Interview with Helen Shi, Founder of Dr. Yang's Crampless Tea
By Alexandra La-Rotta
There’s no denying the wrenching feeling of cramps when your period is on the way is the worse and can be enough to make you never want to leave your bed. We created our cooling menstrual pads and soothing balm with this in mind and to help ease menstrual cramps. We also recently discovered Dr. Yang’s Crampless tea, an all-natural tea inspired by traditional Chinese medicine that uses ginger, jujube, black sugar and goji berry to not only soothe menstrual cramping but prevent it before it happens.
We spoke with Helen Shi, the founder of Dr. Yang, to hear more about the inspiration behind her tea for period cramps (HINT: She named it after her mom!) and learn more. Check out the full interview below.
Tell us a little bit about your background and the inspiration behind Dr. Yang’s Crampless Tea.
My mom brewed this tea for me when I was young and having really bad period cramps and discovering the pain that comes with it. The general recipe of ginger and black sugar is actually a really common household remedy in China. It’s known in China that when you have period cramps, this is what you drink, and it’s highly commercialized already. But my mom tweaked the recipe a little bit. She added Goji berries and Jujubes, which are other ingredients known for soothing period cramps. She also told me to drink the tea the week before my period and not using it as a pain reliever during my period. This would help me prevent period cramps almost altogether. This has been a life-changer for me, and I wanted to share it with women across the world.
Have you always dealt with difficult periods and cramps? Our society tends to tell women just to “deal with it” when dealing with symptoms.
I’ve always had really bad period cramps; they were very intense and so much so that I even used to throw up. I go back and forth to China a lot and there it’s normal to drink this tea and not take pain relievers, but in the US it’s the opposite. I thought this would be amazing since this tea hasn’t been widely used yet here.
Do you have any other favorite natural remedies?
In China, we drink a lot of wellness teas for a variety of issues, especially women. One popular drink is rose tea. So, you take rose buds and put them in the hot water, and they open up and are known to be really good for your skin. They add a glow to your skin. Another thing that’s super popular is hawthorn tea, which is a type of fruit. That’s really good for reducing bloating.
What’s your take on being a female entrepreneur in the evolving wellness space? What’s that journey been like?
I think it’s super exciting to be in the midst of all these women’s and menstrual empowerment movements and more people are choosing to go the natural route. It’s also tough because these things are happening and haven’t necessarily happened yet. Education is still a big part of our brand, like explaining why our product is better than taking pain relievers.
What are the future plans for Dr. Yangs?
We are focused on growing in the US market. In the future, we’d like to push out more products like wellness teas. A lot of times it’s not just pain during your period, some women experience mood swings, or acne during their period, so expanding our product line to help with those issues.
The tea is named after your mother, and she was no doubt a big inspiration. Is she active in the business?
She was super excited when she heard that I named the brand after her. She was a western doctor in China for many years. She’s also been helping me a lot with some of the aspects of the business. She helps me tweak the recipe and with sourcing the ingredients. She is very hands-on.
Is there anything else we need to know about your tea for menstrual cramps?
A lot of women are not so proactive in dealing with cramps. Our tea is all about creating a wellness and self-care ritual to start drinking the tea the week leading up to your period. We have a period tracker calendar we send to customers in our boxes, we made it post-card sized and beautifully designed so that you can put it somewhere visible and sort of mentally prepare for your period and actually enjoy the days leading up to your period.
Follow Dr. Yang’s teas on IG at @dr.yangwellness
Good news for you! We are doing a FLASH GIVEAWAY with Dr. Yang's Crampless Tea on Instagram. ENTER HERE!