Herbal Supplements
Headaches and Herbal Remedies

I would say a headache is the language in which body signals to the brain that something is out of balance. Or the way your body gets your attention to some problem area. More wide and bookish definition is that. A headache is a persistent or lasting discomfort (or a pain) in the head or face area, localized to one or more areas, caused by dilation of cerebral arteries or muscle contractions or a reaction to drugs. There is also a cluster, sinus, migraine and tension headaches.


The symptoms vary depending on what type of headache you have. The common symptoms are following: dull and achy pain(sometimes body pain), vision problem (sensitivity to light), fatigue, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to sounds, tightness in head and neck muscles, difficulty concentrating, constipation, irritability, confusion.


What can provoke a headache? The first place is taken by stress and muscular tension. Statistics gives shocking numbers - about 90 percent of all headaches are due to it.  Moreover, stress and tension can not only cause the pain in head but also worsen it in a number of ways.

Infection can be the cause of a headache - tooth, ear, sinus infection, common cold and flu, tonsillitis, measles, etc.

Diet and food sensitivities. Too much chocolate, cola and sugar leads to fluctuations in blood sugar levels that provoke spasms of the arteries in the head. Excessive consumption of coffee or black tea gives caffeine withdrawal. The result is the same – headache.

Hormonal influences. Migraine headache not occasionally affects more women than male, possible reason to that is estrogen, the sex hormone that slows down its production around the time of menstrual periods. Some sources even name this kind of pain a menstrual headache.

The nervous system may also cause headaches. It is nerve damage or tumors; infections, such as meningitis, encephalitis and brain injury; and hamorrhages (high blood pressure, diabetes).

Some classes of drugs can aggravate headaches. Especially when they are misused or overused. Taking of some birth control pills can be the cause due to the reason mentioned above.

Also the widly spread reason of headaches – lifestyle of excessiveness. Abuse of alcohol or drugs (what leads to hangover) excessive smoking, tiredness (excessive working), again stress (excessive tension).

Moreover - too much noise or too loud music can lead to a headache and aggravate it. Don’t forget about well sleep habit to avoid a headache.

Medical Approaches

Most commonly used prescriptions are Advil, Tylenol, or Bufferin and other painkillers. These products contain ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin that works really fast when we are talking about real suffering. Or in some occasions when you need to feel a relief immediately.

Alternative Approaches

Pills sometimes are really necessary. But using these medicines often may lead to stomach problems and acute liver failure. Too frequent use of them can even cause "rebound headaches" – reaction of reversed headache.

Traditional herbal medicine suggests a number of options to overcome the pain.

Feverfew is a strong-smelling perennial medicinal herb with leaves containing active compound parthenolide. It’s historically well-known remedy for headaches, most popular for preventing of migraine headaches and associated symptoms (nausea and vomiting). As a side effect – irritating of mouth tissue while eating fresh or dried feverfew, also not recommended for pregnant women.

What is a dosage for remedy? 125 milligrams of feverfew (it’s about one tablet or capsule that should has a minimum amount of 0.2 percent parthenolide) to be taken daily. Though fresh leaves of the feverfew plant are more effective.
Chamomile is a perennial herb that is known as anti-spasmotic and a mild sedative. Among other effects it also reduces spasm of pain in head. You can use chamomile as a tea, capsule, or tincture. Dosage of chamomile in capsules and tinctures are 200 to 500 mg 2 – 4 times a day, and if tea – take some between your meals 3 or 4 times a day. Side effect occurs only if you’re allergic to ragweed, aster, or chrysanthemums.

Skullcap is an herbaceous perennial mint, a powerful herb that is used as anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic. That is not all the list of its usage. It should be used very carefully, with some caution since in overdose it causes giddiness, stupor, confusion and twitching; only according to doctor's prescription (in form of a tea, tincture or capsule).

Willow bark is the most effective pain reliever and inflammation reducer. The bark is the part of the willow; it can be easily removed in the spring when the sap begins to flow. The leaves contain salicylic acid, the component that has been synthesized into acetylsalicylic acid (commonly known as aspirin). It is strongly recommended as an alternative to ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatories.  Willow bark is excellent in treating headaches. General dosage is following: for dried herb drink 3 - 4 cups of tea daily; for powdered herb (in capsules available) take 1 - 3 g daily; for tincture - 4 - 6 mL three times per day. Better not be used by children.

Keep in mind that the results would be more profound if combined with your lifestyle changes. Try to minimize the things you can control more or less – smoking, drinking and worrying. Be sure to make your best not to take close to your heart things that are out of your control– you can not possibly throw you brother’s stinky cat under the moving car, or send your mother-in-law to the mountains of Tibet – so, leave it. Smell the flowers. And fight a headache with the arsenal of fine herb choice, natural headache remedies.

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