There are very few common ailments that are worse than a headache and hundreds of drugs that promise instant headache relief. However, a headache is a symptom of an issue, and not an issue in and of itself. If we never address the cause of the headache, nothing is solved, simply bandaged, so it will continue to return.
At the onset of a headache, the first thing one should do is try to identify the last time you ate, what you ate, and/or the activity you engaged in prior to the manifestation of symptoms. This information will help you to determine what type of headache you're experiencing, which in turn will tell you how to treat it.
There are three categories of headaches i'll be touching on: Tension headaches, which are caused by tension of the muscles in the neck, scalp, and head; vascular headaches, which are caused by dilated blood vessels in the head; and the worst of all, migraines. Other rarer causes of headaches include infections of the ears, sinuses, or mouth, high blood pressure, glaucoma, allergies, brain tumors, some drugs, and the food additive MSG.
Typically the result of stress, tension, heat, lack of nutrients, low blood sugar, excess salt, or prolonged mental concentration, tension headaches are more common due to the broad list of causes. They can take up to twenty-four hours to respond to treatments such as cooling sweet or sour liquids such as apple juice with lemon, unsweetened cranberry juice, and room temperature chamomile and lemon balm tea with lemon. If the headache comes on during extended activities such as long car trips or working at a computer, take a break and get more active. Tension headaches are often accompanied by a feeling of tightness around the head, along with weakness or fatigue.
If you consume too much cold food or your body is overly acidic, you may suffer from vascular headaches. Alkalizing the body with an alkalizing tea blend such as dandelion, burdock root, yellow dock root and a few drops of scullcap or valerian tincture.
Migraines may be triggered due to noise, hormonal changes, beer, wine, sleeping pattern changes, and weather changes. However, the most common is due to the changes a major pain pathway in the body called the trigeminal nerve. At the first sign of a migraine, begin taking feverfew and willowbark. This can be taken daily as prevention.
TIPS, TRICKS, & REMEDIES!
Okay, now to the meat and potatoes! There are so many different things you can do in the event you get a headache of any sort so its impossible to cover every one of them. However, here are a few of my favorites below.
Headache Tea-Do this in conjunction with a hot lavender oil bath.
2 tbsp lemon balm
1 tbsp feverfew
1 tbsp lavender
Boil 8-10 oz of water and pour over 1stp of the combined herbal mixture above. Cover and allow to infuse for 10minutes. Drink 1 cup every two hours until headache is gone.
Nerve Headache Tea
2 tbsp lemon balm
2 tbsp skullcap
1 tbsp chamomile
Boil 8-10 oz of water and pour over 1stp of the combined herbal mixture above. Cover and allow to infuse for 10 minutes. Drink 1 cup every two hours until headache is gone.
Migraine Prevention- Take 500-1000mg of dong quai root daily to prevent migraine attacks. (ESPECIALLY related to PMS)
- To reduce headache pain, apply light coat of lavendae oil to the forehead or back of neck(where pain is).
- To reduce frequency of hypertension headaches, take 40-60mg of ginkgo tablets. BE SURE TO TELL YOUR DOCTOR THAT YOU ARE TAKING THIS HERB IF YOU'RE DUE FOR SURGERY AND DO NOT TAKE IT IF YOU ARE ON BLOOD THINNERS!
- Keep a diary of all foods eaten for several days if you have recurring headaches to see if any specific food causes a headache/migraine.
- If headaches arise every time you exercise, this can be a signal of heart problems so see a doctor.
- Prevent wide swings in blood sugar by including almonds, parsley, fennel, garlic, cherries, and pineapples in the diet as well as eating small meals and eating snacks between meals.
- Maintain good posture habits
- Get sufficient sleep.
- Take 100mg of niacinamide(B vitamin) daily.
Lavender Oil Bath
1/2 tbsp rosemary
4 drops of lavender essential oil
Place herbs in a large pot and fill with water. Cover and allow to simmer over low heat for 5-10 minutes. Pour into your bath water or use as a foot soak by pouring into cold water to prevent the temperature being too hot. You may also wrap your head in a cool cloth with a few drops of lavender essential oil as you soak your feet in a basin of water as hot as you can stand it. Sip on a cup of Migra-Magic and kiss that headache goodbye!
Need assistance with pin-pointing which type of headache you have and how to treat? Need one of the formulas above made? Book a consultation today!
Resources: Dr. Laila O Afrika, & Rosemary Gladstar