It used to be when I was growing up that we went to the doctor only when we got extremely sick with fever or an uncontrollable cold. I mean we had to fall off the bed and literally show our parents that we were about to die in order to be taken to a doctor. Because, back in the days they didn't believe in allopathic medicines in India that much. Home remedies with natural spices, leaves, oils and barks did the magic of curing the deadliest of the diseases. Parents had home remedies for their children for common colds, headaches, back pain or toothaches. Women's problems such as cramps, things related to pregnancies, the menstrual cycle, delivering babies, and vaginal infections were taken care of with spices. Every spice they used had some kind of a curing factor. Every food they gave had some medicinal and nutritional value.
This is how it went: when a girl had her first period she wasn't given a sanitary napkin and sent out on her daily chores. She was seated in a corner of the house and kept away from rest of the family members. With bodily changes a girl was believed to be more susceptible to the germs that are passed around. She was given her own plate and glass to use so as to avoid contact with others ailments. Bedsheets and pillows were separated from others in order to avoid spread of germs and infections. She was left alone in the corner to keep her emotionally intact and take in whatever was happening to her body. This was done for ten days until the period ended and repeated every month for three months, since they believed that she needed that much time to adjust herself and accommodate for the new changes mentally and physically.
Once the period came to an end on the tenth or eleventh day the young lady was given a head bath with really hot water. Rose water and essential oils such as almond oil were added to the water. In place of soap, rice or gram flour (made from chick peas) mixed with hot sesame oil was massaged thoroughly into her body in order to ward off any impurities and germs on her skin. Her head was massaged with warm coconut oil for at least half an hour.