What is the best way of relieving a headache?

Migraines and headaches affect so many of us and they can be painful and highly debilitating. Headaches can range in severity from a dull ache to a feeling of dizziness and nausea to a raging pain that leaves us unable to concentrate, move or even see.

One of the most effective ways to naturally cure migraine and headaches can be through home remedies. This article focuses on some of the natural remedies that have been shown to provide relief from migraine headaches.

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1. Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium)

Feverfew herb is a natural remedy that has, for centuries, been known for its painkilling action. This herb works by addressing the root cause of migraine pain.

Over time the herb inhibits the inflammatory pathways in the nerve endings located in brain. Uninhibited these nerve endings exacerbate the sensitivity of receptors to pain and cause expansion of the blood vessels.

Daily intake of feverfew herb effectively prevents the migraine headache by initially reducing the duration, frequency and severity of pain.

This is a long-term solution; as it is herbal supplement it can take up to 4 – 6 weeks to achieve the desired results. In addition the withdrawal of feverfew herb can lead to a relapse of the migraine condition.

Experts suggest that 500 to 600 mg of standardized feverfew should be taken twice daily on an empty stomach to manage or prevent migraine headaches.

2. Omega-3s

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During a migraine episode, the peripheral tissue surrounding the brain gets inflamed. Expert herbalists recommend the daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids as they reduce the cellular response to inflammation.

The recommended intake of omega 3 (fish oil) ranges from between 4,000 to 6,000 mg per day along with meals to aid in food absorption.

The dose can be lowered to 1000mg after 8 – 12 weeks of therapy and the gradual stabilization of migraine headaches.

3. Chasteberry

Many women tend to develop menstrual-induced migraines, which is triggered by hormonal imbalance. In general, a migraine episode is caused by a diminished progesterone level when compared to oestrogen and this causes the dilatation of the blood vessels located in the brain.

Chaste-berry, taken in the form of a tea or a concentrated herbal capsule can increase the progesterone levels.

Alternatively the same results can be achieved by drinking several cups of chaste-berry tea a day. In addition, about 500 mg of chaste-berry supplements can be taken each morning.

4. Xiao yao wan

This is a traditional Chinese medicine that works on a principle that the stagnation of qi energy in the liver can trigger migraine headaches. In general, the migraine episodes occur when the detoxifying function of the liver fails to function properly in eliminating impurities and toxins from the system.

Experts in Chinese medicine focus on enhancing the cleansing action of liver. Xiao yao wan herb (also referred to xiao yao san), is used to cleanse the liver as it consists of a unique blend of rhizomes, plant roots and mushrooms. In turn this allows the body to more efficiently deal with toxins and therefore keep migraines at bay.

Written by: Dr Chaitra Shivaramaiah

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