A woman who uses her period blood for facials says it leaves her skin soft and ‘glowing’ as she urges others to give it a go.
Mary Miranda, 36, from Chicago, USA, also uses her blood for artwork, dancing and watering her plants.
Her unusual method began after she had her first period aged 12 and spent most of her teen years and early 20s suffering from painful irregular and heavy periods.
The female embodiment coach said she was spent years being ‘ashamed, embarrassed and disgusted by her monthly bleed’ – before discovering ‘Moon Blood’ rituals.
The irregularity of Mary’s monthly cycle meant that sometimes she’d only have a period three or four times a year – something she didn’t realise at the time was abnormal.
Even on birth control, Mary’s period pain didn’t ease noticeably and in 2006 she was diagnosed with an ovarian cyst after she suddenly collapsed five times in pain she had initially dismissed as trapped gas or digestion problems.
She had an emergency salpingo-oophorectomy to remove her right ovary.
After this, Mary was advised to continue with her birth control pill to prevent the same happening to her left ovary but after two years, in 2008, she stopped her pill as she didn’t want to be pumping her body with synthetic hormones.
Mary’s excruciating periods continued which left her with side effects so severe, she’d vomit, experience low blood pressure and profusely sweat.
Mary visited A&E twice and on her second trip she had a transvaginal ultrasound scan which discovered a small uterine fibroid tumour, a non-cancerous growth, in her uterus.
By December 2017, the fibroid had grown to three-and-a-half inches, which left her looking visibly bloated, and she had another cyst on her left ovary.
In February 2018, Mary underwent myomectomy surgery to remove her uterine fibroid and ovarian cyst and save her reproductive system.
Worried that she would have to have a hysterectomy one day if her problems persisted, Mary started to research how to take control of her reproductive health holistically after never being offered the alternative before.
Mary discovered Moon Blood rituals, the act of cherishing, welcoming and honouring menstruation and hasn’t looked back since.
Each month Mary gives herself a facial using her period blood which she leaves on for up to 30 minutes, paints with it, dances to it and offers her blood back to the earth by ‘watering’ plants and trees with it.
Now she is keen to break the taboo surrounding periods by sharing her journey publicly online and wants to encourage other women to welcome instead of fear their monthly cycle.
“In my view, our upbringings, society, the patriarchy and religion have influenced a lot on how women feel and act around their periods,” she said.
“Even saying the word period or menstruation is a source of shame, embarrassment, disgust and sin for many women, because it is a topic not to be talked about, is taboo, is seen as gross, impure, disgusting and should be kept under the rug.
“The patriarchy has played a huge role in how women feel, see and think of periods. Many men make derogatory comments or cringe when the topic comes on the table. Some men say things like ‘women are crazy during their period,’ ‘she is b***hy, she must be on her period,’ or ‘periods are disgusting.’
“These comments have conditioned women to think being on their period equals being crazy, b****hy, moody, emotional, roller coaster of behaviours, they’re meant to be painful and therefore end up hating them and feel ashamed of them.
“Even women make these comments now and drink coffee out of mugs with these quotes.
“I was on the verge of almost getting a hysterectomy two years ago and never menstruating again. I prayed every day and asked for my uterus and left side-ovary to be saved.
“I promised to honour and worship my womb and periods with reverence each month if they were saved and now I look forward to each month. Now it is a time to celebrate and I want women to also experience this.
“I saw a post from a woman that went viral and she received so much hate and negativity on her Period Blood Facial post. I felt such impotence of how many women hated such a sacred ritual. The fire in me was lit up and the need to share became stronger.
“I was also afraid to receive hate and my body was filled with anxiety when I decided to post, since no one knew I did these rituals. I feared my family would disown me or I’d be insulted by strangers that didn’t bother to know my story.
“I realised I wanted to show women how I healed my mindset and relationship with my period, and how I removed the stigma that periods are gross, shameful, embarrassing and should not be talked about, let alone publicly.
“Menstrual blood is healing and has anti-inflammatory properties and is full of rich nutrients and minerals like zinc, copper, magnesium, calcium, sodium, iron, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium.
“My face always feels softer, more nourished and it glows. I have noticed it has helped improve my skin condition from acne scars I had and pigmentation. My skin on my face just feels healthier for me.
“You can do a test by offering your menstrual blood diluted in water to your plants and see them grow and get healthier. I have friends whose flowers started blooming right away.
“I had to do this as a healing part of my journey too. And often the thing you fear the most doing is what will set you free, and I set myself free when I started sharing.
“For me it is really important to share my story and to help women who experience things I have, such as painful periods, uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, endometriosis and myomectomy heal the relationship with their periods, since our periods do tend to be more painful and sources of a lot of pain and many end up getting hysterectomies.”
Since going down the holistic route, Mary now has regular periods that last for three to four days at a time and she says she has her life back.
She likens creating art with her menstrual blood to making magic.
“My period blood paintings are intuitively channelled and I never know what’s going to come out. I simply go with the flow, which helps tap into my feminine energy, intuition, surrender and just trust what will come out is perfect,” she said.
“I use my hands as I want to truly connect with what I’m doing and that primal ancient female energy we all carry.
“For me, creating art with my menstrual blood is an act of honouring it and not just tossing my blood in the toilet. It is to truly cherish it and make magic with it.
“I have my life back during my periods and can leave my home. I’m no longer crying from the excruciating pain while hugging my heating pad or puking in the toilet. The painful PMSing, the cramps, the Endometriosis pain, it all started dissipating month after month since I started reconnecting with my body, womb and periods.
“I highly believe reconnecting with my body, womb and period helped me improve and heal my reproductive health issues and this allowed me to embrace my periods even more.
“My periods are now something I look forward to and I’m excited to receive them each month.
“My intention is to help women heal the stigma, mindset, feelings and relationship with their periods and see them as sacred, beautiful, powerful, a part of their femininity and hopefully pain-free.
“Start with small rituals to reconnect with your body, womb and period.
Start speaking to your womb, sending it love and asking for guidance.
“There’s nothing shameful or sinful about you. You are sacred, worthy and powerful, simply because you are a woman.”
For more information see Mary’s Instagram here.