femme loves Forage Botanicals for its unwavering dedication to crafting natural herbal remedies personalised for menstrual health, derived from Natasha Richardson's expertise and personal journey. The brand's commitment to education, individualised care, and sustainability not only distinguishes it from competitors but also embodies a holistic approach to menstrual well-being, resonating deeply with femme's values.

Can you tell us your brand name and about it's incredible background and story?

Forage Botanicals provides natural, herbal alternatives to painkillers for period pains and menopause. Natasha has a BSc (Hons) in herbal medicine and a master’s in the history of women’s medicine from The University of Oxford. Having struggled with her menstrual health, followed by an unsuccessful search for proper treatment, Natasha applied her scientific knowledge to create her herbal remedies. Today, Forage Botanicals offers natural products expertly made by her, personalised 1:1 treatment plans, and online courses for empowering menstrual education, menopause, and more.

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What is your mission and motivation that guides your brand?

Natasha's mission is to raise awareness around menstrual wellbeing. Personally to Natasha, she's found that menstrual wellbeing forms the very centre of her healthy lifestyle and aims to educate through her knowledge and on going product development to help as many people as possible who suffer from menstrual health, menopause, pros, endometriosis and other women's health concerns.

  • What sets your brand apart from competitors?

    We are a natural herbal brand with sustainability at the core of what we do. Natasha Richardson trained in herbal medicine at Lincoln University, qualifying in 2010 after 3 years of training and 500 hours of contact time with patients. She struggled with very painful periods when was first at university and through her studies with herbal medicine, she was able to be pain free within 6 months, then later repeated these with her own patients. She started to see clear patterns among her patients, similarities in triggers and herbs that were beneficial. Over the years of seeing results with particular herbs, she decided to bring the blends she was creating to the market, which is how Forage Botanicals was born. We now offer products alongside one to one treatments with professional herbalists.

  • How does your brand plan to grow and evolve in the future?

    We aim to to be stocked by as many like minded companies to reach the clientele & educate as many people through different institutions such as corporate, schools, hospitals and wellness functions.

Zoella loved what Natasha was doing and had to ask her some questions..

What are your top tips and natural remedies for period pain?

Hot water bottles are my go-to, the most simple and most effective. We have a product in the range called Moon Time Belly Balm, which we created for period pain, using cooling peppermint and majaroam which helps with cramps and they are great to use together. If the pain increases an orgasm can bring instant relief and the natural endorphins work wonders. Also, taking anti-inflammatory supplements like evening primrose oil or fish oils can help too, we recommend taking them daily for at least a month to make a difference

Can holistic remedies help manage conditions such as Endometriosis, Fibroids, PCOS and Adenomyosis?

Yes, I treated all of these conditions in my practice, working to manage triggers and symptoms. Typically Fibroids and PCOS take 6 months to treat and once you know how to manage the condition you will see continued results. Whereas, with our Endo and Adeno patients treatment is often required longer-term as the condition can be reactive and flare up.

How can we reconnect with and reclaim our menstrual cycles?

The number one way is to simply track your cycle. Not only track your bleed but also how you’re feeling, along with the day of your cycle so you can look for patterns month on month. Studies have shown that simply tracking symptoms can improve them because it helps people see any patterns and understand they are transient

How can we have a 'better' period?

The best way to have abetter period is to work hard at relaxing. Schedule time to do nothing. Literally block out time in your diary time where you’re going to say no to social engagements. It’s a miracle worker. Our bodies need to rest, physically, emotionally and sensory. If this is challenging and it is for so many of us with work and family commitments help your body out with herbs that support your unnatural stress response, adaptogens like Ashwagandha and herbs such as hawthorn and oat tops which we blend in our Rested Resilience chai latte help to regulate the nervous system and promote rest

What causes heavy periods, medically known as menorrhagia?

There are many causes but the most common is DUB. DUB means ‘dysfunctional uterine bleeding’ and sadly nobody knows what causes it. If you’re told your heavy periods are because of DUB it can feel like a big question mark. There are also perfectly natural reasons for heavy periods like perimenopause which it’s important to talk about. However, just because heavy periods can be caused by something natural doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do anything about it. Iron supplements can really help, this is because when we have low iron levels we can be prone to bleed more, which then also reduces iron levels again, it’s a vicious cycle. Another reason for heavy flow is fibroids, these are relatively common and can be diagnosed through a scan. Fibroids tend to be more common later in life and will most likely dissipate when periods stop.

What would your advice be for anyone suffering with particularly heavy or painful bleeds? Can a natural remedy help?

Anyone with particularly heavy periods should try an iron supplement like Floradix. I also created our Aunt Flo drinking chocolate to boost your iron levels during and after your period, a chocolate that’s good for you, what more needs to be said? Painful periods also need long-term stress relief, an anti-inflammatory diet and on-the-day pain relief.

Ive had the worst and painful periods and my friend recommended Forage Botanicals. The brand does exactly what is says on the tin, since taking Rested Resilience with Aunt Flo let’s just say it’s been an easy ride throughout the month without having to take any over the counter drugs. The packaging to the finest detail of the brand is just luxurious.
Will be recommending for sure.

Mary Healy

The herb mix worked!

I have PCOS and after my second child I was suffering with boils under my armpits and face along with irregular cycles. I had a consultation with Jo and then got started on a herb mix and made some life style changes and after three months my symptoms were gone!

Victoria Dancer

A different way to deal with life.

I reached out to Forage after a recommendation from my sister in law. I was really struggling after the death of my mum and a miscarriage. I suffer from tinnitus and felt like my mental health was at an all time low.
From the first meeting with Jo I felt at ease and started to feel positive that things could get better. From then on we spoke each week and Jo gave me useful coping mechanisms, discussed health & nutrition and just helped me to start navigating life in a different way. The herbs were lovely too. A powder to put into coffee or smoothies, a tincture to take and a lovely herbal tea which was a lovely way to calm down before bed. Highly recommend the forage programme and Jo was brilliant.

Kelly Michie

Lovely staff, beautiful natural products and very well researched ingredients

Got their period rescue subscription box and it came so beautifully packaged I couldn't wait to try! So far I've used the balm and it's really soothing for bloating I'm currently experiencing from my IBD and being on a steroid dose. I love how all the ingredients are 100% natural with no added nasties. The sub box came with an info sheet on what all the herbs included did too which I found really useful and a beautiful touch. Highly recommend and can't wait for my hot chocolate to arrive! The staff are really lovely too over email and helped me with a query.

Harriot Rockey

I was feeling really weak after a long period

I had a really unusually long, heavy period this cycle which left me feeling completely drained, exhausted and weak. For the last few nights I’ve been making myself a warm mug of Aunt Flo’s raw cacao, raspberry and nettle extract with oat milk and a bit of agave syrup in and not only is it instantly soothing and nourishing but has definitely helped me feel more alive and get back on my feet. Thank you!

Zoe C Miller