PMS sucks – there’s no way around it. I’d like to be one of those nature chicks who gush about their sacred moon and honoring the body’s cycle and appreciating every aspect of it and all that stuff. But, it’s hard to be so optimistic when you’re cranky, tired, crampy and bloating up like a balloon. For those days when even your fat pants don’t fit, there are a few herbal allies that will quickly become your best friends. Beat PMS bloating with these natural remedies.
Dandelion – That’s right, the weed that grows in your yard. We’ve been brought up to think of this plant as a nuisance, but it’s actually got some wonderful medicinal and nutritional properties. It’s high in iron and many vitamins, and acts as a strong diuretic. For that reason, it’s often used to cleanse the liver and kidneys. You can get the dried leaves in capsule form or as a tincture at the health food store, or make a tonic yourself with a handful of freshly picked leaves steeped in a pint of hot water for 20 minutes. Drink a cup twice daily. The yellow flowers and leaves are both edible, but be sure to only pick the tender young leaves before the flowers appear, or they’ll be tough and bitter. The root is also edible, and is often used as treatment for digestive disorders.
Fennel seed – The stalks of this licorice-flavored plant are often used in cooking, but the seeds are what pack the PMS-fighting punch. It, too, has diuretic properties that will help relieve the dreaded bloating. It also has properties that ease bloating caused by gas. A great way to use fennel is to take it as tea – it tastes great, and it will soon help you to start feeling more like yourself again.
Peppermint – This delicious herb has so many uses, from relieving headaches to soothing the gastrointestinal tract. It relaxes smooth muscle and eases inflammation, can help stabilize mood swings and eliminates gas, which can contribute to bloating. Like fennel seed, the best way to use peppermint to relieve bloating is to drink it as tea. Peppermint tea is commonly found in most grocery stores.