Headaches and migraines are common conditions many people deal with every day. There are over-the-counter and prescription medicines that are readily available in pharmacies to treat these conditions. But some people still prefer to treat these with natural and herbal solutions. After all, natural and herbal remedies are cheaper and accessible, if you want instant relief or when you can’t go to pharmacies. These natural and herbal remedies help prevent and reduce headaches and migraines.
Headaches VS. Migraines: What’s the Difference?
It can be difficult to know if you are having a headache or migraine. You are experiencing pain or pressure in your head, but you could just be experiencing a common headache. Knowing the difference between these two conditions may help you in finding faster relief.
What are Headaches?
Headaches are conditions of unpleasant pains in the head that can cause pressure and ache. The pain level can range from mild to severe. This usually occurs to both sides of the head with specific areas that include the forehead, temples, and back of the neck. Commonly, headaches last for 30 minutes to a week. There are different types of headaches. These are tension headache, cluster headache, sinus headache, Chiari headache, and thunderclap headache. The most common type of it is a tension headache.
What are Migraines?
With migraines, they are not just typical headaches. The pain levels for migraines are from moderate to severe. The headaches are intense or severe. It often has other symptoms in addition to head pain. Typically, you may experience severe throbbing on one or both sides of the head. Migraine attacks usually last between 4 to 72 hours. According to the Migraine Research Foundation, migraine can happen between the ages of 18 and 44. This is common in women with 18% of American women experience migraines. However, children can also experience migraines.
Here are symptoms of migraines that you should know:
- Pain behind one eye or ear;
- Pain in the temples;
- Seeing spots or flashing lights;
- Sensitivity to lights or sounds;
- Temporary vision loss;
Best Herbal Remedies for Migraines and Headaches
Long before prescription medicines, herbal and natural remedies have been developed to treat migraines and headaches. These remedies have been passed down for centuries and some practices are still being used. Though some of these remedies have not been scientifically proven, some of these are as effective as modern medicine. Here are some herbal remedies that can treat migraines and headaches.
Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium)
Feverfew is a plant that was originally found in the Balkan Mountains. Today, it can be found anywhere in the world. This herb is used in eastern European cultures as traditional medicine for headaches, insect bites, and other pain. Today, feverfew expands its capacity to treat migraines, dizziness, breathing problems, and inflammation.
In some cultures, leaves of feverfew are eaten raw. Though, this is usually prepared by drying the leaves, flowers, and stems. It can also be used to create supplements or even extracts.
Peppermint (Mentha x balsamea)
Peppermints are effective pain relief for headaches. Aside from headaches, it can also relieve spasm, toothaches, nausea, and gastrointestinal problems. Peppermint can be found anywhere. Its leaves and essential oils are commonly used for remedies. It can also be prepared as a tea.
Willow (Salix spp.)
Willow has a long history in traditional medicine as it’s been used since the time of Hippocrates during 400 B.C. It is a tree that can be found in Europe, Asia, and North America. Its willow bark can be chewed, as this is what people traditionally do. This can also be found in capsule form. Willow bark has anti-inflammatory effects and it can relieve fever. Willow bark extract is used to develop aspirin.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
Ginger has been used in traditional medicine for over 2000 years. This versatile plant has versatile healing properties including anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial. Ginger has been used as a remedy for headaches, stomach pains, nausea, arthritis, and cold and flu symptoms.
Gingers can be found in forms of powder, teas, fresh or dried ginger roots, supplements, and even extracts.
Caffeine is used as natural remedies in many cultures to treat migraines and headaches. Green teas, coffee, and Yerba mate are some of the herbal remedies that may treat migraines and headaches. Other than these conditions, it could also treat high blood pressure, stomach problems, cancer, circulatory problems, inflammation, skin disease, and kidney disease. Caffeine is also found in over-the-counter medicines like pain relievers.
Coriander seed (Coriandrum sativum)
Coriander seeds are often used as a seasoning for culinary purposes. But, these seeds can treat a range of allergies, diabetes, and migraines. In some cultures, coriander seeds are used to relieve sinus pressure and headaches. To use coriander seeds, you have to pour hot water on the seeds and inhale the steam.
Coriander seeds are used in food and teas. It can also be chewed and oral extracts are also available.
Lavender Oil (Lavandula angustifolia)
Lavender oil is commonly used for fragrance and hygiene products. As it has this sweet smell, lavender oils and aromatic flowers are treatments to headache, insomnia, stress, and fatigue. To relieve headaches and migraine, you can inhale lavender oils in a diluted solution or you can even add it to your bath.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
This Mediterranean herb is used to treat migraines, muscle and joint pains, nervous problems, and even circulatory problems. Rosemary can be used in forms of dried or ground leaves to use in capsules. It can also be used as an oil, commonly diluted, or inhaled for aromatherapeutic purposes. Rosemary is also used in teas, tinctures, and liquid extract.
Linden, lime tree (Tilia spp.)
This tree is known as a lime tree or Tilia. Linden or lime tree has sweat-inducing and sedative properties. It is used to calm nerves, ease anxiety, tension, and other issues. This is used in tinctures, liquid extracts, capsules, and tea. Today, linden tea can be used as an effective remedy for headaches and migraines.
Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica)
Honeysuckle has been used in traditional Chinese medicine as treatments for wounds, fever, colds and viruses, inflammation, sores, and infections. This has anti-inflammatory properties that provide pain relief similar to aspirin and is effective against migraine pain.
Headaches and migraines are common conditions that most people have experienced. These conditions may cause minor to severe pain and it could be really difficult to perform daily tasks. Aside from prescription medicines, headaches and migraines can be treated with natural and herbal remedies. The following above are some of the herbal remedies you used. In addition to this, having a good and healthy diet plays an important role to prevent headaches and migraines. Just like prescription medicines, taking these herbal remedies can have side effects. It would really be more helpful if you visit your doctor and ask for advice.