Historic ways of managing menstrual flow
Tampons and other feminine hygiene products haven’t been around all that long. The first tampons were only created in 1929, and were not very affordable for a long time. How did our ancestors manage their periods? Here are a few amazing techniques that must have taken considerable imagination….
Up until the 20th century, most women counted on simple towels, or thick rags, to absorb the flow. And once their periods were over, they would wash them and re-use them next time. Maximal absorption/minimal comfort.
2/ Rolled papyrus
In the age of the pharaohs, Egyptian women moistened and rolled up papyrus to make tampons. The papyrus being a plant that grew naturally in Egypt, it had multiple uses.
Africans and Australians used grass, quite simply, to protect themselves against menstrual flow: grass could be used in the form of a sanitary towel or rolled into clumps to form a tampon.
In Ancient Greece, sheep’s wool was used by women to make tampons, inserting them into the vagina.
5/ Cedar bark
American Indians used cedar bark as sanitary towels. A material which, although it appears hard, was also used to make nappies for babies.