De Lune, an organization that works nonstop to provide safe and effective menstrual health solutions everywhere, published an article entitled, “Fertilizing Your Plants with Period Blood: A How-to (and If-to) Guide”.
At first glance of this topic — and yes that includes my click-y title — using period blood to help your plants grow seems like a big, monster yikes. (And it’s not not a big yikes, to be fair.) But fertilizing plants with menstrual blood is a thing that, apparently, people already do. The article basically says, “Hey, you might have heard of this. Yeah it’s a thing and here’s how to do it, if you’re curious.”
That’s reasonable enough.
The article goes on to explain the science and justification behind using period blood as free, extremely organic fertilizer.
Menstrual blood contains three electrolyte nutrients that are important to both human and plant metabolism: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium—the very same combo you’ll find in store-bought fertilizer.
Fertilizing with blood (albeit not human blood) is, to some extent, already a thing farmers do, especially organic farmers who are limited in the types of fertilizers they can legally use under organic standards. According to Matt Gura, Greenhouse Operations Manager of Pure Green Farms, “Plants thrive in organic matter because it provides the perfect balance of mineral nutrition. Blood meal is a popular and effective fertilizer in organic production.
The author, Courtney Mayszak, even draws her own lines in period blood usage.
Also, if you squirm at the sight (or smell) of blood, this practice is perhaps not for you. For the sake of convenience, we recommend it only for menstrual cup or disc users, as hand-squeezing a saturated tampon into a plant is a bit much, even for us.
That’s an image.
All of this is to say that, if this is a way you want to feel in tune with the earth, knock yourself out. But that’s going to be a hard no from me (that is, if my wife offered to start emptying her cups on our flower garden).
Really this article does a perfect job of explaining the process and justifications for doing it or not doing it in a wonderfully adult, reasonable way. I’d just add that, if you do decide to do this, that’s fine, but only share that information with your crunchiest friends. I don’t want to be hanging out at your house, enjoying drinks or whatever, and then have that bomb dropped on me while a troublingly lush fern sits 11 inches away from me in the corner. Not any more than I want to be at a barbecue in someone’s backyard and have them point to a pile of dirt and say, “That’s where I compost my feces!”
But hey, it’s a free country.
This story was originally published April 30, 2020.