This chapter is an extract from book: Don’t Let Your Headache Ruin Your Sex Life: “Honey, I Don’t Have a Headache Tonight”.
Chamomile has anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, and antispasmodic properties and is good for stress and tension-related migraines.
- Drink a lot of strong chamomile leaf tea. You need to drink large quantities to ease your headaches.
- Rub a few drops of chamomile essential oil between the palms of your hands and then apply them to your head.
- Use the steam inhalation method with chamomile oil
For some people, chamomile causes headaches.
Chamomile may also have bad interactions with medications if you take any.
Cinnamon is useful in headaches caused by exposure to cold air.
- Prepare a fine paste of ground cinnamon by mixing it with water and then apply over the temples and forehead to obtain relief.
- Drink a cup of hot milk with a few teaspoons of cinnamon mixed in it. If you have cinnamon sticks, use one in milk, but first simmer it for a few minutes on low heat.
Certain people, for whom cinnamon is effective, report that daily consumption of cinnamon has eliminated their migraines.
If you ingest a lot of cinnamon, make sure to buy the more expensive Ceylon cinnamon (True Cinnamon), as other cheaper types have high levels of coumarin, which is not good for your liver.
For some people, cinnamon and its scent can be a migraine trigger.
Chrysanthemum is a cooling and cleansing herb rich in flavonoids. It reduces inflammation and heals migraines and headaches.
- Drink a chrysanthemum tea (Scholar’s tea) made by steeping a handful of chrysanthemum flowers in boiled water. You need to drink several cups of the tea a day on a long-term basis for the herb to have an impact.
Some people are allergic to chrysanthemums, so test with small quantities first.
Clematis is an effective vasodilator and can be a saviour for those with cerebro-constricted headaches. It’s very good for migraines and cluster headaches.
- Drink as a tea, after steeping a teaspoon of dried plant in a cup of boiling hot water
- Take clematis tincture. Clematis is a toxic herb, therefore start with just one drop. If it helps a bit, take a few more to eliminate the headache; if it doesn’t, it’s probably not for you.
Cloves (Syzygium aromaticum) contain eugenol and have cooling and pain-relieving properties. They are often used to ease tension headaches.
- Massage a mixture of clove essential oil in a carrier oil onto your forehead and temples.
- Crush a few fresh cloves and inhale the fragrances, or use the steam inhalation method.
- Grind 4-5 cloves, make it into a fine paste and gently spread on your temples and forehead for about half hour.
- Put a single drop of clove essential oil on your upper palate inside your mouth.
Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) has been used in Ayurveda since ancient times to alleviate headaches, as its volatile oil has strong anti-inflammatory effects.
- Finely chop several fresh green coriander strands and mix them into a bowl of boiling water. Proceed with the steam inhalation application method.
- Add crashed coriander leaves into your food.
Black cumin (Nigella sativa) is rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, vitamins A, B, C, D and E and it has been used to treat migraines for many centuries. It is best taken at the onset of the migraine.
- Heat a cup of black cumin seeds in a pan on very low heat, while stirring often. Gently heat until the seeds are no longer tart and bitter (i.e. taste them every few minutes). This is an important step so that the seeds won’t be harsh on the stomach. Now grind the seeds. Eat a teaspoon a day mixed with raw honey just before going to sleep.
- Simmer a few tablespoons of black cumin seeds in boiling water and proceed with the steam inhalation application method. Adding a few cloves can improve the healing effects.
- Take one teaspoon of black cumin oil with raw honey 30-60 minutes before breakfast daily.
- Rub some black cumin oil onto your forehead, eyes, temples and behind your neck.
- Take a drop of black cumin oil in each nostril and inhale it in.
Black cumin is toxic in large doses, so exercise moderation and caution.
Dandelion (Taraxacum) is a heat-clearing herb. If you have a lot of damp heat in your body, and have headaches related to issues with liver and digestion, this is the herb for you.
- Drink dandelion tea – a few tablespoons of ground dandelion root steeped in boiling water.
Don’t use dandelion if you have a gallbladder disease, an obstructed bile duct or ulcers.
Damiana (Turnera diffusa) is recommended when the headache is due to lassitude, fatigue, and general debility.
- Use the steam inhalation application method using damiana dried leaf.
- Drink damiana tea after steeping its leaves in boiled water for about 10-15 minutes.
- Take 2-3 ml of damiana tincture
Devil’s claw (Harpagophytum) is an excellent analgesic and anti-inflammatory herb to prevent migraine headaches.
- Drink an 8-hour steeped decoction of 1 tablespoon of devil’s claw powder in several cups of water
- Take devil’s claw extract with 1.5% to 2% harpagoside content
You need to consume large doses to have an impact, but as with any herb, research and start small, then gradually increase the dose while observing how your body responds.
Don’t use devil’s claw if you have gastric or duodenal ulcers.
Elderberry (Sambucus Nngra) is antiviral, antibiotic and antibacterial. It works well on deep, hot, tense headaches.
For some people, elderberry may cause a headache.
Eucalyptus increases the oxygen supply in blood and has anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties. It helps with almost all kinds of headaches, especially with sinus headaches, as it helps open the nasal airways and eliminate the sinus pressure.
- Use eucalyptus essential oil with the steam inhalation application method
- Mix a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil in a carrier oil and gently massage over the forehead, temples, back of the neck and chest.
Feverfew (Chrysanthemum parthenium) is a traditional medicinal herb found in many old gardens, and is also occasionally grown for ornament. The word “feverfew” comes from the Latin word febrifugia, meaning “fever reducer”.
- Take feverfew extract. Some headache sufferers reported that in about 60% of the time, the migraine goes away within an hour or so of taking feverfew. At other times it stays but not as strong, and sometimes it doesn’t help.
- Drink some feverfew tea
- You can grow your own feverfew plant and chew on its fresh leaves. It’s very easy to grow and it self-propagates if you let it flower and fruit.
- As a preventative measure, eat a bit of the fresh plant’s sprig (stem) daily
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) has been used as a remedy for headaches and many other ailments since the old days due to its antibacterial and antiviral properties. Ginger stimulates circulation, so it’s good at relieving headache pain due to muscle spasms, colds and sinus infections.
- Peel, then slice or crush some fresh ginger or use a tablespoon of dry ginger powder. Steep it in boiling hot water. Either drink it or inhale the vapours, or both.
- Chew on fresh ginger with some high quality salt added to it. Use crystallized ginger candy if there is no fresh ginger available.
- Drink a mix of ginger and lemon juices.
- Make a paste out of dry ginger powder by mixing it with some water and apply to your forehead.
- Boil fresh sliced ginger or ginger powder and proceed with the steam inhalation method.
Ginkgo biloba contains antioxidant flavonoids and terpenoids. It helps to increase blood flow to the brain, and it is helpful at preventing blood clots in the veins. This herb treats the root cause of the headache. It can take up 1-2 months to properly increase blood flow to the brain and have an impact on eliminating headaches.
Before taking this herb, make sure to study the potential side-effects, as they are many.
Goldenrod (Solidago) is a good herb to take for relieving headaches caused by sinus infections, allergies and strained muscles.
- Drink goldenrod tea—about 3-4 cups a day.
- Massage goldenrod essential oil mixed in a carrier oil into your forehead, temples and neck..
Guarana (Paullinia cupana) has been traditionally used for headache and migraine relief. It’s an antioxidant and analgesic. It has a high caffeine content, and therefore has similar medicinal effects to coffee. Many energy drinks have a high guarana content.
- Drink guarana concoction made from crushed seeds or bark resin.
- Take guarana supplements.
Henna (Lawsonia inermis) has anti-microbial and anti-analgesic properties.
- Make a paste out of henna powder (without colorants) by mixing it with a bit of water. Massage the paste into the scalp. Leave it for 30 minutes and wash it off. However, this recipe turns your hair red, so don’t use it unless you want your hair red.
Henna flowers have been found valuable in curing headaches caused by hot sun.
- The henna flowers should be rubbed in vinegar and applied over the forehead.
Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) is excellent at helping with sinus headaches since it is a sinus decongestant.
- Ingest horseradish juice or sauce and watch the sinus headache disappear.
- Press raw horseradish leaves to your forehead to numb the headache—the leaves have analgesic properties.
Jamaican dogwood (Piscidia piscipula) can relieve migraine, tension and toothache headaches. It provides anti-inflammatory, sedative, and anti-spasmodic effects. It is a very powerful sedative.
- Drink a decoction made from jamaican dogwood bark
- Drink jamaican dogwood tincture
Kudzu (Pueraria Montana) root extract is used in traditional Chinese medicine to increase cerebral blood flow and alleviate the intensity, frequency and duration of cluster headache attacks. It is also useful for other kinds of headaches.
- Take it as a supplement
Lady’s mantle (Alchemilla) is used primarily by women to deal with moderate headaches and migraines.
- Take lady’s mantle tincture—10-25 drops several times a day
- Drink lady’s mantle tea: simmer the herb in boiling water for about 5 minutes.
Lavender (Lavandula) is antiseptic and calming. It helps reduce headache pain due to its powerful anti-inflammatory characteristics and its ability to dilate blood vessels.
- Use a lavender pillow. Inhaling the calming, herbal fragrance of lavender could help with migraines. You can make your own lavender pouch by taking a cloth pouch and filling it with dried lavender buds.
- Use lavender essential oil in a steam inhalation method. The calming scent may help relieve the tension that is causing your headache. Alternatively, you can take a hot bath and add the lavender essential oil to it.
- Mix a few drops of lavender essential oil with a carrier oil, like almond or orange oil, and apply it to your temples.
- Drink lavender tea. The relaxing properties of lavender will help calm your muscles and dull the pain of your headache.
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) has many healing properties. It is anti-spasmodic, anti-viral, and a cerebral stimulant. It can relieve the symptoms of tension, anxiety, PMS and migraine headaches. It is a mild sedative, promotes a relaxed feeling and can help you fall asleep and rest.
Lemon grass (Cymbopogon) is a mild sedative and has a soothing effect on the nerves. it contains eugenol, which increases the flow of serotonin and can relieve headaches and migraines.
- Drink lemon grass tea prepared from the lemongrass stalk
- Take lemon grass tincture
- Use the steam inhalation method with lemon grass essential oil
Lemon verbena (Aloysia citrodora) contains high amounts of vitamin c and has antioxidant properties. It’s a calming herb.
Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is very efficient at raising serotonin levels in the brain. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent and has temperature-reducing properties. It works well on kidney yin deficiency-caused headaches and cluster headaches.
- Take licorice root tincture. Often combined with skullcap tincture. For an excellent protocol for dealing with cluster headaches, please read the article: “An Herbal Protocol for the Treatment of Cluster Headache” by Leslie J Genser.
- Other forms such as licorice tea and licorice supplements is another way of taking it
For some people, licorice root can cause bad headaches.
Linden flowers (TIlia cordata) are used to treat tension and sinus headaches, and migraines due to stress and nerves.
- Take linden tincture
- Other forms such as linden tea and linden supplements is another way of taking it.
Marjoram (Origanum majorana) has muscle relaxant, cephalic and analgesic properties. It dilates capillaries and is beneficial in the treatment of migraines and headaches, in particular nervous headaches.
- Use the steam inhalation method with marjoram essential oil
- Mix a few drops of marjoram essential oil with a carrier oil, like almond or orange oil, and apply it to your temples, forehead and back of the neck.
- Make a compress with marjoram essential oil mixed in water and apply to the forehead
- Drink marjoram leaf tea
Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) is a rich source of salicylic acid, which is very helpful in treating chronic headaches. (Please don’t confuse with marshmallow candy, which has no marshmallow in it.)
Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) flowers and roots have slightly sedative and narcotic properties. The plant is beneficial for neck and back-induced headaches, tension and digestion headaches, migraines and chronic sick headaches.
Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, expectorant and antispasmodic properties. It helps with headaches, in particular those caused by indigestion.
- Take mugwort tincture
- Drink mugwort tea
- Place a fresh mugwort leaf up your nostrils
- Mix a few drops of mugwort essential oil with a carrier oil, and apply it to your temples, forehead and back of the neck.
Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is a natural antibiotic, antiviral, and anti-oxidant. It’s a natural pain killer and works well on all kinds of headaches.
- Take a few drops of oregano oil under your tongue. It’ll burn for a few minutes, but it has similar effects to cayenne pepper. Make sure you get the oil with 75% standardized carvacrol. Read the label to know whether it requires a dilution before oral consumption; some brands make their oregano oil too concentrated and it could burn your mucus membrane if taken undiluted.
- Mix a few drops of oregano oil with a carrier oil, and apply it to your temples, forehead and back of the neck.
- Use the steam inhalation method with oregano oil
Oregano is a powerful natural antibiotic and should be taken only when needed, and not as a daily routine.
Also, see Dr. Cass Igram’s book dedicated to oregano and health called: “The Cure Is in the Cupboard: How to Use Oregano for Better Health”.
Oregon grape root (Mahonia aquifolium) is excellent in dealing with headaches due to liver toxicity, since it purifies the blood and cleanses the liver of wastes. Another useful application is for headaches resulting from bad sinus infections.
- continue to End Migraines & Headaches using Herbs, Spices, Seeds & Nuts (Part 3)
- go back to End Migraines & Headaches using Herbs, Spices, Seeds & Nuts (Part 1)
- or read the complete book: Don’t Let Your Headache Ruin Your Sex Life: “Honey, I Don’t Have a Headache Tonight”.