Thursday, October 1, 2009

5 Herbs for Headaches

Are there herbs that are known as headache remedies? Following the thought of herbs for pain relief I thought I would go hunting for which specific herbs were known as remedies for headaches.

Unlike the list of kitchen herbs with analgesic properties in the previous post not all of the herbs in this list are used in cooking.

While not a kitchen herb, feverfew has been used for a long time as a headache remedy. A study published in 1997 (Palevitch, Earon and Carasso) showed that feverfew significantly reduced pain, nausea and sensitivity to noise and light.
The easiest way to get feverfew is probably by buying a supplement. One of the most popular feverfew products for use with migraine headaches is Migrelief. This product contains feverfew, magnesium and Vitamin B2. It is intended to be used regularly as both a preventative and to reduce the severity of attacks. Feverfew 180 Caps


Peppermint has been used for hundreds of years for headache relief. In 1879 the British medical journal Lancet reported that pepperment oil helped relieve headache. There are many different ways of using peppermint. A simple cup of peppermint tea can help some headaches.
Peppermint essential oil can be used in a variety of ways. Do not use it undiluted on your skin.

  • Break it down in equal parts with extra virgin olive oil and massage into temples, jaws and the back of the neck. This is useful for tension headaches.
  • Add about 10 drops of peppermint essential oil to a small pot of hot water. Use it as a steam treatment and inhale the peppermint from the steaming water. This can be good for relieving a headache from sinus pressure.
  • Add 10 - 15 drops of peppermint essential oil to a warm bath and relax in the warmth, inhaling the peppermint as you do. This can sometimes bring relief to a headache.
Pure Essential Oil Peppermint 0.5 Oz
Ginkgo Biloba

This herb is known to improve circulation. It is thought that it helps reduce the pain of headaches by encouraging oxygen delivery. It is also known to help reduce inflammation. This can help with some headaches.
The best way to obtain this herb is with a standardized supplement. GINKGO BILOBA 60 mg 240 Caps
Cayenne Pepper

This is one remedy for headache that you might have in the kitchen. Be careful because to much of it can cause stomach upsets. It is thought that the stimulating effect of cayenne affects the blood flow in some way and helps ease headaches and migraines.
Used in the form of a nasal spray it is sometimes used as a treatment for cluster headaches.
It is possible to put the spice in to empty capsules or buy a standardized supplement product. Cayenne 180 Caps


Butterbur is a herb that has had quite a number of controlled studies done on it in relation to migraine prevention. Each trial showed that treatment with butterbur resulted in at least a 50% reduction of migraine attacks by more than two thirds of all patients in the trials. Details of these studies can be found at butterbur research.
There are a number of butterbur products on the market, perhaps a soft gel capsule might be the most convenient way of using this herb. Migra Comfort (Butterbur) 50mg 60 sg

If you are unsure of whether it is appropriate for you to use any herbal treatment talk to a health professional who is knowledgeable about the use of herbs.

To a headache free life


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