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Put away the Tums: Try these 5 ways to reduce PMS bloating naturally instead


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Photo: Stocksy/Susana Ramirez

Most of the women I know experience some PMS-related symptoms leading up to their period. But while I might be in the deepest misery, with bloating and mood swings, my BFF might just get a pimple. Grrrr. And not only does each woman face different issues, and they can change from month to month.

If you dread *that time of the month,* you likely, as I do, need some tips on how to deal with your symptoms—PMS bloating in particular. Bonus: The recs are all drug-free; so Advil, you can take a back seat.

Premenstrual syndrome bloating and healing tips
Photo: Getty Images/Michael Heffernan

PMS symptoms and timing

PMS may begin a week or two before your period and can present itself with a combination of physical and emotional symptoms. They include: bloating, cramping, backaches, and headaches. You might also experience irritability, sadness, and exhaustion. Talk about a buzzkill. And while all symptoms are less than fun, bloating can be particularly challenging.

Why do women experience PMS bloating?

PMS bloating is often caused by hormonal imbalances, says Jennifer Palmer, a holistic wellness coach who has a doctorate in traditional naturopathy. Palmer says many PMS symptoms can also be related to the body’s ability to handle a toxic burden.  

Premenstrual syndrome bloating and healing tips
Photo: Stocksy/Lumina

How to reduce PMS bloating naturally

Palmer says a detox plan will help PMS symptoms improve over time, especially if the detoxification plans focuses on the liver. But for quick relief, Palmer offers these five solutions that will help balance your hormones and reduce PMS bloating naturally.

1. Red raspberry leaf tea

“Red Raspberry leaf tea strengthens and cleanses the body, and it offers a nutritional boost for the female endocrine system,” Palmer says.

2. Chasteberry

The two major hormones in the female body are estrogen and progesterone. When you have too much estrogen, otherwise known as estrogen dominance, that imbalance can contribute mightily to PMS bloating, Palmer explains. The herb chasteberry helps balance hormones by triggering an increase in progesterone.

Palmer says chasteberry is good for reducing many hormonal symptoms of PMS in addition to bloating, including depression and anxiety, because it helps to balance the ratio of progesterone to estrogen.

Photo: Stocksy/Dobranska Renata

3. Sea salt or Himalayan salt

If you’re going to use salt to season your food, Palmer recommends you swap your regular table salt for sea salt or Himalayan salt. Sea salt and Himalayan salt both contain the correct balance of minerals, which won’t cause as much bloating as basic table salt.

4. Natural progesterone cream

Palmer says if you suspect you might be low in progesterone (hallmarked by severe monthly PMS symptoms), then it may be time to, under the guidance of your healthcare practitioner, explore the possibility of using a natural progesterone cream as an ongoing hormonal therapy.

5. Clary sage essential oil

Clary sage is another herb that can help address bloating and other PMS symptoms. “Clary sage essential oil helps balance estrogen production in the body, which reduces menstrual cramps and PMS,” says Palmer.

If herbs are your thing, here are 6 more doctor-recommended for PMS symptoms. And, sorry, but if you have an alcoholic drink every day, your PMS symptoms may be worse.

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