How to Have a Zero Waste Period Without Cramps

How to Have a Zero Waste Period Without Cramps
How to Have a Zero Waste Period Without Cramps

Not sure about you, but I suffer from terrible cramps during my period. Typically, the only solution is Ibuprofen prescribed to me by my gynecologist – it’s 800 MG and the only thing that knocks my cramps out of the park – well, until I found Semaine Health (but more on that in a sec). The Ibuprofen my doctor prescribes always comes in plastic pill bottles. This is unavoidable, and as a zero waster, it does make me cringe. Still, no one should be in pain and health comes first, right? So I made this an exception. Otherwise, I made sure to replace single-use pads with period underwear and reusable pads. This helped me have a zero waste period – but there was still that one bottle of plastic I could never avoid – my Ibuprofen. However, recently I came across a brand called Semaine Health – they’re a plant-based period pain reliever that comes in a glass jar. Semaine was kind enough to let me try out their product and WOW was I impressed. This stuff works, which is why I’m even talking about it. Here’s how to have a zero waste period without cramps.

This post is kindly sponsored by Semaine Health. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post also contains some affiliate links. This means if you choose to purchase one of these items I will make a very small commission at no extra charge to you. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

How to Have a Zero Waste Period Without Cramps

How to Have a Zero Waste Period Without Cramps

To have a zero waste period, the first steps you should take are finding alternatives to single-use pads and tampons. I personally love Thinx period underwear. They’re so comfortable and you kind of forget you even have your period while wearing them. My favorite are the super hip huggers! Before I made the switch, I was sending about 36 pads to the landfill in just one period cycle. That’s a lot of waste!

Once I switched over to period underwear, I had practically no waste – minus my Ibuprofen. I felt like that was something I couldn’t find an alternative to and made an exception for it. But then I stumbled across Semaine and I’ve been in love ever since.

With Semaine, there’s no waste – it gets mailed to you without any plastic in a cardboard box. And, the plant-based capsules come in a reusable glass jar. What more could a zero waster ask for? Well – it actually works. It’s not all talk.

If I’ve peaked your interest, here’s more about this incredible zero waste pain reliever!

How to Have a Zero Waste Period Without Cramps

What is Semaine? What is it made of?

Semaine is a plant-based period pain reliever designed to reduce inflammation in the body. Ibuprofen is technically an anti-inflammatory too, but there’s one big difference – Semaine is plant-based and only has clean vegan ingredients.

How to Have a Zero Waste Period Without Cramps

There are 9 super powered plant extracts in Semaine:

  • Ashwagandha – stress and fatigue reducer
  • Boswellia – anti-inflammatory from frankincense
  • Curcumin – the active, inflammation lowering ingredient in turmeric
  • Green tea – caffeine-free energy booster and antioxidant
  • Magnesium – muscle relaxer shown to reduce period cramps
  • Quercetin – plant flavonoid and ant-histamine
  • Resveratrol – anti-oxidant from wine and chocolate
  • Silymarin – liver booster from milk thistle
  • Vitamin D3 – vegan sunshine made from lichen

Semaine Health lists these ingredients and goes into detail about what they do on their website, which is amazing. Each one is sourced from the highest quality. Six of their ingredients are sourced from Italy, two from the U.S., and one from India. More details about their suppliers can be found on their ingredients page – I love how candid they are!

The pills are always formulated without additives, hormones, and fillers – something that very well could be in a lot of pain killers. After all, most pain killers don’t openly list ALL their ingredients.

These capsules are also vegan and cruelty free, so that’s a huge perk too!

How to Have a Zero Waste Period Without Cramps

Why switch to Semaine?

I was in a lot of pain on the third day of my period (cramps, body aches, legs feeling heavy) and took a pill – within 30 minutes I had complete relief like I would with Ibuprofen which is incredible.

– Ariana Palmieri (aka Greenify-Me)

Conventional pain killers come in plastic bottles. Prescription medicine bottles are not recycled in every state and often wind up in landfills, or worse – in the environment.

I love the fact Semaine comes in a glass jar. It’s the only pain killer I know that does! And it ships to you in a cardboard box. Zero plastic. You can easily recycle everything at the end of its life.

Also, I love knowing exactly what’s in the items I’m consuming – be it food or a pill. I hate the idea of swallowing a pill that might have fillers inside of it, hormones or other unnamed ingredients.

Not to mention conventional pain killers list a bunch of warnings on the back of their pill bottles. I’ve seen everything from allergies to stomach bleeding listed as potential warnings. That’s not exactly reassuring.

I’m well aware people have various medical complications they need pills for. I’m not against that at all and always believe health comes first. Rather, I’m for pills being improved upon. For example, I’d love to see more pills come in reusable packaging!

If there’s a more eco alternative that actually works – I’m taking it. And that certainly goes for Semaine!

How do you use Semaine?

For the best results, it’s recommended to start taking Semaine 1 to 2 days before your period starts. This will help prepare your body for the increased inflammation that will occur during menstruation before it reaches its peak pain point.

If your period is hard to predict, or you forget to take it a few days before your period starts, it’s okay. Just start as soon as you can and keep taking it all 7 days. This will give your body the anti-inflammation power it needs, even when your period is winding down.

It’s recommended to take 2 pills in the morning and 2 pills in the evening for 7 days. If your period is longer or shorter than 7 days, that’s okay. Taking the pills for 7 days will ensure you’re giving your body exactly what it needs to get you through your period.

Take Semaine with food to aid absorption. That said, you should be able to take it without food too, because they’re formulated to be super bioavailable.

If you miss one meal, don’t stress out – just double up at the next meal and take 4 pills at once. It’ll still get the job done.

Semaine is a subscription service, so you can schedule it to come in time for your period every month. You can choose how often you need Semaine based on how often you get your period (4 weeks? 8 weeks? Semaine has your back). You have the option to choose between 3 to 12 weeks to have it delivered.

Of course, if you just want to try it out you can buy it once. But you do save 10% when you subscribe. Plus subscriptions come with free shipping!

How I took Semaine: My experience

My period cramps are bad. Bad enough where I can be lying in pain on my bed all day long. So the fact this stuff worked, blows my mind.

– Ariana Palmieri (aka Greenify-Me)

When I first got Semaine to sample, I was finishing my period so I kept it for my next cycle. I wanted to have the full experience.

Usually, I get my period around the 6th of every month, so I started taking Semaine two days before (so the 4th). I didn’t feel the effects right away – I did have some PMS symptoms during this time.

That said, once my period actually came, the symptoms were much more bareable than they usually were. According to Semaine, in order to see the best results, you have to take it for a few cycles.

You can also take Semaine with Ibuprofen, should your cramps be a bit much the first time around. The first time trying it, I did take my Ibuprofen, but I only had to take it once – usually I’m popping those pills twice a day for the first 3 days. That’s a huge improvement.

Mind you, my period cramps are bad. Bad enough where I can be lying in pain on my bed all day long. So the fact this stuff worked, blows my mind.

I felt Semaine kick in after about 30 minutes of taking the pill. This is about the same amount of time Ibuprofen takes to kick in too. Once it set in, my body felt so relaxed and de-stressed (totally think the ashwagandha ingredient played a big role in this). I felt calm, at peace. And I could resume life pretty much like normal.

Semaine lasts for a while – I didn’t need to take another pill until the evening, so you can count on it to last for more than just a few hours. Obviously it depends on what time you take it, but from personal experience I’d say it lasts between 6 to 8 hours, if not more.

I didn’t take Semaine the full 7 days – and it still worked

Okay, I admit I didn’t take Semaine 100% correctly the first time around – I didn’t have any pain after my fourth day so I stopped then (don’t do this!). You’re supposed to take it for seven days – even if you don’t have any pain. It helps reduce inflammation and supports your body in multiple ways during your cycle – not just with your pain.

The bottle comes with 28 vegan capsules, so it’s just enough for the recommended dosage of four pills a day (two in the morning, two at night).

Unfortunately because of this, I wasn’t able to fully test out Semaine the second time around with my sample. I kind of wish they gave you enough to last two cycles in one bottle – that’s literally my only critique.

That said, I did use some of it for my second cycle and it still did help a lot in reducing my cramps and overall discomfort. I was in a lot of pain on the third day of my period (cramps, body aches, legs feeling heavy) and took a pill – within 30 minutes I had complete relief like I would with Ibuprofen which is incredible. So you CAN get away with taking it whenever you need it (though it’s much better to do it their way).

How to Have a Zero Waste Period Without Cramps

What I’ve learned while taking Semaine

It seems the more you take it, the more your body builds up anti-inflammatory properties.

According to Semaine, inflammation occurs naturally on your cycle, but painful periods indicate your inflammation is higher than it should be. Semaine not only helps lower pain levels, but also supports your body naturally from cycle to cycle. It’s designed with your whole health in mind – not a quick fix.

With that said, I’ll definitely be taking Semaine (correctly) from here on out. Because it truly does work!

I also used it to help with a headache once and it did the trick too – so it’s not just for period pain relief. This is a pretty darn versatile product, and I absolutely recommend it. I’m excited to start my next cycle using it properly!

It feels so good knowing there’s a natural alternative to Ibuprofen that’s ethically made, waste free and vegan.

So, should you take Semaine?

The answer is yes! I say give it a shot. I was not disappointed with it what so ever.

It’s truly helped me achieve a zero waste period without cramps – I no longer have to worry about the waste I create due to Ibuprofen pill bottles. Semaine comes in a reusable glass jar that can also be easily recycled.

Here are the benefits of taking Semaine, rounded up:

  • Plant-based, clinically studied ingredients
  • Waste-free pain reliever
  • Designed around your natural cycle
  • Decreases bloating and cramping
  • Fewer headaches
  • Increased energy
  • Better workouts
  • Just for 7 days
  • Better for you, better for the planet

I tried it and loved it on the first try. Over 91% of people feel better their first period they take Semaine – so you can expect results fast.

And, you can take it with or without food – it’s designed to not upset your stomach. Unlike conventional pain relievers.

So, what do you have to lose? Give Semaine a shot and let me know what you think!

What are some other natural ways to combat cramps?

Raspberry leaf tea

Along with Semaine, I like to take raspberry leaf tea. It’s amazing for reducing cramps and helping me feel more relaxed. I get mine in bulk from my local bulk bins, but Yogi also sells good raspberry leaf tea (their tea bags are also compostable).

Light yoga

Also, if I’m not in too much pain, a little light yoga can help. I recommend child’s pose specifically because there’s something so soothing about it. If you get tension in your back, shoulders and neck during menstruation, this pose is especially helpful. It also gently flexes your reproductive organs so it acts as a sort of internal massage.

Here’s a 15 minute menstruation yoga routine that might help you (I’ve done it before too):

Heating pad

Some people find relief when they use heating pads but I’ve never liked them personally. I tend to get hot flashes while I’m on my period so heating pads and me don’t mix well. But it’s something worth trying!

Healthy diet

I wholeheartedly recommend eating a healthy diet full of fresh, whole foods. Semaine is a huge advocate for eating an anti-inflammatory diet, especially while on your period. Here’s how food affects period pain.

Do your best to eat whole fruits and vegetables, along with noshing on some nuts. This will help to reduce inflammation in the body as well. It’s not recommended to drink your fruits during this time – eating your fruit is far easier on your body.

My hope for you

Ultimately, whether you decide to try Semaine or not, I truly hope you will find something that works for you and your body.

Trust me – I know how debilitating cramps can be, and I know what it feels like to lie in bed crying my eyes out in pain. I do not want that for you.

I want you to feel happy and healthy. And if that means using Ibuprofen in a plastic bottle, so be it. But don’t knock Semaine until you try it. It could seriously help you, all with the added perk of cutting back on waste. It certainly helped me.

Wishing you all the absolute best.

~ Ariana

How to Have a Zero Waste Period Without Cramps

Do you suffer from cramps too? How do you have a zero waste period without cramps?

For more zero waste period tips, check out my review of these reusable pads and period underwear.

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By Ariana Storniolo (Palmieri)

Ariana Storniolo is the founder of Greenify-Me, a blog dedicated to zero waste and sustainability. Her work has also been featured on Going Zero Waste, Green Matters, Mother Earth Living and several other online publications.

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