Archeus founder Georgina Langdale has interviewed women around the globe about Menopause in order to create natural ways of helping at this time.
She explains how Nature can help with this transition.
Are you one of the many women today who feels relieved that at last, menopause is something that you can speak about? “The idea of menopause being a taboo topic is so last century,” said Georgina Langdale, founder of the natural skincare and living brand Archeus. Happily menopausal, Georgina has created her business from scratch and enabled it to evolve into the space of helping people through key life transitions. Archeus features among other things, a natural menopause wellness range.
In today’s world, we are starting to see recognition and celebration of the reality of women having a middle age and we're able to make more choices about how we navigate this stage of life. “I've spoken to so many women who have said they just wished there were some natural options for dealing with some of the symptoms of menopause. I’ve had women coming to me crying because they felt they were losing their sense of self, or that intimacy was affected by their bodily changes. Then there are other others who have said ‘Halelujah!' and are loving this time of life.”
Georgina has created all products in the Archeus range herself. “I am obsessed with how we can work with Nature for our beauty and well-being.” Hours of research and formulation development has resulted in a range that draws on the healing qualities of plants and the way they have been used to support women’s health throughout history. Georgina responded to requests and started her menopause range with a botanically infused balm for vaginal dryness. Then she added a botanic functional fragrance that helps cool hot flashes, and a tincture blend to help support better sleep and calmer cycles.
Archeus believes that the application of mainstream medical care and the use of natural products and therapies does not have to be a ‘one or the other’ model. “I do tell my customers that if they feel they have a problem or concern they should definitely get it checked out by their doctor, but there are also many ways we can work with Nature to help us get through the tough stuff.
“Nature’s given us a whole first aid kit for body and soul and many of what are seen as dowdy ‘weeds’ can be powerful healers, we have just forgotten how to see this and how to connect with that healing power. My aim is to help people find that connection again.”
Menopause hits at a time when a whole bunch of stuff is going on in women’s lives. It can often be hard to tell if the emotional upsets are due to changing hormones or to the pressures of life. Things like kids leaving home can create a vacuum in one’s sense of identity, you may be dealing with ageing parents, often illness has reared its head or the sense of running out of time can become unbearable.
“I don’t have children”, Georgina explains, “and yes at first I did feel that panicky sense of running out of time so I really understand that issue menopause can bring for many women, but after a while that agony of wondering if one could or would have children was gone. This realisation brings with it some sadness but also some relief. Now it just is what it is, not what it could be and I have made peace with that”.
Vaginal dryness - a hidden problem
One thing that many women still find hard to come to talk about and come to terms with is vaginal dryness.
Vaginal dryness is a very common symptom of menopause yet it can feel just too personal to discuss. Did you know though that experts estimate that 40 - 60% of women will develop vaginal dryness at some point during the menopause transition? For some women, vaginal dryness will start before their periods have stopped, while others will experience it in the years following menopause.
What is it about this dryness that make us feel unable to talk about it? After all, we seem happy enough to talk about periods and childbirth and less than perfect bladder control?
Acknowledging that dried up lady bits mean sex is painful, or that walking can chafe and irritate our bits, seems to carry with it a perception of us admitting to being ‘less than a woman’.
Looking for relief from painful or annoying symptoms
Burning, stinging, irritation, itching, painful intercourse and general discomfort were the most common complaints discussed. The more women talked to Georgina, the more she wanted to create something from nature’s medicine chest to help with this hidden symptom of ageing.
Developing a natural product that is not all about sex, but very much about feeling feminine and womanly and, to be frank, comfortable has been very liberating.
"A sense of comfort in one’s own body was of paramount importance in the brief I set myself as I started to develop my Archeus Naturally Feminine (aka Lady Bits) Balm." To get that ‘soothe factor’ her starting point was making it with oils and butters rather than the more common water-based products. The balm is complemented by Archeus Transition Drops, The Change Functional Fragrance and our range of teas, beauty creams and serums.
It means a lot to me to be creating products that are helping women through natural or medically-induced menopause. I think it makes a huge difference that my customers know that I am going through this transition as well, so I really understand some of the issues.
I think we need to celebrate this transition as a time of 'stepping into our power'. Rather than fight my own hot flushes I now marvel at them and go with them. I treat my hair regularly with our Halo Oil to help with 'menopause hair' and I have stopped trying to compare myself, my body shape, to the younger me.
Being kind to ourselves is important, and no less so at this transition. "Everything we do at Archeus is about being kinder to ourselves and to the planet.
"If you'd me ten years ago if I knew I'd be making menopause products, I'd have said no way! Mind you, if you'd asked me ten years ago if I understood what an issue dryness is for women as they age, I would've had no idea! It just shows that looking for ways to solve problems comes best from experiencing the issue."
Every product Archeus sells and workshop place booked contributes to giving back to Mother Nature by supporting plant conservation projects run by schoolchildren. "Nature provides so much and so it is really nice to give something back."
Archeus products for menopause are curated on the Menopause Wellness Page. New customers can save 10% on their first order when they sign up to the Archeus newsletter.
Georgina's Tips for Navigating Menopause: