Headaches and migraines are symptoms of underlying problems. Persistent ones may call for a change in lifestyle.
Tension headaches are very common in today's society and may be due to stress, eye strain, a pinched nerve, excess caffeine, or sitting too long in a cramped position. Thank goodness tension headaches respond to a variety of calming herbs. Infusions, teas, and tinctures of lemon balm, lavender, chamomile, passion flower, St. John's wort, valerian, wild lettuce, gingko biloba, skullcap, wood betony, or monrada can help relax and soothe both body and mind. Turn down the lights, sip an herbal tea, and take deep breaths while sniffing lavender oil.
Aromatherapy is especially suited for treating tension headaches. Massages, warm baths, and even just a few drops of lavender oil applied to the temples can bring quick results.
Headaches due to excess mucus or sinus problems are eased by using herbs with decongestant properties, by breathing fresh clean air, and by limiting or removing dairy products from the diet. Peppermint, eucalyptus, horseradish, lavender, ginger, and rosemary can all help a sinus headache. Add extra apples, fresh pineapples, cranberry juice, green salads, brown rice, cider vinegar, and honey to the diet.
Migraine headaches can be caused by food intolerances and pollutants. In theses cases liver cleansing and removal of toxins can really help. Agrimony and dandelion tea should be taken regularly. Avoid smoke and other air pollutants like mold and exhaust fumes.
Cluster headaches are linked to food allergies. These headaches are described as two or more sudden attaches a day, usually with severe pain localized over the eyes or a spot on the forehead. Cluster headaches indicate a brain imbalance and sometimes occur after eating a food that one craves. This is the “trigger” food. Avoid common trigger foods like smoked salmon, pickled fish, aged cheese, nitrates, red wine, avocados, caffeine, chocolate, yogurt, and artificial sweeteners. Drink a vegetable blend containing celery and carrot juice, recline in a comfortable position, and apply a cold compress containing lavender oil over the forehead at the first sign of a cluster headache.
Migraines are often linked to the menstrual cycle and hormonal changes. Black cohosh, catnip, and sage are very useful during these times. Exercise can also help.
Mild headaches can be quickly eased with herbal pain relievers like cayenne pepper, and white willow. Also try to eat something high in magnesium when suffering with a headache. Greens, sea food, nuts, whole grains, and molasses are examples. Vitamin C can also help. Avoid all MSG, soft drinks, liquor, and red meat.
Feverfew is also a herbal remedy for headache but should be taken regularly to ward off the headache or migraine. It stops headaches from starting in the first place.
*Always consult with a healthcare professional before using any herbal remedy. Do not take gingko biloba with aspirin or lithium. Do not take willow with other pain killers. Seek medical attention if you have a sudden headache with high fever, double vision, confusion, numbness, or possible head injury.
© 2010 - 2013 By Janice Boling - All Rights Reserved