By Lara Bland
What is Tourmaline?
First of all, it’s ‘TOUR-MA-LINE’. Although it does sound suspiciously similar to a triangular shaped confectionary prism whose name shall remain unspoken, I’m afraid that we do not line our pads with a layer of nougaty chocolate (although we might put that one in the thought fridge and snack on it later). Tourmaline is actually a semi-precious stone that is super rich in boron silicate minerals (more on the healing properties of these in just a minute). Tourmaline actually means “mixed stone”, and it’s no wonder! From watermelon pinks, neon greens, oil slick blacks, and honey golds, the rainbow of variety is one of the many reasons why this stunning stone is a firm favourite around the world.
Where Does it Come From?
Goggles? Check! Lab coats? Check! Right, we’ve got everything we need for a quick science lesson, so let’s talk tourmaline! Tourmaline is known as an ‘accessory mineral’. This means that it can be found in igneous and metamorphic rocks. So what does this mean? Well, in a nutshell, these are rocks that have had their properties modified by extreme heat, meaning that the crystals are formed from the molten rock that lies beneath the earth’s surface. Tourmaline can be found all around the globe, from Madagascar to Southern California. But the rarest and most valuable tourmaline known in the world is called Paraiba, and is named after the Brazilian state in which it is mined. The saturated, neon-like blue colour is described as ‘electric’, and is all thanks to the high traces of copper found within the stones, making them extremely desirable for collectors and jewellery lovers alike. The rarity of the Paraiba variety means that a single carat can sell for tens of thousands of dollars! So if you ever find yourself strolling in the foot hills of Paraiba, you might want to keep an eye out…
If you are a loveable Libra or a sassy Scorpio, you may already be familiar with this gem of a stone, as tourmaline is one of the TWO birthstones associated with those born in October (the other being Opal). Fun(ish) fact: the National Association of Jewellers added tourmaline to the mix in the early 1900s due to questions regarding its durability and concerns about Opal being ‘too feminine’!
But back to tourmaline! The allure of this reputable rock goes back further than this, and for good reason too. For hundreds of years the stone has been prized for its beauty and ability to stimulate the mind, body and soul of those who come into contact with it. Mystics believed that the sheer spectrum of colours, hues and tones found within the gems were unmatched and endless. This is why tourmaline is often associated with creativity and is believed to encourage artistic expression. So if you feel like tuning in to your creative side or are wanting to treat that special Di Vinci in your life, this Di-Vine mineral could be the perfect choice!
But tourmaline also has a mystic magic to it too! It’s common for crystals and semi-precious stones to be associated with at least one of the 12 Zodiac Houses, and to embody aspects of that House’s particular traits. Spiritually, tourmaline has traditionally been associated with the Zodiac house of Libra, who is often depicted by the weighing scales of justice. These scales symbolise the balancing properties of tourmaline, which are believed to promote strength and serenity to the individual or wearer. In addition, tourmaline is also believed to release tension by restoring a diplomatic relationship between the mind, body and soul, making it an truly fitting crystal for those who menstruate and suffer from the turbulent symptoms of PMS (premenstrual syndrome).
Why Do We Use it in Our Pads?
So, what does this have to do with periods I hear you cry? Well, as tourmaline is formed under the earth’s surface, it’s natural healing properties are infused into the crystal from the hot waters, vapours, and elements that make up its composition. Now, tourmaline is super rich in anions, and this is what makes it a game changer when it comes to periods, and one of the main reasons why we pride ourselves in including a lovely layer of it in all of our Gift Wellness pads! During menstruation, your body is more susceptible to bacteria, but these wonderful little groups of atoms help encourage cell regeneration which is key in helping reduce the risk of any infection downstairs.
Although tourmaline’s chemical classification is known as ‘boron silicate’, the scientifically backed results of its purifying powers are far from being boring or silly. The natural healing nature of anion rich tourmaline also helps to strengthen the immune system, and has more of an impact on our daily lives than we may think! For years tourmaline has been a staple in health and environment fields, and really is a hidden gem that is most likely sitting in your house right now, helping to keep you safe and healthy without you probably even knowing. In its powdered form, tourmaline is used in swimming pools, fridges, air purifiers, water filters, and showers just to name a few!
Another reason why our much loved tourmaline is Gift Wellness’ worst kept secret is because of the dramatic improvement it can make to those, who like myself, suffer from sensitive skin. When I first started my period in my early tweens, I was put off by the extreme drying effect that I experienced with the majority of supermarket period products. In more ways than one, it was a reason to feel insecure and irritated in my own body, which really is the last thing anyone wants – especially whilst on your period. So this is where our trusted tourmaline comes in to save the day again! The natural antibacterial properties of tourmaline are emitted through the pyroelectricity of negative ion’s and far infrared rays which are released when heat and pressure are applied to it. This is known in the biz as ‘biologic activity influence’, and also means that the tourmaline in our pads work as a natural mood balancer and deodorant too. Now this is one of the things I love the most about the pads, as paranoid thoughts often plagued my mind regarding embarrassing smells and unprecedented mood swings. That’s why I wear the pads in combination with Gift Wellness’ menstrual cup! Doing this just gives me that extra support and peace of mind (literally!) that my period experience will be a calmer and happier one.
As well as sensitive skin, many of our much loved customers are actually those who suffer from endometriosis (a really painful condition in which the tissue that lines the uterus starts growing outside of it). Just looking through the reviews on our website, we are so glad to hear you lovely people share that symptoms like sharp pains, cramping, heavy bleeding and migraines have actually been relieved after using our pads. Although she is a gem, tourmaline can’t get all the credit with this one. She gets some extra support from her green gal pal, mint, and boy, do they make the perfect dream team! Herbal mint extracts like those that are gently imbued in our pads have been used for thousands of years to help soothe all types of ailments. The natural magic imbedded in each layer of our tourmaline and mint pads helps to relax muscles, reduce pain, and regulate blood flow, allowing you to take back control of your body during in a time when it often feels like you can’t.
The Take Away
When it comes to periods, tourmaline really is your best friend, and like all BFF’s, our pads are here to support you when you need it the most. With their mood stabilising, antibacterial and deodorising properties, you can say sayonara to paranoid thoughts about unwanted smells, leaks and irritated skin. For me personally, Gift Wellness’ tourmaline pads have been just that – a gift! They truly are the ultimate, natural alternative to the scratchy kind you can find on supermarket shelves, and I won’t go back. If the past year has taught us anything it’s this: when it comes to our health and wellbeing, prevention is often better than cure. So here at Gift Wellness we say, why treat your period any different? So go on, try them for yourself. You can thank me later!