Red Raspberry Leaf for Menstrual cycles

Red Raspberry Leaf for Menstrual cycles

Some of us have to deal with uncomfortable symptoms during our menstrual cycles. These can be mild or so bad that they hinder our lives.

People with these symptoms, usually look for relief from them. There are quite a few things on the market that may help and red raspberry leaf is one of them.

For this post, information about the leaves and how they may provide relieve will be presented.

Icky hormonal symptoms

Our menstrual cycles come with hormonal fluctuations. Depending on one’s body, the reaction to these fluctuations may be quite poor. These bad reactions are what causes the pesky symptoms that plague a lot of people each cycle.

The symptoms are most commonly experienced in the luteal phase (PMS/PMDD) of our cycle and during our periods. They can also show up a couple of days before ovulation, the day of ovulation and for a couple of days after our periods end.

The symptoms that people may experience include the following:

  • GI issues (loose stools, gassiness, constipation, nausea etc.).
  • Acne
  • Body aches and pains.
  • A sore throat, runny nose, stuffy nose and sneezing (lesser known symptoms!).
  • Headaches and migraines.
  • Abdominal and pelvic cramps.
  • Ovarian pain during ovulation.
  • Mood issues.
  • Fatigue and/or insomnia.
  • Lightheadedness/dizziness.
  • Cravings and increased hunger.
  • Heavy bleeding during periods.
  • Spotting in between periods.

There are other possible symptoms than what is on this list but those are the most common ones. Some people deal with the same ones each month at the same intensity or there may be some variations.

About red raspberry leaves

Raspberries are one of many types of berries and they are one of the most popular among them. As loved as they are, not very many people know that the leaves from the raspberry plant possibly have a slew of benefits.

If you have a raspberry plant and are interested in using the leaves, you must harvest them before the plant blooms. They are then to be dried until they can be crumbled easily. It is best to wait to crumble them until right when you are ready to use them though.

Most people who use red raspberry leaves, make tea with them. This can be done by steeping one tablespoon of the crumbled leaves in one cup of boiling water for 10-15 minutes. The smell of this tea is said to be very pleasant with a fruity, black tea flavor to it. People also say it is slightly sweet on it’s own.

You can also get red raspberry leaves in prepared tea bags, liquid drops, capsules and K-Cups.

There are numerous nutrients in these leaves. They include vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, B vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium. It may also have some other antioxidant properties as well.

How it may help during menstrual cycles

Red raspberry leaves have been used as traditional medicine since around the mid 1700s. There has been a combination of anecdotal and some scientific evidence that it actually helps.

The hormonal symptoms it may help with include the following:

  • Menstrual cramps
  • Heavy periods
  • Spotting in between periods
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Sore throat
  • Breast pain
  • Fatigue

It has been said that these leaves may be helpful due to the nutrient and antioxidant content. Most notable is the vitamin B6, calcium and magnesium that they contain. These are nutrients that have been shown to help with hormonal symptoms by balancing things out.

To see if red raspberry leaves help with one’s menstrual cycle, drinking the tea or taking capsules are options. If one chooses to drink the tea- no more than three cups a day is recommended. If one chooses to take capsules instead of tea- up to 900 mg per day is recommended.

Red raspberry leaves can be taken every single day to prevent symptoms, during the luteal phase of one’s cycle or whenever it is needed.

Other possible benefits

There are some other things that red raspberry leaves could possibly help with. They are as follows:

  • Morning sickness.
  • Inducing labor- Very, very little evidence for this so don’t count on it.
  • Respiratory viruses and all that comes with them.
  • GI viruses and all that comes with them.
  • Non-hormonal headaches and migraines.
  • Non-hormonal diarrhea.
  • Relief of skin conditions such as eczema and rashes.
  • Increase of insulin sensitivity.

It is important to note that there also may be some estrogenic effects so anyone who is sensitive to that hormone should be careful.

My use of red raspberry leaves

I found out about using red raspberry leaves for menstrual cycle symptoms years ago. At first, I tried to drink three cups of the tea a day but I got kind of sick of that. I then switched to taking capsules of it daily.

As I recall, doing this really helped reduce my symptoms. I didn’t experience much in the way of nausea as I usually did and my menstrual cramps were all but non-existent.

I remember being very excited that I found something that helped me. After a while, I completely stopped buying them though. This was because I kept forgetting to put them in my Amazon cart and then I eventually kind of forgot about them.

For the past year or two, I have started to keep around red raspberry leaf teabags. I have begun to use it sporadically again- a couple days before my period begins when I have nausea. It takes the discomfort away pretty quickly which is great. I also drink some the first day of my period as it diminishes any cramps I may get.

I am planning to buy the capsules and start taking them everyday instead of just a few days a month. I am not going to get my hopes up but it would be nice to have even less symptoms than I have now (Claritin hasn’t been a complete cure)!

I will also keep the tea around to help with sore throats, coughs and possible immune system benefits.

These leaves could help you!

So, I typed all of this to say that this may be an option for people if they are struggling with their menstrual cycles and have not yet tried these leaves. It sure has helped me a lot and I am glad I found out about it.

Have any of you tried red raspberry leaves? If so, did they help you at all?

Thanks for reading!

Affiliate disclaimer: Some of the links on my site might be affiliate. This means I may make a commission on any clicks and purchases people make.

Medical disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and I am not telling you what to do in regards to your health. Consult your doctor for an evaluation before taking any herb or supplement.

#periodcrampsrelief #redraspberryleaf #traditionalmedicine #hormonalimbalance #pms #pmddtreatment #menstrualcup #tea #chamomiletea

Having a PMS/PMDD Toolbox

Having a PMS/PMDD Toolbox

PMS and PMDD are two things that many women have to deal with. While PMS is milder, they both can cause a lot of discomfort physically and mentally.

When it is that time of your cycle where things get really bad for you and you need some relief, having helpful resources in one place may do wonders. This can be called your “toolbox.”

In this post, more about having a toolbox and what to put inside of it will be discussed.

Hormones and our menstrual cycles

There are three key types of hormones that play a huge role in our menstrual cycles. They are estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone (yes, women need this one too!).

During the phases of our cycles, these aforementioned hormones do different things. Here is a quick run down of which ones are doing what during the days of our cycle:

Days 1-7: Estrogen is rising and progesterone levels decrease.

Days 8-14: Estrogen and testosterone are rising together. Progesterone is low.

Days 15-22: First, progesterone rises with estrogen dropping. Estrogen rises again during this time.

Days 23-28 (an average cycle length): Estrogen and progesterone decrease.

Sensitivity and/or genetics

Everyone is different when it comes to their experiences with their menstrual cycles. Some get through them without any struggles. Unfortunately, others are not so lucky.

There are a lot of women who are very sensitive to the hormone shifts that happen in our cycles. This leads them to deal with physical and mental symptoms that usually come on after ovulation.

There also may be some genetic component to this. Usually if one person has hormonal issues, other biologically related people in their family have them too.

PMS (premenstrual syndrome) and PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder)are both the names of the groups of hormonal symptoms. PMS can range in intensity from mild to severe and PMDD is even beyond that.

The following is a list of the hormonal symptoms that both PMS and PMDD can include:

Mental-

  • Sadness
  • Impatience
  • Anger
  • Low level of self-confidence
  • Cravings
  • Anxiety

Physical-

  • Bloating and weight gain
  • Aches and pains
  • Gum irritation
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Headaches and/or migraines
  • Lightheadedness
  • Gassiness
  • Loose stools
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Urinary frequency

While the mental symptoms in PMS and PMDD are similar, PMDD is more severe. It may even greatly disrupt aspects of women’s lives such as romantic relationships and employment.

Regardless of whether someone has PMS or PMDD, there are sure to be times when relief is wanted as soon as possible.

Why have a PMS/PMDD toolbox?

We are not talking about having a Craftsman toolbox in this case-although those are great too. We are talking about a toolbox that you can reach into when your hormones are causing chaos to your mind and/or body

Everyone has a certain amount of discomfort that they can handle. Having a PMS/PMDD toolbox around when you have gone over that amount is extremely helpful.

The following are the benefits of having a toolbox always available:

  • Provide relatively quick relief from physical symptoms that you are having trouble with.
  • May help you channel negative feelings.
  • May help boost your mood so that you can get through the rest of the day or night.
  • May help keep you from making bad decisions that may negatively effect you later on.
  • May help you learn more about and be in tune with yourself.

The idea of having a toolbox for mental and physical health is great for people without PMS or PMDD, too. This is because everyone has times where they may need some quick help to feel better.

How to make your PMS/PMDD toolbox

Okay, so we know the reasons why having a PMS/PMDD toolbox is a good idea. Now, let’s get into how to make one.

Here are the steps to take for making one that will serve your specific needs:

Step 1- Pick out a container

Here is a super cute backpack idea to hold items in!

You can use anything you want to put your PMS/PMDD-helping items in. Some ideas include a backpack, large bin, medium sized bin, duffel bag, laundry hamper and a large bucket. Heck, you could even use an actual toolbox if you wanted to!

A backpack with multiple compartments is a particularly nice idea. This makes it so you can section out your items and organize them-if you are that type of person. Just throwing it all in their is fine, too.

You may need to switch to a larger “toolbox” depending on how many items you decide you want to put in one.

Step 2- Pick out the items that you think will help you

Before you pick out your toolbox items, you have to ask yourself some questions. These include the following:

  • “What do I usually struggle with mentally and physically that is caused by my menstrual cycle?”
  • “What days during my cycle do I experience these bad feelings?”
  • “What has made me feel better in the past?”
  • “What am I interested in trying to help me feel better?”

Along with asking yourself these questions, you should also write down a list of emotions and feelings that you struggle with instead of just thinking it. This will make it easier to figure out what you might want to put in your toolbox.

Here are examples of things you can put in:

For mental/emotional health-

  • A journal to write out what you are feeling.
  • An inspirational quote book.
  • Written down names of videos that you find relaxing. All you have to do is type them in on your phone, computer, tablet etc. and start listening.
  • Written down situations that make you laugh or just feel good and loved.
  • A sheet detailing breathing exercises.
  • A CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) workbook to work out of.
  • A self-love workbook to work out of.
  • Calming essential oils such as chamomile, bergamot orange, lavender and peppermint.
  • Packets of tea such as fennel, Cup of Calm, chamomile and Tension Tamer.
  • A coloring book and colored pencils.
  • List of feel-good movies that you are interested in watching and are available to stream.
  • Special sketchbook if you like drawing.
  • Picture books and scrapbooks that show good times/family/friends.

Physical-

  • Tylenol, Advil and/or ibuprofen for aches and pains.
  • A heated blanket and/or a heat pack. These are great for aches, pains and for a general calming feeling in the body.
  • Tea packets for nausea such as ginger, peppermint, red raspberry leaf, cinnamon (you can use cinnamon bark sticks), turmeric, rosemary, fennel and chamomile.
  • Tums for bad heartburn.
  • Vick’s Vaporub for aches and pains.
  • Gas-X for gassiness that can occur.
  • Diarrhea medication if you are someone who experiences a lot of loose stools on certain days of your cycle.
  • A comfy outfit (s).
  • Magnesium spray for insomnia, aches and pains.
  • Pieces of candy drops that help with digestive upset.
  • Lotion for itchy skin.
  • Your favorite treat that you only indulge in during certain times of the month.
  • Sleeping pills that you only use during certain times of the month when you get insomnia.

There are probably more things that you can put in your toolbox but these are just to help you get started!

There are two things of note here. One is that you should check the ingredients of teas and medications before you use them as part of your mental/physical health resources. You may be allergic to them or they may interact with other medication you are taking.

The other thing to note is that if you are putting in any kind of candy drops or treats, you should regularly look at the expiration date and replenish the supply if need-be.

Step 3- Proper placement

Once you have your toolbox put together, it is time to figure out where to put it.

It is important to put it in an accessible place. Somewhere where you don’t have to spend time digging it out as this might make you more frustrated than you already are. You could put it under your bed(if you are using a flat bin), in your closet (not under things), by the side of your bed etc.

If you live with someone, it might be a good idea to tell them what the toolbox is for and where it is. This is because if you are really struggling, it could be helpful to have them go get it for you and help get out the things you need right away.

Other things you can have around

Because some helpful things might not fit in your toolbox container, you can simply keep them near it. Here are some other items to consider:

  • Foam roller to help your back during certain times of the month when it gets tight.
  • A heated blanket if it didn’t fit in your toolbox container.
  • A massage gun for your tight muscles and back.
  • A red light therapy lamp which can help with pain, moods and energy levels.

Another thing to consider having is a calming or meditation app on your phone.

Long-term help

As stated before, a PMS/PMDD toolbox is for quick relief when you are really struggling. There are certain things that you can do or take each day that may reduce and/or lesson these times though. These include the following:

  • Cleaning up your diet if you don’t eat very healthy.
  • Taking supplements such as calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B6 and magnesium.
  • Getting regular exercise.
  • Weekly counseling.
  • Keeping in touch with loved ones.
  • Taking birth control to help balance hormones.
  • Taking an antidepressant.

In conclusion, consider a toolbox

As you can see from this post, having a PMS/ PMDD toolbox could be a life changing thing for you. It may not be a cure, but it can help you feel better on short notice if you carefully select the items you put into it.

Do you keep around something like this when you are having a rough time? Let me know!

Thanks for reading!

#mentalhealth #womenshealth #pmddtreatment #pmstreatment #Tools2Thrive #healthissues #hormonalimbalance #pcos #pmsmoodswings #pmssupplements #pmddsupplements

My PCOS Journal Is Here!

My PCOS Journal Is Here!

I am really excited that my PCOS journal is ready to buy. My belief is that it will really help someone that is dealing with the diagnosis.

In this post, I will discussing my journal in depth.

Why a PCOS journal?

I wanted to make a PCOS journal because helping other women/non-binary people is one of my passions in life.

There are a myriad of symptoms that one can experience with a PCOS diagnosis. They can range from mild to severe depending on the person. No matter what the severity of the symptoms are, most people want to get rid of them or at least manage them better.

I didn’t see any good PCOS journals upon looking for them so I thought that maybe I should make one. Not everyone likes the idea of journals but I feel that those that do may find value in it.

What’s inside the journal

This journal was fun for me to create! I put everything that I could think of for PCOS management in it. I will be reviewing it periodically and seeing if there is anything else that I think should be added.

The current contents of the journal includes all of the following:

  1. Symptom documentation page- This has places for you to write down the symptoms you deal with and circle how severe they are.
  2. PCOS-related goals- This has places for you to write down any goals you have that relate to your PCOS diagnosis (i.e. weight loss).
  3. Diet plan- This has places for you to write down your current diet, new diet, supplements/medications currently taking and supplements/medications you are interested in taking.
  4. Skincare- This page has places for you to write down the skincare products you currently use, ones you are interested in and your skincare routine (one you currently have and/or one you want to start doing).
  5. Hair care- This is a page for you to write down if you have any hair loss/thinning or hirsutism and how you are dealing with them.
  6. Fitness plans- There are three fitness routine planning sheets so you can change up your routine during the time period of using the journal.
  7. 90 daily journal pages- Each day you get to write down your menstrual cycle information, any symptoms you are experiencing, food intake, exercise done/calories burned and how you felt your day went overall.
  8. Test result documentation- This page is for writing down the results you have gotten from the tests that people with PCOS(or suspected) get.
  9. Reflection- This page is for writing down how things went overall during the entire 90 days.

To increase the functionality of the journal, one can get nice bookmarks for it.

As with my other journals and planners, this one is large sized. The cover design that you see in the picture in this post, is not the final one as I have a better design coming out. So if you are interested in this journal, stay tuned for the one with the better cover!

My women’s health business

The name of my business is the same as this blog’s name- Conquering This Life. It specifically targets women and non-binary people who want to take control of their lives in varying ways.

Right now my products include the following:

  1. Women’s Health Daily Journal and Planner– This combines a journal and planner all in one. There are sections to track your menstrual cycle information, any symptoms you may have, any supplements/medications you have taken, the exercise you did, what you need/want to do that day, what you ate that day and your overall thoughts about the day. This is a 90 day journal with two pages per day. I have been using it everyday for a while now and love it. If no one else buys it that is fine, I will continue to!
  2. PCOS journal
  3. PMDD journal– I did a post on this one a while ago.
  4. Workout log book- Coming soon.
  5. Beauty journal– This is a 90 day journal for you to track, record, document and manage all aspects of your beauty.
  6. PMS and PMDD rescue journal- This is coming soon and I will talk more about this in a post next week.
  7. Food journal- Coming soon.
  8. Self-care journal- Coming soon.

All of these journals/planners are created and designed by me. Them being a little different than the others out there on the market is important to me. This is why I want to put my own touches on them. I do not want to put out generic products.

In the future all of these will be decked out. Meaning that they will be designed even nicer, hardcovered, with built in tabs etc. I will also be selling through a different

Believe it or not, this is not all about money to me. I am not cool and savvy like a lot of people who make good amounts of money online are- I will never make much of anything. I know that.

I truly do want to help people manage their health and life, though. That is why I have begun to create these products.

I hope this PCOS journal is helpful

PCOS is a rough diagnosis to have- I know that firsthand. My hope is that this journal could be something that one can add to their arsenal when it comes to managing the disease.

Thanks for reading!

#pcosweightloss #inositolpcos #berberinepcos #womenshealth #hormonalimbalance #journalsandplanners #business #fitness #diet #supplements

Claritin for Severe PMS/PMDD: My Experiment and Results

Claritin for Severe PMS/PMDD: My Experiment and Results

If you have read any of my blog posts before, you may know that I deal with pretty bad PMS/PMDD symptoms. This has led me down the path of trying to “crack the code” on myself. By that I mean I have been searching for ways to fix these hormonal problems of mine.

A couple of months ago, I read about using anti-histamines (like Claritin) to possibly treat PMS and/or PMDD. I was skeptical about it but I decided to try it recently to see if it would do anything for me at all.

This post will be explaining about why anti-histamines may be of use for hormonal issues and my experience using one of them.

Histamine and PMS/PMDD

What usually comes to mind when one thinks of allergies is a reaction to things like pollen, mold, dust, weed, grass, flowers, food etc. They typically do not think that a person can be allergic to their hormones.

Believe it or not, the cause of women’s bouts with bad PMS or PMDD could actually be from an allergic response to our hormones. Interesting, huh?!

The cause of allergic responses comes down to something called, histamine.

A histamine is a compound that plays roles in many different responses and functions that happen inside of us. One of the responses is that of producing an allergic reaction in our bodies. When our immune system does not like something, too much histamine is released which then causes the allergy symptoms.

Histamine is also involved in the digestion process and neurotransmission. Because of all this, symptoms of too much histamine can look like the following:

  • Itching
  • Accelerated heart rate.
  • Skin flushing.
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loose stools
  • Sneezing, stuffy nose, post nasal drip
  • Headaches
  • Excess burping and/or flatulence.
  • Abdominal pain and bloating.
  • Hives and/or rashes.
  • Fatigue and/or insomnia.
  • Chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness.
  • Low blood pressure.
  • Brain fog
  • Depression and anxiety.
  • OCD behaviors.

Do any of these symptoms look/sound familiar? They are all things that happen to many women when they are in certain phases of their menstrual cycles. Hence, the idea that some of us have allergic responses to our hormone levels that make it so our symptoms are worse than the average woman might report.

Using anti-histamines to treat severe PMS and PMDD

Because of the idea that histamine has a role to play in PMS and PMDD symptoms, anti-histamines may be of use.

There are some on the market that most people have heard of. They are as follows:

  • Benadryl- This is a “first generation” anti-histamine. It is also used for sleeping and nausea. Tends to have more side effects than the other ones.
  • Claritin- This is a newer anti-histamine. Causes less drowsiness than Benadryl.
  • Zyrtec -This is a newer anti-histamine. Causes less drowsiness than Benadryl.
  • Allegra- This is a newer anti-histamine. Causes less drowsiness than all of the others.

If one wants to try out taking an anti-histamine for their hormonal symptoms, it is important to do some research to see which one would be the best for them to try (if they have no experience with these medications). Also, one must make sure to stick to the correct dosage and not go over it.

My experience so far

I had first read about histamine and hormones in the Period Repair Manual book by Lara Briden. To be honest, I did not really think much about the theory until I was on the PMDD subreddit a few weeks back. On there, some women were saying that they felt almost cured from their hormonal symptoms after taking an anti-histamine.

That really intrigued me of course.

I had some Claritin Kid’s syrup in the cupboard for my son so I decided that I was going to start taking it everyday and see what happened. Since I am always worried about side effects, I was nervous about how it might affect me but I knew that it would probably not be as bad as Benadryl.

The dosage for people aged 6 and up for Claritin is 10 mg. I decided to start taking 5 mg in the morning and then 5 mg at night.

The only thing I remember from the first day of taking it was that my nose was significantly less itchy ( I think I may have environmental allergies, too). Nothing much beyond that though.

Fast forward to now (about two weeks later), I have noticed so many positive things that taking Claritin has done for me! I have had virtually none of my hormonal symptoms I am used to having on certain days of my cycles.

This is so exciting to me!

I have not experienced any brain fog, itchiness, severe gastric distress, hysterical crying, headaches, cramps, rumination, anger, post-nasal drip, aches or lightheadedness. Amazing!

I still had a little bit of nausea before my period started on the day of typing this post but it was not to the level I usually deal with. It was actually barely of bother to me.

I plan on continuing to take Claritin but possibly cycle on and off so that my body does not get too used it.

Worth a try!

I am really glad that I stumbled across this theory as it seems to have provided a good solution to my hormonal issues.

If you deal with severe PMS or PMDD and you are at your wits end, consider trying an antihistamine. It is important to not expect miracles though as the histamine intolerance may not be what is driving your symptoms.

Thanks for reading!

If you have bad physical PMS/PMDD symptoms, head on over to my subreddit to talk about it! You can find it here: https://www.reddit.com/r/SeverePhysicalPMS/

Disclosure: Some of the links on my site may be affiliate links. This means that I will earn a commission on links you click through and make a purchase.

#allergytesting #hormonalimbalance #estrogen #progesterone #claritind #claritingeneric #larabriden #menstrualcycle #ovulation #pms #pmdd