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Exploring Traditional Remedies From AAPI Cultures

As a brand founded by Korean women in the United States, Rael is proud to bring advanced innovation and premium natural ingredients from Korea to your everyday period and skincare products so you can feel your best all cycle long. We’re sharing a diverse collection of traditional remedies for feminine self-care from all across the continent and Pacific—no passport required! 

China

  • Skin: Before jade facial rollers and gua sha tools became a widespread staple on social feeds everywhere, 7th century Chinese women embraced jade’s rejuvenating properties that promoted elasticity to combat aging over time, and provided a cooling effect that instantly boosted the user’s glow. 
  • Cycle: Acupuncture and acupressure are part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) modalities that target pressure points to stimulate circulation of the qi (life force) throughout specific parts of the body. During your cycle, you can target different points to release hormones for pain relief, reduce anxiety, and alleviate nausea.

Hawaii

  • Skin: Used for centuries in Hawaii, fast-absorbing kukui nut oil may be on its way to becoming the new coconut oil—perfect for preventative anti-aging care, sunburns, acne, or wounds. Speaking of coconut oil, Pacific Islanders use this anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anti-fungal gift from nature as much as possible: in their diet, or as a natural SPF, hair mask, face mask, and body oil.
  • Cycle: Menstruating Hawaiians were traditionally given special sweet and fatty foods to ease discomfort, and noni juice from morinda trees to calm severe pain or bloating. For centuries, Polynesian healers have used these antioxidant-rich noni fruits to help treat health problems including high blood pressure, pain, burns, inflammation, tumors, effects of aging, and infections.

India

  • Skin: For decades, South Asian brides have used ubtans often formulated with chickpea flour, sandalwood, turmeric, and rose water or milk as a face and body cleanser to make skin glow. Used in traditional Ayurvedic practices for centuries, turmeric in skin remedies can decrease UV damage, flatten blemishes, and boost collagen. 
  • Cycle: While the ancient practice of yoga has 5,000+ year-old roots in Northern India, there are many modern applications for yoga asanas to specifically help address your cycle—from regulating periods and relieving pain to reducing stress and aiding in delivery for pregnant women.

Japan

  • Skin: Used as early as the 700s AD and growing in popularity since the 18th century, adzuki beans in powdered form have been used as a natural skin exfoliant. High in antioxidants, adzuki beans contain a naturally occurring foaming agent that helps to cleanse and tighten pores.
  • Cycle: Looking for cramp relief, mood balancing, or energy boosts that taste good? Help yourself to a cup of matcha! Featuring wonder amino acid L-Theanine which relaxes your muscles, blood vessels, and brain, matcha can increase dopamine and serotonin production so you feel great—physically, mentally, and emotionally. 

Korea

  • Skin: As the central commodity traded by Korea in ancient times, ginseng became a popular ingredient in food, drinks, medicine and beauty products. Full of antioxidants and anti-aging properties, ginseng was used in creams and teas to help women look younger and healthier.
  • Cycle: As early as the beginning of the Goryeo Kingdom (918-1392 AD), Korean women have eaten miyeokguk (seaweed soup) after childbirth. Rich with minerals concentrated in seawater, the seaweed contains a molecule that increases life expectancy, immunity, and cardiovascular function. 

Philippines

  • Skin: In the remote Bicol region, heated banana leaves and pili oil have been used as a traditional healing practice. Rich in chlorophyll, banana leaves release oxygen while absorbing carbon dioxide on skin’s surface—ideal for treating minor concerns like dandruff, eczema, and sunburn—while vitamin A- and E-rich pili oil optimizes the skin’s barrier and diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Cycle: An old superstition about first periods encouraged Filipina girls to wash their face with the blood of their first flow to prevent pimples. Today, people across the globe recognize the life-nurturing nutrients, regenerative stem cells, and rich minerals found in period blood and actively use it in DIY face masks. 

Asia-wide

  • Skin: For centuries women around Asia used rice water full of skin-loving vitamins to naturally brighten, soothe, tone, improve texture, and minimize fine lines and wrinkles. Best part? Each treatment is easy to make and if you’re planning on eating the rice afterwards, this method is basically free and repurposes water that would otherwise be wasted.    
  • Cycle: Speaking of rice in water—going by names like Congee in China, Kanji in India, Bubur in Indonesia, Okayu in Japan, Juk in Korea, Lugaw in the Philippines, and Chao in Vietnam—rice porridge is ubiquitous in diets across the continent. In TCM and Ayurveda, rice porridge is beneficial for postpartum recovery, aiding especially in tissue repair and digestion.

If you want to travel around Asia and the Pacific through history, one natural remedy at a time, many popular Asian ingredients are sold at neighborhood groceries, and you can find specialty ingredients at Asian supermarket chains like H-Mart, Seafood City, and 99 Ranch Market. TCM and Ayurvedic treatments are also increasingly covered by health insurance plans in the US, so check if your coverage allows you to explore these modalities. 

If mixing ingredients isn’t your thing, we got you! Rael’s beauty and cycle care products contain ideal formulations of premium organic ingredients so you can get all the holistic benefits of natural remedies without any fuss! We harness the power of Minerice Enzyme Complex from fermented Jeju rice in our Miracle Clear 3-step system to strengthen your skin’s barrier against acne and irritation. And our Natural Foaming Feminine Wash is made with only 8 plant-based ingredients, including Coco-Betaine from coconut oil, so your intimate areas feel their freshest—without any harsh chemicals.      


As a diaspora, we’re fortunate to inherit and spread our own traditions throughout the US. We hope you appreciate the richness of what Asian-Pacific Islander cultures bring to your everyday self-care! 

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