syntheticbutterfly
Cool Member
Posts: 96
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:24 am
Location: Rojales, Alicante Spain

Menstrual Blood

Anyone know if this would have a bad effect in my compost heap? I have used it on house plants before, and it certainly didn't do any harm....
PS. I know some people may find this icky. Please don't feel the need to comment that this is too gross for you, I am purely interested in whether this is beneifical to plants or not.

Toil
Greener Thumb
Posts: 803
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:18 pm
Location: drifting, unmoored

it's only gross if you let it be, and if the community decides it is. That is a fact of social life.

If your absorbent products are digestible, why not ferment it (as in bokashi). Then it would be very safe, and would attract less animals.

I imagine it contains some precious nutrients. My wife made me stop composting urine though, so I doubt I could get her to save her mentrual blood.
There's something new growing in the Helpful Gardener Forum! Become a part of it here!

syntheticbutterfly
Cool Member
Posts: 96
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:24 am
Location: Rojales, Alicante Spain

Thanks for responding, I actually use a mooncup so it's just pure liquid I'd be adding. Out of interest though, what is bokashi?

It doesn't gross me out (its nothing nasty after all!) but I know some people have the idea that menstrual fluids are dirty, hence why I added that part in my original post!

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27894
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

I guess it goes back to the question of human pathogens -- how much of that is or isn't neutralized in the composting process. I don't have an answer, but it's an intriguing question. I would guess that active hot composting would be safer than not.

A parallel topic, I think -- we were discussing taxoplasmosis (from cat litter) [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=106531#106531]here in this thread[/url].

syntheticbutterfly
Cool Member
Posts: 96
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:24 am
Location: Rojales, Alicante Spain

I'll have a look at the thread you suggested, although I have to say menstrual fluid is not germ ridden, whereas cat faeces most definetly are, so its quite different really.

I'm going to go for it(unless someone comes and says definetily no for some reason)- I don't like wasting anything, haha, any ideas whether it is green or brown?

User avatar
Sage Hermit
Green Thumb
Posts: 532
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:20 pm
Location: Finlaysen, MN Coniferous Forest

green but doesnt mentral fluid coagulae? it would be brown quickly.
You can solve all your problems in a garden/laboratory.

Toil
Greener Thumb
Posts: 803
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:18 pm
Location: drifting, unmoored

If I remember k-12 biology, a womb is not a likely place to find pathogens. When there are pathogens present, it's generally uncomfortable, and They are most likely unable to survive outside a special environment.

To learn about bokashi, start with the google. I am thinking bokashi first (make a paste with the bran), then after fermenting bury it or add it to your compost.

If it's food for an embryo, it must be great food for microbes. I bet you could treat it like blood and dry it. But I would do something low effort, considering the very low volume.
There's something new growing in the Helpful Gardener Forum! Become a part of it here!

User avatar
gixxerific
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 5889
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:42 pm
Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

The only thing i can think of is it might attract pest.

I pee on my compost so why not I just hope you are not out there squatting. Sorry I couldn't resist. :lol:

Toil
Greener Thumb
Posts: 803
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:18 pm
Location: drifting, unmoored

Ya gotta use a honeybucket!
There's something new growing in the Helpful Gardener Forum! Become a part of it here!

sweet thunder
Senior Member
Posts: 210
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:43 pm
Location: Eureka, CA

I use a Diva cup and while I don't always save menstrual blood, I have diluted it and watered my outside plants with it with no ill effects.
Honestly, it hadn't occurred to me to pour it on the compost pile, but now I think I will!
I do think it helps to dilute it or water it in well, especially if you have a dog like mine who finds that kind of thing irresistible.

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

Topics I never thought I'd see on THG, ....yep here it is, right near the top of the list... :lol:

This from a science site I found...
Although it closely resembles blood, menstrual fluid actually comprises a mixture of tissues and secretions from inside the uterus including water and mucus from the uterine glands, blood from capillaries feeding the endometrium, and the glandular tissue of the endometrium itself. Most women menstruate for 2 to 7 days, lose between 20 and 80 millilitres of blood, and report the heaviest bleeding at the beginning. Once the period is over, the endometrium begins to replenish itself from a layer of stem cells in the wall of the uterus
Okay we have blood; a known nitrogen source. Excellent. Shed mucus lining; mucus is an incredible fungal and bacterial food. Those worm and snail tracks you see on soils are basically the same thing; it is mostly proteins, so mostly amino acids, so mostly amine groups which is to say carbon tacked onto ammonia. Carbon AND nitrogen in one package; protein is a most excellent source for soil nutrition.

"Tissues and secretions" reads proteins to me. But this can get really deep really fast; this is a complex human systems function [url=https://humupd.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/6/1/16]we are still figuring out[/url], so far be it for me to pronounce every possible chemical compound safe and sane to use. I wouldn't know an endometric leukocyte if it walked up and shook hands. But do I think this is safe and sane?

Wholeheartedly.

HG
Scott Reil

User avatar
gixxerific
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 5889
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:42 pm
Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

The Helpful Gardener wrote:Topics I never thought I'd see on THG, ....yep here it is, right near the top of the list... :lol:

This from a science site I found...
Although it closely resembles blood, menstrual fluid actually comprises a mixture of tissues and secretions from inside the uterus including water and mucus from the uterine glands, blood from capillaries feeding the endometrium, and the glandular tissue of the endometrium itself. Most women menstruate for 2 to 7 days, lose between 20 and 80 millilitres of blood, and report the heaviest bleeding at the beginning. Once the period is over, the endometrium begins to replenish itself from a layer of stem cells in the wall of the uterus
Okay we have blood; a known nitrogen source. Excellent. Shed mucus lining; mucus is an incredible fungal and bacterial food. Those worm and snail tracks you see on soils are basically the same thing; it is mostly proteins, so mostly amino acids, so mostly amine groups which is to say carbon tacked onto ammonia. Carbon AND nitrogen in one package; protein is a most excellent source for soil nutrition.

"Tissues and secretions" reads proteins to me. But this can get really deep really fast; this is a complex human systems function [url=https://humupd.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/6/1/16]we are still figuring out[/url], so far be it for me to pronounce every possible chemical compound safe and sane to use. I wouldn't know an endometrial leukocyte if it walked up and shook hands. But do I think this is safe and sane?

Wholeheartedly.

HG
Nuff said keep doin' what you doin'

Toil
Greener Thumb
Posts: 803
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:18 pm
Location: drifting, unmoored

This could be a whole new twist on gardening by the moon...
There's something new growing in the Helpful Gardener Forum! Become a part of it here!

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

Yeah, how biodynamic is this? Uber BD methinks...

HG
Scott Reil

Toil
Greener Thumb
Posts: 803
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:18 pm
Location: drifting, unmoored

Maybe someone can market mooncups made of horn?

Sorry if any ladies feel this is too much jesting. I'm a progressive man, but I still use levity to make myself comfortable around femininity. It's a powerful thing for which my culture does not prepare me. I do understand it is a sacred event for some, and I assure you I respect that. I just need this crutch for now.
There's something new growing in the Helpful Gardener Forum! Become a part of it here!

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

I love this thread! Unfortunately (for these purposes, not in general), I am a crone (had an official croning ceremony a few years ago) and long past having any use for a mooncup. When I did, I wasn't enough a gardener or advanced enough to even think about this (and Helpful Gardener wasn't around then either! :) ).

But I like the idea of blessing your garden in this way. When my son was born in my bedroom at home, with a midwife in attendance, we planted a rose bush with the placenta buried under it to feed it. That was 30 years and many homes ago, I have no idea if the rose is still there.

User avatar
Zapatay
Senior Member
Posts: 210
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:10 pm
Location: 5a - Northern IL, WI border

It's great to see/read a community handling the discussion w/ tact. Kudos.

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

Seconding toils post...

And thank you, zapatay...

HG
Scott Reil

Toil
Greener Thumb
Posts: 803
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:18 pm
Location: drifting, unmoored

Zapatay wrote:It's great to see/read a community handling the discussion w/ tact. Kudos.
it's no accident. This community has a good effect on people it seems. Opposite of the usual net scenario. I was afraid to answer at first but did so anyway, and discovered I had nothing to fear.

I assume this has something to do with WM?
There's something new growing in the Helpful Gardener Forum! Become a part of it here!

The Helpful Gardener
Mod
Posts: 7493
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:17 am
Location: Colchester, CT

Mostly. The WM rules sternly, but fairly, and there is peace in the kingdom... :D

I'm the loose cannon rolling about decks; one of the other mods just had to clean up yet another obscenity splattered post of mine... if this place runs smoothly it is largely Roger's example, but the moderators here all do yeoman's work and we couldn't do without a one of them. I fulfill my dual roles as talking head and weak link to complete the picture... :lol:

HG
Scott Reil

fetida_freida
Newly Registered
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:07 pm
Location: Bloomington, IN

I am really struck by how maturely this has all been handled. I use menstrual blood mixed in with my nutrients when I water my garden. I'd never tell my co-workers that, though because it just seems like a taboo subject. (I work at a gardening store BTW)
I would think it would be a great addition to a compost pile because it's fairly similar to blood meal. I'd also think it would be better than blood meal because you know the source as opposed to blood meal that comes from slaughter houses where you're not sure what has happened to the animal-(treated with hormones and antibiotics).
Do what you love, and love what you do.
https://www.wormsway.com

syntheticbutterfly
Cool Member
Posts: 96
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:24 am
Location: Rojales, Alicante Spain

As a forum mod myself I wondered if this would cause mayhem, but am very glad to the replies are all perfectly mature. Seems this is a really good place to be.
Freida, its cool to hear of someone else using their blood to good purposes!

rot
Greener Thumb
Posts: 728
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:15 am
Location: Ventura County, CA, Sunset 23

no four letter words?

..
It would seem composting menstrual blood is less controversial than pet waste. Maybe that's fear of feminists.
..

Toil
Greener Thumb
Posts: 803
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:18 pm
Location: drifting, unmoored

depends on the pet.
There's something new growing in the Helpful Gardener Forum! Become a part of it here!

rot
Greener Thumb
Posts: 728
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:15 am
Location: Ventura County, CA, Sunset 23

name your poison

..
Dog or cat.
..

User avatar
Ozark Lady
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1862
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:28 pm
Location: NW Arkansas, USA zone 7A elevation 1561 feet

Okay, leave it to me to spoil things...

I just can't get past... at work.. blood was assumed pathogen laden and handled like it was extremely toxic.

Then, I think of meat, thawing in the fridge... it is the blood in it that is usually the first thing to spoil.

Then I think of blood based bait when fishing. It is quick to rot, and attract all kinds of junk... that isn't fish!

I read this thread and went my way. But, my mind just won't leave it alone.

I understand that when the blood leaves the body, it is clean, not toxic, no pathogens... I am just really stuck with how very quickly it is colonized by all manners of bacteria and other things... flies etc.

I can't wrap my brain around it... but I was horrified by folks urinating on wood ashes to add to the garden also.

If you do not get the compost pile to seriously heat up... aren't you just setting yourself up to exposure to all kinds of pathogens, bacteria, etc...?

Are you folks missing the dangers of improperly composting this? And not just menstrual blood, any blood, any human body wastes... the proteins, the nitrogen... trouble, trouble, trouble...

I don't mean any disrespect... just be really careful with this..
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

Toil
Greener Thumb
Posts: 803
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:18 pm
Location: drifting, unmoored

Hey I suggested mixing it with bokashi bran, which would quickly ferment it and make it hard for pathogens to survive.

Then, are we composting a pile of menstrual blood? Where are these blood pathogens going to live? Where did they come from? Are we talking E.coli. Salmonella? Hepatitis? These all need a home. And if that home was a compost pile, we'd all be screwed every dead mouse or mouse dropping would be a disaster.

No worries with this one, really. But do keep your eyes peeled. Pathogens are everywhere. They just float around waiting for work. And they don't care if you think bread or cooked rice are safe.
There's something new growing in the Helpful Gardener Forum! Become a part of it here!

syntheticbutterfly
Cool Member
Posts: 96
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:24 am
Location: Rojales, Alicante Spain

The route I'm going with this at the moment is just mixing the blood with water and watering the plants because I'm not convinced that my compost heap is working too well anyway...

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Toil wrote:
No worries with this one, really. But do keep your eyes peeled. Pathogens are everywhere. They just float around waiting for work. And they don't care if you think bread or cooked rice are safe.
Be afraid, be afraid, be afraid! Sounds like the TV news. Indeed pathogens are EVERYWHERE inside our bodies and outside. So what? That has always been true and we have always coexisted happily with them. Disease causing by pathogens is actually (relative to their omnipresence) a rare event and usually some kind of accident of over reaction of our bodies. Most people are carrying around pathogens most of the time and are unaware of it and are not sick.

That's why we have immune systems and assuming you are not immuno - compromised, the system works very well.

A long time ago I read a book, that was like 4" thick with the one word title Carcinogenesis. About all the things that can cause cancer. I started reading it and started thinking, "oh X can cause cancer, I better avoid that. Oh Y can cause cancer, I better avoid that. Oh Z can cause cancer, I better avoid that." After you've been through the whole alphabet, you stop doing that. I just decided to not worry, live my life as healthy and happy as I can and not think about all the XYZ's. The worst thing you can do for your health is to be worrying and stressing all the time, very damaging.

When I was raising my son, I continued my why worry policy. When we would be out and he would drop his pacifier on the street, I would pick it up and lick the dirt off it and give it back to him. Nothing was ever sterilized (he never had any formula). He was rarely sick, had no asthma, allergies etc. Moms that were much more germ-phobic had kids that were sickly and allergic. So maybe the sickly kids caused moms to be worried, but maybe at least partly worried moms and sterile environments contribute to sickly kids. Our immune systems need something to do!

When I was very young and a junior scientist and first heard about Eastern medicine, with a disease causation theory all based on the balance of different principles of the body, I thought "that's stupid, we know germs cause diseases." It took me a while to realize, germs are always there. Whether or not we get sick from them is based on how well balanced and well functioning our bodies are and getting sick from the omni-present germs is in fact a sign that something is out of balance.

Toil
Greener Thumb
Posts: 803
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:18 pm
Location: drifting, unmoored

sorry rainbow, I should have used an emoticon there to indicate I was using the scary campfire voice and holding a flashlight under my face.

there is nothing to fear!
There's something new growing in the Helpful Gardener Forum! Become a part of it here!

rot
Greener Thumb
Posts: 728
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:15 am
Location: Ventura County, CA, Sunset 23

fear itself

..
I dread the stuff that leaks out my car far more than what my dog leaves in the yard.
..

Joyfirst
Green Thumb
Posts: 361
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:45 pm
Location: Southern California

It is just like blood meal, isn't it? So it must be good for the plants.
There are theories out there, that if we would live in a clean enviroment and eat just clean raw food, women would not have bleeding during their monthly cycle just like wild animals don't. They say, that bleeding from anywhere any time is not something our bodies naturally do. When our bodies become toxic to certain amount, hormones during the cycle weaken blood vessels, and that's why bleeding occurs, otherwise there would be just some mucus lining shedding, no blood. I thought, it was interesting, even if not about composting.

Toil
Greener Thumb
Posts: 803
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:18 pm
Location: drifting, unmoored

Interesting.

What can I expect as a man?
There's something new growing in the Helpful Gardener Forum! Become a part of it here!

syntheticbutterfly
Cool Member
Posts: 96
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:24 am
Location: Rojales, Alicante Spain

Yes that is very interesting Joyfirst.

Return to “Composting Forum”