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Menstrual Health Basics

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By Kami McBride

Menstruation is not usually thought of as a time of honor or celebration. It is commonly called the curse, ‘that dreaded time of the month’, ‘a bloody mess’, ‘on the rag’ and other derogatory names. These names are a reflection of our thoughts and feelings about menstruation. When we reject a body function as something negative, dirty or insignificant, there is an energetic and psychological separation from that part of the body. The negative thought patterns associated with menstruation are indeed part of the reason why so many women experience unique combinations of over one hundred different symptoms and ailments categorized under PMS.

Menstruation is a sign of good health. Without menstruation there would be no human life. The female body does its monthly cyclical dance of fluctuating hormones, releasing an egg, building tissue, thickening the uterus and then menstruating. Menstruation takes place when the female body releases the uterine lining that was built up to possibly nourish a new life. Menstruation is a time of releasing and letting go in preparation to do the dance all over again.

The current primary practice in relation to menstruation is to plow through it as if nothing different is happening. The changing rhythm of our body cycle is not reflected anywhere in the calendar or work schedule. U.S. statistics show that more than fifty percent of American women are sleep deprived and we have epidemic rates of chronic fatigue and exhaustion related diseases. Menstruation is a built in cycle that provides us with the opportunity to restore and rejuvenate each month. It is a time when the female body releases, regenerates and heals. Menstruation is a natural part of our cycle that can take us into the regenerative and contemplative aspects of the feminine.

Many women are not consciously aware that menstruation is a resource for personal growth, balance and healing. In a culture obsessed with output and productivity, one of the gifts of the feminine is the ability to stop doing and just be. Menstruation has an inward and downward movement in the body. Part of accessing the deep wisdom of the feminine involves moving from the yang experience of outward expression and achievement, to the yin experience of going inside and listening to the deep recesses of the soul. The menstrual cycle teaches us about harmony between yin and yang, dark and light, activity and rest.

When we listen to the wisdom that can arise from paying attention to our intuition and our bodies cyclical needs, we are guided to live our lives differently. Menstruation can lead us back to our innate body wisdom. We can reclaim the knowledge of how to truly nourish and care for ourselves during a very important aspect of being female. Imagine a world where rejuvenation, healing and spiritual connection are the experiences associated with menstruation.

Finding simple ways to acknowledge and celebrate the flow within your womb each month is a step toward honoring and loving your natural body cycles. When you love and care for your body, you experience your cycles from a more empowered context. Your monthly cycle becomes your ally, a guide to healing and balance.

Making a special herbal tea during your moontime is a great way to nourish and support yourself during menstruation. As a woman you embody the seasons and cycles of the moon and the ebb and flow of the tides. Pick any one of the recipes and make an herbal tea once a month to honor the cycles that flow through your sacred female body.

Making Herbal Tea

Put herbal combinations into water in a stainless steel or enamel pot. With the lid on the pot, bring the herb(s) to a boil and then turn off the heat and let the herbs continue to steep for two hours. Strain out the herbs through some cotton muslin or a metal tea strainer. Reheat the tea when you are ready to drink it.

High Tide Tea

3 cups water
1 tablespoon dandelion leaf
1 tablespoon oatstraw
1 tablespoon chamomile
1 teaspoon raspberry leaf
1 teaspoon rose petals
1 teaspoon ginger root

Calming the Moon Tea

3 cups water
1 tablespoon chamomile
1 tablespoon passionflower
1 tablespoon lemonbalm

Red Moon Tea

2 cups water
1 tablespoon rose petals
1 tablespoon hibiscus
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Cramp Calming tea

2 cups water
1 tablespoon chamomile
1 tablespoon crampbark

Once you have strained the herbs out, re-heat the tea and add honey to taste as this tea can be bitter

For more information about Kami, click here, and sign up for her free quarterly herbal enewsletter. Or contact her at 707-446-1290 about classes, books and consultations.

[The views expressed are not necessarily those of The Red Web Foundation]