For centuries, women have referred to their period as their "moon time," as the phases of the female menstrual cycle (follicular, ovulatory, luteal, menstrual) naturally sync with the phases of the moon (waxing, full, waning, new). As women's health advocate Shannon Cohn explains in this talk, these are topics that have traditionally been taboo in society: menstruation, cramps, periods. Below the waist issues, she says, are the last great women's health taboo and the problem with all of this is that if we don't begin to talk openly about our bodies, then we won't know that something is wrong.
Painful periods are not normal, yet there's a growing number of women suffering from hormonal imbalances and more severe menstrual woes, including PCOS and endometriosis. While there are no specific cures, holistic lifestyle practices are helping women find much relief. Personally, I can vouch. Luckily, there are now several modern tools available for women to support us during our moon time. From high quality essential oils to menstrual tonics, consciously crafted products are occupying more space on the shelves of wellness boutiques, allowing us to experiment with a variety of natural options to find relief, rather than popping a pill.
Below, my fellow cycle sister Mimi Millard (founder of De Lune) and I share some of our trusted Moon Time Essentials that help us feel better, with hopes that in turn, they may help you feel better. As women, we're certainly all very different and do have specific individual needs based on our symptoms, but here are just a handful of products and rituals that have helped bring us comfort and ease during our cycle.
De Lune Menstruation Tonic | This tonic is potent yet palatable, helping to ease menstrual pain and replenish your body with essential nutrients to support your moon time, naturally. No longer do we need to turn to pain pills when there is now a convenient, holistic method to easing cycle woes.
From Mimi herself: This is my all-natural painkiller. To make myself feel especially pampered, I like pouring it over ice and mixing with sparkling quinine tonic water. The flavors go SO well together.
Hi-Waist Heavy Days Period-Proof Panties | Hold up. Panties that hold up to 2 tampons' worth of blood? Yep, the female founders of THINX are proving that the future is most definitely female. Their underwear line is made up of fancy bits of tech that make them anti-microbial, moisture-wicking, absorbent, and leak-resistant. And no, they don't feel like diapers, and it's not like sitting in your own blood.
Lite + Cycle Lavender Candle | The candle to burn from day to night to calm, ease, relieve and balance mood and space. Delicate floral and green herb notes with 100% pure essential oils of lavender and eucalyptus, without paraffin, dyes, lead, animal by-products, or synthetic fragrances. 65 hour burn time, for easy breathing and support through many, many cycles.
DIY Bath Salts | Mimi says she fills a jar with epsom salt, baking soda, dried rose petals and a hefty dose of whatever essential oil she's in the mood for (ylang ylang is her current favorite; clary sage is mine), mixes it up, and takes a luxurious bath. The hot water + the magnesium from the epsom salt help relax cramping back muscles, while the scent helps to lift your mood.
Clary Sage | This essential oil is best known for helping to relieve cramps, heavy menstrual cycles, hot flashes and hormonal imbalances. It’s also known for its ability to increase circulation and is a natural remedy for depression. During my menstrual cycle, I tend to rub three to five drops on my abdomen for a soothing massage. If you do better with a roll-on, you can find it in this Clary Calm monthly blend for women and local favorite, Maven Made Sleep Serum.
For a pre-menstrual ritual, I usually blend a few drops of clary sage oil with black castor oil and rub that right on my belly with a heating pad on top. I forgo the castor oil packs altogether since I don't mind the oil rubbing on to my "nighttime attire," but you can learn more about the benefits and uses of castor oil packs here.
Cramp Bark | Hence the name. Mimi puts a few drops of this tincture in her tea, explaining that it's really powerful for getting rid of cramps. It's likely that your local health store will carry it, and there is plenty of additional information to be found here.
In good menstrual health,
Allison & Mimi