I may have solved my menstrual difficulties through witchcraft, and I’m quite pleased.

This post is geared towards individuals with cervixes and vaginas who suffer menstral difficulties, or loved ones of such individuals who might want to pass this information on to them. Other folks can feel free to disregard unless they happen to be quite curious about the details of my menstrual life, and then, by all means, read on.

via urbanmkr Flickr Creative Commons

via urbanmkr
Flickr Creative Commons

I’ve been through two cycles since I stopped taking birth control. I have been taking DIM and chasteberry supplement pills on a daily basis, with the occasional ½tsp maca powder in a breakfast smoothie. I have also been getting an hour of abdominal massage in the 1-2 days prior to when I expect to start bleeding or the first 1-2 days of bleeding. I have had four such sessions overall, and plan to do one more before I move to maintenance level (I expect one every 3-6 months).

I have also been drinking red raspberry leaf and rosehip tea. One cup daily the week before I expect to start bleeding, and 2-3 cups daily while bleeding. 1tsp red raspberry leaf and ½tsp rosehips per cup of water. For taste, I have also been adding 1tsp of another herbal tea, like hibiscus or chamomile. (I have been told white willow bark can help as well since it functions as a natural form of aspirin, so I plan to add that to the next batch and see.) You can get three (or more? I haven’t tried) cups of tea out of the amounts of herbs listed, so don’t toss them out after one cup!

I have been brewing the tea in a mason jar and then straining it into a carafe to keep in the fridge so I can make all three batches in one go. I then add half a cup of hot water to the cold tea or just drink it cold on subsequent days and it is just fine. You could also store the herbs in the fridge and brew and strain daily.

Last month, I didn’t really notice much change in my cycle itself. But I could tell that the DIM and chasteberry were helping keep my mood much more level in general. I still had some mood fluctuations in the days surrounding when I started bleeding, but they were more mild than usual. Both DIM and chasteberry give me energy. I am supposed to take chasteberry twice a day at first, but the few times I took one before bed I couldn’t sleep, so I’ve just been taking one. Same with maca – it’s strong. The times I just dumped some in the blender without measuring, it was like being wired on too much caffeine but minus the jitters. YMMV, of course.

This month, however, I saw radical changes to my cycle. I only bled for three days instead of 5-6. And I only had cramps on one day instead of 2-3. I use a Diva cup and am trying to be better about emptying it every 12 hours instead of at 24 hour intervals. My flow always starts heavy and peters out. But this time, almost all the blood came out the first day and barely any the next two days, and then it was over. Usually I bleed heavy for 2-3 days and then lighter for 2-3 days.

I started bleeding before I went to bed. I spent the night with my partner, so when I awoke to cramps I didn’t have any tea available in the morning. But that evening, I brewed a batch and drank a cup of tea not really thinking too much of it. When I went to pour a second cup (30min to an hour later), I noticed my cramps were almost gone.

I will update again to see how and if things stabilize, but I would say this is pretty significant progress. At least where I am buying the supplements, the DIM is the most cost-prohibitive. I am also fortunate to be able to barter for massage. If you can’t do supplements, massage, and tea, pick one and see what happens. I unfortunately am not sure which area to give the most credit for my improvement, but was just trying to throw as much help at my body as possible.

Depending how things stabilize over the next year, I may eventually experiment with adding or taking away elements over time, but for now I am just going to keep going since I am seeing such drastic improvement in my symptoms. Good luck!

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