MENSTRUAL PROBLEMS

by Walter Last

I regard menstrual bleeding as a sign of subnormal health even if it is in the accepted normal range and I also see heavier bleeding much earlier as a symptom of a health problem than present medical opinion. This assessment is based on my own experience as well as the supporting evidence found in several books.

It appears that undomesticated animals living in their natural habitats do not show any periodic bleeding. The situation is less clear with the anthropoid apes, but I understand that there may be no bleeding on vegetarian diets in the wild and only minimal bleeding in captivity.

The periodic shedding of the endometrium in humans is given as reason for the commonly observed menstrual bleeding. However, I see no reason why this cannot just be reabsorbed and used as a valuable resource by the body. This seems to happen with women of various 'primitive' tribes as reported in the literature and also with many women on low protein diets in western societies. At most, a bit of 'spotting' is all that should be visible.

I know personally several women who stopped external bleeding when they adopted a vegetarian low-protein diet predominantly based on raw food. In these cases the normal ovulation cycle continued as shown by temperature measurements, checks of mucus consistency and a pregnancy. These women were fit and in good health. One was sent by a concerned specialist for bone density measurement. The result showed above normal bone density.

Books that give examples of similar cases are NATURAL WAY TO SEXUAL HEALTH by H.G. Bieler; RAW ENERGY by L. & S. Kenton and SURVIVAL INTO THE 21st CENTURY by V. Kulvinskas. Apart from a low protein diet, another requirement for avoiding externally visible bleeding appears to be a diet high in bioflavonoids and carotenes as demonstrated in the book RAW ENERGY.

It has been claimed by some writers such as Dr George Starr and Arnold Ehret - and I generally agree with them - that menstrual bleeding is a tremendous waste of female resources which keeps women in subnormal health and with greatly reduced physical strength. This is reflected in the 15% higher average hemoglobin levels of males as compared to pre-menopausal females. There is a very high loss of sex hormones in menstrual blood and a New York gynecologist, Dr Frank, believes that this causes the menopause to start many years sooner and with greater health problems than would otherwise be the case.

Basically, the wall of the uterus after shedding the endometrium is an open wound, which heals quickly and with minimal blood loss in healthy women, but which continues to bleed the longer and heavier, the more unhealthy the body is. Only when women become too anemic does monthly bleeding stop as a self-protection measure.

TOXEMIA AND CONSTIPATION

While vitamin and mineral deficiencies tend to delay wound healing, the main cause for prolonged or heavy bleeding is thought by naturopaths to be a condition of toxemia. If there are toxins in the bloodstream, the body uses any opportunity of an open wound, such as a leg ulcer or a bleeding uterus wall to expel as many toxins as possible. Menstrual blood has been shown to be highly toxic. This may be the reason why in some 'primitive' societies women were regarded as 'unclean' during period time.

One common cause of toxemia is an excess of protein fragments in the body fluids. This is associated with swellings or water retention, congestion and a tendency towards inflammations.

Even more toxemia is caused by constipation. Normally, what we eat one day should be expelled the very next day. Commonly it takes three days on the usual western diet and it does not matter how frequently the bowels move each day. Check for yourself after eating beets how soon the red color appears.

Constipation has been shown to be the main cause of gallstones in women. Even more dangerous is excessive putrefaction commonly taking place in the bowels, especially in its lowest parts. These toxins can be absorbed through the bowel walls to poison the blood. Because of the close proximity of the rectum to the female sexual organs, many naturopaths believe that constipation is the main cause of diseases of these organs, especially of an inflammatory and infectious nature.

Restricted bowel opening may be seen as primary constipation. The bowel is mechanically restricted when we sit on a toilet for bowel movements. When we squat for bowel movements the bowel is mechanically opened. We need the anal canal to be fully open when we go to the toilet. The only way to do this properly is by adopting a full squat posture. Bladder function has also been improved after several months of squatting bowel movements, bladder continence has been regained, prostate function improved and hemorrhoids prevented or cured.

Some decades ago a London surgeon had become famous for curing all kinds of incurable diseases by cutting out the lower bowels of his patients. Overweight individuals can easily carry 20 pounds or more of putrefying matter in their bowels.

Lack of fiber is not the only reason for constipation. Another reason is lack of emotional expression, but most harmful may well be the sitting position on a western toilet. This does not allow the anal canal to open fully and the contents of the lower bowel to empty completely. Researchers found that the weight of the feces is considerably greater on average when squatting as compared to sitting on a toilet. Instead of squatting, you may use a high footstool in front of the toilet and bend forward so that the thighs touch the abdomen.

Alternatively, if you are sufficiently lightweight and nimble you may squat on top of the existing toilet. In Australia you may buy a plastic form called the “In-Lieu” toilet converter, see Resources. In North America look for “Nature’s Platform”, here you will also find an extensive summary of the health benefits of squatting.

While it enhances the wellbeing of a non-toxic woman even further if she stops her monthly blood loss through an improved diet, a toxic woman easily gets into trouble if she stops or greatly reduces her menstrual flow. The accumulating toxins then lead to increasing health problems, especially arthritis.

Arthritis also increases greatly when the monthly toxin release stops with the arrival of the menopause. It is even worse after artificially induced menopause. Polyarthritis and arthritis of the spine are common after effects of hysterectomy as well as high blood pressure, heart disease, mental depression and overweight. With this, menstrual bleeding is as beneficial for toxic women as colds are for those with mucus congestion.

MENOPAUSE

From my own observations as well as examples described in the literature, I have no doubt that for the truly healthy woman menopause is symptomless and much later in life than presently the norm. On the other hand, the more unhealthy or toxic a woman, the earlier and worse are her menopausal problems. These can be lessened with natural vitamin E and a diet high in natural plant estrogens and progesterone as in bee-pollen and wild yam cream. Also additional boron helps greatly to increase the production of sex hormones, which still takes place in the adrenal glands and fat tissues even after menopause. I believe that synthetic hormones cause more problems than they solve and are not necessary with a natural lifestyle.

Boron is not officially recognized as an essential mineral, however, it is important for the calcium metabolism and, therefore, for healthy bones. In a study of postmenopausal women, boron supplementation reduced calcium loss by 44% and increased estrogen to the same levels as in women receiving estrogen replacement therapy. It can also help with arthritis. The therapeutic dose commonly is 9 mg and the maintenance dose 3 mg or an average of 6 mg may be used. It is not normally available as a supplement. Instead borax has been used, 50 mg of it contain 6 mg of boron. To measure this amount, dissolve one level teaspoon of borax in one litre/quart of water and take a teaspoonful twice daily with meals.

Two helpful and often effective herbal remedies are Maca and black cohosh. Try one to two teaspoons of Maca in divided doses with meals, for black cohosh see the Menopause and Black Cohosh Information Center.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

The real solution for menstrual problems is to remove the toxic condition through a series of cleansing periods, gradually extending from days to weeks on a mainly raw food diet based on fresh vegetable juices, sprouted seeds, vegetable salads and fresh fruit, preferably using organic or unsprayed produce. Care must be taken during cleansing periods to ensure daily cleaning out of the bowels and re-establishment of a healthy intestinal flora based on acidophilus and bifido bacteria.

In addition to a high intake of chlorophyll select your food for a maximum of bioflavonoids and carotenoids. These are the yellow, orange, red and purple color pigments in flowers, fruits and vegetables. They strengthen the capillary walls and together with zinc, MSM and the vitamins C and E ensure rapid wound healing. Use especially purple foods, such as beetroot or red beet (best as part of a grass and vegetable juice), black and purple grapes and dark grape juice, blackberries and blueberries but most helpful may actually be black cherries. For all conditions try also maca as a most effective hormonal balancer. For more information see http://www.herbsformenopause.com/research_on_maca.htm or http://www.wholeworldbotanicals.com/journal.html.

Furthermore, overacidity must be avoided or corrected. If you have a food allergy, chemical sensitivity, vitamin or mineral deficiency, Candida or other microbial or chemical contamination, your metabolism becomes inefficient and produces too much acidity. This causes increased pain, inflammation, bleeding, swellings and irritability. In addition to correcting the basic cause, alkalize the body by neutralizing fruit acids with dolomite.

Osteoporosis is not due to menopause as such either. It is not a problem in rural or traditional Asian communities despite a very much lower calcium intake. While osteoporosis is high on western diets with dairy foods that provide more than 1000 mg of calcium daily, Japanese women consume only about 300 mg of calcium daily and rarely develop osteoporosis. Bantu women have a very low calcium intake of only 200 to 300 mg daily and also have lowest incidence of osteoporosis in the world. The main factor causing osteoporosis is a diet high in protein, phosphorus and sugars. Each of these can increase the normal excretion of calcium in the urine by 400%. Also contributing are deficiencies in magnesium and boron.

Another factor contributing to menstrual problems is sexual dissatisfaction. See the articles on Sexuality and on Spiritual Sex on this site for suggestions to harmonize your sex life. I believe that it is our natural birthright to be healthy, and women are no exception despite having to cope with menstruation, childbirth and menopause. None of these should cause any health problems with a natural life-style.

Just before and during period time body and emotions are especially sensitive as a natural consequence of the monthly hormonal and energy cycle. While this causes most of the problems associated with menstruation it may also be used in a positive way to facilitate emotional healing and spiritual growth. There is now a rapidly spreading movement of women to heal themselves spiritually and emotionally by 'honoring' their menstrual cycle. This also helps to overcome many period problems. For more information see http://home.att.net/~moonhutch and also explore the links on that site.

Summary of Menstrual Problems

Diet low in sweet food, fat and salt. Vegetarian cleansing diet, especially in the case of heavy period and difficult menopause, mainly sprouted seeds, vegetable salads, grass juice, colored root vegetables. Foods high in beta-carotene, bioflavonoids (the colored pigments of fruit and vegetables) and especially purple foods.

SUPPLEMENTS: B-complex vitamins, especially B6 and folic acid, rutin and bioflavonoids; natural vitamin E tablets 1000-2000 IU and selenium-methionine, especially if breasts are tender and for menopausal hot flushes. Calcium supplements if there is excessive bleeding and fatigue, magnesium for tension and irritability, zinc, manganese, Royal Jelly, evening-primrose oil, vitamins A, C and organic iron.

Fibrocystic breast disease and ovarian cysts often disappear with 6 to 8 drops of saturated solution of potassium iodide (SSKI) taken daily in some water for 2 to 3 months. Prolonged use can inhibit thyroid functions, to monitor the thyroid see Specific Health Problems.

Herbs: Menopause - black cohosh (especially for hot flashes), chamomile, hawthorn, sage. Excessive bleeding - bayberry bark, red raspberry, shepherd's purse, witch hazel. Suppressed menstruation - chamomile, catnip, fennel, pennyroyal, peppermint. Generally - motherwort, dong quai, raspberry shoots. St John's wort for depression; black cohosh and vitex agnus castus for period pain and PMT. Maca is most important for all conditions, even helps after hysterectomy and better than HRT.

ADDITIONAL THERAPY: Hot sitz bath, sitting on north pole of a strong magnet for weakness of sexual organs. Foot reflex areas on heels; tracement of circulation and conception meridians. Blue lighting to reduce bleeding, orange lighting to increase it. Castor-oil packs on lower abdomen and lower back, sometimes Epsom-salt packs; pressure therapy and manipulation and adjustment of lower back. Spinal tapping of lumbar vertebrae, colonics, ear needling of uterus and ovaries. Key feeling sexual satisfaction, learn to honor your cycle.

VAGINAL YEAST INFECTION - Thrush, caused by the fungus Candida albicans. B vitamins, especially B2. Use douche of diluted hydrogen peroxide or with the addition of several drops of tea-tree oil (shake well before use). After douching, apply some unpasteurised yogurt, yogurt culture or acidophilus culture. In addition Intestinal Sanitation with Epsom salts and garlic followed by acidophilus.