It’s easier to practice self-care and mindfulness when it’s tied to a routine event. Every daily occurrence can be transformed into a ritual when you take a self-loving approach.
Splendid Spoon: Hi Taran! Why did you create Ellebox?
Taran Ghatrora: I started to question why the world treats periods so awkwardly. Monthly subscription boxes existed for almost everything (from bacon to books) — except the subscription women get monthly from Mother Nature.
There’s been little innovation in the menstrual products industry. My sister and I discussed whether society’s silent treatment of periods contributes to the shame many women feel about their bodies. As we dug deeper, we learned that two large companies rule the pad and tampon industry, and neither of them disclose their products’ ingredients.
Around this time, my sister was diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), which is linked to ingredients in most tampons. We decided it was time to destigmatize periods, and Ellebox was born!
SS: Your Comfort box contains the monthly essentials, plus some surprise self-care goodies. Why did you decide to offer this?
TG: We don’t typically look forward to our periods. They can be painful, we have to hide how we feel, and our mood is all over the place.
Bunny (my sister) and I wanted to create a monthly box that encourages women to celebrate themselves and listen to their bodies. We wanted to change the typical experience and conversation around periods.
The self-care products in our Comfort box cater to the symptoms of PMS — think essential oils, face masks, tea, and chocolate.
SS: What does self-care mean to you?
TG: I’m always on the go and am not the best at relaxing! Self-care for me is listening to my body and taking time to rest and recharge when I need to. I also love working out — my favorite ways to move are running, kickboxing, and yoga.
SS: What rituals do you practice to soothe PMS symptoms?
TG: I have killer PMS — cramps for days. My rituals start with a long, warm shower, followed by a hot drink like ginger tea, and a hot water bottle. If I’m in a lot of pain, I curl up in the fetal position.
We’re launching something special for PMS soon. Stay tuned!
SS: What are your period self-care rituals?
TG: I love to take extra care of my skin so I give myself a face and neck massage with facial oil. I recently started a facial gua sha practice [A traditional Chinese practice of massaging your skin with a jade or rose quartz tool to detox and relax your face. — Ed.] and it feels great. Also, napping!
SS: Should we change our diet during our period?
TG: Treat food as nourishment. If you’re craving something, eat it. Listen to your body: do you need less sugar? More greens? More water?
For a healthier period:
- Drink lots of water.
- Try to lay off sugar, caffeine, and alcohol.
- Eat protein and leafy greens!
- Increase your fiber and omega-3 intake.
- Take supplements if you need — they can help.
SS: All your products are organic. Why is this so important?
TG: Our vaginas are the most absorbent part of our bodies, and are directly linked to our reproductive organs. On average, a woman uses 10,000 tampons in her lifetime. We don’t want to drink a bit of bleach every month, so why do we let it (and other toxins) absorb into our bloodstream this way?
We also only provide organic self-care products. What goes on your body is just as important as what goes in it. Your skin is the largest organ of your body and soaks up whatever you put on it, so we don’t put any parabens, pesticides, or other ingredients we can’t pronounce in our products. All toxic chemicals can cause damage (even in small amounts) — those repeated applications add up!
Using only organic products with fewer ingredients has transformed my skin and helped me cut back on the amount of products I use.