Ayurveda prescribes a series of Do’s and DON’T’s during menstruation called as Rajasvala Paricharya. Paricharya is the lifestyle.
What lifestyle should women adopt during their three days of monthly periods? Charaka Samhita summarizes this and says, on the onset of menstruation for 3 days and nights the woman should observe celibacy, should sleep on the ground, take food with the hands from an unbroken utensil and should not cleanse her body in any way. This have been elaborated, I have prepared this chart, this chart have been given in one of the papers, academic paper, I have given the reference at the bottom. These are the list of the Do’s and Don’t’s.
I spoke about celibacy, no celibacy. Sleeping on Kusha mattress, or sleeping on the mat or something not on the bed. Should eat meal very light meal, preferably made of ghee, shali rice milk or something very light, which is easy to digest, and which should be in very light amount and the food should be directly eaten over palms, not to use metal utensils and concentrate on auspicious things. This thing is a very interesting, the eating prescription. The basis of this eating prescription is take light food and take very small quantity. It is because during menstruation the body is in such a condition, it is, it cannot digest heavy foods. This condition Ayurveda is called as Agnimandya, i.e. the digestive fire of the body is very weak, mandya is weak. So, you should not give it heavy food, not give it junk food, not give it meat and such things. You take very light food like, shali rice, the havishyaanna, they say. Havishyaanna is the light food you give in yanja, the fire and you take it less amount.
There are other things, celibacy etc. All these things have been mentioned to control, to prevent imbalance of your dosha-s. The whole table, the only reason is to protect the health of the woman by preventing imbalance of the dosha-s. You sleep during the day time, you use, adorn yourself, take bath, anointment, massage, all these affects the agnimandhya. Further it affects the health practices, no long conversations, combing etc.
But how does this affect, manifest? When your whole biological cycle is upset, later, whenever you conceive children, if you keep practice…, not just a onetime event, if you keep doing this again and again every cycle by cycle, imbalance keeps happening again and again. Then the extreme result of it would be such that when you conceive, the children born, would may have abnormalities. Not that in every case these listed abnormalities have happened, these are documentations observed over large period and written down. These are, the most likely, happens in the extreme case. But evenapart from that, there will be other kind of health effects,if there is an imbalance of dosha-s. So, this Ayurvedic factor is something which is not at all taken into account.
Apart from agnimandya, there also the factor of shodhana. The shodhana is procedure in Ayurveda, which cleanses the body. So even Ayurveda is clearly recognizing menstruation as a shodhana because it prescribes the same kind of daily practices for menstruation, Rajasvala Paricharya, i.e. prescribe for a shodhana procedure. 8 practices there are same. The details, you can refer to my articles that are written. So, this is a purification process even recognized by Ayurveda, and then there is also aspect of injury, there is endometrial tissues are removed from your body. So, it is considered as a state of injury, that needs healing and these restrictions. The table, it also takes care of it because there are parallels with the practices mentioned there and the practices mentioned for a person who is injured, who has been operated and how he should take rest etc.