Time to say bye bye to period cramps, nausea and PMS. We tried a health tonic for menstrual health from the Scarlet Company and we’re here to spill the tea. We recently interviewed their founder, Laurel Lua, where we found out more about the inspiration behind the brand and her personal journey that led there.
100% natural, Scarlet is infused with ingredients that are certified food safe, halal, vegan and gluten-free. It uses Chasteberry, which stimulates and normalises the pituitary gland, therefore regulating the balance of estrogen and progesterone in the body. Scarlet also contains Wild Yam (dioscorea) – an antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory herb, known to help with nausea and improve overall female wellness.
We were given a month’s supply to try and, here at The Wellness Insider, we are more concerned about function over form, so here is our review – given from two female perspectives. Melissa is in her 30’s and has endometriosis while Jayne is in her early 20’s. How did Scarlet fare for both of us?
What causes menstrual cramps
Before we go straight into the review, let’s explain a little bit about menstrual cramps and what causes it. We know that our uterus expels the uterine lining every month and it is due to the contractions of the uterus that causes the cramps. However, what triggers the contractions of the uterus is a hormone-like substance called prostaglandins, which are also involved in pain and inflammation. Higher levels of prostaglandins have been associated with those with more severe menstrual cramps. Women with endometriosis and fibroids are also known to have more severe cramps due to growths outside the uterus.
How Scarlet works
Once you sign up for a month’s supply at The Scarlet Company, a box of 8 bottles will be delivered to you 10 days before your cycle is due and you’re encouraged to drink a bottle a day during your luteal phase or 8 days before your period is due. This timeframe is important because about 14 days after your menses is when estrogen levels drop and progesterone levels are supposed to rise and this change in hormone levels is what triggers the thickening of the uterine walls. And when progesterone levels drop together with estrogen, that is when you’ll get your period.
As mentioned earlier, chasteberry helps by stimulating and normalises the pituitary gland, which then helps normalises the hormones while wild yam is anti-inflammatory.
Melissa: I spoke to my OBGYN about this and he told me that Wild Yam is also known to contain phytoprogestogen (please note that this is not present in table yams), which is bioidentical to progesterone. This is probably why the timing of when you drink Scarlet is important! This is especially so for people with conditions such as PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and endometriosis, where you want to regulate your cycle naturally with supplements such as Scarlet.
|Melissa||I quite liked the taste and it reminded me of pink guava juice. Definitely easy to drink and because of it’s pleasant flavour, I found myself looking forward to drinking it each morning. I even added a bottle into my morning smoothie one day for a berry-licious addition!|
|Jayne||When I first heard that there was chasteberry and wild yam, I was a bit skeptical because it sounded like a strange earthy concoction. But it completely surprised me! It was not earthy or tasteless, but tasted like pink guava juice. I loved drinking it every afternoon when I needed a shot of sweet and sour to wake me up .|
How effective was it for our menstrual health?
|Melissa||My menstrual cycle have gotten quite regular over the past year and the cramps have also lessened but the Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and backaches have not really dissipated. However, a new PMS symptom happened to me about 3 months ago – migraines. I have been getting severe migraines a week leading to my period and I had to take very strong painkillers. The ones where you have to take a pill to prevent gastritis before popping the actual painkiller. As for the IBS, my GP told me to simply take probiotics to ease them off while my OBGYN wanted me to see a specialist just in case (this is because he couldn’t remove all the adhesion between my uterus and part of my intestines).
After taking Scarlet, I wasn’t expecting to see any dramatic results as they too did tell me that for my condition, I might need to take the product for three to four months before I see any difference. A couple of weeks leading up to my period, I was still bloating and could feel the usual cramps while my back ached. What were significantly different – I wasn’t getting the migraines until Day 1, and I wasn’t getting frequent bouts of IBS.
As mentioned earlier, my OBGYN said that wild yam is known to contain progesterone so I was a little worried when my period was late, according to two apps that I use. Was this a result of the phytoprogestogen in the wild yam? However, when I looked at the year-to-date data, I was relieved that it was still within the estimated cycle of about 33 days. Ladies, don’t think that your menses aren’t regular if they’re not exactly 28 days. As a gynae once told me, “If it comes every 30 to 35 days, it’s still regular!”
But this brings up the point that if you are having hormonal issues and you’re going to take natural sources of hormones to regulate your cycle, you might want to consult your doctor to properly time when you should take Scarlet. Also, when consuming natural supplements, you must also understand that it will take some time to see results.
As for myself, I might want to continue trying out Scarlet for the next couple of months to see whether it will really reduce or eliminate my menstrual migraines and IBS! Better menstrual health FTW!
|Jayne||I never had any huge problems with my menstrual health. Although I do tend to dread the time of the month. It was almost like my body had it’s own station bell that would ring to signal to passengers that the train (my period) was arriving. I would experience intense bloating, acne and IBS for the week preceding my period.
Interestingly, after taking Scarlet for a month, I noticed that these symptoms did not show up as much as before. I didn’t even realise that it would be coming the week before it arrived. During my period, I felt a lot more energy as well and was able to exercise as per usual, when before, I’d skip cardio just because it was too taxing.
One symptom that I was hoping to see better managed would be my low mood levels. However, I did not feel that there was too much of a difference for me in that aspect. Additionally, many of the symptoms still showed up during my menstruation. I still experienced bloating, acne and IBS. But in saying that, I was thankful for a longer calm before the storm. I would suggest that more time be given to the product to see it’s full benefits (Scarlet recommends 3-6 months).
Menstrual health is such an important part of every woman’s life. I believe we should be feeding ourselves natural foods that nourishes the body regularly and Scarlet could likely be something that does that for you.
Scarlet can be purchased online at https://www.thescarletcompany.com at S$69.90 (box of 8) per month.
Images: The Scarlet Company