How to treat headaches with plants

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treat headaches with plants

When you feel beats or stabbing pain in your head, you can already know what you are suffering from. It simply means that you have a headache. Primary headaches are the most common and include tension headaches, facial vascular algae (FVA) and migraine. Although analgesics are available to treat headaches, many people choose to use herbs. You must identify the type of headaches you suffer from before using a herb or an aromatic oil known to help relieve pain and reduce inflammation.

treat headaches - headache home remediesMethod 1: Identify the headache you have

1- Determine if you have a tension headache

This is the most common type of headache and when you suffer from it, you feel pain on both sides of your head, most often in the neck. This particular type of headache can “move” forward and affect the eyes. The pain is often dull and can sometimes give you the impression that a narrow band is squeezing your head.
Tension headaches are triggered by the increased tenderness of the muscles in the head and the neck which can be caused by stress, depression, mood disorders, injuries and the fact that the head is held in a difficult position for a relatively long time.

2- Determine if you have a migraine

The pain caused by migraine tends to be located on one side of the head, but can spread to both. It tends to worsen during movement, under the influence of light and noise. Migraine  can be triggered by a variety of factors, including food, sudden stopping of medication, alcohol, coffee or lack of sleep.
Migraine are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to noise, light and odours and seldom by “aura“, a set of perceptual troubles manifested by flashes of light, blind spots, hand of face tingling .

When migraine is accompagned with aura, it must be examinated by a doctor in the order to rule out severe condition such as stroke.

3- Determine if you have facial vascular algae (FVA), also known as Horton’s headache

These headaches are extremely painful, with pain usually described as strong, acute and piercing. The FVA can occur  several times a day and can last for a whole day, a week or even a month. These headaches tend to occur at the same time of day.
Horton’s headaches should be taken seriously and requires a medical guidance even if it can be reliaved by usual medication or herbs.

4- Determine if you have another type of headache.

Other types of headaches include sinusitis, which manifests as a pain in the front of the head, most often around the cheeks, eyes and forehead. Sinusitis is often caused by infections and allergies.
These headaches can also be caused by stopping pain medication (rebound or drug headache), fevers or premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

5- Consult a doctor if your health condition seems critical to you

If you have headaches that do not seem to be due to increased stress, lack of sleep or just if they are “unusual”, do not hesitate to consult a health care professional. It is rare that a headache hides a very serious disease. These conditions include:

  • Cerebral hemorrhages (bleeding in the brain),
  • brain tumours,
  • high blood pressure,
  • brain infections or abscesses,
  • an increase in intracranial pressure,
  • lack of oxygen during sleep (sleep apnea),
  • a stroke,
  • a brain aneurysm (an abnormality in a blood vessel in the brain).

Method 2: Treating tension headaches

1- Look for herbs that have sedative properties and contain antispasmodic elements

Plants such as kava, valerian, passion flower can act as tranquilizers and relieve tension headaches in a few hours. Although chamomile, mint and rosemary are not proven in the treatment of headaches, they can help you relax and stop feeling anxious.
Note that rosemary can increase blood pressure in some people.

2- Use Kava

Kava is known for its pain-killing, anxiety-reducing and sleep-enhancing properties Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, but in general, you can take about 75 mg of kava Drowsiness is the main side effect of taking kava.
People with kidney problems, Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, blood disease or taking medications such as alprazolam or levodopa should not take kava.

3- Take the valerian

Valarian has been used for centuries and is known for its ability to increase neurotransmitters in the brain. Generally, it is advisable to consume between 150 and 300 mg. Valerian is contraindicated for people allergic to this product or who suffer from liver problems. Side effects such as stomach aches, headaches and drowsiness may occur.
Valerian should not be taken at the same time as other medications, so consult a health care practitioner when taking other medications.

4- Try passionflower

This plant has not been studied in detail, but its use goes back many years. It also has the ability to increase the relaxing effect of neurotransmitters in the brain. Passion flower can not only reduce tension and anxiety, but also directly reduce pain. In general, it is recommended to consume 100 to 150 mg of passion flower
Passion flower has no side effects, no drug interactions or contraindications.

5- Make a special tea

You can use the tea leaves or buy a tincture, which is nothing more than an extract of these herbs, in a health food store. Drink 1 or 2 cups at the first sign of a headache.
You can also add about 150 mg of hops. Hops is known in traditional medicine as a tonic and sedative substance and has the ability to strengthen your entire immune system while relaxing your body.

6- Look for a mixture of Chinese herbs

If you know a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) specialist near you, ask for the Chinese long dan xie gan tang formula. This natural product is made with beetroot, milk, parsley, dandelion, boldo, Grand Chelidoine and other small ingredients. This combination of traditional Chinese herbs has proven effective in relieving tension headaches, reducing inflammation and strengthening the liver and kidneys that are essential for the body to function properly. Take 2 to 3 pills a day if necessary (with or without meals)

7- Spread essential oils all over your body

You can use in a diffuser the essential oil of chamomile, mint, rosemary, citronella or lavender at the first sign of a headache. This can help you to relax and no longer feel anxious. Note that citronella should not be consumed by those who suffer from thyroid dysfunctions.

Method 3: Migraine treatment

1- Take 25 to 75 mg of chamomile twice daily

Chamomile contains anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic compounds and helps to reduce inflammation. This can dilate the narrowed blood vessels that can cause migraine pain. Chamomile is known to treat migraine pain and reduce its frequency.
If you are allergic or sensitive to plants of the asters family, you should not consume this herb. You should not consume it if you have a bleeding disorder or before surgery, except under the guidance of a health care professional.

2- Take 50 to 75 mg of petasites twice daily

It is one of the best natural treatments that has proven to be effective in the treatment of migraines. This herb plays the same role as chamomile, reducing inflammation. You should not take it if you have heart failure problems.

3- Try willow bark, Kippa or ginkgo biloba

These plants are often recommended by naturopaths. The bark of willow wood is a kind of natural aspirin and has no side effects. Skullcap is used to increase oxygen levels in the blood and ginkgo biloba acts as an antioxidant and protects brain cells.

4- Spread essential oils all over your body

You can use in a diffuser the essential oil of chamomile, mint, rosemary, citronella or lavender at the first sign of a headache. This can help you to relax and no longer feel anxious. Note that citronella should not be consumed by those who suffer from thyroid dysfunctions.

5- Make a special tea

You can use the tea leaves or buy a tincture, which is nothing more than an extract of these herbs, in a health food store. Drink 1 or 2 cups at the first sign of a headache.

Tips & Advice

Make sure you drink enough water. The pain of a headache becomes more severe if you are dehydrated.
Try to use these remedies instead of capsules or tablets. Drinking a hot cup of tea is more relaxing than pills.
No matter what kind of headache you have, relaxation helps to reduce pain.
None of these herbs have been tested specifically for group headaches. If you have suffered from it, talk to your doctor for more advice.

Warnings and cautions

Be careful with mouth ulcers if you consume the leaves of chamomile directly rather than the capsule form. Chamomile can cause gastrointestinal problems and nervousness in some people.
None of these herbs have been tested in pregnant or lactating women. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should only take these drugs on the advice of a qualified health professional.
None of these herbs have been tested in children. Talk to a doctor before giving children drinks.

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