While tea is the kind of drink that those of us who are tea lovers typically consume all throughout the year, I'm pretty sure I'm not alone when I say that there is nothing like looking out of the window on a chilly day while it's raining, curling up under a favorite throw blanket and sipping on a warm cup of herbal tea while reading a book or watching a favorite throwback movie. What's so dope about herbal tea is, aside from it tasting pretty good (especially when it's got some honey and/or lemon in it) is all of the health benefits that it provides. Herbal tea is proven to boost your immunity, de-stress you, fight off free radicals and viruses, improve your digestive system, fight inflammation, and oh so much more.
I'm personally such a fan of the stuff that I once wrote an article for the platform entitled, "10 'Uncommon' Teas You Should Add To Your Stash (& Why)." Today, though, I'm going to share with you a list of teas that are specifically good for your overall vaginal health. That way, if you do decide to cop a couple of 'em, you can be confident that not only will they be soothing to your soul but great for your va-jay-jay too.
1. Burdock Root
Burdock root tea is really good for you, first of all, because it's packed with all kinds of antioxidants. That's why it's got such a great reputation for being able to reduce bodily inflammation and detoxify your blood. In fact, it detoxifies so well that it's been known to inhibit the growth of certain cancer cells and help to ease the symptoms that are associated with eczema. Some other benefits of this particular tea include that it's able to lower your blood sugar levels and that it works as a diuretic. What makes burdock root great for your vagina is it contains properties that can help to balance your hormones as well as strengthen your uterine walls. A must-have, for sure.
When it comes to teas that are able to effectively reduce stress levels, it's pretty common for chamomile to top the list. Aside from that, it's also got anti-estrogenic effects that can increase bone density, compounds that can help to reduce symptoms that are associated with the common cold, and, thanks to all of the antioxidants that it has, chamomile is even known to improve heart health and boost immunity. As far as vaginal health goes, if period pain drives you totally up the wall, the anti-inflammatory properties in this tea can significantly reduce any discomfort you may feel. The key is to consume it all month long, though, not only when you're on your cycle.
While chasteberry may not be the kind of tea that comes up in regular conversation, that doesn't make it any less valuable or relevant. In fact, when it comes to women's health, it's considered to be top-tier. That's because the properties in this tea are able to do everything from increase fertility and make producing breast milk easier to reducing PMS and menopause-related symptoms.
The reason why is because chasteberry has powerful enzymes and compounds in it that are able to stimulate estrogen levels in your system. So, whether trying to conceive or getting through menopause is what you want to do, a warm cup of chasteberry can help to make things so much better.
If you're all for something that's a combination of sweet 'n spicy, you definitely need to invest in some cinnamon tea. It's another tea that's high in antioxidants. It also lowers inflammation and blood sugar levels, promotes collagen production (which keeps you looking younger) and it can even help to increase cognitive function (dope). And just what does cinnamon do for your vagina's overall health and well-being? For starters, it helps to reduce PMS-related symptoms. Also, because of the powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties that it contains, consuming cinnamon tea a couple of times a week is a proactive way to keep vaginal infections at bay as well.
Another pretty spicy tea is ginger. But listen here, if you happen to have a bout of morning sickness, motion sickness, or nausea, you will be more than just a little happy that this is in your stash. Ginger also has a good amount of anti-inflammatory properties in it which makes it pretty effective when it comes to helping to relieve headaches and even migraines. Some other reasons to drink this particular tea is it's rich in the kind of antioxidants that can help to prevent cancer cells, it has a lot of antimicrobial properties to speed up the healing process of a cold and it's loaded with antifungal properties that are great for maintaining good oral health.
There are also properties in ginger that can help to relieve muscle contractions that are typically associated with period cramps. Plus, because ginger is effective in keeping your gut healthy, that means you've got a greater chance of warding off the kind of bad bacteria that can ultimately trigger a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis.
6. Green Tea
If there is a tea that is above all teas, it would probably have to be green tea. It actually has a reputation for being one of the healthiest teas on the planet and it is well-deserved. Green tea is full of antioxidants that are great for your brain, weight loss, and protecting your system from cancer. Green tea also has polyphenols that reduce bodily inflammation, antioxidants called catechins that help to prevent cell damage, and properties that fight off germs that cause bad breath.
Some other great things about this tea are it helps to prevent heart disease and type 2 diabetes as well as strengthen your bones. And why does green tea please your vagina so? Well, remember the catechins that I mentioned earlier? Something else that they do is protect your urinary tract. This is great because that can significantly decrease your chances of having a UTI — and if you've ever had one of those before, you know you want to avoid getting those bad boys at all costs if you can.
Lemon tea is good for you because it's full of Vitamin C. In Vitamin C, there is citric acid that can help to cleanse your liver and ultimately detox your system. Lemon tea also has astringent properties in it that work to combat acne and give your skin an overall radiance and youthful appearance. Something else that's cool about this particular kind of tea is it's got plant flavonoids that can help to lower your cholesterol levels as well as properties that can help to heal inflamed gums and restore oral health. As far as your vaginal health goes, the acidic nature of the tea is great at helping your vagina to maintain its pH levels as it also fights off free radicals and keeps your immune system up so that it's harder for you to get vaginal infections.
The first time I recall having a cup of rooibos tea was the first time I went to South Africa. To me, the best way to describe it is, if you're looking for a coffee (tasting) substitute, it's one to strongly consider. And why is it so good for your health? Rooibos can assist with supporting your weight loss plan; the alpha hydroxy acid that's in it can help to improve your skin's appearance; it has the bioactive flavonoid chrysoeriol that can reduce allergy-related symptoms; it's rich in antioxidants that can help to boost your immunity and it's caffeine-free if, again, you're trying to get less of a caffeine fix.
The anti-inflammatory properties in rooibos can help to reduce period-related pain because the properties in this tea are able to stimulate the production of potassium in your system. Also, the antioxidants aspalathin, nothofagin, and quercetin are great because they can decrease oxidative stress, including in your vaginal area. This is good to know because this kind of stress has been directly linked to fibroids, endometriosis, and the overproduction of vaginal mucus.
So, what are you waiting for? Rooibos is just waiting to do your body good — vagina and all!
To learn more about all things vaginal health and wellness, check out the xoNecole Women's Health section here.
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Imma tell y’all what — it seems like not one week goes by when I don’t see some sort of so-called term that has me like, “What in the world?” For instance, when I first stumbled upon “self-partnering,” honestly, I laughed. Then shared it with some other single people as well as married folks I know. And I kid you not, every individual was like, “What the heck does that mean?” When I told them that it was yet, one more way to seemingly define single living, basically everyone’s follow-up was, “Oh, brother.”
Why can’t (more) singles just be single and be okay with that? Good Lord. Why does there need to be some sort of relational play-on-words to make it sound like we’re with someone — even if we’re not?
Now masturdating? Even though it’s not even close to being a “real” word, it’s something that also brought a laugh outta me — although it was then followed by a genuine smile. The laugh because I almost immediately caught the play-on-words. The smile was due to the intention behind it all.
If you’re not familiar with what masturdating is and you’re curious about why you should even care, take a few moments to at least skim through what it’s about and why I think participating, as a single person, is a pretty cool (and effective) concept.
Masturdate: a date w oneself
What’s Masturdating All About?
Masturdating. Okay, so let the word marinate for just a moment. What does it sound like? Yeah…exactly. And since a huge part of masturbation centers around self-pleasure, it’s cool to explore how “self-dating” could produce similar (as far as pleasure is concerned in a broader sense) results. Because masturdating is all about spending quality time with yourself, pampering yourself, treating yourself— and yes, taking yourself out on dates.
Any of you who may think that masturdating is a consolation prize — and a pitiful one at that — for not being able to go out with another human being or get that dream $200 first date that social media was all in a tizzy about last year (bookmark that) — personally, I think that you’re the demographic who needs to try out masturdating first and the most. Why? Off top, I’ll share my three good reasons.
3 Reasons To Strongly Consider Masturdating
1. It’s an intimate way to get to know yourself better. I’ve been working with couples for a pretty long time at this point and if there’s a pattern that I see arise, OFTEN, it’s that two people are oftentimes so busy trying to “find their person” that they didn’t even know who they were. As a direct result, they found themselves in a relationship with someone who only complemented the “kiddie pool version” of who they were.
That’s why it can be so beneficial to spend time getting to know yourself on the “deep end” of things: what makes you tick, what your passions are, what you want most out of life, what are your interests beyond obvious things — and masturdating can help you to discover all of this. Whether it’s traveling alone or taking out a weekend to drink some wine and journal, the more you get to know yourself, the clearer you’ll be about who complements you on a romantic and friendship level.
2. It will definitely help to boost your confidence levels. I guess since I’m an ambivert, I don’t really get why people freak out at the mere thought of going to a restaurant or movie alone. Personally, I think it requires a helluva lot more energy and gumption to wait around and plan stuff with other people (#Elmoshrug). However, whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert, there’s no way around the fact that the more comfortable you get with doing things alone, the more your confidence levels will increase — no, soar — because of it.
One article that I read on the topic said that doing things alone can make you more creative, improve your mental health, and help you to be totally okay with being alone (so that you’re not “needy” for other people’s attention). A psychotherapist from a New York Times article on the benefits of spending time alone said, “Getting better at identifying moments when we need solitude to recharge and reflect can help us better handle negative emotions and experiences, like stress and burnout.” And when you’re able to stare negativity in its face without flinching, how could that not make you bolder, more self-secure, and hopeful about your life?
3. It will teach you to value your time more effectively. In every facet of your world, you’re gonna operate from a healthier place if you’re operating from a “full cup” rather than an empty one. When it comes to this topic, think about it — if you’re constantly waiting on someone to call you to go out or wishing for a dream date with some guy, all you’re doing is wasting precious time that you could be spending taking a cooking class or hell, hiring a chef to make you dinner at your own home.
Indeed, waiting has two sides to it: when it’s in the form of patience, it is indeed a virtue, yet when it’s wrapped up in the notion that you’re not really living life unless you have an audience…it is totally working against you. Choose wisely.
10 Solo Date Ideas To Help You To “Master” Masturdating
So, what if you’re someone who has either never considered actually masturdating before or you don’t really know what to do beyond dinner and the movies? Here are a few ideas to consider:
1. Attend a workshop or masterclass that you’re interested in. If there’s something that you’ve always wanted to learn, sign up for a workshop or masterclass. The cool thing about this option is there are probably some in your city, as well as some that you can find online (like here) that are convenient and affordable.
2. Binge-read at a local coffee shop. Aside from their coziness and oftentimes inviting scents, I once read that a lot of us gravitate to coffee shops because we can be around people without having to actually socialize with them. So, if you want to “hang out” while still being able to enjoy a bit of solitude, take a book that you’ve been trying to finish to a local coffee shop, order your favorite latte, and sit in a big-ass comfy chair. Usually, you can sit there for hours, and the staff will be just fine with it (another bonus).
3. Have a spa day in the next town. You can never go wrong with a spa day. And while going with a friend can be fun, sometimes there’s too much talking transpiring to be able to fully chill out and relax. So, go off of the grid, get a change of scenery, and hit up a spa in the next city (or town). There are lots of studies out here supporting that day trips or “daycations” can actually be really good for your long-term health and well-being.
4. See a community play. Some of the best solo dates that I’ve ever been on consisted of taking in some of the local arts in my city. What’s really cool about this particular option is, oftentimes, they are extremely inexpensive, if not totally free of charge (in exchange for making a donation or putting money into a tip jar).
5. Plan a trip. Whenever people say something along the lines of, “If you don’t expect anything, you won’t be disappointed,” I know that they low-key have some (additional) healing to do from past disappointments. There’s simply too much intel out here to support that anticipation (of good stuff) makes us more motivated and optimistic, keeps our dopamine levels up, and makes life more exciting overall.
Since traveling alone is more cost-effective, gives you the freedom to do whatever you want (when you want), and increases the possibility of meeting new people and having new experiences on your journey — why not devote a day this weekend to planning a solo trip? All the way around, it’s good for you.
6. Try your hand at your own “$200 date.” Uh-huh. Roll your eyes if you want to, but it’s real easy to talk left about how a man should be able to just drop $200 like it’s nothing…until you actually try to do it. So yes, while taking yourself out on this type of date could serve as a bit of a reality check, it can also “scratch the itch” of waiting on some dude to do it for you. It’s also way less emotionally draining because, at least when you’re taking your own self out, it’s guaranteed that you’ll enjoy the company…right?
7. DIY some pampering. When you get a chance, check out “5 Reasons You Should Unapologetically Pamper Yourself,” “Want To Love On Yourself? Try These 10 Things At Home.,” “I’ve Got Some Ways For You To Start Pampering Your Soul,” and “When's The Last Time You Actually Pampered Your Vagina?” The bottom line here is pampering is all about, not mere self-maintenance; it’s all about treating yourself to levels of EXTREME SELF-INDULGENCE. So, if nothing else tickles your fancy on this list, at least consider doing that, chile.
8. Feed your creativity. Something that I used to be really good at is art. That said, one of my goddaughters is insanely talented, so she has reminded me to tap back into it. Also, a big part of what got me into the writing world is poetry; I actually used to be a house poet at a local spot. Sometimes, my best quality time moments with myself have been revisiting these creative sides of me — and this is definitely easier to do (and enjoy) alone.
9. Try some stargazing. When’s the last time you took a blanket into your backyard, laid down on it, and just stared at the stars for hours on end? While some say that stargazing can teach you to be mindful, others say that being in that form of nature reduces stress, while others believe that looking up at the universe at night can increase your attention span. All solid reasons to give it a shot, if you ask me.
10. DO. ABSOLUTELY. NOTHING. Let me tell you something that nobody will ever be able to make me feel bad about: doing absolutely nothing. I’ve got data to back me up. Good Housekeeping shares that doing nothing can help you decide how you want to respond or react to certain things. I like howThe Guardian says that taking this approach helps you to regain control of what you give your attention to.
TIME magazine says that it can ultimately make you more productive.BBC offers up that it can help you tap into your ingenuity.Henry Ford Health says that it can make you kinder and a better problem-solver. So, if you want to invest in yourself, do nothing sometimes.
Closing Thoughts from the Lovely Javicia Leslie
While some of y'all may know Javicia Leslie from being the former Batwoman, I discovered her back in the day from the indie series Chef Julian (and yes, "Julian" was right to say that "Mo" looks like Tatyana Ali...the real ones know). Sometimes I'll hop on her IG to see what she's got going on and this story popped up within a few hours of me penning this...so, I took it as hella confirmation.
TREAT YO SELF. WAIT FOR NO ONE.
WAIT FOR NO ONE. TREAT YO SELF.
RINSE AND REPEAT.
Sooo…what kind of masturdating plans do you have for this coming weekend? While going out with others has its perks, hanging out with yourself has a ton of ‘em too. Enjoy!
No…for real. ENJOY!
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