A tea that can shorten your period??
Spoiler Alert: This review might be considered by some to be TMI-heavy. You have been warned.
I have a confession to make: I hate my period. I know many women who love it, and celebrate the fact that their bodies are functioning as they should. Of course I agree with that aspect, but I hate mine. I’ve always been very irregular, and my flow is very, very heavy when it decides to grace me with its presence. I hate being even more of an emotional wreck than usual. I hate being asked, “Are you on your period?” when I have a major breakdown over trivial nonsense, being furious with whomever asks, and getting my period the next day, which makes me angry again because they were right. I hate that I never am prepared, thereby ruining whatever underwear I’m wearing, and never knowing if it will be short and explosive or a l-o-o-o-n-g trickle.
Finally, several months ago, I had enough. I don’t know why I never did this before. Possibly because it never occurred to me that it was even possible. I Googled “how to shorten your period” and crossed my fingers. There are a lot of tricks, mostly weird or just not applicable to me. Take birth control – no thanks. Have sex – yeah, good luck. Take NSAIDs – never worked for me when I used to take them anyway. Exercise – at the time, I was barely able to move, so that was not gonna work.
Then I came across raspberry leaf tea. Not as in loose-leaf tea flavored with raspberries, but tea made from actual raspberry leaves. Not only were there claims that it would shorten periods, but it would also ease cramping and decrease flow. SOLD! I found a brand that sold a tea containing raspberry leaf at my local Wegmans.
Traditional Medicinals Healthy Cycle (formally “Female Toner”) tea includes raspberry leaf, as well as angelica, blessed thistle, cramp bark, and many other herbs for “a wholesome tea that supports healthy menstruation.” I personally only really taste the spearmint, with perhaps the tiniest hint of lemongrass. Not exactly a flavor I would naturally gravitate toward (or should I say, not my cup of tea?? sorry), but not at all unpleasant. The instructions say to steep a bag in boiling water for 10-15 minutes; I usually let it steep until the water returns to room temperature as I find the flavor at its most enjoyable when it’s cool. (I should mention that Traditional Medicinals also makes a basic raspberry leaf tea as well, but I’ve never tried it.)
To make a long story short, it works for me! My mood swings are, well, no worse than any other time of the month. My periods are shorter and less… explosive. While you still couldn’t set your watch by them, I’ve actually had a period every month since starting about five months ago, which is a pretty good streak for me. I don’t think I’ve taken medication or used a heating pad once for cramps since starting, either.
I usually have minor premenstrual cramps 1-2 days before my period, at which time I start having 1 cup a day. During my period, I usually have around 3 cups a day. Once my period’s over, I have just one cup a week to sort of “maintain” until the cycle starts again. At that rate, I get through about 18-20 bags a month; therefore, I’ve started ordering a subscription of 6 boxes (of 16 bags each) every 5 months via Amazon. I know that some people just have one cup a day all month long, but not only does my method use fewer per month, but I also just enjoy the ritual of increasing my intake during my period. Dare I say, I’ve almost come to look forward to it.
I would never assume that this works for everyone just because it works for me, and I know that many women have it waaaaaay worse than I do. But for around $5 for a box of 16 bags at your local health food store, I think it’s definitely worth a shot.
My rating: 5/5
Have you ever tried Healthy Cycle tea, or any other raspberry leaf teas? What are your thoughts? Do you have any other period tricks? Let me know!
Not sponsored. All opinions are my own.
Edit 5/4/2019: It seems that Traditional Medicinals has stopped making Healthy Cycle Tea. I don’t know if this is permanent or not, but I am deeply disappointed. I tried finding it online, but not only is it virtually impossible to find, but it seems that they had changed the formulation to remove some of the key ingredients. In a perfect world, I imagine that they are simply returning the recipe to its former glory before returning Healthy Cycle to the shelves. In the meantime, I’m on the hunt for an alternative.