Grab my step-by-step Guide to Making A Flower Crown when you sign up for my weekly love note to your inbox.

Herbal Remedies for your Moon Cycle

Welcome to the final installment in the Moon Cycle Series!

In case you need to catch up:

Part One: I talk about my journey to making peace with my period

Part Two: Your connection to the moon and breakdown of the 4 phases of your cycle

Part Three: Incorporating ritual and self-care into your moon cycle (+ sea sponges!)

Part Four: Eating for Your Moon Cycle {video interview with Nadia Munla}

Part Five: Trusting Your Body & Tracking Your Cycle

For this final post, my intention is to offer up some healing wisdom and herbal lore I’ve gathered from fellow dabbling women. As much as I’ve enjoyed talking about all the different aspects of our cycles, it is talking about what we can create with our hands to alleviate and celebrate our moon cycles that lights me up the most. 

But before I share a few tonics and teas to support your moon cycle, I wanted to crystallize some ideas that have been percolating during these past 3 weeks of sharing and conversing with you. 

Women are powerful when bleeding.

Despite what we may have been taught about the nuisance or dirtiness of our period blood, our moon time is a sacred one.

In many cultures that came long before us, a bleeding woman was powerful. She was given time away from her daily duties to honor this time and care for herself. Certain cultures even believed women’s menstrual blood to be the “amrita” or nectar of life that contains magical, healing properties.

My intention is for you and your communities to come together to re-signify our moon time so we can remember the power and magic of a woman’s period. 

We are are most intuitive when we bleed (you can read more about that in part 2) and, if we are able to quiet our minds and bodies enough, we can achieve a deeper level of listening and receiving of the wisdom that is coming to our during our moon time.

Menstruation is a time of self-cleansing for our bodies. 

I think is one of the most beautiful and often forgotten notions about this time of the month. When we menstruate, our blood is carrying chemical and emotional toxins out of our body. It is a purging that we are able to take advantage of every 28 days – when we allow ourselves to feel and to heal whatever needs to be released. (We talk about creating ritual around this in part 3.)  

Herbal Remedies for your Moon Cycle

 

Herbal Teas to Support Healthy Menstruation

These herbs are tonic herbs, meaning they are high in vitamins and minerals to support specific body systems (in this case, your reproductive system). 

These herbs are best taken in water-based preparations {aka teas and cold water infusions}. I like to make a cup of hot tea to drink before bed and put a cold water infusion in the fridge overnight to drink throughout the day the next day. 

Red Raspberry Leaf

Helps to reduce symptoms of premenstrual tensions and painful bleeding. Great to drink throughout the month or during menstruation to relieve cramping.

Red Clover Blossom 

A hormone balancing herb that helps relieve PMS symptoms and correct irregular periods. It’s also great for eliminating toxins in the body while cleansing the blood.

NOTE: If you have a very heavy menstrual bloodflow, avoid this herb as it has blood-thinning properties.

Nettle Leaf

This leaf is so full of vitamins and minerals (even protein!), I highly recommend using it. It helps to restore health adrenal function to balance hormones and ease menstrual cramping in addition to other symptoms.

NOTE: Nettle has diuretic properties so drinking it before bed may cause you to get up and pee during the night.  

Lemon Balm

My favorite herb of the moment (that is growing all over my cottage garden), lemon balm is a fragrant mint that helps calm the nervous system (particularly in the luteal phase of your cycle leading up to your bleed). I also think it’s helpful to drink lemon balm during your bleed when your body want to rest and repair.

via Chelsea Granger

 

Herbs to Relieve Cramping

Adding these fresh herbs to some hot tea and sipping throughout the day can really help relieve painful stomach and back cramps.

Rosemary – Improves circulation and blood flow to help relieve spasms and move pain through and out the body.

Ginger – great for PMS cramps and digestive flow.

via Chelsea Granger
illustrations via Chelsea Granger

 

Happy Menstruation Tea

Drink this tea during your moon time to stabilize your mood and nourish your body.

1 part lemon balm

1 part skullcap

1/2 part rose

1/2 part lavender

Pour hot water over the herbs and allow to steep for 5-10 minutes before drinking.

 

{I want to credit the wise and beautiful Brittany Wood Nickerson of Thyme Herbal and her zine Sacred & Mysterious for much of this wisdom.}

Herbal Remedies for your Moon Cycle

via

There are so many incredible books out there, but one that I’ve particularly loved is The Way of the Happy Woman by Sara Avant Stover.

Sara talks about unlocking the the magic of our feminine cycles, bringing a nature and spiritual element that feels so lovely and right. Sara is hosting a 2-week online immersion course called Reversing Our “Curse” in late August that I am looking forward to.

Perhaps you’ll join me?

____

That completes this 3-week Moon Cycle series. I’m wondering…have your feelings about your moon cycle changed at all? Have you started tracking your cycle? Or maybe you have converted to sea sponges, like me?

Tell me what’s going on for you in the comments below and we can keep this virtual red tent of sisterhood going beyond these 3 weeks!

Add Comment

Trusting Your Body {Moon Cycle Series Part 5}

Welcome back to the Moon Cycle Series!

In case you need to catch up:

Part One: I talk about my journey to making peace with my period

Part Two: Your connection to the moon and breakdown of the 4 phases of your cycle

Part Three: Incorporating ritual and self-care into your moon cycle (+ sea sponges!)

Part Four: Eating for Your Moon Cycle {video interview with Nadia Munla}

As I’ve been getting your feedback about this series – reading and listening to your own stories of your relationship with your moon cycles, birth control, hormones, and everything that comes with it – I’ve noticed a theme emerging.

Trusting Your Body

As someone who used to struggle with an eating disorder and inexplicably heavy, painful periods, I know a thing or two about feeling like your body is against you. I remember when I came across the idea of trusting and loving your body in order to take care of her and thinking, “well that sounds well and good…if you don’t have my crazy body!”

But when you come into a place of love and body trust, you can start to understand the signals she is sending you. It’s like a secret code that you can start to decipher. One of my body’s secret codes is expressed through skin. When my stress levels get high and my self-care practice drops, my skin gets rashy and broken out. I’ve learned to recognize the signal.

Trusting Your Body {Moon Cycle Series Part 5}

I want to introduce you to my friend, Nicole Jardim of Fix Your Period. Nicole is an amazing Hormonal Health Coach that specializes in young women struggling with their periods. After seeing six different doctors and spending thousands of dollars on tests and medications for her symptoms of gut issues, low libido, barely there periods, joint pain, and melasma, Nicole took her health into her own hands and was able to rebalance her body’s hormones and find peace in her body again.

In Nicole’s own words:

Rather than focusing on how bad I felt or the fact that I had been having these problems for what seemed like forever, I decided to take more personal responsibility and focus on the fact that I was indeed on a healing journey and I was exactly where I needed to be in that moment.

My big revelation throughout this process was this:

It is important to maintain the perspective that we can trust ourselves to take care of ourselves.

In the 20-something years I’d been on this planet, no one had ever mentioned this internal guidance system or that I had the ability to tap into it when I wanted. It wasn’t until the doctors could no longer fix my problem that I was forced to think about alternatives.

The first intuitive message I received was “get off the birth control pill”.

I don’t even remember thinking that it was connected to all my health issues (well at least not consciously) but I had this “knowing” that this was the solution.

All of these health issues weren’t happening to me, they were happening for me. They were all signals from my body letting me know that things were a little off kilter and I needed to right the ship.

Trusting Your Body {Moon Cycle Series Part 5}

via

So here’s the most important thing to remember:

Everything is interconnected.

The endocrine system is like a series of highways and hormones are the cars, moving vital information to different areas in the body. When there is a breakdown, it can affect the flow of traffic throughout the system. In other words, hormone imbalances don’t happen in a vacuum. Symptoms are just signals of an underlying imbalance. They are your body’s very own language. In order to begin understanding it, all you have to do is start paying attention.

Tracking Your Cycle

The easiest way to do this is to begin tracking your menstrual cycle with an app like Kindara, Clue or Glow. {Note from Becca: I’ve also heard very good things about MyMoontime, which tracks your period with the lunar cycle.}

Your period is like your monthly progress report and abnormalities mean that there are deficiencies somewhere along the way. You don’t have to experience menstrual symptoms that disrupt your life each month.

Understanding your own unique hormonal landscape will enable you to start working with your body rather than against her. Over time this builds an intuitive trust between you and your beautiful body that will serve you for the rest of your life.

Stay tuned Thursday for the final post in the Moon Cycle Series, where I’ll share some beautiful herbal remedies to help your moon cycle. Time to get dabbley!

__

Nicole Jardim is a Young Women’s Hormonal Health Coach and creator of Fix Your Period, a series of programs that empower women to reclaim their hormonal health in a fun and sassy way. She runs a successful 1-on-1 and group coaching business and has helped thousands of women from all around the world who are struggling with PCOS, infertility, amenorrhea, PMS and much more.

Sign up here for her free 3-part video training series, Take Control of Your Period, Take Control of Your Life to discover the top secrets doctor’s don’t tell you about your hormones, your symptoms & how to finally fix them.

Add Comment

Welcome back to the Moon Cycle Series.

In case you missed it…

Part One: I talk about my journey to making peace with my period

Part Two: Your connection to the moon and breakdown of the 4 phases of your cycle

Part Three: Incorporating ritual and self-care into your moon cycle (+ sea sponges!)

For today’s post, I brought in my friend, hormonal health and sensuality coach Nadia Munla, to talk about eating for your moon cycle. Because we knew we had a lot to talk about, we decided to record the conversation over video. 

In our conversation, we cover:

  • Nadia’s experience of her period growing up in Lebanon
  • Foods to incorporate into your diet to reduce unpleasant period symptoms
  • Viewing the phases of our cycle as the seasons
  • Recommended herbal supplements
  • The ideal color and consistency of your blood
  • A special guest appearance by my kitty cat, Gorilla 

Nadia believes that sweet potatoes are one of those magical foods that will balance your blood sugar and love on your hormones.

Here are a couple of recipes she recommends to her clients:

I’m not big on measurements because I like to wing things and because many times a measuring mistake can lead to a pleasurable surprise for your palate. 

Preparing Sweet Potatoes 

Cut in half, wrap in foil and bake in oven on 350 until tender to your liking – usually around 30-45 mins. If it’s a small potato, give it less time. Bigger potato, more time.

Sweet Potatoes with Tahini and Veggies

Tahini Sauce: Buy some plain hummus. Add extra lemon juice, salt and a little bit of almond milk so it turns from dip consistency to a sauce consistency. If you want to get fancy, you can make tahini from scratch

Chickpeas: Open a can. Rinse. Put them on a foil covered baking tray. Add some olive oil/salt. Roast at 350 for 15-20 mins.

Veggie Garnish: The yummiest options are dicing some tomatoes + parsley. You can also cut up small strips of roasted red peppers + any sprouts. Really anything you have can work with this. The key is to have 2 items that give you a fresh, clean flavor. 

Assemble: When you’ve roasted the potatoes, add the roasted chickpeas on top. Then add the veggie garnish + drizzle on the tahini sauce. 

Sweet Potatoes with Chia 

I love making sweet potatoes for breakfast or as a little dessert. It’s an amazing mini-meal or snack that’s satiating and hormone-loving at the same time.

Prepare the potatoes like I noted above and sprinkle a tablespoon of chia and some cinnamon.

*If you are really in super sweet tooth mode, you can add a little drizzle of maple syrup on top of all of this. But remember to keep it small because the sweet potato already contains quite a lot of sugar.

__

Nadia is a health & sensuality coach who guides women to sensual nourishment and embodied power by helping them reconnect to their own body voice. She is immensely passionate about getting women out of their heads and into their bodies so they can feel safe and confident with their unique feminine genius.

Through her dance classes, immersion workshops and one-on-one coaching, Nadia has helped women in over 5 continents connect to their pleasure potential. You can find her musings & recipes at www.thepleasureplate.com or on Instagram.

5 Comments

Incorporating Ritual & Self-Care {Moon Cycle Series Part 3}

Welcome back to The Moon Cycle Series, sweet ones.

In case you missed it, you can check out Part One, where I shared my story about how I went from hating to re-signifying my period and Part Two, where I shared how your cycle is connected to the moon as well as a breakdown of what’s happening in your body during the four phases of your cycle. 

Today, we’re diving into creating ritual and self-care around your moon time.  

When I shifted my mindset around my period from being a nuisance to an opportunity to reflect and care for myself, I began to craft rituals that help me do that.

As I’ve mentioned before, when I was trying to call my period back to me after 7 years of no bleeding, I would place my hands on my womb and stare at the moon each night before going to bed. By performing that ritual, I was able to drop back into my body and create a positive intention throughout my entire being that I was welcoming my moon blood back into my body..

Once I got my period back, I wanted to get healthier. I had read studies about how conventional tampons are some of the most toxic things on the planet (the cotton grown for tampons are sprayed with a lot of chemicals and pesticides). Once I read that, I started wearing organic tampons. But, as my journey into loving and embracing my period deepened, I was curious about other forms of menstruation products out there.

That’s when I discovered the amazing Janeen {of Holy Sponge} at a workshop I attended at my local herbal apothecary. Janeen’s work in herbal care, menstrual activism and  working with sea sponges for women on their moon is truly a beautiful gift to this world.

I invited Janeen here to tell us more about how to honor your bleeding time of the month, how to make a beautiful relationship with your blood through ritual, and the magic of using sea sponges for menstruation instead of tampons. 

Oh, and she’s offering Dabblist readers a sweet discount on her products, so be sure to read until the end!

Incorporating Ritual & Self-Care {Moon Cycle Series Part 3}

From Janeen:

Every month, we are given the opportunity to let go in an incredibly tangible way.

Our bodies let go of lining of the womb. Part of that is that the body releasing the possibility of a baby growing there. But the body is also letting go of that whole cycle and what the body experienced during that time.
 


Letting go is surrender. It is passive. It is accepting our vulnerability, permeability, and the cycles of life and death.

We get this opportunity each month not have it all figured out, but to acknowledge and honor how our bodies have supported us through whatever life has brought our way.

It’s no wonder that our bleed is also a very creative time in the reproductive cycle. The veil between the conscious and unconscious becomes very thin. And the moon is there to remind us that she, too, sheds every month.

Knowing Your Signals


If we pay attention, our bodies can be incredible resources to us. Many of us have become so detached from our bodies that learning to listen to them can feel like learning a whole new language. But the language is there, and it is especially helpful for understanding our monthly cycles.
 


When I am about five days away from starting day one of my period, my breasts get really sore. This is the point where I think about what I am doing in five days and how I can allow myself some flexibility if I need to take time off to be in nature or at home, feeling however I feel.

Everyone has different ways their bodies communicate with them, and there are no right or wrong ways. Listening to and cooperating with the messages is the most important part.

Knowing Your Needs & Creating Self-Care Practices


It wasn’t until I was in my late twenties that I gave any thought or attention to my period, so I had to learn what my needs were around that time, which was a process.

What helped me to create some practices and ritual with my cycle was switching from using commercial tampons to sea sponges, primarily out of concern for the environment.

Incorporating Ritual & Self-Care {Moon Cycle Series Part 3}

I didn’t even know that my body didn’t need to have a rigid stick of cotton blocking my flow until I tried the soft, moldable and comfortable sponge. It was amazing, and I knew I wanted my yoni to feel comfortable and toxin-free during my cycle.


As I came into closer communication with my body, I made the connection between bleeding and letting go of the month’s events and feelings. I felt the need to clear the energy around me, so I began smudging my room and myself as I bled.

I allowed the smoke to consume the old energies and clear the air for the new cycle. This ancient practice is both symbolic and studies have shown that the smoke of herbs releases negative ions, which improves mood and well being.

It can help to write down or name what you are letting go of, watching the smoke clear that old stuff out, and then you can state what you want to welcome for the new cycle and gather elements from nature to represent that new energy.

Incorporating Ritual & Self-Care {Moon Cycle Series Part 3}

At the end of my cycle, my sponges needed to be cleansed, so part of my ritual was designating a bowl that I use only for sponges, giving the sponges a bath in hot water and tea tree oil, and finding a place for them to dry until my next bleed.

Unlike disposable tampons, I felt a connection to what held and collected my blood during my cycle.

The sponge is magical creature that also lives in sync with the moon and the tides of the ocean.

Clearly, I fell in love with sponges; they helped to heal my body of many moons worth of pain and messages of shame and disgust related to bleeding. I began to look forward to bleeding.

Incorporating Ritual & Self-Care {Moon Cycle Series Part 3}

Holistic Solutions for Period Cramps

A hot water bottle, heating pad, and herbal teas all can be helpful, but sometimes you need a bit more. I know this because my partner has epic cramps – the kind where Vicodin became the only thing that could begin to quell them.

I began learning about herbs and decided to craft up a recipe in hopes that it might bring her some topical relief. This is how Our Lady of Mercy Cramp Balm was born.

I said a prayer in the kitchen, steeped herbs in coconut oil, and blended in antispasmodic essential oils with some other plant-based ingredients, and voila…it actually worked!

I honestly didn’t expect that a topical balm would go deep enough to calm the spasms, but now this stuff is always by our bed, in the car and in our bags. It is part of the moontime care that happens at my house.

Incorporating Ritual & Self-Care {Moon Cycle Series Part 3}

These are just a few of the ways I have created practices to support my body as I bleed.

There are no equations in this. Each practice was born out of a need that was felt, and sometimes those needs change.

Sometimes (well…always) it is a chocolate month, and sometimes I need quiet and journaling, time with my pets, a bath of rose petals, music, or candles burning.

Women are the only people who can bleed without injury. It is indeed a sacred time, a time to appreciate what wonders your body holds.

Give your body what she needs as she bleeds.

What do you think, ladies? Could you add more ritual and self-care to your moon time? What do you think about sea sponges as an alternative to tampons? Leave a comment below and Janeen and I are looking forward to the conversation.

_

Janeen started Holy Sponge! in 2011 shortly after arriving to the Bay Area from the east coast. She fell in love with sponges and began making personalized kits for her friends until they suggested she became a professional sponge dealer- which seemed like a lot more fun than using her MSW to get another job.  Janeen is owner and maker at Holy Sponge! while her partner, Daniela, is Web Design Badass and Workshop Madame (also with a therapeutic background, specializing in group-work).

Janeen and Daniela live in Point Arena, CA and they love to bring conversations on menstruation to new places and people, to please contact [email protected] if you would like to bring them to your city.

To learn more about sponges, check out our etsy shop until our new website is live, at which point we will offer several resources for further reading. Grab 10% off your first order with Holy Sponge’s etsy site by using the checkout code: DABBLIST.

Photo Credit: Wendy Yalom Photography & Janeen Singer

2 Comments
decoding

Now that I’ve told you the story that took me from hating my period to seeing it as a beautiful and sacred part of my life, I want to talk about how I’ve been able to do that.

As a woman – your menstrual cycle is, in so many ways, your internal compass. 

I’ve gone from 15 years of hormonal birth control (and not having a period for 7 of those years) to naturally syncing up my cycle with the phases of the moon. I have two beings to thank for helping me along in that journey – the moon herself and Alisa Vitti.

Your Connection to the Moon & Decoding Your Cycle via

Women’s bodies are synchronized with the lunar cycle. 

Our bodies’ menstrual cycle as a whole is structured to follow the same flow as that of the lunar cycle. Traditionally (before the days of electricity and airplanes and artificial lighting), women would bleed with the New Moon – cleansing and renewing –  and ovulate with the Full Moon – growing into fertile abundance. The average woman’s menstrual cycle is 29.5 days – as is the cycle of the moon.

When I fully grasped that connection between my body and la luna, I felt such a beautiful cosmic connection. In fact, when I was in the process of calling my period back to me after 7 years of zero bleeding, I had a practice of placing both my hands over my womb and looking up at the moon in the sky every night. I would make notice of what phase she was in and, even if I couldn’t see her, I would find a way to connect. To remember the magic of the universe lives within my body.

Your Connection to the Moon & Decoding Your Cycle via

Alisa Vitti is a brilliant holistic health counselor who, in her 20s, was suffering from total hormonal collapse consisting of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), obesity, total body cystic acne, and having a period about once a year. Taking her health into her own hands, Alisa delved into how holistic health and functional nutrition could recalibrate her hormonal system. She came up with a protocol that completely healed her body and now she is thriving. 

Alisa has written an incredible book called Woman Code, which I have read cover to cover several times now. In the book, Alisa talks about how the body is self-healing and, if we can learn her language, we can have access to an infinite source of energy, vitality, clarity, and unwavering purpose.

It all comes down to understanding your hormones and the phases of your cycle.

Your Connection to the Moon & Decoding Your Cycle
 

Your monthly cycle consists of four phases: follicular, ovulatory, luteal, and menstrual.

Inspired by Alisa’s holistic philosophy, I’ve broken each of the phases below by what’s going on from a hormonal, bodily, lifestyle and lunar perspective. 

Follicular Phase (7-10 days)

Hormones: Your ovaries are preparing to release an egg and estrogen increases in your uterine lining in preparation to host the egg.

Body: You’ll feel an increase in physical energy and might start feeling restless.

Lifestyle: You have the most access to creative energy that you will have the entire month during this phase. Tackle creatively challenging tasks, begin new projects, plan and dream big.

Moon: Half visible, making way for the next cycle.

Ovulatory Phase (3-4 days)

Hormones: Hormones rise, follicles swell enough to release an egg to travel to the uterus. 

Body: Energy is high. Your skin will be glowing and you will smell and feel irresistible to the people around you. You are most fertile during this phase, so this is the time you should be most mindful with sex (whether you are trying to get pregnant or not).

Lifestyle: You have the best communication skills and the most energy all month. Have important conversations (like asking for a raise) or go on a first date.

Moon: Full, you are ripe and receiving

Luteal Phase (10-14 days)

Hormones: Progesterone and estrogen rise and, if egg hasn’t been fertilized, progesterone will suddenly halt, which will trigger your period.

Body: Your phsycial energy declines and premenstrual symptoms (PMS) start to develop like bloating, irritability, headache, mood swings, and cravings

Lifestyle: As Alisa says, “awareness, attention, and comfort are key now”. You will want to turn inward and have an urge to nest and be more domestic.  You’ll become detail oriented, so plan an organization project for this week. Slow down social engagements so you don’t get too exhausted.

Moon: Half visible, preparing for the shedding of everything from this last cycle.

Menstrual Phase (3-4 days)

Hormones: Progesterone drops, triggering the shedding of your uterine lining and you begin to bleed.

Body: You may experience pelvic cramping, backache, fatigue, and cravings during this time. Focusing on slowing down and your comfort is key here.

Lifestyle: During this phase, access between right and left hemisphere of the brain is the biggest – making it the time you are most tuned into your intuition. I suggest journaling during this phase so you can keep track of the subtle messages coming your way

Moon: New and invisible. Time for new beginnings and intention setting for the next cycle.

This is meant to be a starting point to get you engaged with your body and the different phases she goes through every week. Alisa’s book goes into far greater detail about what specifically is going on in your body chemistry throughout each of the cycles and even has an amazing food chart that tells you exactly what foods to eat during each cycle in order to heal imbalance. 

A note about your cycle: If your cycle does not equal 28 days or you bleed for more than 4 days or you don’t bleed with the full moon, that doesn’t mean anything is necessarily wrong with you. This is just a general guideline that can help you connect more to your natural rhythm of your unique body. My cycle is constantly moving around and I just stay curious as to what that could mean. 

To learn more about aligning your cycle with the moon, I also suggest reading this article on lunaception.

Do you track your cycles every month? Have you ever thought about your body’s connection to the moon? Leave a comment below with your thoughts and let’s continue the conversation!

8 Comments