Harmonising menstruation: Embracing spiritual insights and scientific understanding


Menstruation, a recurring physiological cycle in reproductive-aged females, signifies the shedding of the uterine wall.

Menstruation, a recurring physiological cycle in reproductive-aged females, signifies the shedding of the uterine wall. This monthly occurrence holds profound physical and spiritual significance, yet it has long been a topic of discussion fraught with misconceptions, myths, and controversies. While modern physiology acknowledges Menstruation as a normal process driven by hormonal changes, it often overlooks the intricate hormonal and chemical changes involved, which can profoundly impact a woman’s well-being.

Menstrual blood, often deemed impure, diverges from normal blood in several aspects.

Normal blood, comprising of Red and White blood cells, Platelets, and Plasma, exhibits a bright red colour when oxygenated and a darker hue when de-oxygenated, with a pH range of 7.35 to 7.45.

In contrast, menstrual blood primarily consists of shed endometrial tissue, blood, mucus, and uterine lining debris, varying in colour from bright red to dark brown. It has a slightly acidic pH of 6.5 to 7.5 and may contain bacterial flora, pus cells, and cellular debris. Additionally, menstrual blood may harbour hormonal by-products like prostaglandins, clotting factors such as fibrinogen, and hormones like estrogen and progesterone.

While normal blood sustains the body’s vital functions, menstrual blood symbolizes the renewal of the uterine lining in preparation for a new menstrual cycle. Thus, the composition of menstrual blood significantly differs from that of normal blood, contributing to its perceived impurity.

Consider the analogy of purchasing costly mangoes, only to discover upon cutting them open that they are rotten inside. In this scenario, neither the buyer nor the seller is at fault; rather, it is the presence of bacteria that has contaminated the fruit—a natural and unforeseeable occurrence.

Similarly, when viewed through a spiritual lens, menstruation underscores that the woman experiencing these bodily changes is not intrinsically impure. Instead, it is the complex physiological and chemical transformations occurring within her body that are labelled as impurity. These changes not only disrupt her physical well-being but also have profound effects on her psychological and energetic equilibrium. Just as the rotten mango is an incidental occurrence amidst the potential of fresh, nourishing fruit, menstruation is a natural phenomenon amidst a woman’s journey of self- renewal and growth.

Spiritually, human evolution necessitates continual growth and the cultivation of special qualities to ascend to higher states of being. This concept, ingrained in our psyche as contrast between good- bad or heaven-hell, underscores the imperative of striving towards personal growth. To achieve this, individuals must develop resilience against internal and external disturbances. Just as cutting down a Banyan tree, the national tree of India, is punishable, we must establish protective measures to safeguard ourselves from corrupt energies.

This principle of respecting one’s physiological and emotional state applies universally, regardless of gender. Just as a man should refrain from engaging in spiritual practices when experiencing anger or emotional turmoil, it is equally important for a menstruating woman to acknowledge and respect her body’s natural rhythms. During menstruation, the body undergoes significant hormonal shifts, leading to symptoms like mood swings, pain, bloating, irritability, etc. These changes not only affect her physical well-being but also disrupt her energetic equilibrium, making her more susceptible to environmental influences. Therefore, the tradition of isolation during menstruation allows her the women can cultivate a deeper sense of empowerment and self-respect, affirming the inherent wisdom and sacredness of their bodies.

space and time to realign her energies, engaging in gentle practices that promote healing while avoiding energy-intensive places that may exacerbate her discomfort. This period of introspection and self-care enables her to emerge rejuvenated and balanced, ready to embrace the next phase of her cycle with renewed vitality.

The cultural fabric intricately weaves the science, rituals, and spiritual significance of the menstrual cycle. It is imperative to dispel myths and educate young girls and reproductive-age women about their bodies, empowering them to navigate menstruation with understanding and resilience. By embracing this holistic approach, women can evolve personally while safeguarding themselves from the disruptions and chemical changes inherent in this natural cycle.

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