Welcome to Soul Chat - Be Inspired by Thriving Women.
Meet Milly Watson-Brown from Moon Time Chocolate, aligning the magic of chocolate with the magic of our cycle.
- What is Moon Time Chocolate?
Moon time chocolates are hand-made vegan, organic truffles with herbs and flowers to support various stages of the menstrual cycle. I have also created a ‘Moonpause’ (menopause) selection.
- Tell us the story of how Moon Time Chocolate came to be birthed
Many threads came together to birth Moon Time Chocolate.
I have always been passionate about good food and I cook in cafes and cater for retreats. For a few years, I worked with a friend making chocolate, and he taught me the art and science of chocolate making.
I love alternative, wild and herbal medicine and alchemy, and conjuring tinctures and recipes.
In my early twenties, I experienced three miscarriages, which deepened my connection to my womb, menstruation and the power held there.
These three passions – chocolate, herbs and womb health, combined to create Moon Time Chocolate.
Explain the synergies between chocolate and our moon time
I imagine most menstruators know what it feels like to have strong cravings for chocolate a few days before they start their moon time*. This is no accident! It’s partly to do with the nourishment which comes from good quality, dark chocolate, as well as the wonderful heart-opening effects.
Chocolate is rich in magnesium, iron, antioxidants and can help enhance our moods.
I highly recommend choosing very dark chocolate with little sugars (especially during your bleed). Or Moon Time Chocolate! Of course!
- note - moon time refers to our bleed during our menstrual cycle
Each chocolate is lovingly created to synch with our menstrual cycle. How so?
Each chocolate contains different herbs to support what is naturally occurring in our body at particular times of the menstrual cycle.
- There are eight chocolates in the moon time selection. Each one offers support for a phase of our cycle. Please share the cycle phases/seasons, flavours and quality of each chocolate.
‘Rose & Cramp Bark’ comes first in the cycle, for the beginning of the bleed. Day one or two* of the cycle. Season - inner winter.
Rose and cramp bark support the womb in relaxing and letting go. Rose (Rosa × damascena): Traditionally used to lift depression, dispel fatigue and soothe irritability.
Uplifting, with a restorative effect on the nervous system; assisting in relieving uterine congestion; for irregular periods; infertility and to enhance sexual desire.
Cramp bark (Viburnum opulus): A well-known and traditionally used herb to ease menstrual cramps and remind your bodies’ muscles to relax and let the flow, flow.
*Days of the cycle stated are based on a 28 day cycle – adjust accordingly if you have shorter or longer cycles. Day one being the first day of full flow.
‘Apricot, Almond & Ginger’, inspired by day four of the cycle. Season - inner winter.
With iron-rich apricots, potassium-rich almonds and warming, circulatory, digestive ginger, this truffle helps replace lost nutrients during the bleed.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a pungent, warm spice, traditionally used to create a feeling of warmth & wellbeing; restore vitality; promote menstruation; relax spasms and may help relieve painful periods. It invigorates the reproductive system; settles the stomach & soothes digestion.
‘Maca & Shatavari’, inspired by day eight of the cycle. Season - inner spring.
The perfect combination for after your bleed, when you need a little boost to support you in being out in the world again. Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is a wonderful superfood from Peru. Rich in zinc, iodine and essential fatty acids (EFAs), it is renowned for being a hormone balancer, mood enhancer and supports energy levels by putting a spring back in your step!
Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) is THE women’s Ayurvedic herb. Traditionally used as a rejuvenating tonic for the reproductive system; promoting healthy energy levels and strength; supporting the immune system and having antioxidant properties.
‘Hazelnut & Damiana’ comes next and is inspired by ovulation – day 14. Season - inner summer.
A perfect pick me up with subtle aphrodisiac properties of damiana. Damiana (Turnera diffusa) is traditionally used as an aphrodisiac and to increase sexual potency. A perfect compliment to the energies of ovulation. Also historically used as a tonic to improve wellness, reduce anxiety and nervousness.
‘Lemonbalm & Agnus Castus’ for day 18 - post ovulation. Season - inner spring.
To help balance hormones as well as soothe & lift spirits. Tangy lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) essential oil and tincture. Traditionally used to soothe the nerves and lift the spirits: perfect to help lift the mood in the dip you may experience after the peak of ovulation.
It may also may help relieve irritability and depression associated with PMS. Vitex Agnus Castus (AKA Chaste berry) is traditionally used to balance the female hormones, helpful for irregular, painful and heavy periods; and also is calming, helpful for emotional distress associated with PMS.
‘Cranberry & Blood Orange’ - day 20, post ovulation.
This truffle is mostly for the fun of getting ‘blood’ into one of the truffles! Citrusy blood orange with tangy cranberries; a sweet and fruity bite.
'Raspberry & Raspberry Leaf' - Day 24, Premenstrual. Season - inner autumn.
Fruity raspberry with raspberry leaf tincture. Helping tone and relax the uterus, in preparation for the bleed. Raspberry leaf (Rubus idaeus) is rich in magnesium, potassium, iron & B vitamins.
Raspberry leaf has traditionally been used for its strengthening properties, helping tone up the uterine and pelvic muscles, while the relaxing and more soothing properties relax the uterus at the same time, preparing the womb for the bleed. Historically used to encourage safe, easy and speedy childbirth.
'Lavender, Chamomile & Calendula' - Day 26, premenstrual. Season - inner autumn.
A floral treat just before your bleed. Rich in lavender (Lavandula): traditionally used for its relaxing effect on the mind and body. Good for anxiety & nervousness; balancing emotions & lifting spirits. Mixed with chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla): traditionally a relaxant for the nervous system.
Assisting relaxation in the uterus, reducing painful periods, reducing menopausal symptoms and premenstrual headaches. Blended with calendula (Calendula officinalis) which is traditionally used to help regulate menstruation and relieve cramps; help reduce excessive bleeding and uterine congestion.
- Your chocolates tick all the boxes of being vegan, organic & fair-trade wherever possible. Why is this important to you and your business?
I have strong ethics, particularly around food. What we eat and how it is grown has a huge impact on our lives, on the earth and the people who grow it. I wish to have as little negative impact as I can, and by bringing this into my business, I hope to increase awareness around that.
- How are women empowered by tuning in and honouring their cycle?
There is so much wisdom in our cycles, whether you have regular cycles or not, it is worth getting to know your own intimately.
It can be so empowering to know the subtle, and not so subtle energies of the different phases. To know when you’re likely to want to be social, or inward and restful - and if possible to plan our diaries around them.
During menstruation we can tap into deep inner wisdom and intuition if we allow space for that. This can really support us in our soul's journey and purpose.
- What tips do you have for women that are new to following their cycle?
I have found the best way to connect to, and get to know my cycle is by journaling. Try titling each page with a different day of the cycle, and write a little every day about how you feel emotionally, physically, socially, sexually and psychologically. As you move through your cycle you may notice the changes. On your next bleed, write on the page titled ‘day 1’ again and continue. After a few months, you’ll have many cycles written on each page and may be able to start seeing the patterns.
Another few things I would suggest –
- Really listen to your own body, and know that you are unique and may differ from others' experiences and what you read (and it may not!).
- Be patient. After tracking your cycle for many months, you will begin to see your patterns, which will hopefully empower you to know what to ‘expect’ as the cycle turns.
- Read ‘Wild Power’ by Alexandra Pope & Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer. This is one of the best, most accessible, and up-to-date books I have read, with many tips and exercises to get you started.
- Aside from creating your chocolates, how do you personally honour your cycle?
In the past, I kept a journal every day to get to know my cycle. I don’t do this anymore, but I keep a record of what day of my cycle I am on in my diary, so I can refer to it, and make plans accordingly.
I also try not to plan too much around my bleed, so I can have as much slow rest time as possible. Ideally a whole day in bed, but sometimes this isn’t possible, so I create little pockets of deep rest, which I feel are very supportive.
I also love to feed my blood to the plants in my garden and home, which feels connecting and honouring. And I tell people when I am bleeding, so they understand and accept me for being a little foggier and slower. This also contributes towards breaking the taboo of talking about menstruation!
- What is the greatest gift you receive from your work?
I love hearing about people connecting with their cycles, the herbs and the journeys they experience through eating the chocolates. This brings me great joy!
I enjoy sharing with people about what I create - again contributing to breaking the taboo of this subject.
I also love making chocolate – alchemising in the kitchen is my happy place!
- Do you believe that women are increasingly coming home to the wisdom of their cycle?
YES! Over the last few years of running my business, I see more and more people connecting with their cycles and speaking out about it, and more media coverage. This means information is more accessible to a wider audience, not just the ‘alternative’ scene.
- Favourite Shine Your Light card? (www.thriveinlight.co.nz/shop) Why?
I have a lot of gratitude for the natural world and love to share my gratitude with the other-than-humans around me. I feel that this is seeing the beauty and the light around me, and within me, if I allow myself to see that as a mirror.
For more chocolate and moon time magic head to -