It’s May and that means Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month *cue confetti*. As a member of the community (South Chinese) who has a uterus, I’ve been on the hunt for period products that support the community and help Shark Week be somewhat of smooth sailing. I found it in Elix and August, making this month’s cycle a total breeze.
Period healing starts from within and Elix acknowledges that. Founder Lulu Ge’s journey of going off of birth control is similar to mine: the heavy blending, mood swings, acne 24/7, and debilitating cramps. Ge used the knowledge of Chinese herbal medicine from her grandfather to solve her period pains, thus Elix’s Cycle Balance was born. These personalized period drops are made to manage the demobilizing symptoms. My box shipped discreetly to my doorstep and I opened it to reveal Zoey’s Digestif, and Daily Harmony and a three month’s supply of Cycle Balance. A gorgeous card was encased, detailing how to take Cycle Balance. A week leading up to my period, I took six dropper fulls (1 tsp) twice a day. Some days I did it under the tongue, and the herbal-sweet taste was pleasant, especially if I was in a rush. Most times though, my choice of administration was in a cup of tea or electrolyte drink. Over the course of these months I noticed my mood level out, very few acne spots, and most relieving: barely any cramps. Cycle Balance literally changed my relationship with my period by allowing me to be kinder to myself during this time of the month and honoring my body’s functions to keep me alive and healthy. Holistic medicine has been a staple at my Chinese grandmother’s household, so I’m grateful to have a brand that embodies those practices. To maintain my health throughout the other three weeks of the month, I switch between the Zoey’s Digestif and Daily Harmony drops.
Daily Harmony is a super blend of Traditional Chinese Medicine from ginger, white peony, rehmannia root (Chinese foxglove root), and my favorite: reishi, to just name a few. Each ingredient has a tab to learn more about it (I love accessible knowledge!), so you can know what exactly is going into your body and why. Daily Harmony aids in improving my focus, balancing my moods, boosting energy, and supporting me during bedtime. I take this as an everyday vitamin mixed in with my morning water. Thanks to these drops, I’ve been able to show up for myself minus the stress and anxiety that used to plague me.
To sooth my tummy rumbles, I’ve incorporated Zoey’s Digestif before I eat. This cinnamon flavored elixir has aided in my upset stomach and supports digestion (even when I eat something not-so-healthy). It claims to ease bloating, and I can confirm that my waistline has never looked better. It also claims to fight nausea, which (thankfully) I cannot attest to, but due to the ginger, cinnamon, and orange peel in this bottle, I believe it. Zoey’s Digestif is your stomach’s best friend.
Bonus: Elix offers a scholarship for the possibility to win a three-month supply. Enter here.
Now for the fun part… pads! And August, co-founded by Japanese and Taiwanese Nadya Okamoto, a native New Yorker who moved to Portland, Oregon with her mom and sister to escape abuse from her father. She learned from homeless women in her area who used socks and grocery store bags to deal with periods, and sought to end period stigma and eliminate the period tax. August has made period products a normal part of conversation, and dare I say…fun, with their colorful packaging (100% biodegradable cotton and wrappers), diverse models, and Turkish 100% cotton in all their products. Their transparency tab shares how pads and tampons are manufactured, in China and Germany respectively. I tested out the pads and had such a soft, cushiony time. It is pure cotton, which felt super soft and snug as I went about my day from biking, yoga, walking the dogs, to sleeping and chilling on the floor with friends during game night. The pads come in a variety of absorbency from Day, Night, Long Night, and Liners. I used Long Night on my heaviest flows, Day and Night during their respective times, and liners on the tail end of my cycle. Each pad offers eight layers of super protection (so no crime scenes in my undies) and no pesticides or bleach, making it a healthful choice when I’m craving pizza and ice cream. August also works with schools and makes donations to girls in need of period products. Their latest super-duper-amazing-deed as of May 10th was covering the period tax for consumers who shop in person. Just sign up on their website, fill out the info, and they’ll reimburse the cost of tax. Marvelous menstruation news! August is for anyone who’s looking to embrace their cycle, one pad at a time.