Q: Dear Dr. Mao,
I have terrible bloating for about one week before I get my period. What can reduce the bloating and weight gain?
A: Avoid cold, raw foods, vinegar, shellfish, coffee, and other stimulants. At least one week prior to onset of PMS consume some of the following: ginger, green scallions, fennel, orange peel, spinach, walnuts, cinnamon, and black pepper. Angelica sinensis (dang gui) and Poria (fu ling) are also very good.
1. Cook winter melon and azuki beans for 30 minutes in enough water to cover them. Eat this 3 times daily.
2. Boil tea using the skin of fresh ginger.
3. Make spinach and pearl barley soup by boiling both in water for 30 minutes.
I suggest you see an acupuncturist/herbalist; these methods are very helpful in alleviating the effects of PMS.
Additionally, you may try the Traditions of Tao “Passages Plus”, “Menstruation” and “Bloat” herbal formulas and “Emotional Tranquility” tea . Of course, discuss with your physician before beginning any new health regime.