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Menstruation typically begins as a female reaches adolescent puberty usually between the ages of 13 to 15. After the body has released eggs from the ovaries (ovulated) each month, and if no pregnancy occurs, the uterus sheds it's thickened lining which was produced in case the fertilisation of an egg occurred. This is then expelled through the vagina.
When periods (menstruations) become regular, it is called the menstrual cycle. Having regular menstrual cycles is a sign that the body is working normally. The ovaries release oestrogen hormones to keep the body healthy and prepare for pregnancy each month.
The average menstrual cycle is 28 days long. Cycles can range anywhere from 21 to 35 days in adults and from 21 to 45 days in young teens and typically last for 3 to 5 days.
Some females experience varying levels of discomfort (cramps) and premenstrual tension whilst others experience little more than a few days of inconvenience each month.
Sanitary pads are best used when a female has her first periods and at night always. Tampons should never be left inserted overnight as this can cause infections such as thrush.
Exterior personal hygiene is important during menstruation to avoid infections and odour but douches are not recommended as they can cause serious internal infection by upsetting the normal balance of natural cleansers the woman's body produces.
Intimate deodorants and talcum powders contain chemicals which can also irritate and cause infections and should be avoided.
There are a number of different menstrual disorders. Problems can range from heavy, painful periods to no period at all. There are many variations in menstrual patterns, but in general women should be concerned when periods come fewer than 21 days or more than 3 months apart or if they last more than 10 days. Such events may indicate ovulation problems or other medical conditions.
Mugwort can be used to help regulate the menstrual cycle and
ease painful menstruation and during the onset of menopause.
Amenorrhoea (absence of menstruation)
There are two categories: primary amenorrhoea and
secondary amenorrhoea. These terms refer to the time when menstruation stops:
Primary amenorrhoea occurs when a girl does not begin to menstruate by age 16.
Girls who show no signs of sexual development (breast development and pubic
hair) by age 13 should be evaluated by a doctor. Any girl who does not have her
period by age 15 should be evaluated for primary amenorrhea.
Secondary amenorrhoea occurs when periods that were previously regular stop for
at least three months.
Dysmenorrhoea (period pains and cramps)
Severe, frequent cramping during menstruation can cause pain in the lower abdomen but can spread to the lower back and thighs. Dysmenorrhoea is usually referred to as primary or secondary.
Cramps occur from contractions in the uterus. These contractions are a normal part of the menstrual process. With primary dysmenorrhoea, cramping pain is directly related to and caused by menstruation. About half of menstruating women have primary dysmenorrhoea. It usually begins 2 - 3 years after a women begins to menstruate. The pain typically develops when the bleeding starts and continues for 32 - 48 hours. Cramps are generally most severe during heavy bleeding.
This is menstrual-related pain that accompanies another medical or physical condition, such as endometriosis or uterine fibroids.
Oligomenorrhoea (light or infrequent menstruation)
Menstrual cycles are infrequent, greater than 35 days apart. It is very common in early adolescence and does not usually indicate a medical problem.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Also known as premenstrual tension (PMT) is a set of physical, emotional and behavioural symptoms that occur during the last week of the luteal phase (a week before menstruation) in most cycles. The symptoms do not usually start until at least day 13 in the cycle and resolve within 4 days after bleeding begins. Women may begin to have premenstrual syndrome symptoms at any time during their reproductive years. Once established, the symptoms tend to remain fairly constant until menopause, although they can vary from cycle to cycle.
Asparagus contains no sodium and may help with bloating
which is often a symptom during premenstrual tension.
During a normal menstrual cycle, the average woman loses about 1 ounce (30ml) of blood. Most women change their tampons or pads around 3 - 6 times per day. Menorrhagia is the medical term for significantly heavier bleeding. Menorrhagia can be caused by a number of factors.
Women often overestimate the amount of blood lost during their periods. Clot formation is fairly common during heavy bleeding and is not a cause for concern. However, women should consult their doctor if any of the following occurs:
Soaking through at least one pad or tampon every 1 - 2 hours for several hours
Heavy periods that regularly last 10 or more days
Bleeding between periods or during pregnancy. Spotting or light bleeding between periods is common in girls just starting menstruation and sometimes during ovulation in young adult women, but it is still a good idea to speak with a doctor.
Periwinkle can be used to alleviate heavy menstrual
This refers to long (greater than 7 days) or excessive (more than 80 mL) bleeding that occurs at regular intervals.
This refers to bleeding which occurs at frequent but irregular intervals and with variable amounts.
This refers to prolonged episodes of bleeding that occur at irregular intervals.
NUTRIENTS NECESSARY FOR HEAVY PERIODS
During heavy periods natural organic foods rich in iron, vitamin B9, vitamin B12, vitamin C and vitamin E should be consumed until two days after the period has stopped.
Highest sources of iron in milligrams per 100 grams
Black pepper, marjoram, parsley, spinach, thyme 224 mg
Spirulina 29 mg
Clams 28 mg
Bran 19 mg
Liver 18 mg
Squash and pumpkin seeds 15 mg
Caviar 12 mg
Hemp seeds 9.6 mg
Sun dried tomatoes 9 mg
Dried apricot 6.3 mg
Wheat 6.3 mg
Black strap molasses 4.7 mg
Prunes 3.5 mg
Artichokes 3.4 mg
Prawns 3.1 mg
Lean beef 2.9 mg
Raisins 1.9 mg
Chicken 1.3 mg
Tuna 1.3 mg
Highest sources of vitamin B9 in micrograms per 100 grams
NOTE: One μg is one microgram.
Highest sources of vitamin B12 in micrograms per 100 grams
Clams 98.9 μg
Liver 83.1 μg
Barley grass juice 80 μg
Nori seaweed 63.6 μg
Octopus 36 μg
Caviar/fish eggs 20.0 μg
Ashitaba powder 17.0 μg
Herring 13.7 μg
Tuna fish 10.9 μg
Crab 10.4 μg
Mackerel 8.7 μg
Lean grass fed beef 8.2 μg
Duck eggs, goose eggs, rabbit 6 μg
Crayfish, pork heart, rainbow trout 5 μg
Shiitake mushrooms 4.8 μg
Lobster 4 μg
Lamb, venison 3.7 μg
Swiss Cheese 3.3 μg
Salmon 3.2 μg
Whey powder 2.37 μg
Golden chanterelle mushrooms 2 μg
Tuna 1.9 μg
Halibut 1.2 μg
Chicken egg 1.1 μg
Chicken, turkey 1.0 μg
Ashitaba 0.4 μg
NOTE: One μg is one microgram.
Highest sources of vitamin C in milligrams per 100 grams
Acerola cherries 1677.6 mg
Camu camu berries 532 mg
Rosehips 426 mg
Green chillies 242.5 mg
Guavas 228.3 mg
Yellow bell peppers 183.5 mg
Black currants 181 mg
Thyme 160.01 mg
Red chillies 143.7 mg
Drumstick pods 141 mg
Kale 120 mg
Jalapeno peppers 118.6 mg
Kiwi fruit 105.4 mg
Sun dried tomatoes 102 mg
Broccoli 89 mg
Brussel sprouts 85 mg
Cloves, saffron 81 mg
Chilli pepper 76 mg
Mustard greens 70 mg
Highest sources of vitamin E in milligrams per 100 grams
Wheat germ 149.4 mg
Hemp seeds 55 mg
Hazelnut oil 47 mg
Almond oil 39 mg
Sunflower seeds 38.3 mg
Chilli powder 38.1 mg
Paprika 38 mg
Rice bran oil 32 mg
Grape seed oil 29 mg
Almonds 26.2 mg
Oregano 18.3 mg
Hazelnuts 17 mg
Flaxseed oil 17 mg
Peanut oil 16 mg
Hazelnuts 15.3 mg
Corn oil 15 mg
Olive oil 14 mg
Soya bean oil 12 mg
Pine nuts 9.3 mg
Cloves (ground) 9 mg
Peanuts 8 mg
Celery flakes (dried) 6 mg
Spirulina 5 mg
Dried apricots 4.3 mg
Bell peppers (red), eel, olives and salmon 4 mg
Jalapeno peppers 3.6 mg
Anchovies 3.3 mg
Broccoli, chicken, chilli peppers (sun-dried), cod, crayfish, dandelion greens, egg yolk, duck, goose, pecan nuts, spinach, tomatoes (tinned or pureed) turkey and turnip greens 3 mg
Avocado, beef, bilberries, blue berries, butter, chicory greens, cinnamon (ground), crab, halibut, herring (pickled), mackerel, marjoram, mustard greens, pistachio nuts, poppy seeds, sardines, sesame seeds, Swiss chard, trout, tuna, turnips and walnuts 2 mg
Fish roe 1.9 mg
Asparagus, kiwi fruit and parsnips 1.5 mg
Black berries 1.2 mg
Chlorella 1.1 mg
NATURE CURES FOR PERIOD PAINS
Cherries (sour) can provide instant relief from painful cramps.
Ginger: Consuming 250 mg of ginger root four times a day is as effective as the drugs mefenamic acid and ibuprofen for relieving pain in women associated with their menstrual cycle.
Hemp seeds are a super food which has nigh nutritional
content (rich in fatty acids, minerals and all essential
amino acids) and has properties that can relieve symptoms of
PMS and menstrual cramps.
Mashua has been shown to
induce menstruation by its beneficial
effect on oestrogen.
Nutmeg and unrefined sea salt or Himalayan pink salt crystals: take a 1/4 teaspoon of both nutmeg and unrefined sea salt in a large glass of bottled mineral water to provide instant relief from painful cramps.
Passion fruit contains components which have the ability
to relax the nerves and relieve
Painful menstrual periods and
excessive milk flow during nursing have been kept at bay by sage in the past.
Soaking in a tea tree oil and sea salt warm bath is a good way to cleanse and relieve cramp pains as it stimulates the blood flow and relaxes the uterine contractions which cause painful cramps.
See also: Pain and Inflammation
NATURE CURES DIET
TO RESOLVE MENSTRUAL PROBLEMS
A healthy diet is important to keep the body working correctly. Plenty of all colours of fruit and vegetables are important to provide the essential minerals and nutrients required by the body to produce hormones which keep menstruation regular and normal. Oily fish, seeds, nuts, herbs and spices can also help to provide all the essential nutrients.
Food additives and artificial sweeteners like aspartame should be avoided as they can upset the balance of hormones in the body. Too much sugar and alcohol can result in skin eruptions like acne during adolescence because of the hormonal imbalances that occur as the child becomes an adult. Coffee can upset the digestive system and should be also be avoided.
Cleanse and Detoxify page to try that regime first which can clear the body of toxins and infection.
Drink one litre of bottled mineral
water per day to avoid chemicals additives such as fluoride and chlorine and provide more
of the essential
minerals the body needs. One glass should be consumed just before sleeping to help the body eliminate waste and toxins from the body and the brain.
Meat and eggs (Three times a week)
Beef (organic lean grass-fed),
poultry and game bird,
Fish (Three times a week)
tuna (fresh only) and
whitebait and all other
Anchovies are high in sodium so not advised for those with high blood pressure. Deep sea fish and bottom dwelling shellfish can be contaminated with mercury so it is advisable to consume these with some algae, coriander and other green leafy vegetables or sulphur-rich foods which can chelate (bind to) mercury and eliminate it from the body.
Dairy (Yoghurt and kefir milk daily and cheese three times a week)
non-pasteurised blue cheese and yoghurt
(plain with live cultures)
(at least one every day)
barley, brown rice,
buckwheat, millet, oats,
teff. Consume one tablespoon of psyllium husks per day in a large glass of water or sprinkled onto meals as it has powerful properties that can support digestion and excretory processes and will work within two days to fix many colon and digestive issues.
Vegetables (a selection of at least
four colours per day meaning all have been eaten at least once a fortnight)
bell peppers (all colours),
spinach, Swede, sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, turnips and watercress. Algae, such as chlorella and spirulina, contain many important nutrients and minerals often lacking in land-based crops. Take one tablespoon of one of them per day. Also consume three or four chopped garlic cloves per day. Let them and other allicin-producing plants, such as chives, leeks, onions and spring onions, stand for ten minutes to allow for the process, that produces allicin in these plants when they are damaged, to take place. Allicin has many powerful properties that benefit the health.
Legumes (Three times a week)
red kidney beans,
soya beans and
Fruit (a selection of 2 or 3
colours per day meaning all have been eaten at least once a fortnight)
grapes (black or red),
watermelon. NOTE: grapefruit can interact with many medications.
Dried Fruit (as snacks or added to meals daily. Best eaten with a handful of nuts and seeds)
raisins and sultanas.
Juice (pure, additive free, unsweetened -
daily as often as possible)
nasturtium (freshly pressed),
tangerine. See also Raw Juice Therapy for many raw juicing recipes.
(as snacks or added to meals daily)
watermelon. Hempseeds provide the correct balance of omega-6 (inflammatory) to omega-3 (anti-inflammatory) fatty acids and should be consumed daily. A handful of pumpkin seeds can be sprinkled on any dish or in sandwiches daily and add many important nutrients.
(as snacks or added to meals daily. Best consumed with dried fruits to obtain the correct balance of vitamin C and E)
Brazil nuts (2 per week unless excessive sweating, through exercise or fever, has taken place, then eat 2 per day,
nuts, walnuts (5 per day).
Micro Diet Sprouting
page to find out how to grow your own then add to meals and snacks daily)
(nutritious herbs to be used as often as possible daily
in meals or as teas)
(consume as teas as required)
common stinging nettles,
Japanese or Chinese knotweed, jasmine,
liquorice root, milk thistle,
Queen of the meadow,
yellow dock root and
wild strawberry leaf.
(nutritious spices to be used as often as possible daily. Can be added to teas also)
cayenne pepper, cinnamon, cloves (three ground), cumin, coriander, ginger,
Himalayan pink salt crystals,
nutmeg, paprika, peppercorns (all colours),
A teaspoon of turmeric should be consumed daily due to its powerful compounds that can prevent many ailments. Sprinkle on to egg, fish and vegetable dishes or on brown rice and other grains.
(cold-pressed only and used to cook with or dress vegetables and salads, especially with foods that contain fat-soluble nutrients, such as
carotene, to enable absorption)
a blend of
rice bran oils. Also take one capsule of cod liver or
krill oil daily, especially during the winter months between October and April in the Northern hemisphere.
(to be consumed and used as desired on a daily basis)
Aloe vera juice,
anise seed tea,
apple cider vinegar,
barley grass (powder or juice),
pine needle tea,
tofu. Barley grass is one of the rare plants to contain vitamin B12 so is a useful addition to the diet of those that limit meat intake.
At least one (and ideally many more) natural foods and derivatives should be consumed each day from each of the categories above. Pick one of
the six colours of fruit and vegetables to consume daily. Yellow/orange, white, red, green,
black/blue/purple and cream/brown. Nature has kindly colour coded natural food for us and each colour provides specific nutrients and minerals in the right balances which are required daily. At least one iron rich green leafy vegetable or herb should be consumed daily.
If appetite does not allow enough consumption, juice them or make teas by steeping them in hot water for 20 minutes, then strain and drink immediately to gain the nutrients without the bulk. Teas can be gently reheated and honey and lemon added to make them more palatable and to add additional beneficial nutrients.
Nature's Colour Codes page.
Non-heme iron is found in tea and dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and
kale. However, tea and green leafy vegetables also contain oxalates that block
the absorption of
iron. To assist the body in the absorption of non-heme
iron eat a couple
strawberries, a kiwi fruit or some
tangerine or mango at the same time.
NOTE: To benefit from foods containing
fat-soluble nutrients, such as the
carotenoids in carrots and tomatoes, always eat together with oily
fish, nut or other seed oils or
avocado because carotenoids are fat-soluble, meaning they are only
absorbed into the body along with fats and can then assist with the manufacture
of the essential
vitamin A nutrient.
Make Your Own Natural Talcum Powder
For the last 30 years, scientists have closely scrutinized talc particles and found dangerous similarities to asbestos. Deodorants contain aluminium which is also known to be carcinogenic.
Measure 1/2 cup arrowroot and/or white clay into a bowl. (White clay is sometimes called kaolin clay or white cosmetic clay).
Sprinkle 8 Lavender oil drops over the powder and mix well with a fork.
Sift together into a container then make small holes in the lid.
Natural relieve for thrush
Thrush is a common infection caused by yeasts and can result in an itchy and sore vaginal area and a (sometimes odorous) yellow/green discharge. Thrush can be naturally rectified by using a tampon which has been dipped in plain live probiotic yoghurt and inserted for four hours, followed by a tea tree oil and sea salt bath. Repeat if necessary.
"Nature cures not the physician..." Hippocrates 460 BC
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