Since I began my menstrual cycle at the age of 12, it has not been my best friend. I suffered from such horrific cramps that immobilized me and bleeding that was extremely close to hemorrhaging. Over the past year or so I began to notice a significant change in my shedding, especially the last few months. I decided to share my insights with anyone who may be going through the same things that I went through and are looking for ways to have a better menstrual cycle. (I also have a more in depth video on my youtube channel)
First, learn to love and respect your body. Don’t be ashamed of your “womanness”, your vagina, your period. All of these negative emotions towards your menstrual cycle detach you from loving yourself fully. If you hate your period, your period will hate you. When I came to understand the purpose of my flow each month and how beautiful it is, how powerful my womb is (IT CAN HOLD LIFE FOR GOODNESS SAKE!)…I began to look at my moon in a different light. I call my period my moon for two reasons. 1, it is a term of endearment. My period is not a bad thing. 2, a woman menstrual cycle is supposed to be linked with the moon cycle. Ovulate during the full moon, shed during the new moon. I would suggest reading the book Moon Time by Lucy H. Pearce as well.
Second, change your diet. I noticed that when I became vegetarian, my period lightened up. My overall health improved when I became conscious of what I was putting in my body. I’m not saying that you have to completely switch to vegetarian, but at least cut back on the fatty and salty foods.
Third. While on the subject of diet, eat plenty of iron rich foods at least a week before your moon is supposed to come. You release blood so you need to replenish your system with more iron. I would have cravings for burgers before my moon and I knew that it was because I needed iron. Now I eat lots of broccoli, spinach, and other dark leafy greens before my cycle commences.
Fourth, drink LOTS of water! My shed blood used to be extremely dark and clotted when it would come out. I talked to one of my friends who happens to be a licensed chiropractor, and she mentioned that it was probably because there was not enough oxygen in my blood. I started to drink at least a gallon of water a day (or close to it). That made my overall being happy. I was always hydrated and I did notice that my blood during the next cycle was a lot lighter, less clotted, and my cramps were barely there. Increase in water can also help reduce bloating by flushing the extra salt out of your system.
Fifth. Eat less, drink more. The more you eat, the more bloated you will feel. Also, all of that extra food in your large intestine pushes on your uterus, which can increase your “crampage”. I drink lots of tea and water my first two days of my moon (which is usually when I cramp the most).
Sixth, MOVE AROUND! Movement helps reduce cramps! Even if it’s just walking around, get up and move! For me sitting still makes my cramps 10x worse. I usually like to walk or practice yoga, but you can do whatever suites your schedule and lifestyle.
Last but not least…HERBS! Herbs are my best friends. To me they are natures medicine. I usually just make teas with them. I have also set tinctures and used them. I sent my goddess tincture to one of my friends, Diamond (@lovethediosa on Instagram) and she said that it helped her moon cycle as well.
The herbs I use have different medicinal properties to them. I would still tell you to do your own thorough research on each herb before you try it to make sure that it is suitable for you, but here are the ones that I use.
Red Raspberry Leaf: Strengthens uterine wall. Relaxes smooth muscle in uterus. Has vitamins & minerals that detoxify extra hormones. May increase fertility.
Black Cohosh: Not to be used long term (up to 6 months). Aids in tone and regular function of uterus. Anti-inflammatory. Reduces muscular spasms in smooth and skeletal muscles (muscles in lower back an thighs).
Any who, these are the things that worked for me. They may work for some, but they may not work for all. Some women do have medical issues that need to be treated, although I believe that there is a natural cure for everything.
If you do decide to try anything that worked for me, please tell me your stories.