Every time we were about to take a wonderful, warm bath, our elders advised us not to wash our hair. Washing hair throughout periods is often considered to promote vaginal infections, exacerbate period pain, and even result in infertility.
Is there, however, a link between hair washing and menstruation?
Let’s go back in time and examine the science to disprove this fallacy!
AYURVEDA’S VIEW OF MENSURATION
It is the process during which the formed ovum is shed out due to the absence of fertilization. Most people have the concept that period blood is an impure form of blood, but it is just the opposite! The body prepares the uterus with its best nutrients and purest form of blood for the formation of the ovum. It is a regular process that a woman undergoes every month.
AYURVEDA AND MENSTRUATION SYMPTOMS
What is interesting and unique about Ayurveda is that it does not discriminate between men and women, the young and the old. It merely classifies you according to your constitution: are you vata, pitta, or kapha prakriti?
What difference does it make?
The menstrual cycle, on the other hand, is associated with pain for vata-prakriti persons. This is due to excess vata’s sheetha (coldness) and khara (roughness), which cause blood vessels to tighten. This impedes the free flow of vata and is so unpleasant.
The menstrual cycle for pitta-prakriti folks includes excessive bleeding and enlarged breasts. The monthly flow is heavy for kapha-prakriti persons, with clots in the menstrual blood.
The following are the ideal attributes of shuddha aartava or regular menstruation:
- Monthly discharge: at regular intervals and without sliminess
- There is no discomfort or burning sensation.
- Discharge is up to five nights: neither excessive nor insufficient.
MENSTRUATION AND ITS RATIONALE
While not all period facts and misconceptions can be debunked, the ‘rules’ of menstruation are intended to help you live a better and healthier life during this time of the month.
1] PHYSICAL EXERCISE
Don’t overwork yourself. You should not go out.
Isn’t that an old-fashioned point of view? I don’t blame you for dismissing the idea of slowing down at this point. We live in a time where women seek to prove that their energy and talents are equal to those of men. Sanitary napkin advertisements also highlight the essence of females and dispel menstruation myths.
So, how does Ayurveda interpret this?
You lose a lot of blood during this ‘period,’ so you naturally become weaker physically and less active cognitively. Excess blood also causes a lot of heat inside you, which is discharged during menstruation and works to keep the body cool. Exercising and having an active life during this period necessitates increased blood circulation and heat creation, which is counter-productive.
According to Ayurveda, you should
- Have some quality ME time for yourself.
- If you must exercise, only moderately; don’t push yourself as hard. Some people work out to relieve cramps. Resting during this time, according to Ayurveda, will lessen the feelings of menstrual cramps and other similar discomforts. just because you are paying attention to what your body requires.
- When these are not followed, the apana vayu moves upward rather than downward. As a result, you are preventing the heat and toxins from naturally leaving your body.
Rest and meditation are advised for those who are fasting or performing panchakarma; it is ideal for menstruation ladies to follow this advice. Stress causes hormonal imbalance and conditions like PCOD (Polycystic Ovarian Disease); occasionally, this happens without the women’s knowledge.
Low-intensity physical activity is advised because of this. It never implies that the woman is less competent. That’s a relief, phew!
On the fourth day of your menstrual cycle, make sure you take a full bath.
What? Does this imply that because I had my period, I am dirty? In reality, body heat rather than dirt is the focus of the advice.
The body is already preparing to expel heat over the first three days through blood loss. To prevent interfering with the body’s natural detoxification process, it is advised that you refrain from taking a head bath and washing with cold water during this period. Of course, you are free to clean yourself for hygiene. On the fourth day, though, a head bath completes the body’s cooling process that began when you started menstruation. It is advised to take a full bath from head to toe.
Women today tend to eat less since they have a lower appetite. This is due to the fact that their Agni, or internal digestive fire, is weak right now. Different symptoms, such as heaviness, gas, diarrhea, and constipation, are typical at this time of the month. Therefore, it is advised to eat lighter and more readily digestible foods to reduce the strain on the body’s processes.
You can eat foods that promote simple digestion depending on your prakriti:
Vata: Consume warm foods, spices, and ginger tea; stay hydrated. Steer clear of energizers. Learn more about foods that balance vata.
Drink ginger tea, and stay away from dairy products and fried and greasy foods. Drink plenty of water. Find out more about kapha-balancing foods.
Pitta: Steer clear of foods that are very sour, salty, hot, spicy, or greasy. Consume cooling herbs like coriander and cilantro as well as sweet, bitter, and astringent foods. Drink plenty of water. Avoid mental tension; control your thoughts to prevent rage or irritation. Read foods that calm the pitta.
Don’t go to sleep during the day. Every day, go to bed before 10 PM. Sleep on thin mats, such as tatami mats, and mattresses.
According to Ayurveda, breaking these behaviors will disrupt the balance in a woman’s constitution during her period. Getting enough sleep, sleeping at regular intervals, and waking up on schedule all contribute to reviving and feeding the Agni and regaining one’s power.
Sleeping on tatami mats reduces stress on the lower limbs and back, both of which are typically impacted during menstruation.
These behaviors are thought to avoid hormonal imbalances, menopausal symptoms, and PMS (pre-menstrual stress), all of which are very common among working women today. As this stage is the precursor to the very beginning of life, it also makes it possible for a healthy kid to be born.
Any practice that damages women by forcing them into menstruation huts and lonely camps during this time is obviously unacceptable, and no intelligent person will support it. On the other hand, I’m all in favor of the practices if they aid in recharging, energizing, and motivating women to take better care of their health.