because of the zinc in the product. 3. The two ingredients that are listed at 6C don’t fit with homeopathic principles of like cures like and there doesn’t seem to have been any ‘proving’ to show that they do (they actually seem to be implying the opposite).

    I have seen a few things like this lately that slap ‘homeopathic’ on their bottle in order to get around certain rules…I’d like to find a place to complain to to shut them down. By the time the complaint was signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public inquiry, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as firelighters, they probably will have changed their name and ingredients and you would need to file it all over again.

    • M Groesbeck says

      2. It contains other ingredients that are active ingredients and would contaminate the homeopathic effect

      …though it might be just a bit hard to “contaminate” a non-existent effect.

  7. Gillian B says

    Natrum Muriaticum Aha! Of course! Natrum from the salts used to preserve the mummies, and Muriaticum like Muriatic Acid, which is Hydrochloric acid. I’m never going to forget which one that is again.

    So there – it may just be salt water, but it’s been useful to me for *something*!

  8. Andy says

    I think they are doing homeopathy wrong. Shouldn’t a homeopathic solution of chamomile be a powerful irritant?

    • says

      Could it be that, when your product’s effect relies on magical physics (this is the generous definition), you can make claims without adhering to any rules?

      • Andy says

        Sure :-)

        What I meant was that even by their own silly homeopathic “rules” this makes no sense. Specifically, homeopaths say (for no good reason, of course) that “like cures like”. That it makes no sense in general in not even up for discussion.

  9. Gareth Edwards says

    Based on the homeopathic principle of “like cures like” then surely a homeopathic preperation of sandpaper would be more appropriate as a lube.

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