By Ashley Graef
The period: ah, yes, our favorite time of the month.
There are only so many pints (read: gallons) of ice cream we can use to tame our periods. But let’s be honest, no matter how much ice cream we eat and how many times we watch Allie and Noah use their literal love to exit this earth together, periods still fucking suck. I’ve scoured the interwebs for the tools you need to conquer your period, because we shouldn’t be contemplating self-performing a hysterectomy.
Rose tea, while newer to us in the western world, has been a staple in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It has anti-inflammatory properties that are comparable to aspirin and ibuprofen. All this anti-inflammatory goodness helps to reduce our worst enemy: cramps. This magical little flower not only lessens cramps, but decreases bloating, pain, anxiety, and mood swings. BRB planting a rose garden.
If you’re in your tenth year of your essential oil “phase” like I am, pull out your apothecary, because these oils may be a game-changer. Welcome, lavender, Roman chamomile, and clary sage. This trio is said relieve stress, reduce muscle spasms, and promote healthy menstruation. Draw up a bath and try adding two drops of each oil to the water. Swirl the water around, then soak for 20 minutes, so the oils can get to work (and you can watch Gossip Girl for the 30th time).
This day and age, we expect a lot more from our personal hygiene products. With so many options on the market, long-gone are the days of basic functionality. Meet Modibodi, the only period panties you will ever need. Modibodi is a reusable period and incontinence-proof underwear, activewear, swimwear and so much more!. It will protect you from every flow, leak and bead of sweet. Not to mention provide that little spark of confidence we all need at that time of the month.
Seatbelts, everyone. We’re going to explore the inner-workings of our uterus. Before your period even starts, the endometrial cells, they make up the lining of the uterus, start to break down and release inflammatory prostaglandins. This can cause uterine contractions and decrease blood flow to the uterus. During our period, the blood vessels in your uterus are constricted, and cause the muscles to contract. Thus the cramps that make us want to rip our lady parts out of our body. Anti-inflammatory foods, like ginger, spinach, and turmeric, can help combat this. We may not be able to IV-drip these foods into our body, but we can make a giant smoothie to drink (chug) while we curl up with our heating pad.
Magnesium has really taken over in the supplement world, and I’ve definitely hopped aboard that train. It can help to calm the nervous system, relax the uterine muscle, and reduce those prostaglandins we talked about. This means that not only is it helping curb our cramps, but it’s also helping to reduce stress and anxiety. Definitely check with your doctor before you start taking a magnesium supplement, but in the meantime, try eating leafy greens, chocolate, and nuts, which contain magnesium.
I saved the best for last (obviously)… but are we even surprised that orgasms help? When you have an orgasm, it increases blood flow to the uterus, which can help reduce those cramps. Not only are you increasing blood flow, but you’re releasing oxytocin and dopamine, which are the chemicals that make you feel happy as fuck (no pun intended).
If we can’t get our period cramps to go away completely, we’re more than down to try to subdue them with a few cups of tea and plenty of orgasms. Sign me up for that self-care regimen.
Authors Bio: Ashley exited the womb into this life with a fierce love for food, theatre, and breaking socially-constructed gender-norms in the dating scene.
She graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelors in English, concentration in professional writing, and minors in journalism and classical voice. Some of her experience includes interning for FashInvest (now Women’s Wear Daily) and award-winning food critic, Craig LaBan.
Ashley started writing professionally the summer before her senior year of college, and has written about topics such as fashion, food, law, music, entrepreneurship, beauty, fitness, health, and even ghostwrites.
When she’s not writing or singing at funerals, Ashley’s covering her kitchen in homemade pasta and taking care of her fish, Fish.
Ashley could not be more excited to be a part of the AMFAM team!