It seems like even before hitting puberty, we are cautioned about the trials and tribulations we will face with the onset of menstruation. It is the bad time of the month that gives us cramps, stains, and unpleasant smells. The truth is, for most of us, periods aren’t complicated and it has never been easier to keep yourself clean and green on your time of the month.

Clean Up

Forget the benefits you have heard about in regards to washing your lady parts with shower gels, bar soaps, and douches. Instead of cleaning and deodorizing, they are messing with your pH levels and drying you out. Using these products can actually lead to infection! Since your vagina is basically self-cleaning, all you have to do is freshen up by washing externally with water. Add it to the list of reasons vaginas, and women, are pure magic.

Tampons, Pads, Cloth, Period Panties and Cups, oh my!

Be picky. Whatever product you choose will be in direct contact with, if not inside of, your vagina. Choose disposable tampons and pads made with 100% organic cotton. Once you read the fine print, you may see that conventional brands “may contain” a lot of ingredients in their menstruation products. You should know the exact composition of what is going into or right up against your vagina, and you can’t do better than 100% cotton for a disposable.

What about reusable products? Enter cloth, period panties, and cups! Cloth pads available as liners to overnight options made with breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics are a great alternative to disposables. Just wash, dry, use and repeat! Period panties are a newer option designed to use without pads or tampons, or with them for extra protection. Able to hold up to 2 tampons worth (whoa!), they are available in light, medium and heavy giving you the freedom to go product and leak free during your period.

And now, cups! Menstrual cups work by collecting your flow instead of absorbing it. With the cup, you don’t have to worry about Toxic Shock Syndrome, leaks, odors or ever being caught without period protection. You can also safely use a cup with an IUD. Score! Check out “Put a Cup In It” to look at different cups and take a quiz to help you find the right cup for you!

Holistic Support

There are tons of ways to help support yourself and your flow during your time of the month. For ladies with a heavy flow, turn to cinnamon. For hundreds of years, women have taken cinnamon internally to reduce menstrual bleeding. Enjoying a tea of 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon with 1 cup hot water once a day during menstruation can help curb a heavy flow. (1) For a milder effect, dust this healing spice on your food and drinks throughout the day especially if you are nursing or pregnant.

What about the rising in popularity yoni steams? Simply put, you sit over a steaming pot of steeping herbs for about 30 minutes. It is relaxing, gentle and has been used since ancient times to treat a slew of ailments from cramps and fibroids to infections. Since they are known to relax the cervix and stimulate circulation, avoid yoni steams if you are trying to get pregnant, are pregnant, menstruating or in active miscarriage. Do check with your health practitioner before embarking on a yoni steam or cinnamon supplement regimen.

Track It

Menstruation is a part of womanhood that is both sacred and a nuisance, especially during swimsuit season, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. You now know how to keep your cycle green and your lady parts clean! What is your favorite natural product to use during your cycle? Any products you are excited to try? Questions? Comment below and let us know.