Whilst growing up, many of us in Asia would have had our moms telling us the stuff to avoid when we are menstruating. Initially I thought it was just the Chinese but I’ve also come across Filipinos who are even more vigilant about these. So here I look at some of them based on my memory and experience. Do note that I’m not going to examine the medical evidences behind them so some of them are going to sound pretty ludicrous.
1. Avoid drinking tea
This is so true for me. When I was younger, I would sometimes deliberately down a few cups of tea just to have my menses come earlier. I remember I forgot all about the effects of this during a holiday and drank a whole mug, just to have a heavy flow at the most unsuitable time! Apparently, this is due to the tannins tea contains.
2. Avoid drinking cooling herbal tea
As a whole, Chinese believe that ladies should avoid taking cooling food and drinks during menstruation. So herbal tea and drinks like barley or chrysanthemum tea should be avoided.
3. Avoid eating certain fruits
Eating fruits like pineapples and water melons are considered a big no-no during that time of the month. Both fruits are considered “cooling” and pineapples in particular will increase the menstrual flow. I don’t particularly avoid eating these fruits during my period but I would eat them in moderation. However, I definitely avoided them during my pregnancy because I heard that women in the past would eat a lot of pineapples in order to have a miscarriage.
4. Avoid eating chilled fruits, desserts and drinks
I was always told to avoid eating or drinking anything cold by my mom. So ice creams, chilled desserts, canned drinks, etc are not to be taken at all. Apparently, they would cause cramps. As I don’t consume chilled stuff frequently, I cannot remember if they cause more cramps for me. Maybe someone else has some experience to share?
5. Avoid washing your hair
This was to me, really ridiculous because I have to wash my hair EVERY DAY! So telling me not to wash my hair even just on the first day of my period is like telling me not to step out of the house when I have my period. So although I heard that it would increase menstrual cramps, I’ve never taken heed of that advice and I say, I didn’t feel much of a difference really.
6. Avoid bathing in cold water
I think as a whole, anything cold is not good for women when they are menstruating. So besides avoiding cold food and drinks, one should also avoid bathing in cold water. I can’t say if this is true since I’ve always been bathing in warm water anyway.
7. Avoid exercising
Some women take it to the extreme and avoid all exercises when they are having their menses. From my understanding, we should only avoid strong, vigorous movement or exercise during menstruation. I’m not exactly sure of the reason but I remember my yoga instructor would tell us not to stretch ourselves too much or avoid certain poses if we’re having our periods. Apparently, those might aggravate cramps or cause heavier flow.
I’m sure there are more to avoid but these are based on what I can remember. But I’m certainly looking forward to reading what you’ve come across or what you avoid during that time of the month. So come on in and tell us!