Just as we are part of the Earth’s cycle, we have our own cycle within ourselves. In our Earth Within Girls non-profit program, we teach elementary and middle-school aged girls plant wisdom and self care so they can tune in to their internal cycle. This week in our 6 week after school series, we are focusing on the menstrual phase and supporting this time with herbs and intuitive practices that will allow us to lean into the rest and relaxation we need.
Why should we support our menstrual phase with herbs?
No matter what part of the cycle, herbs have the power to heal us and provide with the nourishment and comfort we need. We’ve often had conversations with the women in our studio during the menstrual phase about the magic of nettle (for bleeding) and raspberry leaves (to soothe cramping). There are more herbs, too, that support the menstrual phase.
Leaning into the power of herbs allows us to take a natural, holistic approach to our cycles. For us, and for the girls we see each week, this step to tune in with our cycles is important. Through these practices, by listening to and responding to our cycles, we embrace our feminine power.
Intuitive herb support: bath soaks and tea blends
In our Earth Within Girls program, we often work with the girls to create herb-filled DIY self care: tea blends, face masks, infused oils, bath soaks and more. While we focus on the menstrual phase, we are looking for ways to better support our cycle while allowing ourselves rest and relaxation. Our special blend of herbs is versatile; perfect for some of our menstrual phase favorites. During this part of our cycle, we love the comfort of a warm bath or hot mug of tea.
Our favorite menstrual cycle herbs
Yarrow: This Earth Within favorite herb promotes blood circulation and alleviates menstrual cramps. For many women, this herb will be a staple in their home apothecary for its versatility. We also love yarrow for its flower essence: protection.
Rose Hips: We often look to rose hips for the extraordinary power. Rose hips help regulate menstrual flow, which dissipates much of the pain caused by menstrual cramps. This herb also brings us back into touch with our hearts, perfect for the menstrual phase when we’re looking within.
Lavender: Already well known for its relaxation properties, lavender is a forever popular herb. A natural muscle relaxer, lavender can help us release our stresses and lean into our bodies. Its calming and soothing energy promotes our own inward reflection during the menstrual phase.
Menstrual cycle bath soak
Making a support bath soak is rewarding from start to finish. We love gathering our ingredients in the kitchen, mixing together the soak with intention, and then drawing a warm bath and letting the herbs work their magic. Feel free to adapt this recipe to what you have on hand.
If you’re not sure where to find your herbs, we suggest visiting your local apothecary or herb shop. You could also harvest and dry your own herbs, depending on the season. For bath soaks, essential oils are also a great option.
Mix 1 cup of a salt (epsom salt, Himalayan pink salt, coarse sea salt, or a blend) with 1-2 teaspoons of dried yarrow, rose hips, and lavender. Of course, feel free to add or take out herbs to suit your specific blend. Add 15-25 drops of an essential oil of your choice. Mix together. Then, draw a warm bath, add your soak, and enjoy the magic of herbs for the next twenty minutes or so.
For tea blends, all you need are edible dried herbs of your choice (like yarrow, rose hips, and lavender), hot water, a sieve, and your favorite mug.
Blend your dried herbs, about a teaspoon of each. Add the dried herbs to your sieve (the more herbs you add, the stronger your tea will be). Then, heat the water. Once the water is ready, pour it over your sieve into the mug. Allow the tea to steep for 5-10 minutes until at desired strength.
Curl up on the couch with your favorite blanket and enjoy.
Tuning in to your cycle
Listening to our body and tuning into our cycles can build strength and community among women, all the while celebrating our femininity. We love leaning into the magic of herbs for all phases of our cycle. Each phase is unique and each asks us to learn more about our strength and power.
We want to share this strength and power with women of all ages, but specifically, we’re supporting girls in the Missoula-area. We would love for you to join us on this journey and support girls by offering a donation and spreading the word!