Guest post by Ken McLeod
On 07 June 2022, we published an article warning readers of the planned visit to the UK of health crank Barbara O’Neill, ‘A residential health programme that poses “a risk to the health and safety of members of the public.” ‘ We referred to the Prohibition Order that the New South Wales Health Care Complaints Commission has imposed on her:
‘The Commission is satisfied that Mrs O’Neill poses a risk to the health and safety of members of the public and therefore makes the following prohibition order:
Mrs O’Neill is permanently prohibited from providing any health services, as defined in s4 Of the Health Care Complaints Act 1993, whether in a paid or voluntary capacity.’
We showed that O’Neill remains undaunted by such mere technicalities and continues to spruik her nostrums and misinformation, such as that planned for Manna House, Stoke-on-Trent.
One reader did a little bit of digging into O’Neill’s lectures and found something that should alarm anyone; her advocacy of asbestosform Yoni Stones for ‘Balancing Your Hormones.’
So what are ‘Yoni Stones?’ and ‘Why should we be worried?’ we hear you ask. Good questions, so here we go.
According to promoters in alternative health industries, ‘Yoni stones,’ also known as ‘Yoni Eggs’ are ‘semi – precious stones carved into the shape of eggs that can be inserted into a woman’s womb space for vaginal wall tightening and energetic cleansing. Yoni Eggs have been used for many decades by the most in-tuned women who know that keeping good vaginal wellness is keeping universal wellness. The more in-tuned a woman is in her femininity the better all her relations will be.’ 1
1. PROMOTION AND SALE:
The following are examples of the promotion and sale of Yoni stones and showing how wrong and dangerous they are.
1.1 ‘La Loba’
A Google search found hundreds of retailers selling them, such as ‘La Loba’ 2 whose website does do not give an address, but are located on the Gold Coast Australia. La Loba sells nephrite jade eggs like this:
La Loba claim that ‘GIA certified means that it’s certified by the Gemological institute of America to be that specific stone. So you know it’s a real stone that is high quality.’ La Loba makes several claims of therapeutic benefit, like:
‘Yoni Eggs Physical Benefits Pelvic Floor Health Assists with incontinence Increases lubrication Builds sensitivity Helps improve Libido Can be used to prepare for childbirth and to heal post childbirth Helps to prevent and improve prolapse Balances hormones by increasing blood flow to the Yoni Increases orgasmic pleasure for yourself and your partner Spiritual Benefits Healing properties of the chosen crystal are absorbed Builds connection with your Yoni Helps one work through any trauma/stagnant energy held… ‘
Despite the claims of therapeutic benefits, ‘La Loba’ did not display any regulatory approval from the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration or US Federal Drug Administration, so we can take it as read that Yoni Stones have not been assessed for safety.
1.2 Barbara O’Neill
The most prominent promoter of Yoni Stones is Barbara O’Neill, of Misty Mountain Lifestyle Retreat, of Bellbrook, New South Wales.
The internet, especially YouTube, is alive with hundreds of her videos promoting all sorts of quackery, but today we can limit ourselves to the dozens of videos in which she promotes Yoni Stones, such as the video of Barbara O’Neill conducting a lecture at Living Springs Alabama, USA. This video 5 ‘Balancing Your Hormones’ has been viewed 43,636 times since it was first published on 3 May 2022.
From the video:
In that video, Barbara O’Neill makes claims that are of concern. From the transcript,6 at 00:44:31, she recommends ‘Yoni Stones,’ and at 00:44:44 ‘… ideally, they’re made out of nephrite.’ (See the above screencap of her whiteboard presentation, bottom left-hand corner.) In the transcript she advises that women should insert them daily for several hours at a time over several months, even years. O’Neill describes Yoni Stones at 00:44:35 in the transcript: “The Chinese dynasty developed Yoni stones to help the young concubines be sexually toned for the emperor. But they’re very popular today, and ideally, they’re made out of nephrite. Jade nephrite. Jade is like a green marble. The nephrite jade is heavy and as you’ll see why that’s important in a minute. But it’s also a smooth marble, so there are no crevices.”
There are several falsehoods in this:
1.2.1 There were many dynasties in Imperial China, but none of them were named ‘The Chinese Dynasty.’
1.2.2 No Imperial Chinese dynasty developed Yoni Stones. It’s marketing hype designed to dupe the gullible. Obstetrician -Gynaecologist Dr Jennifer Gunter 7 and archaeologist Professor Sarah Parcak 8 researched that claim by conducting a search of the online databases of four major Chinese art and archaeology collections in the United States. They identified more than 5000 jade objects viewable in online databases. They found that no vaginal jade eggs were identified, and concluded that:
“No evidence was found to support the claim that vaginal jade eggs were used for any indication in ancient Chinese culture.” 9
1.2.3 As for O’Neill’s claim that there are no crevices and are therefore safe, O’Neill says in the transcript at 00:45:13 ‘….There are two holes in the bottom (of the Yoni Stone) so that a woman can insert dental floss for easy extraction….’ So crevices are out but holes are OK?
The Cleveland Health Clinic published an article 10 on July 30, 2021, by Obstetrician – Gynaecologist Dr Suchetha Kshettry, MD, ‘Think Twice Before Putting a Yoni Egg in Your Vagina. She says that ‘Gemstones like jade and onyx are semi-porous, which means there’s space for bacteria to take up residence within them. Semi-porous materials are difficult to fully clean, too, meaning that bacteria may stick around and fester.’ She listed the following hazards:
Ø Persistent bacterial infections;
Ø Irritation, scratches, tears;
Ø Damage to pelvic floor muscles; Ø toxic shock syndrome that can lead to serious health issues and even death.
Dr Kshettry makes it clear that there is no benefit.
That is supported by Obstetrician -Gynaecologist Dr Jennifer Gunter, who has written that Yoni stones do not balance hormones and have all the risks that Dr Kshettry listed above. 11
Further, California officials prosecuted Gwyneth Paltrow and her company Goop for making the same claims as O’Neill. In an out-of-court settlement, Paltrow’s company agreed to pay $US145,000 ($202,000) in civil penalties. 12
1.2.4. More concerning, nephrite jade is notorious as a dangerous asbestiform prismatic tremolite, a mineral composed of microcrystalline tremolite asbestos. Nephrite is a variety of the calcium, magnesium, and iron-rich amphibole minerals tremolite or actinolite, aggregates of which also make up one form of asbestos. The chemical formula for nephrite is Ca2(Mg, Fe)5Si8O22(OH)2. It is one of two different mineral species called jade. In layman’s terms it is ‘asbestos’ and we would think that it is therefore carcinogenic. Strangely enough, while there is plenty of research on the consequences of inhaling asbestos, there seems to be little or no research on the consequences of inserting it into vaginas.
That may be because scientists thought that it was not a productive area of research because they thought nobody would be stupid enough to do that. (How wrong they were.) Nevertheless, in the absence of definitive research showing that inserting asbestos into vaginas is perfectly safe, promoting that is incredibly irresponsible.
All we could find on the subject was the limited research which examined the dangers to people shaping nephrite jade asbestos:
220.127.116.11. Yang HY, Shie RH, Chen PC. Carving of non-asbestiform tremolite and the risk of lung cancer: a follow-up mortality study in a historical nephrite processing cohort. Occup Environ Med. 2013 Dec;70(12):852-7. doi: 10.1136/oemed-2013-101404. Epub 2013 Sep 18. PMID: 24142973; PMCID: PMC3841744. 13
18.104.22.168.1. The researchers found that nephrite processing led to a significantly increased risk of lung cancer.
22.214.171.124. Bailey et al, ‘The Asbestiform and Prismatic Mineral Growth Habit and Their Relationship to Cancer Studies – A Pictorial Presentation.’ 14
If anyone can find research on the effects of inserting asbestos-form Yoni Stones into vaginas, please let us know in the comments.
2.1 As if the risks of persistent bacterial infections, irritation, scratches, tears, damage to pelvic floor muscles, toxic shock syndrome, serious health issues and death were not bad enough, Barbara O’Neill’s and other health gurus’ and retailers’ recommendations to insert asbestos stones into vaginas for extended lengths of time is reckless and dangerous. And there is no therapeutic benefit in the use of Yoni Stones.
But that’s Standard Operating Procedure in Alt-Med, so that’s all right then.
So what would health regulators make of this? Should they issue a Public Warning to all users, processors, manufacturers, importers and retailers? Watch this space.
5https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7uATPC-7CY. A backup copy is available on request.
6 Transcript is available at https://www.dropbox.com/s/gwdncg5iwx3a31g/Balancing%20Your%20Hormones%20-%20Barbara%20O%27Neill-%203%20May%202022.mp4-transcript%20%281%29.docx?dl=0
9 “Vaginal Jade Eggs: Ancient Chinese Practice or Modern Marketing Myth?” Gunter, Jennifer MD*; Parcak, Sarah PhD, Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery: 1/2 2019 – Volume 25 – Issue 1 – p 1-2, published in Urogynecology – Official Journal of the American Urogynecologic Society. https://journals.lww.com/fpmrs/Abstract/2019/01000/Vaginal_Jade_Eggs__Ancient_Chinese_Practice_or.1.aspx
14 Published 2006. Available on request.