Why I Switched To a Menstrual Cup and You Should Too

Why I Switched To A Menstrual Cup | The Organic Beauty Blog

I’ll be the first to admit, I was super slow and reticent to get on the menstrual cup bandwagon. After an ill-fated attempt at using one in college, I was convinced that my flow was just too heavy and my anatomy just wasn’t suited for this miraculous tool.

But alas, I was so wrong!

After years of cramps, leaks, landfill guilt, and more unsavory side effects, I was ready to give the menstrual cup another try.  And I am happy to say I am NEVER going back.

The benefits of using a menstrual cup are many and varied, but these 5 are the biggies to make the switch.

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Exercise for a Perfect Period

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

If you’re like most women, you reach a natural slump every month where it is just grueling to stick to your typical workout routine.  You drag yourself to boot camp, feel drained afterwards, and wonder what you’re doing wrong. Or you feel just too tired to stick to your routine, and end up skipping your workouts altogether for a week. This is because your body’s needs in terms of exercise vary pretty dramatically throughout your cycle.  In this installment of our Perfect Period Series we’ll be delving into the best forms of exercise to keep you in alignment with your natural hormonal patterns, which will decrease PMS symptoms, boost weight loss, balance your hormones, and help you feeling amazing and energized all month long.

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Perfect Period Series!

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

In many traditional cultures, a woman is considered powerful, sacred, even a force to be feared during her menses (and not just due to her mood swings). Menstruation is traditionally a time of calm and reflection, and some cultures absolve women of many of their duties for those days. In our Western culture, fighting through one’s period and behaving as though nothing is different is seen as a badge of honor. We gulp down Pamprin, go drinking and hit boot camp like nothing is going on in our bodies, and then wonder why we feel like we’re going to die for a few days a month.  In our culture, we seldom make adjustments to our diet and lifestyle with respect to this important time in our cycle, and consequently, symptoms of PMS are much more common than in cultures that have traditions of honoring the menstrual cycle.  Guess what? Severe cramps, mood swings, fatigue, and other symptoms are not “normal” byproducts of our cycle, and covering them up with drugs is not the answer.  If we can learn to listen to our bodies and honor what we need at various times in our cycle, we can learn to live in harmony with our periods, decrease or even eliminate symptoms, and live more mindfully all month long!

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8 Holistic PMS Remedies To Reduce Symptoms!

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By: Stephanie Heino

Ladies, you can feel in your whole body when it’s that time of the month. You are like a bomb ready to explode if anything doesn’t go your way. Even the smallest insignificant thing, such as waking up and getting ready for work finding nothing to wear, can make you just break down in tears and yell at your poor man (how do they deal with it every month?). The premenstrual syndrome monster makes a visit once a month and turns most of us into wrecks. Those physical and emotional symptoms that some women experience in the week or two before their period can be very severe in some cases, where as some women are more lucky. A holistic treatment approach for PMS addresses symptoms of the mind and body. Frequently occurring symptoms of PMS include irritability, mood swings, sadness, stomach cramps, bloating, headaches and muscle tension. These recurrent symptoms cause women a great deal of physical discomfort as well as emotional upset. In order to treat symptoms of PMS effectively, a combination of holistic treatments is recommended.

8 holistic PMS remedies to feel like yourself again:

  • Calcium. It has been shown that calcium levels are much lower in women with PMS and that calcium supplementation may help reduce the severity of symptoms. Women with the greatest intake of calcium from food sources had the least PMS symptoms so make sure you stock up on collard greens and kale. It has also been shown through a study that 300 mg of calcium carbonate four times a day significantly reduced bloating, depression, pain, mood swings, and food cravings. (It’s best to take calcium with magnesium and zinc. You can get a combo single dose capsule like this one from Solaray or get higher dose capsules separately.  I like Essential Blend Calcium from Jigsaw Health. You also want to make sure you have adequate vitamin D for calcium to do it’s magic, and since it’s not possible to get enough in combined capsule, we recommend this high dose, sublingual vitamin D, Bio-D-Mulsion Forte)
  • Chaste Tree Berry Extract. Chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus) berry is one of the most popular herbs for premenstrual syndrome. Studies found that chaste tree berry effectively reduced PMS symptoms over three menstrual cycles. Women taking chaste tree had significant improvements in irritability, depression, headaches, and breast tenderness (awesome!). The most common side effects of chaste tree berry are nausea, headache, digestive disturbances, menstrual disorders, acne, itching, and skin rashes– but these are all pretty rare. Chaste tree berry should not be taken by pregnant or nursing women, and it may interact with hormones or drugs in your body. You can find this is in your nearest health food store or in our online store!  (Nature’s Way Vitex). NOTE: Vitex is not generally approved for breastfeeding moms, but the rest of these supplements are!
  • Magnesium. The mineral magnesium, found naturally in food and available in supplements, has showing good preliminary results for PMS. Several studies have been done where it shows that the mineral significantly improves PMS mood changes. It was also found that magnesium significantly reduces weight gain, swelling of the hands and legs, breast tenderness, and abdominal bloating.  Take it with your calcium! I recommend the slow release Magnesium from Jigsaw.
  • Acupuncture. In traditional Chinese medicine, the liver is the organ most affected by stress, anger, and frustration. Liver problem caused by emotions, alcohol, and spicy and fatty foods can lead to PMS symptoms such as breast tenderness and abdominal bloating and cramping. Acupuncture, exercise, expressing emotions, and breathing exercises are recommended by practitioners to relieve liver stagnation.
  • Evening Primrose Oil. Evening Primrose oil is a plant oil that contains gamma-linolenic acid, which is an omega-6 essential fatty acid. Gamma-linolenic acid is involved in the metabolism of hormone-like substances called prostaglandins that regulate pain and inflammation in the body. You can find this is in your nearest health food store or in our online store! (Solgar Evening Primrose)
  • Dietary Suggestions. PMS symptoms are decreased by consuming foods that are high in essential vitamins and minerals, including fish, green vegetables, whole grains and assorted nuts. Certain foods such as celery and asparagus help decrease bloating caused by water retention in the body. Whole grains are great for stabilizing mood. It is also crucial to avoid unhealthy foods, especially those that exacerbate PMS symptoms. Stay away from caffeine, alcohol, refined sugars, excessive salt and fatty fried foods. If nothing else, try to eliminate caffeine as much as possible, which can aggravate anxiety, depression, and breast tenderness, as well as alcohol.
  • Exercise. Regular aerobic exercise such as brisk walking, jogging, swimming, or cycling may help relieve PMS symptoms, as do stretching and twisting practices like yoga. Try to focus more on the frequency than the intensity of the exercise, which is what matters when trying to decrease PMS symptoms.
  • Relaxation. Breathing exercises, meditation, aromatherapy, and yoga are some natural ways to reduce stress and promote relaxation. Many women feel more assertive and attuned to their needs in the weeks before their period. This can be used constructively by allowing for personal time to relax, reflect, and give priority to your needs and what nourishes you. Take a hot bath tonight, light some candles and practice your breathing exercises!
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