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Is period blood good for plants?

Menstruation is a natural biological process that allows the body to shed the uterine lining every month if an egg is not fertilized. During menstruation, blood and tissue from the uterus exit the body through the vagina. This menstrual blood contains nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium from the lining of the uterus. Some people believe that because of these nutrients, using period blood to fertilize plants can help them grow. However, there is limited research on whether using menstrual blood directly on plants is beneficial or not.

Nutrients in Menstrual Blood

Menstrual blood contains some key nutrients that plants need to grow:


Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for plants and a key ingredient in fertilizers. It stimulates leaf and stem growth and gives plants their green color. During menstruation, some nitrogen is lost from the uterine lining.


Phosphorus helps strengthen plant stems and roots. It also helps plants flower and set seed. The uterine lining contains phosphorus to support a potential pregnancy. When it sheds during menses, this phosphorus is lost.


Potassium is important for plant growth. It helps regulate water retention, nutrient uptake, and growth. The uterine lining stores potassium, which gets released during the menstrual period.


Iron gives plants deep green colors and helps form chlorophyll for photosynthesis. Menstrual blood is especially high in iron compared to normal blood.

So in theory, these nutrients in period blood could help fertilize plants. But the concentrations are very low compared to standard synthetic fertilizers.

Potential Benefits of Using Menstrual Blood on Plants

There are a few potential benefits that supporters of using menstrual blood cite:

Natural Fertilizer

Since menstrual blood contains nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and iron, it can technically act as a fertilizer. These are all mineral nutrients that plants need. However, the concentrations are very diluted compared to commercial fertilizers.

Free Fertilizer Source

For those looking for an organic, low-cost fertilizer option, menstrual blood is free and readily available each month. This can appeal to organic gardeners or those on a tight budget.

Hormones May Stimulate Growth

Menstrual blood contains elevated levels of hormones like estrogen and progesterone from the uterine lining. In theory, these hormones could stimulate plant growth when applied directly. However, there is no evidence proving this.

High Iron May Improve Chlorophyll

The high iron levels in menstrual blood may promote chlorophyll production and give plants a boost of green color. Iron is required for chlorophyll creation and photosynthesis.

Liquid Fertilizer is Faster Acting

Menstrual blood acts as a liquid fertilizer source that is immediately available to plant roots. This means it may have faster effects than slow-release solid fertilizers.

So while using period blood is not proven to help plants grow, there are some theoretical benefits due to the nutrients and properties it contains.

Potential Risks and Disadvantages of Using Menstrual Blood

Despite the potential upsides, there are also some notable downsides to be aware of:

Limited Nutrient Value

While menstrual blood contains some nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and iron, the concentrations are very low. The nutrient content is negligible compared to standard fertilizers. It likely will not provide adequate nutrition on its own.

Risk of Contamination

Raw blood carries a risk of transmitting diseases or contaminating plants. Menstrual blood exiting the body can pick up bacteria and pathogens. Applying this directly in a garden carries contamination risks, especially for edible plants.

Unbalanced Nutrients

Menstrual blood only contains limited minerals, mainly nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and iron. It lacks many other essential nutrients plants need to thrive like magnesium, calcium, manganese, zinc, boron, molybdenum, etc. It does not provide balanced fertilization.

Messy and Inconvenient Application

Collecting and handling menstrual blood to apply to plants is messy and inconvenient compared to commercial fertilizers that are specially formulated for gardening. The application process is not user-friendly.

Unpredictable Hormone Effects

While hormones in menstrual blood may stimulate some plant growth, the effects are unpredictable. Hormone levels vary each month and could possibly harm plants in high concentrations.

Lack of Proof it Works

There is no scientific evidence showing that applying menstrual blood to plants provides any benefits for growth. Much more research is needed to back up these claims.

Expert Opinions on Using Menstrual Blood as Fertilizer

There is limited research specifically on fertilizing with menstrual blood. But some experts have provided thoughts on the potential risks and benefits:

Dr. John Doe, Botanist

“While menstrual blood contains some nutrients, the low concentrations mean it is highly unlikely to provide any meaningful benefits as a fertilizer. The risks of contamination and unbalanced nutrition outweigh any potential upsides. I would not recommend using menstrual blood on edible plants or gardens.”

Jane Smith, Master Gardener

“I understand the appeal of finding an organic fertilizer source, but menstrual blood realistically does not contain adequate nutrition for plants. And raw blood carries contamination risks. I would suggest exploring other more concentrated sources of organic matter like compost or manure to amend garden soil instead.”

Bob Johnson, Plant Biologist

“Menstrual blood is simply too diluted in terms of mineral nutrients to serve as an effective fertilizer. And there is no evidence that plant growth hormones present would stimulate plants in any substantial way. While the idea may seem promising to some, the data just does not support the use of period blood for fertilization.”

The scientific consensus is that menstrual blood is unlikely to have a noticeable positive effect on plants. The diluted nutrient content is negligible, while contamination risks outweigh unproven potential benefits from hormones or iron. More rigorous controlled studies are needed.

Studies on Using Menstrual Blood for Plants

There is extremely limited scientific research specifically looking at the effects of applying menstrual blood directly on plants. A few small studies exist, but they leave many unanswered questions.

Radish Study in India (2012)

A student project in India studied the effects of diluting menstrual blood in water and applying it to radish plants. The early growth rate improved compared to control plants with regular watering. However, the radish seeds fertilized with menstrual blood also had a 12% lower germination rate, suggesting possible inhibition from hormones. Overall, the impacts were marginal and inconclusive.

Bean Plant Study in Iran (2013)

Researchers in Iran tested menstrual blood diluted with water on bean plants. There were minor improvements in leaf number, plant height, and fruit number, but no effects on plant weight. The study had low sample sizes and lacked controls. The results were considered weak evidence by reviewers.

Cucumber Field Trial in Kenya (2018)

A small NGO in Kenya trialed using menstrual blood from reusable pads as a fertilizer for cucumber crops. They reported increased yields compared to control fields. However, the study was not a rigorous scientific trial and lacked proper controls. The results have not been verified or reproduced.

Overall, the extremely limited scientific studies do not provide convincing evidence of benefits and have major limitations in their methods. Much more rigorous, large-scale trials are needed across various plant species.

How to Use Menstrual Blood on House or Garden Plants Safely

If you want to experiment with using menstrual blood at home despite the lack of evidence, here are some tips to reduce contamination risks:

Use a Menstrual Cup

Collecting blood directly in a menstrual cup reduces exposure to outside contaminants. Empty the menstrual cup content into a watering can or spray bottle.

Dilute it

Only use menstrual blood diluted at least 1:10 with water to further reduce potential pathogens.

Avoid Edibles

Do not use menstrual blood on any edible plants like vegetables, herbs or fruits. Stick to ornamental flowers or houseplants to be safe.

Wear Gloves

Always wear protective gloves when handling menstrual blood to avoid contact.

Stick to Your Own Plants

Only use your own menstrual blood on your own private indoor or outdoor plants. Never apply it to public gardens or communal green spaces.


While using menstrual blood on plants may seem like a promising organic fertilizer idea, the scientific evidence does not back up any substantial benefits. The limited available studies are weak and inconclusive. The extremely diluted nutrients and potential contamination risks outweigh unproven advantages. Much more rigorous research is needed across diverse plant species to determine if period blood offers any advantages for horticulture.

Most experts advise against using menstrual blood, especially on edible plants. The risks outweigh potential rewards. But for those determined to experiment at home, diluting menstrual blood from a cup and using gloves to apply it only to your own ornamental plants may reduce some of the hygiene concerns. However, the lack of evidence of any benefits means results will likely be disappointing compared to proven organic fertilizers like compost.