Julia Nagel/Sun Photography Editor

A box of pistachio and rose flavored period cramp comfort treats.

September 16, 2023

Aunt Flow’s Kitchen Disrupts the Flow of Menstrual Stigma

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Growing up with gut-twisting menstrual cramps, Armita Jamshidi ‘25 (majoring in Computer Science and College Scholar, focusing on the intersection between entrepreneurship and women’s health) knew one thing: she didn’t deserve to suffer through her pain. Uncomfortable with the possible long-term consequences of traditional pain medication, Jamshidi instead relied on her grandma’s soothing Middle-Eastern recipes. Inspired by these recipes, she launched her small business in 2022 as She Balls. Now known as Aunt Flow’s Kitchen, her company is dedicated to helping menstruators mitigate period cramps with grandma-approved “Cramp Bites.”

Coming to Cornell, Jamshidi was unable to replicate her comfort foods due to there being no Middle Eastern grocery stores in a local radius. As her cramps worsened, she ended up in the E.R. and struggled to get through daily life. Determined, she knew sitting through her pain would only feed its power. So, through the Women in Entrepreneurship Program, she coined the concept of “Cramp Bites.” Following positive and informative feedback, Jamshidi began to consider bringing the concept to life.

Cramp Bites, based on her grandma’s recipes, feature exquisite flavors, such as pistachio, sesame and rose. Each Cramp Bite package comes with a personalized letter, fueling you to feel capable of “chang[ing] the world, regardless of your menstrual agenda,” as she wrote in our order’s letter. Encouraged even more by her company’s viral TikToks (@auntfloskitchen), we just had to give them a try. 

When you first open a box of Cramp Bites, you are welcomed with an aromatic embrace of comforting sweetness (and just a touch of  tang). With a warm smell, these vegan, gluten-free bites feel like a warm hug even before tasting them. Each Cramp Bite features a crave-satisfying balance of textures and flavors, and a little extra kick to keep you looking forward to your next bite. Although we weren’t tasting them for their intended purposes, we can at least confirm that these bites won’t rattle your digestive system! (Unless you have a nut allergy…)

Speaking of nuts, Jamshidi has high hopes for the future of Aunt Flow’s Kitchen––including an allergy-friendly Cramp Bite! Planning to stick with the Middle-Eastern flavor diaspora, Jamshidi hopes to keep creativity at the forefront as she designs more products to alleviate other period problems (such as fatigue). Also considering partnering with period tracking apps like Clue and creating a kind of subscription model, Jamshidi has an endless flow of ideas to disrupt the stigma surrounding menstrual pain.

Daniela Rojas, dining editor, is a third-year student in the College of Arts & Sciences. She can be reached at [email protected]. Katie Rueff, dining contributor, is a first year in the College of Arts and Sciences. She can be reached at [email protected].

Correction: A previous version of this article claimed that Cramp Bites were proven via clinical trials to reduce the symptoms of period cramps. As per the study’s research poster, which can be viewed here, the researcher concluded that their data lacked statistical significance, and therefore were not sufficient evidence to support this claim.