KW Homestead

Pasture Raised Poultry from Our Family to Yours

Tag: health (page 1 of 2)

4 Items in our Herbal Health and First Aid Kit

What do we turn to when dealing with minor, everyday cuts, scratches, injuries and ailments? Our herbal first aid kit!

We don’t really have a “kit”, but we do have  collection of things in our bathroom that are tried and true when it comes to homestead first aid. I’m not talking about wild plants like plantain or comfrey, which are a huge art of of our life, but rather packaged and shelf stable items that can be stored and relied upon at a moments notice.

1. Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil is probably our catchall for cuts, scratches and anything involving open wounds. We try to harness tea tree oil’s anti microbial powers to prevent infections whenever we find ourselves bleeding, which happens a lot. Whether its from a loose piece of fence, a rooster’s spurs, or an insect bite, if we see blood, it gets a dab of tea tree oil.

When tick season comes around, every tick removal “surgery” is finished up with a bit of tea tree oil, just in case.

2. Vitamin C Powder

Vitamin C is antioxidant essential to a healthy life. Our bodies don’t store it, so we constantly need to get more of it as we live our lives. While I prefer real nutrient dense foods vs. supplements, vitamin c powder is just too easy, and too effective not to have on hand.

We add powdered vitamin c to our water almost everyday during the winter to strengthen our immune systems. It’s also nice to know that vitamin c can help with mild allergic reactions and swellings as it acts as both an anti histimine and anti inflammatory. You can take some before and after particulalry strenous activities to make sure your bodies repairitvie and restorative functions are opperating at there best. I’ve even heard of old, arthritic dogs getting some relief from a sprinkling of vitamin c on their food.

There are a ton of other uses and benefits for vitamin c, and it is a well used item in our lives.

3.  Aloe

Aloe vera, a succulent plant with a long history of medicinal uses is another essential herbal remedy.

Whether you have a plant growing in a sunny window or a container of gel in the bathroom, if you work outside in the sun, you need some aloe. As a pain reliever and burn soother, nothing can compete. Fromm sunburns from hours of garden work, or real burns from cooking, a nice glob of aloe gel is the first thing I think of to in any situation where I want a “cooling” effect.

4. Raw Honey

Raw honey is not only an anti-microbial powerhouse, but it tastes good too. Raw Honey, as opposed to the heat pasteurized “dead” honey often found on shelves has a whole host of enzymes, antioxidants and minerals. Something in it helps to heal wounds and prevent infections, but make sure it’s raw or it won’t do the job.

It can also be used to soothe sore throats and as a natural cough syrup. It makes a great sweetener for tea too, how fitting. I’m sure there are more reasons to love raw honey (like making mead from it) but these few are enough to ensure it’s place in our pantry.

Plantain (Plantago): Herbal First Aid in Action!

Here’s a short  video on how I treated an insect sting on my knuckle at work with some plantain today. Plantain is a great medicinal herb that is both very conspicuous and very safe. It’s a well known herb, sometimes considered a weed, that is often found in lawns, nature strips, and parks.

The compounds in the leaves are extremely useful at pulling out toxins and poisons, and old timers have used this wonder plant to treat all sorts of cuts, bites, and envenomations. My sting today was on my knuckle! Ouch! But the plantain (genus plantago) worked it’s magic and after just a few hours I couldn’t even tell which finger had gotten stung! Check out the video for more!

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Some of My Thoughts on GMOs

Genetically Modified Organisms, or GMOs, have been in the news a good bit the last few years–from ballot initiatives to require the labeling of GMO food, to concerns about health, both human and environmental. I want to put together a post that explains my thought process and opinions when it comes to GMO food, including some discussion on some of the more disingenuous propaganda I have seen in the last few months.

First off, lets define exactly what GMO foods are. They are crops that have been genetically engineered, in laboratory settings, with DNA from viruses, bacteria, plants and animals. The most widespread example is Roundup Ready corn and soy, which have had genes from a bacteria spliced into their DNA to make them immune to glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup. This allows farmers to spray their fields with Roundup without worrying about killing their food crops of corn and soybeans. Sounds great, right?

Well, the thing is, when normal plants are sprayed with Roundup, they take it up and it acts like a growth hormone, causing them to grow super fast on the cellular level and eventually die as their cells burst. The problem is, the genetically modified corn and soybeans still absorb the Roundup. They have no choice but to absorb it into their cells and tissue, where it becomes part of the plant and part of the food. This isn’t something you can just wash off. It is present at the cellular level and present in the end product as well. Now, just because these corn and soy plants don’t die from drinking in gallons of Roundup, doesn’t mean that people are any more suited to consume Roundup than before. Check out the warning label on some of that stuff. It’s not something you want to take a shot of, but that’s essentially what you are doing every time you sit down to anything made with corn or soy (which is essentially everything in the supermarket these days).

bolt's first day at home, sleeping under the corn

non-GMO corn makes the best napping spot

It turns out that Roundup is not only present in all of our food, but it’s also being found in human breastmilk, drinking water, and urine. But don’t worry, the EPA and USDA will protect us. It’s simple really, they can just raise the allowable amount of pesticides in our food whenever the amount of pesticides in our food goes up! See, everyone wins! Especially the lobbyists, politicians, judges, and appointed (by both democrats and republicans) regulators at the USDA who jump back and forth between working at Monsanto and writing the policies that regulate their profits.

Now, the standard line about GMOs has been that these modifications have resulted in using less chemicals, and have increased yields and profits for farmers. That may have been true in the beginning, but when you completely saturate a field in herbicide you start breeding and selecting for herbicide resistance in the weeds. This means that you have to spray more and buy more and chemicals from the biotech companies, and eventually you end up with superweeds that are completely resistant to chemicals.

But don’t worry, the USDA will just approve another, more toxic cocktail of chemicals that can be sprayed onto new and improved GMO seeds. Like 2,4-D, which is essentially Agent Orange and definitely something I want in my corn chips.

All of this, the bio-accumulation of more and more toxic pesticides in our bodies and the environment, is just part of the problem. Farmers, initially enticed by promises of higher yields, and who switched to GMO seeds are now seeing their yields and incomes decline as they buy more sprays and are faced with fields that are saturated in toxic chemicals. In addition to rising costs and lower yields, farmers are unable to save GMO seeds which carry a patent on the genes inside them and must be purchased year after year. These patents, which are extremely controversial, have even lead to secret “seed police” going out to fields and testing farmers crops for any sign of GMO genes. They then sue these farmers for patent infringement and often win.

This is a huge problem because crops like corn, which are wind pollinated, can pollinate other fields  that are miles away. The precedent in court cases like these are that it’s the organic or small farmers responsibility to fence out the GMO pollen, and not responsibility of the GMO farmer to fence it in. And then, after your seed has been infected by GMO genes, Monsanto can come and sue you for stealing their genes!

Right now, we are at a crossroads when it comes to public opinion on GMO food. The latest propaganda effort to sway critical thinkers has been particularly effective because it covers the lie with a misdirection of truth. That is the argument that we, humans, have been genetically modifying our food for thousands of years. This argument essentially equates the domestication of livestock and crops through selective breeding, to transgenic gene splicing between plants and animals. This is not the same thing. In nature, there are a limited number of interactions and results that can occur, and due to the (relatively) slow process of domestication and natural breeding the outcomes are relatively stable and their consequences are minor. This is not the case with GMOs, where the introduction of DNA from an entirely different kingdom of species can not be fully understood, especially by studies paid for by the companies set to profit the most .

This argument is a clever and devious attempt to win over those with science and history backgrounds and critical thinking skills. It is despicable, especially for an institution like the Smithsonian, to submit arguments like this, and is an indication of how deep the connections between researchers, politicians, policy makers, the media, and biotech companies like Dupont, Monsanto,Conagra, Dow, and Baer are.

I don’t really need anymore reasons to avoid GMOs, which we try to do whenever possible, but searches on sites like the ones I’ve linked to in this post (especially Dr. Mercola’s)  will also turn up article after article about the dangers and health risks of GMOs. The fact that these pesticides are in our food and are bio-accumulating in our bodies and the environment, along with the impact on farmers and soil health, give me more than enough reason to support efforts like the Non-GMO Project and the labeling of genetically modified foods. We’ll see what happens in the next few years, but I think the chances are high that we will see pushes from the mainstream to loosen organic certification standards to allow certain GMO foods. I hope it doesn’t happen, but even if it does, I know the solution is to source the highest quality, nutrient dense food we can from local producers, and to grow as much of our own vegetables, fruits, meat, and eggs as we can.

a chicken gets a spa vacation!

after the whirlwind of the wedding, i noticed that one of our bantam hens didn’t look so great. after i fed the chickens one day, i could see that she acted a little skittish around the others while everyone was eating, and her feathers looked patchy, revealing her bare skin on some places. based on her behavior, i expected that she was being picked on by the others (particularly the bantams). she didn’t seem confident enough to search out the more delicious scraps of food, and looked around the whole time she ate as though she expected to get jumped.

every now and again, one of the bantams will become an outcast for a little while, and i haven’t yet figured out why. there are certainly some dominant hens that peck at others if they want them out of the way while they’re eating, but i hadn’t seen this particular hen run up against any trouble.

look at bren's pretty feather pattern!

look at bren’s pretty feather pattern!

i decided to catch her and put her in solitary, the way we did with sola, a chicken so named for her sad, single tail feather. catching bren was easy. she was inside the house and it was simple to corner her and get her in the net. she struggled so much, though, that it took me a little while to untangle her. once she was caught, i was finally able to examine her feather problem. first of all, she looked healthy under all of the missing feathers. she didn’t appear to have mites or any cuts or open wounds. it is possible that she’d pulled out her own feathers so she could sit on eggs, but i hadn’t yet seen her sitting on a nest, so i wasn’t sure about that. where her feathers were missing, some were growing back, and since her feathers are dark, you can really see the way that feathers grow: emerging from the hard, clear tip of the feather like a flower opening its bloom!

bren's bare breast

bren’s bare breast

 

bren's feathers begin to return on her neck and chest...

bren’s feathers begin to return on her neck and chest…

for now, just to keep an eye on her, bren is in a cage by herself in the carport. i consider this the chicken spa since she gets all the food and water she wants and doesn’t get picked on at all (if that was the problem). we’ll let her spend some time in there until she grows some feathers back and then we’ll reintroduce her to the flock and see if things get a little better for her. for now, all she has to worry about is that big black dog that likes to jump at her cage as he walks by and that black cat who thinks that sleeping on top of the chicken cage is fun.

bren, enjoying her time in the chicken spa

bren, enjoying her time in the chicken spa

.:.

Some Herbal Remedies and First Aid in Action

In the past week, due to some minor accidents, I had a few chances to try out some herbal remedies. Herbs can provide gentle and effective healing and because they are often easy to grow, they deserve a place on any homestead.

The first incident was brought about by picking up a cast aluminium dutch oven that had been reheating food in the oven. Ouch. It was heavy, hot, and I didn’t drop right away. After running some water over my hand, I snipped off some aloe vera from the plant by our sink, squeezed out the juice, and rubbed it onto my palm. This instantly relieved the burning pain and helped me thin a little clearer.

Aloe is a great plant, it has many uses from sunburn relief to helping improve digestion, and is easily grown as a house plant in a sunny location.

I then went out and picked a large comfrey leaf. Comfrey is probably the best herb when it comes to bone, skin, and tissue regeneration and healing. The chemicals in comfrey are often added to skin care products, but nothing can replicate the healing power of whole leaves.

Emma chopped up the leaf in a small food processor, and then took the half paste, comfrey pesto and applied it to the burn before wrapping a bandage around my palm. I left this on for a few hours, and by morning my hand had no pain, no marks, and I had completely forgotten the burn because my hand was healed.

A few days later, I woke up with a sore and scratchy throat, probably brought on by dehydration. It was pretty uncomfortable, but I turned to our tried and true home cure for sore throats… vitamin c. I prefer vitamin c in powder form, but it also comes in a variety of capsules, pills, and tablets.

Dissolved in a glass of water, it helps to re-hydrate the body, soothe the throat, and increase immune function and healing. Vitamin c has been used for many different treatments, from helping to prevent soreness after strenuous exercise to fighting withdrawal symptoms in heroin addicts.

These 3 natural remedies, aloe, comfrey, and vitamin c, are just things that we have on hand. The aloe and vitamin c are in our kitchen, easily within reach on a day to day basis. The comfrey is growing in a few places on our property, some in the garden, some in the food forest, and soon we will have some growing everywhere as we propagate more.

While herbs are great as first aid, their best use comes from a more holistic approach. By using them daily in cooking and teas, they are able to help our bodies stay strong, and fight off problems before we, or a doctor, can diagnose them. This is the best use of herbs, and the reason we should all try to include them in our lives as many ways as possible.

Understanding Nutrient Density

The modern western diet, a diet high in carbohydrates, grains, sugar, processed foods and low in saturated fat, vegetables and fruits has many flaws, chief among them is a complete disregard for micronutirents, minerals, and vitamins. Sure, the USDA and FDA pay lip service to a select number of vitamins and minerals, but as the quality of our food has decreased, it is all but impossible for modern agriculture to supply us with even these limited nutrients. The recommendation then becomes to take supplements. The problem is, many of these supplements are completely useless, or worse, potentially harmful to your health.

Take for example calcium supplements, the standard recommendation for decades to fight bone density problems, which have been linked to increases in heart disease, breast cancer and may actually worsen bone strength.  Bones are made up of more than calcium, and if you overload your body with calcium it displaces the other essential minerals in your bones, and the rest ends up in places in your body that it shouldn’t be, like your arteries. (Check out Dr. Mercola’s article on Calcium supplements and The Calcium Lie by Dr. Robert Thompson for more information.)

nutrient dense foods

freshly picked garden carrots,  a nutrient dense and delicious vegetable treat

So how do you ensure that you and your family get the nutrients you need to be healthy? By eating whole, nutrient dense foods prepared in traditionally ways. Let’s look at calcium again. Instead of a pill, you can make bone broth. Bone broth is a rich broth made from bones that have been simmered for anywhere from 4-36 hours. This extracts all of the minerals in the bone, the very minerals that make up your bones, not just calcium. Other good sources of calcium are dark leafy greens and raw milk and cheese from grass fed cows, as well as unprocessed sea salt.

The key here is to eat foods that are nutrient dense. Foods that are bursting with the nutrients and minerals necessary for health and life. Raw milk for example contains anywhere from 100-400 % more of certain vitamins and minerals than pasteurized milk. This means that for every glass of raw milk, you would need to drink 2-4 glasses of pasteurized milk to get the same amount of nutrition. If we add to that the fact that animals raised on pasture have better fatty acid, and nutrient profiles in their meat, eggs, and milk than those fed only grains, it’s easy to see that a glass of pastuerized milk from corn fed cows is not a nutrient dense food.

Grains are particularly empty foods, with very little nutrient content. When you add to this agricultural processes that have killed soil life and require the dumping of petroleum based fertilizers in order to get a yield, and a policy that a grain based diet is healthier than one based on high quality animal fats and vegetables, it’s not hard to see why America is full of overweight people suffering from nutrient deficiencies and disease.  You are what you eat.

nutrient dense foods

pastured animal products are more nutrient dense than those fed a diet mainly of corn and soy

We can change this by growing food in ways that restore the biology of the soil and allowing the nutrient cycles between plants, bacteria, fungi and animals to recover. This can’t be solved with more sprays, synthetic fertilizers, and tilling all of which destroy the soil structure and lead to food that is devoid of any nutrition. Compost, and compost teas in addition to tree crops and support species whose roots are able to mine nutrients from deep in the subsoil and bring them up for other crops to use. Our farms need livestock to reminaralize the soil. We need to chose foods rich in nutrition like nuts, seafood, lard, and fresh vegetables. We need to take these nutrient rich foods and eat them whole, or processed in traditional ways like fermentation and drying.

You are what you eat, and we need to eat food that was grown in healthy soil. We need to eat animal products that ate healthy plants that were grown on healthy soil. We need to start as soon as possible, and do as much as we can, even if it’s only 10% of our diet at first. Head to the farmers market and ask them how they grow their food. Are they part of agritrue, a transparency program that helps everyone know how their food was grown? Join a CSA, or start growing some of your own food, even if it’s just some herbs in a pot. It’s addictive, and soon enough you’ll be looking for other ways to garden, or even contemplating a fruit tree investment. whatever you do, keep trying to find the most nutrient dense food available, whether it’s organic produce, vegetables from your backyard, pastured eggs from your neighbor up the street, or lard from pigs rotationally grazed in a permaculture or restoration agriculture system.

 

Resources

The Weston A. Price Foundation – Great information on eating nutrient dense foods and how to prepare and find them

Nourishing Traditions – A great book from Sally Fallon, the co-founder of the Weston A. Price foundation, that goes into what, and how to eat, with recipes and facts that will keep you reading for hours.

Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care – Similar to the above, but shorter, sweeter, and tailored to providing a healthy and nutritious life for children that begins before pregnancy.

Dr. Mercola – A brilliant doctor who looks past the propaganda and marketing of industry and government to find the truth about health

Agritrue – Focused on letting consumers find the best food in their area, and letting them see exactly how it’s grown.

what all of us animals have in common…

one thing’s for sure, living with animals on a farm reminds you how much all of us animals really have in common.

when it gets hot and humid outside, we all head for the shade and search out some water. since i just got back from the beach, i spent most of today dreaming about a large body of water to soak in (like a pond!). i also drank tons of water today, which i really needed to add ice cubes to since i spent most of today with my hands in a scalding hot dish-sink. we’ve decided against cutting on the air unless company is visiting; we really like hearing the world outside our windows and having the AC on makes us lazy bums who avoid doing anything outside.

since today was a hot one, and i spent most of my time looking out the kitchen window  at the birds, i was reminded of these common needs we all have in the heat… shade and water!

the chickens were nowhere to be seen when the sun was shining, but as soon as a cloud would cover the sun they would come out of the house for a little exploration. the small white shade cloth that we’ve recently added to our new chicken pen setup provided enough shade during portions of the day for rex and a select group of his ladies to nap in the shade.

the geese spent most of the day sleeping while floating in their kiddie pool, and bolt tried to hog the floor fan that was supposed to be blowing on me while i washed dishes. no doubt if he had been outside he would have been hiding under his shady bush!

all four geese chilling in their kiddie pool together!

all four geese chilling in their kiddie pool together!

bridey drank tons of water and bolt could be heard lapping up water from the upstairs toilet, the downstairs toilet, a downstairs water bowl, and an upstairs water bowl. when it rained later in the day both he and i really enjoyed walking in it to cool off!

so whatever animals you have, mammals or birds, or just your partner (since we humans are animals too), make sure they’ve got plenty of water to drink and shade to hide in!

.:.

sick chicken?

when i went into the chicken pen today to collect eggs, it appeared that one of our bantam hens was feeling sick. i could see that she was walking around under the house (while almost everyone else was outside eating) and hunkering down low to the ground. she would wander a little and then stop and crouch, all the while holding her beak open and panting. later, when she came out from under the house for a little while, roosty tried to jump on her (you know why!) and she looked so beaten by this. she kept her head down on the ground for a while afterwards, looking asleep.

i decided to go get the net and catch her to check out how she was doing and to put her in her own little cage to give her a break from all the other chickens. i also wanted to quarantine her just in case she was contagious.

upon further inspection, i saw that some of her feathers were missing in places and she looked a little scraggly. i think this is due to old age (she’s one of the older hens my dad had a while before giving to us). but, i also noticed that the area around her vent was missing feathers, and there was a little bit of goo in the area. it just didn’t quite look right.

the hen's vent area. you can see that she is missing a lot of feathers.

the hen’s vent area. you can see that she is missing a lot of feathers.

our bantam hen, hanging out in her temporary cage.

our bantam hen, hanging out in her temporary cage.

i haven’t yet had the chance to look up more about what could be wrong with her, but in the meantime she is spending the night in the carport in her cozy little cage. she has food and water and a little roost bar. luckily, when i put her in the cage this afternoon, she livened up a good bit and walked around a bunch clucking. so, hopefully that is a good sign! tomorrow i’ll look into what her ailment might be, and go from there!

.:.

the greenbean season begins: greenbean water!

time again for greenbeans!!!!

(for some background information about why i insist on writing greenbeans instead of green beans, click here)

what a wonderful day it is! the greenbeans that we cooked tonight did not come from our garden, actually, but from my father’s garden. our greenbeans went in a little later than his did and we shouldn’t be getting any from our plants for a week or so. we almost waited until ours came in to eat any, but we just couldn’t resist my dad’s offer of about 5 pounds of delicious, homegrown greenbeans!

we cooked all of them tonight, cooking them the way we usually do… boiling them in water with a dash of salt and olive oil or coconut oil. we’ve determined that it is a waste of time for us to snap them into “manageable” sized pieces since we enjoy them best whole, with just the stems snapped off. we usually serve them in a glass casserole dish because the beans fit in there perfectly and a dish that has a lid makes for excellent fridge storage.

freshly served, steaming greenbeans doused with coconut oil and salt!

freshly served, steaming greenbeans doused with coconut oil and salt!

when we serve the steaming hot greenbeans we add a dash of salt and drizzle some coconut oil over the top. so delicious! rarely do we use forks when eating such treasures and relish in picking up one at a time with our fingers and munching away! we’ve found that cooking the greenbeans without snapping them also makes for much better greenbean sandwiches with dill mayonnaise (it sounds bizarre but they are fantastic!). the long greenbeans rarely fall off of the bread this way.

an amazing bi-product of boiling the greenbeans is the pot liquor that is left behind. some foods, such as various greens, leave behind a liquid that is not beneficial and even harmful for you to drink. not greenbeans! greenbeans leave behind a pot liquor (we call it greenbean water) that is rich with the nutrients of the greenbeans, in a concentrated form!

greenbean water, still in the pot. though it may look funky, we promise it tastes amazing!

greenbean water, still in the pot. though it may look funky, we promise it tastes amazing!

this might also sound bizarre but it is delicious! we save the greenbean water in the fridge and drink it, sometimes adding a little bit of soy sauce for extra flavor. such extra flavor is not required, by the way, because greenbean water (if you’ve added salt and one of the above-mentioned oils) is already refreshing and even creamy. you can feel the nutrients as you drink it.

cheers to that! perhaps we could toast with greenbean water sometime during the wedding?

.:.

don’t be a diva, try the diva cup: a female-parts post

readers not interested in reading about specifically female body parts, stop reading now and wait until tomorrow’s post to check back in with us…

other readers who are interested in learning for the sake of learning (whether male or female) and who don’t get squeamish about female body parts and women’s health, read on…

diva cup

an image of the diva cup (left) and the keeper (right). photo courtesy Greencolander.

do you know what the above is a picture of?

it is a picture of two popular menstrual cups on the market today! the first menstrual cup popped up in the 1930s and was created by a midwifery group, but they did not become very popular until the 1980s. they can currently be purchased in a variety of colors, firmness levels, and sizes (usually based on whether or not you have given birth vaginally). some are made from rubber, but most are made from silicone.

i have used a vaginal cup for my periods for the last 5 years (maybe even longer… i can’t remember…). i use the diva cup, pictured above on the left, and came across it through the recommendation of one of my good friends.

some reasons why i would absolutely, without-a-doubt, recommend using the diva cup for your periods, and FAQ about menstrual cups:

how much does it cost?

the cost of a menstrual cup is a one time thing. when i bought my diva cup it cost about $40 or $50. i have been using it for at least 5 years, which means that a menstrual cup is a much less expensive option for dealing with menstruation.

how long can you use a diva cup?

most menstrual cup manufacturers recommend buying a new one every 5-10 years, depending on your cup’s current state and based on the type of cup you have. mine is still going strong and looking much the same as when i purchased it (except the color is no longer clear–having been slowly dyed red/brown over the months). after your period every month, you boil your cup (i boil mine for a few minutes) in water and dry it and put it away until the next month. this is a very easy process and it is important that you do this… this ensures that the cup is fully cleaned and no infections occur.

how do you use one?

it’s a rather interesting science experiment, actually, and much more “hands on” than using a tampon or pad. the cup is rubbery, flexible, yet firm. you squeeze the top of the cup together so that it is flat and then fold it in half. this folded end is the end you insert part of the way. once partially inserted, you spin the cup in both directions to be sure that the folded portion has opened back up to its circular shape (otherwise you’ll have a leak!). once you’ve done this, you push it further inside until no part is outside. now, don’t panic about this part… one of my friends told me that she was actually worried that it would get lost and she would never find it again! it barely moves once inserted and is super easy to remove once you have a few months of practice. once you remove it, you empty it and reinsert (i also rinse mine between insertions).

is it as safe to use as a tampon?

yes! from everything i’ve read, seen, and experienced, it is! unlike tampons, TSS is not associated with its use and it can be worn up to 12 hours.

does it hurt to insert or remove?

once inserted the diva cup is as invisible to you as tampons (more so actually, since there is no string), but yes, the first month of use it did hurt to use it. it hurt a lot, in fact! so much that i almost gave up… thinking, “this can’t be right!!!” but after speaking with my friend, who told me that the next month it would be pain-free, i decided to stay the course. she was right! from the second month on, it has been a pain-free process. my guess about why it was so painful the first month is because of the fact that your hands have to get more involved in the process than with tampons.

important fact #1:

there is no waste or trash associated with the cup! this is the main reason, actually, that i decided to try it! i was super frustrated with how much trash tampons leave behind and determined to find a less wasteful way to be a woman today.

important fact #2:

diva cups are great for traveling! you don’t have to pack anything except the cup… no extra tampons just in case. they are awesome for car trips, too, since you simply empty them out, reinsert, and keep on truckin’.

important fact #3:

for those of you who are interested in knowing more about your body than before, i highly recommend a menstrual cup! using the diva cup and actually being able to see what’s going on down there (in liquid form) has made me much more aware and in tune with my natural self. the actual insertion and removal process adds to this understanding.

important fact #4:

if you’re curious to know your partner’s true feelings about all aspects of your female self, you’ll certainly get some insight into that when they see your cup sitting out by the bathroom sink to dry. chances are, it will give them a little bit of pause, but soon after i bet they’ll shrug their shoulders and keep on with what they were doing. :)

if you have any other questions about the diva cup, let me know! i love to discuss this topic!

.:.

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