Vaginal dryness started shadowing my sex life when I became postmenopausal at 46. One doctor tested my estrogen levels and exclaimed, “Sorry, Carol, but you’re running on empty.” Yes, I was told I could take hormones. But I couldn’t overcome the idea of putting something into my body made from pregnant horses’ urine.
Jumping ahead to when I was 55, another doctor told me, “On the outside, you look like you’re 20 years younger but on the inside you look like you’re 80.”
My journey to a re-born life of sexual passion actually started in the dermatologist’s office at 64. I was told that the flushing and redness on my face was rosacea and that it was incurable. Wanting to make sure that any makeup foundation I used wouldn’t worsen the condition I searched for products that dermatologists recommended. One makeup I came across listed ‘seabuckthorn’ as an ingredient. Clueless as to what this was I entered ‘seabuckthorn’ into my search engine.
Up came the website for Seabuckthorn International, Inc. (SII), a Canadian corporation based in Peachland, British Columbia. I learned that seabuckthorn has been used medicinally and as food for thousands of years. It was Susan McLoughlin, President and CEO of SII, who with her late husband Colin pioneered the seabuckthorn industry in Canada in 1991. They were the first in North America to grow, develop, manufacture, and sell seabuckthorn products.
The seabuckthorn plant produces small orange colored berries. The flesh of berries is processed into fruit oil and the tiny seeds inside the berries are processed into seed oil. The plant’s berries and leaves are packed with an amazing number of healthy fatty acids and micronutrients.
SII describes its branded SBT Seabuckthorn products as: “Healing from the inside out”. That resonated with me. Three times a day, I took their nutritional supplement, SBT Seabuckthorn Vegan Single Source Oil, that combines equal amounts of the fruit oil and seed oil. I used SBT Seabuckthorn Vegan Seed Oil daily under my makeup and at night. The rosacea was gone in six months.
While I continued to use the seed oil every day on my face, I only intermittently took the combined oil nutritional supplement.
In September 2012, I learned I had breast cancer. After a lumpectomy, I faced radiation therapy. The good folks at SII pointed me to the research about seabuckthorn oils having powerful healing properties when it comes to radiation damage. They explained, “Russian cosmonauts included seabuckthorn in their diets to help counteract radiation exposure from the sun while in space. Those experiencing fallout from the Chernobyl disaster were given seabuckthorn oils to help protect the thyroid from radiation damage.” So after each radiation treatment, I applied SBT Seabuckthorn Vegan Fruit Oil. It kept my skin from burning, blistering, and peeling. My chest looked as though I had gotten a sun tan, nothing more.
To deal with some of the other side effects of radiation I got approved for a medical marijuana license. I wasn’t a marijuana newbie. Let me explain.
While the sixties framed my high school and college years, marriage at 21, motherhood at 22; work, and graduate studies disconnected me from the hippie culture of that time. In the early 80s when I was divorced and dating, I was offered my first opportunity to try a joint. I did and, yes, I inhaled. There were other social occasions and then in 1985, I remarried.
My husband Larry is seven years younger and one of those free spirits in the 70s who enjoyed marijuana. In 1990, Larry left the corporate world and started a non-profit. That began 22 years of abstinence.
My first visit to a medical dispensary was a revelation: Washington-grown, pesticide-free cannabis, tested for safety, consistency, and potency. Helpful and knowledgeable staff recommended infused edibles and concentrates to help me overcome insomnia, changes to my sense of taste, appetite loss, and stress. There was another positive, unexpected outcome: I was getting turned on again! While vaginal dryness was still an unwelcome companion, desire came back into my life.
From the end of September in 2014 through the first week in December, Larry and I traveled in Asia. I didn’t take any supplements with me. Now, it’s January 2015, and I needed to replenish my SBT Seabuckthorn products. SII’s home webpage featured new research from Finland about seabuckthorn positively impacting vaginal dryness. My intermittent use went back to daily use..
By March I was enjoying more sexual pleasure and significantly diminished discomfort.
Continuing on this path, in early April, I came across an article about a psychotherapist named Esther Perel. She wrote a book titled Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence, which is about “sexless marriages and what it takes to bring lust home.” That description got my attention. I found a copy of the book in my local library. Read it. Bought a copy; read it again, and began internalizing and applying Ester Perel’s advice.
By May, Larry and I were luxuriating in mutual time-stopping, pleasure, intimacy and bliss a couple of times a week!
On May 19, 2015, my gynecologist, Dr. Nancy Bohannon, confirmed the physical improvements that Larry and I both felt. Dr. Bohannon asked me to write a short description about how I restored my vaginal health that she and her partners could give to interested patients.
My life has been transformed! Now I want to share how, so yours can be too!