It's been said by the medical community that endometriosis is "a beast that takes on many forms." And some women don't even know they have it. I didn't even know what endometriosis really was until a close friend of mine revealed she had endometriosis. I just knew it affected a woman's ability to get pregnant or it meant a woman could never have children. According to Mayo Clinic, endometriosis is a painful disorder in which tissue similar to the tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus – the endometrium – grows outside your uterus. And it may spread beyond your pelvic organs. There are four stages of endometriosis – minimal, mild, moderate, and severe. The day my friend revealed her condition to me, she used the analogy of "it's like weeds growing inside your body."
It was summer 2017 when she asked me if I wanted to catch a movie with her. We decided to go see the new Tupac movie, All Eyez On Me. We had some time before the movie started and we walked over to the courtyard and sat down on one of the benches. She said, "Do you remember when I told you I have something to tell you and I would tell you in time? I said, "Yes." My friend went on to say, "Well, I have been trying to get pregnant, but I have stage four endometriosis." That day her story unfolded. Her continuous pain, countless doctor visits, the misdiagnoses, tried and true at-home remedies, medicinal treatments, multiple surgeries, freezing eggs, and her sense of hope. And it's the hope that kept my friend going in her pregnancy journey and battle against endometriosis.
It was winter 2018; I had taken her out to lunch for her 36th birthday. Again, she expressed her struggles with conceiving. She urged me to get checked out at a fertility clinic and consider freezing my eggs. She said, "I wouldn't wish this pain you or any other woman."For the sake of my friend, I did get screened at a fertility clinic. And it was spring 2019 when she called me and told me she was finally pregnant. I cried tears of joy that day. My lifelong friend was finally going to be a mother and I was finally going to be an auntie again. And now, I have a beautiful 17-month-old niece.
Now, I don't have endometriosis, but my heart goes out to the women who are battling this condition. But what I do know what helped my friend with her endometriosis and her pregnancy journey is holistic remedies. I am not a medical professional by any means, but after visiting my OB-GYN's office yesterday, she confirmed a few at-home remedies that do help women treat this condition.
*The holistic treatments below are in no way a cure or reverse an endometriosis diagnosis. It's important to note that though holistic treatments can help, this varies across women, and it is dependent on what stage of endometriosis a woman is in.
1.Clean Up Your Diet
A drastic change in diet has been proven to help treat endometriosis. Women should consume a primarily plant-based diet. This means no meat – no chicken, pork, or red meat. This also means no sugar, soy, starches, or super fatty foods. You also want to avoid dairy, caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods high in sugar. There should be an increase in foods with anti-inflammatory properties. Foods like salmon, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, celery, bone broth, chia seeds, and berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries) should be included in your diet. It's equally important to stay hydrated; drinking water is an essential part of a healthy diet when dealing with endometriosis as it helps reduce bloating and cramping. Aim for foods that are high in fiber too – they break down estrogens in the body.
It has also been said that Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is an effective natural treatment of endometriosis. A mixture of Chinese herbs can alleviate excessive bleeding, reduce pain, inflammation, and masses, and improve blood circulation. Acupuncture also helps with endometriosis. Research shows that acupuncture promotes blood circulation and regulates hormones. The anti-inflammatory properties of acupuncture are effective for pain relief due to their effect on blood chemistry and endorphin levels.
3.Herbs, Roots, and SpicesGiphy
Drink up because you're a G. Think ginger, turmeric, and green tea. The good thing is we have access to all these roots and spices at our local grocery stores. Get you some ginger root, slice it into small pieces, and boil it in a pot for ten minutes. Bush medicine for the win, y'all. Herbs like milk thistle, motherwort, chamomile, peppermint, lavender, ashwagandha, rosemary, and flax seeds. Herbs such as these have specific properties that treat a range of symptoms and side effects of endometriosis.
4.Get You Some Supplements
As we women get older, supplements are important in our daily routines. Key supplements like vitamin B6, DIM (diindolylmethane), probiotics, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, NAC, Vitex, and Calcium D-Glucarate are vital for women with endometriosis. These specific supplements also help with pelvic pain, gut issues, contractions, pelvic cramps, inflammation, and muscle relaxation. Visit your local vitamin store or drugstore to purchase these items.
5.Mind Over Matter
When the pain is too severe, meditate. Yes, you read that correctly. Meditation can help manage your endometriosis symptoms. Stress can increase inflammation in the body and that's exactly what endometriosis is. A disease of inflammation. Mindfulness can help you push through the pain on the days this disease is too much to handle. Even being outside, taking time to enjoy the moment can reduce levels of anxiety and depression of living with this condition.
If you plan on trying any of these natural at-home remedies at all, know that eating healthy is the best thing you can do for yourself and your body. This is proven. Also, know that there is hope. For anyone battling endometriosis, trying to get pregnant, or has a family member or friend with this disease, I wish you hope, so much hope.
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Featured image by Shutterstock
Camille is a lover of all things skin, curls, music, justice, and wanderlust; oceans and islands are her thing. Her words inspire and her power is her voice. A California native with Trinidadian roots, she has penned personal essays, interviews, and lifestyle pieces for POPSUGAR, FEMI magazine, and SelfishBabe. Camille is currently creating a life she loves through words, self-love, fitness, travel, and empowerment. You can follow her on Instagram @cam_just_living or @written_by_cam.
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
Feature image by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
What would you do if you just got laid off from your corporate job and you had a serendipitous encounter with someone who gave you the opportunity of a lifetime? Tamara Taylor was faced with that decision in 2013 after she was let go from her sales profit and operations coach job in the restaurant industry and met a then-up-and-coming stylist, Law Roach, on a flight to L.A. She and Roach struck up a conversation, and he shared how he was looking for someone to run his business and was impressed by her skills. While she took his business card, she was unsure if it would lead to anything. But, boy, was she wrong. Two weeks later, after packing up her home to move back to her hometown of Chicago, she called Roach; he asked if they could meet the following day, and the rest is herstory.
Taylor founded Mastermind MGMT, an agency that represents some of Hollywood’s best “image architects” like Roach, Kellon Deryck, and Kollin Carter, who are responsible for creating unforgettable style and beauty moments for celebrities like Zendaya, Megan Thee Stallion, Taraji P. Henson, and more. Taylor and her company possess an array of functions, but her biggest role is to be her client’s advocate. We hear endless stories about how creatives aren’t paid or underpaid in the entertainment industry, but Taylor ensures that her clients get their piece of the pie. The entrepreneur opened up about her company and her non-profit, Mastermind Matters, in an exclusive interview with xoNecole.
“I always say that I'm an artist advocate first, deal closer second. So my primary focus is to just make sure that the artist is getting everything that they deserve, whether it's compensation or, you know, certain accommodations, but just making sure that they have everything that they need to be able to show up and provide the best service that they're hired for,” she explained.
“So you know, in the beginning, it was hard because I didn't have any experience, and the artists who I was working with at the time–we were learning together, meaning neither of us had assisted anyone. We didn't have mentors in our specific fields. So every deal was like a new learning experience for us from the styling side and also from the business side, and so it took, you know, doing some research, using some very creative tactics, to find out information in the industry and just starting to request accommodations that I knew other artists were granted, who maybe didn't look like my artists.”
Photo by Christopher Marrs
Ten years later, there’s still not many people who are doing what Taylor is doing. However, things have gotten easier thanks to the research and connections she made in the beginning. During Mastermind MGMT’s ten-year anniversary celebration, she announced her non-profit, Mastermind Matters, which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that focuses on helping young entrepreneurs through a 12-week program. The program is divided into “two routes.” The first route is for aspiring creative artists who want to start a business from their talent and all the things they need to learn about business, such as taxes, life insurance, etc. The second route is for practicing creative artists who are already in the industry but need resources such as how to plan for retirement or how to sustain themselves if they can’t work for a short amount of time, i.e., the pandemic.
“I just feel that I'm able to have a business and be successful because of their art as well. And so there are things that I know, I tried to teach it to them but understanding that I can only do so much because I'm not a subject matter expert in those fields,” she said. “So I at least want to be able to provide the resources, and then if they make their grown decision not to do it, then that's on them. But you know, I could be guilt-free and taking advantage of the resources that I'm also providing to them.”
Taylor continues to be an innovator in her industry by always pushing the boundaries of creativity and thinking one step ahead of everyone else. The Chicago-bred businesswoman is moving into the tech space thanks to a new invention created with her clients in mind, and she is looking forward to bigger collaborations in the future. Follow Mastermind MGMT on Instagram @mastermind_mgmt for more information.
Feature image by Christopher Marrs