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Beat the Bloat: 4 Herbal Remedies for PMS Symptoms

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Having your period can be (and most often is) uncomfortable, painful, draining, tiring and totally annoying. PMS can change you from a sweetheart into a witch, make you feel like you’ve turned from a sultry temptress into a bloated monster, and give you dull, relentless pain without any reason for deserving punishment. But guess what? You can easily relieve those symptoms and bring the sunshine back into your life with completely natural, herbal remedies for PMS that can be enjoyed as tasty teas, tablets, tinctures or oils. So, perk up and beat the bloat with a mug and hot water as your weapons of choice.

1. Evening Primrose Oil

The seeds that form after the beautiful yellow flowers bloom on the stalk on an evening primrose plant contain oils that can soothe inflammation. The oil can be ingested in order to gain more omega-6 fatty acids, which the body uses to produce a hormone that supports the immune system, reduces stress-related high blood pressure, reduces breast tenderness and pain and regulates fluid levels, which reduce bloating. The intake of fatty acids can also lead to improved mood, alleviating PMS related depression. The recommended dose of evening primrose oil is 4-8 grams daily, which can be taken as liquid (great on salad!) or a tablet.

2. Dandelion Leaf

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From the Organic Authority Files

You’ll probably be able to find this common weed in your backyard or nearby park, so snag couple of leaves for a tea. As a strong diuretic, dandelion cleanses the liver and kidneys, offering bloat relief and detox at the same time. Unlike pharmaceutical diuretics, dandelion leaves don’t rob the body of potassium, thus regulating the fluid levels within the body. As a nutritional perk, the leaves contain more vitamin A than carrots and large amounts of vitamin C and iron. To prepare a tea from fresh leaves, steep a handful of leaves in a pint of hot water for about 20 minutes, and add honey to taste. Drink up to 2 cups daily. Dandelion leaf is also available in capsule form or as a tincture, and the recommended daily dosage is 4-10 grams.

3. Corn Silk

Shucking corn can be messy, but did you know that those long threads inside the husk have medicinal properties? Called corn silk, the threads are rich in iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, silicon and vitamin B. Corn silk is efficient in treating inflammatory conditions, as it has a soothing effect on the urinary tract, relieves water retention and can reduce bloating associated with PMS. Corn silk tea can be made by steeping ¼ cup of fresh material or 2 teaspoons dried material in hot water for 15 minutes. Flavor with honey and lemon juice and drink up to 1 cup a day over 10 consecutive days at the most.

4. Peppermint

Peppermint is a tasty herb found in chocolates, desserts, candies, and drinks, but this spicy herb has many more uses than flavoring our favorite sweets. A headache reliever, mood stabilizer and gas and bloat eliminator, peppermint also relaxes the smooth muscles of our internal organs to soothe inflammation. This all-in-1 PMS remedy is most commonly found in tea form at several grocery stores, although growing peppermint in a pot or yard is extremely easy and will provide a fresher, tastier and cheaper tea. Peppermint oil can also be topically applied to reduce headaches, joint and nerve pain.

Image: Dr. Patrick George

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