Your period comes with a host of not-so-fun things to deal with, like messy leaks and painful cramps, so understandably, clocking the color of your flow is probably pretty low on your priority list. But, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), your particular hue may be worth paying more attention to.
During your period, TCM believes that the color of your blood may correlate with an imbalance of yin and yang and indicate underlying conditions. TCM’s foundational approach to health aims to create harmony between these two opposing forces to allow qi (vital energy) to flow freely throughout the body during the menstrual cycle. Curious? Read on to discover what the five most common shades of scarlet can uncover about your health.
1. Crimson: A rich ruby is considered the ideal hue and indicates a healthy balance of yin and yang. Small pea-sized blood clots at the start of menstruation are also totally normal.
2. Pale pink: A light rose with a watery consistency can indicate a spleen deficiency. This condition may reduce the body’s ability to produce enough qi and red blood cells, and can be accompanied by bloating, fatigue, and leg cramps. Common underlying causes include anemia.
3. Dark red: A deep scarlet, accompanied by clots, may indicate liver qi stagnation, which can block blood flow, leading to cramping and breast tenderness. A low body temperature is another potential culprit, which may slow uterine contractions and cause the blood to linger in the uterus.
4. Bright red: A poppy hue with a thick consistency may indicate higher than average basal body temperatures due to inflammation and may cause you to feel thirstier than normal.
5. Purplish red: This shade, along with clots, may be caused by blood stagnation. It is often accompanied by painful cramps and a heavy flow and can indicate other conditions like endometriosis and fibroids.
If you have any concerns about your period, or if your symptoms also include fever, pain, quarter-sized or larger blood clots, or abnormal discharge, we recommend speaking with your doctor.