Menstruation – Are the ancient Indian traditions around it a curse or a boon?

In both ancient Indian cultures (american-indians-of-feathers and asian-indians-of-forehead-dots :-)), women were kept in separate huts, not allowed to cook, not allowed to enter temples, not allowed to bathe. Seems to the so called modern feminist women a curse from patriarchal brahmanical culture and male chauvinism. But is that the truth? When a girl used to get her first menstruation it was celebrated by announcing it, dressing her up and inviting the village to a feast much like a big-bang-birthday. Nowadays the girls feel shame about it and so did I in my teenage.

I shall add my own experiences in some time but for now quoting an excerpt from

“There is an additional season for women which happens once every month during menstruation. The beginning period of the full moon is the natural cycle for ovulation. Receiving the essence of the moon at this time, a woman’s sexual impulses heighten and her vitality is once more replenished. Then, during the time of the new moon she experiences the natural cycle of menstruation. Menstruation is caused by the sun absorbing energies from the earth, which in turn draws the menstrual waste from the body. When the cycle has not been tampered with by use of contraceptive pills and other birth control devices, harmful foods and activities, and disruptive sexual activities, the natural ebb and flow of a woman’s monthly cycle remains in harmony .

Regimen to be observed by women in their Menses:
During the period of menstruation, activities need to be reduced to the essential so that the body experiences the least degree of interference. Quick warm showers, or sponging (wiping down the body), is the appropriate means of bodily cleaning during menstruation. She should avoid crying nor take a head bath. A woman should refrain from all sexual foreplay & intercourse. Day sleep and collyrium during the first four days of her periods should be avoided. Considered a very fragile period for a woman, this time is to be used to rest and to allow the body to empty it self before it is renewed. She should also not indulge in loud and excessive laughter and talk, nor should she hear loud noises. Food should be easy to digest,
not too heavy, not too unctuous, nor too dry or cold. She should avoid fatiguing work and all exercise.

All the above, although reasoning behind them is not totally understood without an ayurvedic foundation, during menses may lead to the vitiation of doshas, which may especially lead to gynaecological problems. One may observe these rules in order to eventually restore your natural cycle.
During ovulation, Pitta is most dominant, while Vata dominates the period of menstruation and Kapha the period following menstruation.”

Another source of information:

Update : I started not taking a shower/tub bath during first 3 days of periods since around 2 years. Then I take a bath on 3rd and 5th day. I do take a sponge bath during first 3 days if I feel the need to. And am slowly noticing how it is helping my mood swings. I would say 90% of my mood swings during PMS and during periods are gone. I used to have painful breasts for 10 days before periods, not anymore.

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