Period Myths 1: Do Not Touch Plants

In this series I would explore, the practices followed in our society regarding menstruation/periods.  These practices make me cringe but it is amazing how these continue to be followed by our society even today.

Superstition 1: Do not go near plants when you have periods.

Seriously? Reasons given for this include

–          You are impure and the flowers coming from this plant/tree cannot be offered to god if you were to touch it.

–          Tulsi (Indian Basil) is so holy; you would be defiling it if you even went near it.

–          The flowers will wither and the plant will dry up and die if you were to touch it during periods.

If god was so bothered by periods, why create them in the first place? How come this applies to secretions from the female body only? What about people who are bleeding due to accidents or something like that? What about other body secretions? Do they not defile the plants? My periods can kill plants! Really wow I got super powers. Then so many plants died in the ancient times when man was not yet ‘civilised’ and roamed the jungles. Many still do abroad where this rule is not followed. Tsk tsk – Now we know the cause of global warming. Plants killed by women who touched them when they had periods. It makes so much sense now! And they waste so much time and money on conferences and research discussing how to save trees.

These kinds of rules of not allowing women to go near plants and touch them or the flowers still exist in India and are practiced by Indians in cities, in educated households and those who live abroad as well. Sad but true.

Read more articles in this series here.

22 thoughts on “Period Myths 1: Do Not Touch Plants

  1. This whole thing is getting blown way out if proportion Lol I am a women whom gets her period every month I have always planted during my mensural cycle and I have never had a problem with my peppers or flowers dying because of it I can’t believe people are arguing over this try your own experiment I’m sure anyone can get an answer without a argument

    1. I have seen a flower die less than 12 hours after was touched by a girlfriend on her period with proper sunlight proper watering food and trimming. Got them plenty of other times after that or before that not on her bad time of the month and had no problem when touching them then. They were completely healthy in the same spot from the same place same circumstances same time of the year just no period. I believe it to be not a myth. And I will save you a lot of money by not getting them that time of the month and wasting money because they will just die.

  2. I pray to god ,water plants and touch them during my periods but nothing happened. My mom don’t allow me to do this but still I do this when she’s not with me. I don’t follow these stupid rules.

  3. I completely agree with your post. However, my tulsi plant started to die the day I watered it on my period. It has been 3 weeks since my period ended and the plant is totally dead. It was in sufficient sunlight and I took care of the moisture of the soil, etc. I told someone about my plant dying today and the first thing they told me that it was bc I touched the plant on my period. It’s ridiculous and infuriating, but this is what has happened *sigh*.

  4. Uneducated old people are following these rituals even now…no one can change their mind…only thing to do is that young people please adjust with them

  5. Many times women claim these rules were made to ensure they got rest – it seems rest by women was seen as wrong. Even today women are often overworked and it seems even today many families would rather isolated and consider impure, than simply say a woman has a right to rest as much as anybody else. And also what if she needs rest on days when she does not have her period?

    1. Exactly, say you need rest but over reacting just coz your dress touched the plant is extreme. It may started out as a nice concept of giving women rest but making people feel bad because they have periods and feel impure and untouchable is unacceptable. I have heard how people who lived in villages are treated around this time.

        1. Unhealthy vibes? Then why not prevent anybody who is sick or ill from touching plants? Do you ever see people overreacting when a cancer patient touches water/plants/pickles and claiming that they spoilt it? Why unhealthy vibes? If a woman is not getting her periods, something is wrong and unhealthy not the other way round.

          It is ironical, a society which places a premium on fertility treats women who are fertile like shit telling them that symbols of their fertility (periods) is dirty.

          1. My point was that its not they are dirty but rather something to do with hormones (and by God u know that woman hormones are messed up during their period) that have that effect. It isnt like sickness. im not 100% sure how to define it exactly.

            1. Okay, we need to work on clearing up lots of period myths and facts as well as biology lessons here:

              Periods are more like a reflective period for women and it makes them see what is wrong with their life.
              Women get PMS, not During MS, they just are more aware and get angry because they feel unfulfilled
              Periods are regular if hormones are circulating in good condition right amount at the right time
              If their hormones are messed up, periods will go wrong and then periods are not normal which means they need medical/health attention
              We are in charge of your bodies – not the society, not my man and not my hormones.
              So it is messed up hormones? Negative energy they vibrate? – Then same can apply to men as well when they are angry, jealous, upset, sad, suicidal. So any person irrespective of gender should not go near plants or the plants die.

              Okay, if nature intended that menstruating females not to go near plants and trees, why was earth full of of forestation 10,000 years ago? We evolved from primates. They live in trees. So, where to menstruating chimps go? Live on the rocks away from plants? Stop eating plants? If menstruation kills plants, then why have not plants evolved with defense mechanisms like thorns or just closing up ( like touch me not plant) when approached by a negative energy female? Isn’t nature about survival. If a plant will die due to a menstruating woman, why has not plant on earth come up with a defense mechanism in regard to this?

              Also, are you even aware, that all mammals have periods, not only humans. So what restriction do animals follows when they get periods?

              What is periods? It is shedding blood and other cells which lined the uterus. Why did they line the uterus? To provide a layer for zygote to implant if the woman got pregnant. She did not, then shed the old lining and form a fresh new lining. If a woman got pregnant, the layer is not shed, instead the body adds even more layers. So when a woman gives birth, all those lining are shed because the body does not need them anymore. So does anyone ever tell a woman who gave birth that she is impure? Not to touch plants? Does anyone tell the baby is emitting negative energy? Was not the baby bathed in the very same fluid and deriving nutrition from the so called negative vibes cells and blood of the woman? That negative energy cells and hormones are the ones which made the baby grow from one cell to an organism.

              1. When a lady gives birth to a child, the whole family is not allowed to enter temples for 10 days and all the rules for a woman in period is applied for the whole family. Now with that info provided, I would like to ask, was any scientific study done on these claims. I would not be astonished if these claims turn out to be true, because most of the claims from olden cultures have turned so. I would also not be offended if these claims are proven false. But all I see here is just lamenting, without any study or research material pointed to. If women who think this taboo is limiting their liberation can push the scientific community to do a formal study on this, that shall shed the light.

                1. A – This is not lamenting.
                  B- There are far better things to do scientific research on.
                  C – I am a scientist and I have done my experiments. No plants died. It is not like people who follow these are going to read scientific journals and accept their publications.

          2. sos you keep distance from people who got even normal flu because disease can transmit . similarly during mensturation women are very UNCLEAN DIRTY can spread disease everywhere….. its women is unclean creature. but during that period hey are. its nature’s selection unfertilized egg dies and waste come out of her body. its like shit people have taboo. because its unclean and can cause desease. same way mensturarion waste is unclean and dead egg like digested food/shit. which attracts diseases.

      1. I absolutely disagree Anandi – Flu is a disease caused by virus. Periods are normal physiological processes that must occur in a healthy female unless she is pregnant.

        Why unclean dirty? The average computer and bank note has more germs than a toilet. Do you know of the latest British research? 70% of the men do not wash hands with soap after going to toilet. Then that is also spreading disease.

        If nature keeps the same blood when a woman is pregnant, and lets the baby grow in it, how is it unhealthy? You mean to say the woman’s uteral blood lining is giving disease to the baby?

        Blood can be harmful if let in one place without disinfection due to promotion of growth of bacteria. Than blood is same as the blood in rest of the body. So by that definition, all animals cause disease.

        Dead egg? Seriously, how large is that dead egg? 2 m?

        Do you say away from all people and animals because they shit and attract diseases? Then why discriminate women coz they menstruate?

        1. Its easy to pretend that menstruation is nothing, but the fact is it has a profound effect on the woman physically and emotionally, so dont pretend its nothing, or just like not washing hands

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