From an early age as she grew up in Carmel Valley, Alice Cash developed a love for theater, a passion that evolved into a career as a stage director in New York City.
The Canyon Crest Academy graduate also became fascinated with the culture and people of Haiti, leading her to travel there and involve Haitian children in theater.
Now 28, Cash focuses on a much larger sector of the population: women and, specifically, their experiences with the often socially taboo subject of menstruation.
After directing about 20 different productions, the Manhattan resident temporarily set aside her theatrical endeavors to serve as media manager in the promotion of Jubilance.
Produced by a bio-tech company in Carmel Valley, Jubilance is a supplement that may offer relief to women from symptoms such as anxiety and depression that often occur as part of the monthly menstrual cycle, including emotional premenstrual symptoms, commonly called PMS.
“We want to give women a chance to live their lives without the stress of PMS,” Cash said. “Now, there’s a product to help them. My goal is to get it out to as many people as possible.”
Jubilance, which is a pill, is made from oxaloacetate, a metabolite in human cells that is important to energy production and the glucose system.
According to the company, the product works by helping to stabilize the brain’s sugar level, which can become imbalanced as a result of the hormonal changes women go through during the menstrual cycle. The company makes no medical claims. It asserts only that the supplement could help.
Jubilance, its website states, has not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the company does not claim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
The website provides an extensive list of online references to studies on oxaloacetate and its use in the treatment of PMS. Also to advance its message, Jubilance had a booth at the annual Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine’s conference held in San Diego through Wednesday.
As part of the effort to promote Jubilance and to highlight the stories of women in general, Cash recently launched a podcast at jubilance.com/blog titled Weekly Woman.
“For so long, to even say the word ‘period’ was taboo,” Cash articulated in a news release on the podcasts. “It’s time that menstruation is an accepted part of the definition of womanhood.
“We want to create a space where women from all over the U.S. can feel free to openly converse about their bodies and functions.”
Brooklyn resident Emma Berley is one of the women who discovered Jubilance and is featured in a podcast interview by Cash.
For years, Berley said in a phone interview last week, she would experience severe emotional distress starting a week or two in advance of her period.
Physicians diagnosed her as suffering from a phenomenon known as PMDD — Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.
“During PMS, usually people get cranky, but this was something more than cranky,” Berley said. “I would have fits of rage, and sometimes I would get dizzy and feel like I was going to faint.
“I would find myself fighting with everybody in my life. I would have a hard time getting to work on time. I felt like life was horrible. Then, I would have my period, and I would have to apologize to everyone — ‘Oh God, I didn’t mean to do that.”
Her doctors prescribed antidepressants, but they didn’t seem to help much, she said. She stumbled onto Jubilance on Instagram and received an offer of free samples from Cash.
“I tried it, and it actually worked,” said Berley, a makeup artist now studying to become an art teacher. “For the first time in my life, I didn’t get into a depression, and it was just really cool. I thought this is crazy.
“I’ve been taking it for a year and a month, and it’s really helped me. For the first time in many years, I didn’t feel angry, depressed or sad.”
For information on Jubilance, go to its website at jubilance.com.