Does Ayurveda recommend taking showers during periods?

The answer is, “Yes.”

Ayurveda insists on not doing a lot of cooling practices and over-exertion during periods . This is primarily because periods is a time when your Vata is naturally high. So anything that increases Vata furthermore can disturb the balance of the body.

So, if you really want to take a shower, take a quick shower. It helps cleansing the body.


What does Ayurveda say about periods in women?


According to Ayurveda, menstruation (called Rajah Pravritti) is a natural physiological process unique to women, influenced by the balance of Doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha), the state of the Dhatus (tissues) and the overall health of the individual.

Here’s how Ayurveda perceives periods in women:


Balanced menstrual cycle


A regular menstrual cycle with moderate flow, minimal discomfort, and a duration of about 3-5 days is considered indicative of good health in Ayurveda. This indicates a balanced state of doshas and proper functioning of the reproductive system.


Dosha influence


Menstrual imbalances are often attributed to disturbances in the Doshas:

  • Vata: Irregular menstruation, scanty flow, and increased pain may occur due to Vata imbalance.
  • Pitta: Excessive bleeding, inflammation, and irritability during menstruation may be linked to Pitta imbalance.
  • Kapha: Heavy flow, lethargy, and bloating may be associated with Kapha imbalance.


Menstruation and cleansing


Ayurveda views menstruation as a natural detoxification process during which the body eliminates excess Pitta (heat) and Apana Vata (downward-moving energy) from the reproductive system. This cleansing aspect of menstruation is considered beneficial for overall health.


Role of hormones


While Ayurveda doesn’t specifically mention hormones as modern medicine does, it acknowledges the influence of subtle energies and physiological processes on menstrual health. The hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle are seen as manifestations of Doshic influences and their impact on bodily functions.


Importance of rest and nourishment


Ayurveda advises women to take adequate rest during menstruation to conserve energy and support the body’s natural healing processes. It also emphasizes the consumption of warm, nourishing foods to replenish the body’s energy stores and promote balance during this time.


What is meant by Vata, Pitta and Kapha?


Every living thing in this universe is made up of “Panchamahabhutas,” or five elements. They are the five vital elements in Ayurveda, including Earth, Air, Water, Fire and Ether. The human body is composed of all these five elements but in different proportions.


Depending on the proportions of these elements, Doshas are categorized into Vata, Pitta and Kapha, and the best way to understand them is by observing their qualities.



Vata has more of an air element. The air has the property of moving and instability; similarly, Vata people show the same characteristics. They are always active and continuous to move, as they never sit idle. Anybody with symptoms related to dryness is closely related to Vata Dosha. Whenever you feel lightness in your body, it means Vata is affecting your body.



Pitta means fire. Fire denotes aggression, passion, etc, and therefore, Pitta people have more fire in them, depicting an aggressive and tenacious nature. Whenever you feel a rise in body temperature like fever, you should understand that Pitta in your body is increasing. Pitta can be conceptualized as a liquid fuel burning.



Kapha is predominantly an Earth element, and people with Kapha are sluggish, slow, lazy, and passive. Whenever you feel heaviness in your body, it depicts that Kapha is influencing your body. Kapha is predominantly present in heavy-weight or overweight people – the stiffness and rigidity in the body related to this Dosha.


These three Doshas make up your nature, but there is one thing you need to remember: nobody has one single Dosha in them. Everybody is a combination of two or sometimes the combination of all three Doshas together.


Why is Vata high during periods?


In Ayurveda, the concept of Vata refers to the Dosha associated with the elements of air and ether. Vata governs movement, including the movement of bodily fluids, nerve impulses, and thoughts. During menstruation, it is believed that Vata dosha tends to increase or become aggravated in the body. There are several reasons why Vata may be elevated during menstruation.


Movement of menstrual flow

Menstruation involves the downward movement of blood and tissue from the uterus through the cervix and vagina. This movement corresponds to the qualities of Vata, which governs downward movement in the body.


Change and instability

Menstruation is a time of significant change and transition in the body. The body’s natural rhythms are disrupted, and hormonal fluctuations occur. These changes can exacerbate Vata dosha, which is associated with qualities of movement, change, and instability.


Depletion of energy

Menstruation is considered a physiological process that expands energy and resources from the body. This depletion of energy can contribute to an increase in Vata dosha, as Vata is responsible for the movement and distribution of energy throughout the body.


Dryness and lightness

Vata is characterized by qualities of dryness, lightness, and roughness. During menstruation, there may be an increase in these qualities, leading to symptoms such as dry skin, constipation, or feelings of lightness or spaciness.


Emotional sensitivity

Vata Dosha is closely linked to the nervous system and emotional balance. During menstruation, hormonal fluctuations and physical discomfort can lead to increased emotional sensitivity and vulnerability, which are characteristic of Vata imbalance.


What does Ayurveda suggest to do during periods?


Ayurveda offers various recommendations to support women during their menstrual cycles. These suggestions aim to promote comfort, balance doshas, and enhance overall well-being. Here are some Ayurvedic practices to consider during menstruation:


Rest and relaxation

During menstruation, prioritize rest to conserve energy and support the body’s natural healing processes. Allow yourself to take breaks, reduce physical exertion, and engage in activities that promote relaxation, such as gentle yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises.

Maintain a regular routine

Stick to a consistent daily routine during menstruation to create stability and promote balance in the body and mind. This includes maintaining regular meal times, bedtime, and self-care practices.


Keep warm

To counteract Vata imbalance and promote comfort during menstruation, stay warm by dressing in layers, using heating pads or warm blankets, and avoiding exposure to cold drafts or environments.


Eat nourishing foods

Consume warm, nourishing foods that are easy to digest and provide essential nutrients to support your body during menstruation. Include cooked grains, cooked vegetables, soups, and warm herbal teas in your diet.


Stay hydrated

Drink plenty of warm fluids, such as herbal teas, warm water, or warm milk with spices like ginger or turmeric, to stay hydrated and support the proper elimination of toxins from the body.


Herbal support

Consider incorporating Ayurvedic herbs and remedies known for their supportive properties during menstruation, such as Ashwagandha, Shatavari, ginger, cinnamon and fenugreek. These herbs can help balance hormones, reduce menstrual discomfort, and promote overall well-being.


Gentle exercise

Engage in gentle movement practices like restorative yoga, walking, or light stretching to promote circulation, ease tension, and alleviate menstrual cramps.


Self-care practices

Practice self-care techniques to nurture and support yourself during menstruation. This may include taking warm baths with Epsom salts or essential oils, getting a soothing massage with warm herbal oils, or practicing abdominal massage to relieve menstrual discomfort.


Emotional well-being

Pay attention to your emotional health and practice self-compassion during menstruation. Allow yourself to express and process emotions in a supportive environment and engage in activities that uplift your spirits and promote emotional well-being.


Listen to your body

Above all, listen to your body’s signals and honor its needs during menstruation. Tune in to your intuition and make choices that support your overall health and well-being during this time.


Is it okay to have sex during periods?


The whole world is debating over this topic, and Ayurveda has an obvious answer for this: the answer is no. Ayurveda says it is unsafe to have sex during periods, and here is the reason why. During periods, the movement of Vata is in the Vata under Lomana direction. That means the downward movement of Vata.


During sex, the movement of Vata is in the upward direction. So when you do both of these together, there are two different, conflicting opposite directions of Vata, which may cause imbalances in the female reproductive system. Also, periods is the time when you have to take rest – when you don’t have to do too much physical activity because this is the time when your body is already imbalanced. So it is better to rest it out and take it easy during periods.

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Consult with Dr. Rekha Radhamony