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5 Powerful Herbs for Headaches
In this article you will discover 5 of the most powerful herbs to help alleviate headaches. First we talk about the causes, to give you a better understanding of the mechanism that start headaches. Then you will learn what the best herbs for headaches are and how they can help you. The fifth herb on are list can be easily taken as an herbal tea and it tastes delicious too.
Headaches especially recurring or chronic ones may cause unbearable pain, lack of motivation, the inability to think and act straight and fatigue. The pain might make it difficult to carry out simple daily tasks which can be quite frustrating.
However, this does not always have to be the case as apart from the prescribed over the counter medications that you are afraid to use due to their numerous side effects, there are natural herbal headache remedies that you can use that are not only as effective but also have fewer side effects.
In order to appropriately select the right type of herbal remedy for one’s headache or migraine, one has to clearly identify the root cause of their condition because one herbal product might work in a given situation but not the other. According to Dr. Suzan Lawton, who is an adjunct professor and MD at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland1 , Ore, a lot of headaches are often caused by either food or stress.
She insists that it is essential to consult a medical practitioner as each and every single herb as a specific target audience who can use it. Understanding your available options is likely to help you in making informed decisions in terms of what works for you and what doesn’t.
Common causes of headaches
- Changing hormonal levels during menstruation in ladies.
- Drinking too much alcohol.
- Eye strain caused by constant computer use or varied lighting conditions.
- Consuming too much caffeine.
- Some specific foods like beans, nuts, cheese and chocolate may cause migraines.
- Taking medication, especially sleeping pills, contraceptive pills, and home replacement therapy.
The Five Best Herbs For headache Remedies:
Table of Contents
There are various herbal plants that can be used in treating and managing headaches. However, this article is going to focus on the main ones that have been proven to work over the years.
Skullcap whose scientific name is Scutellaria is a unique genus of flowering plants with over 300 different species. However, not all the plant species can be used in treating headaches. Blue skullcap also known by its scientific name Scutellaria lateriflora is the only skullcap plant that has been proven to effectively treat headaches due to its unique properties. The herbal remedy is often believed to be an herbal sedative nervine as it causes drowsiness on those who drink it.
This tranquilizing effect on the human body is what links the herb to headache relief. The herb is considered to be an effective solution for both tension and tension headaches. You should always ensure that you are getting the real unadulterated herb whether buying it in its extract or capsule form. Herbal experts often recommend using skullcap together with germander which is a liver tonic for more effective results.
Feverfew has often been widely used with significant success for cluster headaches and migraines. The leaves of the Feverfew herb which is a member of the daisy family are used to create its herbal concoction. Although there has not been enough scientific research about its medical properties, it is believed that the herb has special anti-inflammatory properties found in its extract ‘parthenolide’ which has the ability to inhibit the body chemicals that usually cause the blood vessels in the brain to spasm.
A study2 carried out by D.G Palevitch and R. Carasso in the year 1997 proved that the herb can significantly reduce pain while alleviating nausea and light sensitivity at the same time. Feverfew can also be used to prevent future migraines.
Willow which is also known by various names including white willow, Salix Alba, and willow bark is a plant with a long history of pain relief. Its use dates back to the 1800s when its extracts were first used. The only problem during that time was that the salicin extraction process was time-consuming proving to be very costly for the common folk.
During the mid-1800s, a German pharmaceutical company decided to create a synthetic version of the salicylic acid extract in a bid to meet the increasing public demand with little success as their drug ended causing severe ulcers and stomach bleeding.
The willow-herb when used as an analgesic ends up masking the pain instead of treating the underlying cause of headaches the way other herbs do. This makes it essential to combine it with other herbs that can easily deal with the root cause of headaches. It is recommended to take willow in high doses for it to work. Various clinical tests have proven that the herbal remedy is as effective in treating pain and headaches just like aspirin.
Butterbur, which had been previously used in treating other common ailments has been recently discovered to effectively treat migraine headaches. The main difference between migraines and headaches is that migraines which are rarely commonly experienced are even more debilitating and uncomfortable than tension headaches.
Butterbur is thus suited for use in treating migraines rather than normal headaches. Rising interests and a variety of clinical proof was reported by the May 2000 journal ‘Headache’ that the butterbur herb had proven to be highly effective in relieving strong migraine headaches without any side- effects.
It was also reported that butterbur can prevent migraines from happening in the future. A little evidence has also been used to pinpoint butterbur’s effectiveness in treating cluster headaches which are generally short but intense and occur on a single side of the head. Always ensure the butterbur product you wish to purchase is labeled as pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA) free which indicates the absence of liver toxic alkaloids.
Ginger can be very useful in relieving tension headaches and other types of headaches that stem from sinus and jaw problems. The herb which is commonly used as a cooking spice has been used for over 2,000 years now in treating medical conditions like diarrhea, stomach upset, nausea and in aiding digestion.
The anti-inflammatory properties of the herb make it not only effective but appropriate in doing the same. Ginger herb has long been used in treating vomiting and nausea which are the most common known symptoms of migraines.