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From Taboo to Treasure: The Revolutionary Potential of Menstrual Blood

Menstrual blood is a topic that many people are uncomfortable talking about, let alone using for personal and environmental health. However, as more people are becoming aware of the benefits of using natural and sustainable products, there is a growing interest in using menstrual blood in innovative ways.

Firstly, let's address the myths. Menstrual blood is not just a waste product that needs to be disposed of; it contains nutrients and stem cells that can have positive effects on our bodies. That's what we will explore today, the science, the ancient practice, taboos and personal practices.

The Science Recent research has shed light on the unique properties of menstrual blood, specifically the menstrual blood-derived stem cells (MenSCs) that can be harvested from it. These MenSCs have shown great potential for healing as they are easy to obtain without any invasive surgical procedures or ethical concerns. They have a high proliferation and differentiation ( the process by which cells or tissues develop specialized functions and structures during embryonic development or in response to environmental cues).


MSCs were shown to be an effective and attractive cell population in cell therapy to induce dermal repair and regeneration following acquired lesions and wounds. In addition, these easily accessible adult stem cells have the capacity to trans-differentiate into neuronal cells, pancreatic cells, and osteocytes.

Scientists in Japan have discovered that cells taken from menstrual blood can be cultivated in the lab and used like stem cells to repair damaged heart tissue.

Ancient practices In many ancient cultures, menstrual blood was considered a potent substance with healing properties. For example, in ancient Egypt, menstrual blood was believed to have the power to heal and purify the body. It was used in rituals to honor the goddess Isis, who was associated with fertility, motherhood, and healing.

In traditional Mayan culture, menstrual blood was considered a sacred substance that represented the life force of women. It was believed to have healing properties and was used in traditional medicine to treat various ailments.

Similarly, in some Native American cultures, menstrual blood was viewed as a powerful source of healing and was used in ceremonies and rituals to promote health and well-being. Overall, menstrual blood has played a significant role in traditional healing practices in many cultures throughout history.


The earth


Menstrual blood is a rich source of nutrients, such as nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, which are essential for plant growth. When menstrual blood is added to soil, it can provide a natural and nutrient-rich fertilizer that can enhance plant growth. The nutrients in menstrual blood can also help to improve soil structure, increase water retention, and promote healthy microbial activity in the soil.


Taboos


Pliny and Columella, two ancient authors, wrote extensively about the perceived harmful and negative properties of menstrual blood, revealing the deep-seated taboo surrounding this bodily function. Pliny, in particular, claimed that menstrual blood possessed immense, limitless powers, capable of warding off natural disasters and harming crops, bees, dogs, mirrors, and various objects, without even coming into contact with it. According to Columella, a menstruating woman could kill a young plant simply by looking at it. As a result, menstrual blood was considered a threat to humanity and its powers were viewed as dangerous, capable of destroying even the most curative plants like rue and ivy. This persistent belief in the polluting power of menstrual blood highlights the complex attitudes towards women's bodies in the classical world.


Taboos and neglect around menstruation are prevalent in many parts of the world, let's take a look:

  1. India: In many parts of India, menstruating women are considered impure and are prohibited from participating in religious rituals, entering temples, and cooking food. They are often forced to live in separate spaces or huts during their periods, and are not allowed to touch men or other objects considered sacred.

  2. Nepal: In Nepal, a practice called "Chhaupadi" requires women and girls to stay in a separate hut or shed during their periods. They are not allowed to touch anyone or anything in the house, and must live in isolation for the duration of their period. This practice has been outlawed by the government, but it still persists in some remote areas.

  3. Kenya: In many parts of Kenya, girls and women do not have access to sanitary products, and are forced to use rags or other makeshift materials during their periods. This can lead to infection and other health problems, and can also cause girls to miss school during their periods.

  4. Afghanistan: In Afghanistan, menstruating women are often not allowed to leave their homes, and are considered unclean. They are also not allowed to touch water sources or prepare food during their periods.

"In 2018 I ran a menstrual cycle project in Kenya and witnessed some things. Women were using dirty rags and getting infections, engaging in sex for money to buy pads, and being outcast from school. It was heart-breaking, and it was then that I realized the depth and complexity of the situation. I offered education for three months and raised money for reusable pads."

There are several less obvious ways in which menstruation is stigmatized and neglected in the West, including:

  1. Lack of education: This can lead to misunderstandings and stigmatization.

  2. Taboos around period sex: Some people still believe that having sex during menstruation is taboo or dirty, which can lead to shame and embarrassment for those who engage in it.

  3. Shaming and ridicule: Women and girls are often shamed and ridiculed for their periods, especially if they experience leaks or other embarrassing situations. This can lead to feelings of shame and low self-esteem.

  4. Lack of access to menstrual products: While access to menstrual products is generally better in the West than in many other parts of the world, there are still many people who struggle to afford or access these products. This can lead to embarrassment and shame, as well as a lack of hygiene and health problems.

  5. Workplace discrimination: Women who menstruate may face discrimination in the workplace, such as being denied breaks or time off for menstrual pain or discomfort. This can lead to stress and discomfort, as well as a lack of support and understanding from employers and colleagues.

Period stigma and neglect are widespread problems that affect the health and well-being of millions of women and girls around the world.

One way to make a shift, is by embracing and celebrating the natural process of menstruation, including the use of period blood in various ways.


Ways to connect with your period blood:


  1. Looking, smelling and touching

  2. Bathing

  3. Face masks

  4. Wound healing

  5. Nourishing the earth

  6. Painting / writing

Can you think of anymore?


Hope this serve you dear friend.


Blessings,


Danielle


PS. We would love to welcome you into our membership


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42 views2 comments

2 opmerkingen


Wow this article was so interesting, thank you for sharing. I never knew that about stem cell research, so fascinating how powerful our blood is.

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Danielle Baker
Danielle Baker
09 mrt. 2023
Reageren op

Right! It’s incredible how science can support us to connect the dots ❤️ glad you enjoyed it!

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