We often speak to the cycles and seasons of nature here at SuperFeast, especially how we as humans experience this within ourselves. The menstrual cycle is one of the most striking to witness in this reflection.
The menstrual cycle is broken down into four phases:
Phase 1: Menstruation | Winter | Yin
Phase 2: Follicular | Spring | Yin
Phase 3: Ovulation | Summer | Yang
Phase 4: Luteal | Fall | Yang
From a Chinese Medicine perspective, we look to the transformation of YinYang and the smooth flow of Qi and Blood when focusing on menstrual cycle health. We also look to the Kidneys, Liver, Spleen and Heart, in relation to the Uterus. It is also said that women are governed by Blood, therefore when working to establish and maintain the vital health of a woman's body, it is imperative that a woman’s lifestyle tends to, and nurtures her Blood.
The menstrual cycle itself is a flow of Kidney-Yin and Kidney-Yang, as the Kidneys are the origin of menstrual blood (referred to as Tian Gui), and are also the Mother of the Liver, which provides Blood to the Uterus. In the first half of the cycle, Yin grows, reaching its peak at ovulation as it transforms into Yang which transforms back to Yin just before the onset of menstruation.
“Menstrual blood is not Blood in the same way as the Blood that nourishes the sinews for example, but it is a precious fluid deriving directly from the Kidney Essence.” - The Foundations of Chinese Medicine
SuperFeast I Am Gaia Blend & Menstrual Health
The SuperFeast I Am Gaia blend celebrates all women of all ages. A collection of the most potent and adored tonic herbs, those traditionally used to invigorate and sustain feminine health.
Angelica Root (Angelica sinensis / dong quai)
Angelica root (especially when grown Dì Dào (地道) and harvested consciously as ours is) is a famed gynaecological regulator and is used traditionally to support long term menstrual health, fertility and all stages of menopause through its regulation of the hormones generally. It is known for its ability to nourish and build Blood, regulate the menstrual cycle, and alleviate menstrual pain. It is most frequently used after the menstrual period to replenish lost Blood.
This herb is believed to have a warming and tonifying effect on the uterus, helping to promote healthy Blood circulation and regulate hormonal balance. It’s analgesic effects (pain relieving) are attributed to its double direction, regulating effect on the uterus. Angelica root is often used to treat amenorrhea, PMS and menopausal symptoms.
Asparagus root (Asparagus cochinchinensis)
Asparagus Root is highly regarded in Chinese Medicine for its ability to nourish the Kidney Yin and promote fluid balance in the body. It is often used in formulas for addressing symptoms such as dryness, heat, or scanty menstrual flow.
As one of the most prized Shen (spirit) tonics asparagus root is said to open the heart centre; an action which helps to bring forth the virtues of the heart; love, patience, peace of mind. Asparagus root facilitates a “birds eye view” of life to unfold, allowing one to rise above life’s fluctuations.
Rehmannia Root (Rehmannia glutinosa)
Rehmannia Root is a prized herb in Chinese Medicine known for its nourishing and tonifying properties. Rehmannia nourishes Yin Jing, an action that strengthens reproductive functions and fertility. Due to its potent Blood building properties rehmannia, warm in nature, helps to warm the uterine channel, while assisting to clear disharmonies in menstruation and fertility; it is supported heavily by Angelica in this.
Rehmannia Root is often used in formulas for nourishing and harmonizing the reproductive system.
Poria Mushroom (Poria cocos)
Poria Mushroom is a medicinal fungus widely used in Chinese Medicine for its ability to regulate water metabolism in the body and promote overall balance. It is often employed to address conditions related to dampness and water retention.
In the context of the menstrual cycle, Poria Mushroom can help alleviate symptoms such as bloating, water retention, and breast tenderness. By promoting fluid balance and supporting the Spleen and Kidney’s, Poria can help to ensure the smooth flow of Qi and Blood during menstruation.
White Peony (Paeonia lactiflora)
White Peony is a highly regarded herb in Chinese Medicine, renowned for its ability to build, regulate and cleanse the Blood. It is one of the most valued women’s herbs, used traditionally to regulate the menstrual cycle and hormonal health, tonify and purify the Blood and imprive the quality of the skin.
A potent anti-spasmodic, White Peony is able to relax the smooth muscles making it highly effective in treating menstrual cramping. It also has a calming effect on the Liver, which can help alleviate symptoms of irritability and emotional tension.
Schisandra Berry (Schisandra chinensis)
Schisandra Berry is considered an adaptogenic herb in Chinese Medicine, known for its ability to strengthen the body's response to stress. It is often used to support hormonal balance, enhance energy, and improve overall vitality.
Schisandra Berry is particularly beneficial during the menstrual cycle due to its effect on the HPA and HPO axis, both of which play a crucial role in the production and regulation of hormonal cascades within the body. Schisandra berry nourishes the Liver and Kidneys, both integral to hormonal balance and menstrual cycle health.
Goji Berry (Lycium barbarum)
Goji Berry has a long history of use in Chinese Medicine for its nourishing and tonifying properties. It is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, making it a valuable herb for overall health and vitality. Goji berry is a Blood building herb, and is also understood to support the Liver and Kidneys. This herb is often used in formulas for improving fertility, boosting energy, and supporting overall well-being.
Jujube Fruit (Ziziphus)
Jujube Fruit is a well-known herb in Chinese Medicine and is commonly used as a gentle tonic for nourishing the Blood and harmonising a formula. It is highly regarded for its ability to nourish and calm the spirit, making it beneficial for emotional imbalances associated with the menstrual cycle, such as irritability, anxiety, and insomnia.
Jujube Fruit is also believed to support the Spleen and Stomach functions, which are essential for healthy digestion and nutrient absorption. By promoting proper digestion and assimilation of nutrients, Jujube Fruit indirectly supports overall menstrual health and well-being.
If you are currently deep diving into all things menstrual cycle and hormonal health, then we have you covered. Check out some of our podcast episodes below to learn more.