Are you (your friends or lovers) crampy, grouchy, headachy and drained every month around your period?
You don't need to be. In fact you shouldn't be.
Ayurveda says a healthy (ie: normal) menstrual period is fairly easy and quick, arrives regularly each lunar month, lasts only 3-4 days, and is painless.
Blood should be bright red, without clots, not too profuse, and easy to wash out! It is normal to be a little tired or weak feeling and spacey-- but it is not normal to be plagued with headaches, body aches, bloating, emotional extremes, digestive problems, or any of the myriad of other symptoms that we often suffer with.
Too many women have been lead to believe that it is normal to be disabled every month and to think that there is nothing that they can do to change things for the better. So many women are forced to take birth control pills or monthly rounds of pain killers to maintain their lives.
The ease or difficulty of periods indicate a woman's underlying health and fertility and the integrity and vitality of all the other systems in the body. A healthy woman has easy & regular periods. Irregular or unpleasant periods display problems in many other tissue systems in the body.
There are few physical experiences that tie us to the cycles of nature as profoundly as a menstrual \ fertility cycle. This make it a perfect place to see the benefits of Ayurvedic practices.
Monthly (in sync with a particular moon phase) our bodies remind us: we are of this planet and we are indelibly tied to it. Based on bringing the body into better alignment with these phases Ayurveda lays out how you can make your periods easier and your whole body healthier. If you follow these guidelines you will improve your health in ways that impact your periods, fertility, and even your experience during menopause.
Rules for 'rajaswala': woman who is menstruating:
Good thinking: be mindful of your mental processes. You are more sensitive during this time so avoid situations that are upsetting and spend a little extra time sitting, meditating, reading \ watching positive things, & avoid people that you find aggravating.
Avoid sex: this is expressed in the texts as the indication to not wear make up & jewelry or dress flashily. This signals to your lover\s that you are not in the mood and that your priorities are elsewhere.
Rest a lot and sleep more.
Eat simply: Milk (and rice or barley pudding) and Barley are recommended. Meat broth or soup is good-- but avoid eating meat itself.
Eat less: it is indicated that women on their period should not cook (your taste and smell senses are off and you should be resting!). Let others cook for you or eat out, but in moderation.
Do as little work as possible. Your long term health is more important than anything else and this is definitely a way to protect your long term health.
- Don't travel: air travel is especially upsetting and will cause increased pain and fatigue.
- Don't exercise: During your period you should not exercise more than a gentle walk. But exercising the rest of the month will improve your cycles.
There are many herbs and formulas that Ayurveda uses for correcting menstrual issues. Please visit a skilled Ayurveda practitioner to address your specific issues.
But as you know I can not pass up an opportunity to recommend my favorite home remedy: Castor Oil.
- If you are plagued by cramps, constipation, body aches, delayed flow, or clots (but not excessive flow) you can take a tiny dose (1\4 tsp) of castor oil nightly during the week preceding your period and you will see these symptoms melt away.