Ayurvedic period health tips are unique guidelines that may provide you with support in reestablishing proper health of the menstrual cycle. Some of these tips may seem unusual so keep reading to uncover why they’re important. This ancient medical system is ripe with wisdom for preventing illness and restoring it, too.
If you are suffering with painful periods that leave you drained, irritable, and sensitive to noise, work with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner, in addition to your medical provider, to restore proper functioning. It’s likely that the digestive system needs support, too. When you’re receiving that care and when your health is restored, follow these period health tips to maintain good health throughout your reproductive years.
When you have your period, your immunity is weakened. The natural outpouring of menstrual fluid, which Ayurveda considers to be a waste material, produces a state where all doshas are provoked. As a result, there are many rules to follow during your period in order to maintain good health.
Here’s a quick list of the do’s and don’ts. If you are receiving Ayurvedic therapies, please check the therapies section for guidelines to follow during your period.
Quick List: Ayurvedic Period Health Tips
- Clean before your period starts, not during.
- Think good thoughts.
- Avoid negative emotions.
- Avoid metal jewelry.
- Don’t sit on the bare ground.
- Bathe quickly.
- In general, eat less.
- No sex during menses.
- No daytime napping.
- Don’t cut your hair and nails.
- Avoid excess talking and loud noises.
- Do not exercise or expose yourself to heat.
Clean Before Your Period Starts, Not During
Because of the weakened immunity during menses, sanitation is important at this time. Clean your bathrooms a day or two before your period starts so that you don’t need to clean them during your period. Put clean sheets on the bed. Fumigate your living space with natural incense like turmeric, neem, pippali or guggulu. If you don’t have access to these, any natural incense will do.
Think Good Thoughts
Only have good thoughts during your period. Maintain positivity with gentle activities that are pleasant and produce happiness. Postpone situations which might upset you so that you maintain your strength during this time.
Avoid Negative Emotions
Avoid negative emotions and crying until the period is over. Isolate yourself from sources of unhappiness. Avoid fear, despair, grief, and anger, as all of these are disruptive to the menstrual cycle. Set issues aside to deal with them after your period has ended.
Avoid Metal Jewelry
Avoid heavy, tight fitting, metal jewelry during your period as metal has a strong potency which can weaken or aggravate the doshas.
Don’t Sit on the Bare Ground
If you maintain a meditation practice where you sit on the ground or will be spending time outside sitting on the ground, sit on a heavy blanket or sheep skin instead. Similar to the suggestions with metal jewelry, the earth’s pull is strong and can intensify feelings of weakness. Downward motions of vata dosha are active during menses and are already quite strong. They can intensify by sitting on the bare ground.
If you need to shower, make it quick. A long bath or shower at this time can disrupt the proper passage of fluids and metabolism.
Use lukewarm water - neither too hot nor too cold - so you’re not opening the pores or lightening the body, two natural results of bathing.
As an alternative, you can use wash rags. If you are suffering from pain during your period, a hot bath is okay for this purpose.
In general, eat less.
Your agni (metabolism) is likely to be reduced during your period which means that you don’t have the same food intake requirements that you have at other times of the month.
Cooked barley with milk and sugar, in small quantities, is recommended during menses and is quite delicious. Barley is good for giving you a feeling of fullness. It also lends to easy elimination. Barley is heavy (guru), cold (sita), and rough (khara), so prepare it with milk or ghee to ease the rough quality.
No sex during menses.
Observe celibacy during your period as sex at this time can be problematic. It can create a retrograde action on apana vayu (one of the functions of vata dosha), the natural downward force that regulates excretion of waste products. If apana vayu goes upwards instead of downwards, proper excretion of waste does not happen. Also, the subtle pores of the body are open at this time because of the naturally increased presence of heat in the system. Sex during menses can push the menstrual blood into these pores, forcing the dosha (waste) deeper into the body, in particular affecting the health of the bone.
No daytime napping.
Napping produces secretions of the watery portions of the body, and this obstructs proper elimination. It can extend the length of the period beyond what’s necessary. Avoid daytime napping unless it is summer, or you’ve lost much sleep the night before.
Don’t cut your hair and nails.
According to Ayurveda, hair and nails are byproducts of the bone. In other words, in the process of digestion and absorption, nutrients that reach the layer of the bone next form the hair and nails as byproducts. Vata dosha, which is the predominant active dosha during menses, has a direct affinity to the bone and its byproducts. Cutting them at this time can exacerbate the quality and integrity of the bone.
Avoid Excess Talking & Loud Noise
Because of the weakened state during menses (both metabolism and strength are likely to be diminished), it’s best to avoid excess talking to conserve your strength. Avoid an excess of laughter since it provokes a disturbance of the doshas. Avoid loud noise because it aggravates the subtle tissues under the skin which flow throughout the body.
No Exercise & No Exposure To Heat
During your period, avoid exercise to the point of breaking a sweat. This will be different for everyone. The general weakness that you experience at this time must be respected. Avoid other exposure to heat like cooking near a hot stove if you are able to.
Ayurvedic Therapies to Avoid
- Eye ointments that are sharp, called ‘unguents,’ will aggravate pitta dosha and so they should not be used during your period.
- Do not do abhyanga or Ayurvedic massage at this time. Since agni is diminished, oil massage could create stagnation.
- Do not use honey, dry brushing, or powder rubs during menses. Honey aggravates heat in the system and during the period, heat has accumulated by the function of pitta dosha. Dry brushing and powder rubbing also increases heat underneath the skin and should be avoided for this reason.
- Certain Ayurvedic formulations should be avoided during menstruation. If you are taking herbs or formulas check with your practitioner for instructions.
- Do not use enemas and purgatives during the period.
Foods to Eat & Avoid
Avoid foods which aggravate pitta dosha and clog the channels. Those foods include honey, alcohol, excess salt, carbonated drinks, kombucha, soy sauce, fish, yogurt, sour fruits / citrus, caffeine, spicy food, eggs, and cheese. Be careful not to overeat at this time.
Enjoy a clean and simple diet of grain porridges with oats, rice, or quinoa during your period. Wheat or barley cereals and milky porridges that are well spiced are beneficial. Add vegetables and savory spices to make a savory grain porridge. Chicken and turkey based dishes, pulao, and stir fries with vegetables and spices also work well.
Products for Healthy Menses
While it’s important to work with a qualified practitioner if you are experiencing issues with your period, it’s also important to learn the fundamental do’s and don’ts to abide by.
Follow these Ayurvedic period health tips to establish easy, calm and cleansing menstrual cycles that ultimately reinvigorate you!
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Kottakkal Ayurveda products and this information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease. If you have serious, acute, or chronic health problems, please consult a trained health professional. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained Ayurvedic practitioner or doctor, call (800) 215-9934 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will provide you with one of our affiliated Ayurvedic professionals. Check with your doctor before taking herbs when pregnant or nursing.