You can’t touch a jar of pickles. You cannot take a head bath. You must not partake in any religious activity. Heard these and more of the same kind? These are a few of the many taboos associated with menstruation. Even in this year 2020, different communities, around the world, observe different menstrual beliefs. There are menstrual myths that have been passed down from generation to generation, spinning a web of false beliefs regarding a period.
Deconstructing these myths is a part of a larger conversation that is meant to pull down the social stigma that’s attached to having periods. As a menstruator, you must have heard that your period blood is the ‘dirty’ or ‘bad’ blood that your body throws out – this is a huge misconception!
WHERE DID THIS MYTH ORIGINATE FROM?
Thinking period blood is ‘bad’ is a consequence of unawareness and lack of education, that led the then primitive society to assume that the ones’ menstruating are a sign of bad omen or danger.
Lack of proper menstrual products that facilitate hygiene must have given way for people to conjecture about this natural process as something unhealthy or unholy which paved the way for the genesis of this myth.
WHAT IS PERIOD BLOOD IN REALITY?
Period blood is not a fluid that’s rejected by your body or some kind of way for your body to flush out toxins. Rather, period blood is like your vagina’s “evolved secretions”. The constitution of menstrual blood varies from person to person, however, it is principally composed of blood, old parts of uterine tissue, cells from the mucus lining, and bacteria making up the vaginal flora. Period blood is also very different from the blood that courses through the rest of your body. It’s less concentrated and has a lowly amount of haemoglobin in it.
Thus, knowing the difference between fact and fiction is integral to making this world a better place to bleed in.
ARE THERE ANY USES OF PERIOD BLOOD?
Actually, there are quite a few uses of your menstrual blood! I assure you I didn’t know about them either but deeper research resulted in some fascinating reads. A simple google search saying “period blood uses” will lead anyone to a number of blogs and articles highlighting the uses of the said fluid.
Some of the intriguing ones are mentioned below for anyone who wishes to make use of their blood after collecting it in a menstrual cup or squeezing it out of a tampon:
- Use as a face mask
The most common usage is to use your blood as a face mask. Yes! A period blood face mask is said to leave your skin looking replenished, nourished, and glowing. Users concur that its effect is cooling. The mask can smooth your skin, treat acne, and many people swear over its youthful effect calling it a “fountain of youth”.
- Use as a plant fertilizer
Some people claim to have used their period blood as a fertilizer for their houseplants to make them ‘‘grow better, faster and healthier’’. They could be right: just like a normal fertiliser, menstrual blood contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
- Use as a paint
Many artists have said to have used their blood instead of paint over their canvas. It is believed to look extremely well on plexiglass artwork. One can use it to make a statement by inserting a period positive message with it. Additionally, people also use it to make nail paint with it to polish their nails.
4. Monitor your health
A lot many of the menstruators collect blood over a period of months to keep a tab on their health. Any changes in the colour or lumps in it can be a sign of red flags.
There are many many more uses of period blood and few links have been provided for those of you who would like to know more about the evergreen ways of using one’s menstrual blood.
For further reading:
Disclaimer: The writer does not endorse or promote any of these methods which may or may not pose health risks to the entities mentioned. The blog post is just a summation and reincarnation of the various uses of menstrual blood found on the internet.
|| By Amvi Mishra ||