By Jhoane Robinson
Headaches, while no fun to deal with, happen to all of us at some time during our lives and range from mild and irritating to absolutely debilitating. Often, to reduce the headache of having headaches, we need to pay attention to the signals our bodies are giving us and make some adjustments.
While some people experience headaches only occasionally, many of us have frequent headaches that really affect our lives. I used to be one of them, so I’ll share some of the things I’ve done that have helped me be (mostly) headache free!
INFORMATION ONLY! This blog is not intended to address medical conditions, but to provide general information about natural alternatives for occasional discomfort. Since some headaches are the body’s signal that something is seriously wrong, if you have a headache lasting more than two days, increasing in intensity, or have serious headaches on a regular basis, consult your healthcare provider and get medical advice. It may be that you need a prescription medication or other considerations to help bring down your headaches.
TYPES OF HEADACHES
All headaches are not created equal. There are more than 150 different types of headaches! Here are some of the more common ones, many of which simple lifestyle changes, including using herbs and herbal supplements, can help your body reduce the frequency and severity of headaches you may be experiencing.
- Tension Headache – Very common, often triggered by stress, usually a dull, aching, tender. Eye strain can be a factor.
- Cluster Headache –more common in men, piercing, constriction of blood vessels, generally behind an eye, with sound and light sensitivity, but seldom nausea.
- Migraine Headache – usually one side, with pulsing, throbbing pain, dilation of the blood vessels, light and sound sensitivity, and nausea.
Secondary headaches are a symptom of something going on in your body, often triggered by things such as dehydration, stress, low blood sugar, hormone fluctuations, lack of sleep, even fragrances…
- Sinus Headache – Sinus cavities can be flared up by allergies, dry weather, etc.
- Hormone Headache – Primarily in women when estrogen levels fluctuate.
- Hypertension Headache – Caused by high blood pressure. Seek medical help.
- Exertion Headache – After intense physical activity.
- Caffeine Headache – Too much caffeine and withdrawal from caffeine.
- Rebound Headache – Ironically, OTC’s for headaches can cause headaches from medication overuse, liver damage, and other side effects.
- Post Traumatic Headache – Caused by head, neck or upper spinal injury.
- Fatigue Headache.
- Food Sensitivity Headache – Look for food-related triggers, including gluten.
- Hangover Headache – Throbbing next day discomfort. Cure: drink twice as much water as alcohol consumed. Reduce alcohol consumption.
TIPS FOR NATURAL HEADACHE RELIEF
- Stay Hydrated (with water). Dehydration causes headaches. Try an herbal tea, such as peppermint tea, nettle tea, or ginger tea.
- Get Sleep! Sleep deprivation can cause fatigue headaches.
- Stress management and relaxation techniques, meditation.
- Sinus irrigation for sinus headaches.
- Cold packs and hot compresses. Use what works for you.
- Acupuncture, reflexology, massage.
- Yoga, exercise, movement, stretching.
- Improve posture. Spinal misalignment and slouching often cause headaches.
- Diet. Eat regular, healthy, and balanced meals.
- Avoid MSG (monosodium glutamate) and Aspartame (NutraSweet).
- Try a gluten-free diet.
- Use essential oils like lavender essential oil and peppermint oil on the temples and back of the neck to help relax muscles.
- Get eyes tested.
- Oxygen therapy and melatonin can help cluster headaches.
- Detox baths – one cup of baking soda and/or soothing essential oils. Or 2 cups apple cider vinegar to draw out uric acid.
- Dietary Supplements:
- Magnesium deficiency can contribute to muscle and headache pain. Regular use of a magnesium supplement can help reduce frequency of headaches.
- Vitamin B. Low Vitamin B levels can affect neurotransmitters and be part of headache cycles. Low doses of B vitamins give best long-term benefits.
- Use Cedar Bear liquid TincTract® herbs and herbal formulas.
Throughout human history, health-supporting herbs have been used to help us with our health. Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic Medicine from India, and Tibetan Natural Medicine have used herbs for centuries. Nature provides us with many amazing plants that can often be used as an herbal remedy to help address those pesky painful headachy moments of our lives and ease general exertion-related aches and pains, soothe minor muscle discomforts, temporarily reduce headache pain, calm nerves, and support fluid circulation.
HERBS FOR HEADACHES
I started out with a list of 5 Top Herbs for Headaches, but there are so many herbs that can help with various types of headaches, that I had to expand the list to 12!
- Peppermint Leaf, with natural menthol, soothes muscles and reduces spasms. (Stomach Settler, Queasy Ease, Herbal Minerals, Pet’s Daily Needs)
- Ginger Root, used for centuries in Chinese Medicine, is related to turmeric with many of the same properties, helps with headaches, and reduces exercise-related muscle discomfort, and other health-related issues. You can easily use ginger powder from your kitchen. (Stomach Settler, Queasy Ease, Brain Booster, Turmeric Golden Drops, Uri-Lixer)
- Feverfew gives temporary relief from minor headaches through regular long-term use. Cool tissues and nerves, help soothe muscles. (Brain Booster)
- White Willow Bark has salicin, (aspirin was first developed from herbs that have salicin), and provides temporary relief for minor aches and pains, tension-related headaches, joint discomforts, and female menstrual-related discomfort. (Uri-Lixer)
- Lemon Balm soothes tension headaches and relaxes nerves. (Lemon Balm Single Herb, Thyro Calm)
- Cramp Bark relaxes and soothes muscle tension and spasms, calms the nervous system, and helps sleep by relaxing tense muscles. It has a constituent similar to salicylic acid called methyl salicylate. (Cramp Bark Single Herb, Women’s Daily)
- Cat’s Claw Bark, one of Nature’s most effective herbs at supporting healthy fluid dynamics in joints and tissues, reduces joint discomfort. (Cat’s Claw Bark Single Herb, Joint & Muscle with Turmeric Root)
- Turmeric Root supports immune function, healthy cellular function, joints, and muscles, reduces exercise-caused pain, and speeds recovery from activities. Has curcuminoids that help reduce inflammation in the body. (Turmeric Single Herb, Turmeric Golden Drops, Joint & Muscle, Brain Booster)
- Kava Kava Root relaxes muscles and nerves and supports restful sleep. (Kava Kava Root Single Herb, Kava Calm)
- Chanca Piedra (Stone Breaker) is used by Indigenous peoples of the Amazon to soothe and relax tissues, providing mild temporary pain relief. (Chanca Piedra Single Herb, Kidney & Bladder, Kidney Kool for Kids, Uri-Lixer, Blood Sugar Support, Kidney Clear)
- Valerian Root, a nervous system and muscle relaxant helps calm nervousness and stress and helps support restful sleep and relaxation, especially when taken regularly. (Valerian Root Single Herb)
- Dong Quai has been used for centuries in Asian cultures for headaches, nerve pain, and female issues. (Women’s Daily, Revive-Her-Drive)
CEDAR BEAR HERBAL FORMULAS FOR HEADACHE AND HEALTH SUPPORT:
- Brain Booster: Enhances oxygenation in blood circulation. Several herbs in Brain Booster (feverfew, turmeric, rosemary, and ginger) are known to help with temporary headaches.
- Herbal Minerals: Has essential nutrients to build healthy bodies. Several of the herbs in Herbal Minerals, (stinging nettle, holy basil, peppermint and chamomile), also help reduce headache issues.
- Joint & Muscle: Helps relieve joint and muscle pain caused by exercise and muscular exertion. Supports healthy fluid dynamics in and around joints and connective tissues, helps cool joint and muscle tissues, and supports circulation. Stinging Nettle Leaf, Cat’s Claw Bark, Devil’s Claw Root, and Turmeric Root in Joints & Muscles also help with general headaches.
- Stomach Settler w/Ginger: A zippy-tasting herbal formula. Catnip calms nerves, ginger calms queasiness, fennel reduces gas, meadowsweet reduces mild temporary pain and discomfort, and peppermint soothes and calms the stomach.
- Kava Calm: A calming nerve and muscle relaxer. Each of the individual herbs in Kava Calm has been used for centuries for their abilities to calm the nervous system, relax muscles, and help our bodies cope with stress. Together they are a profoundly beneficial formula for calming and relaxing both your mind and body.
- Sinus Thyme: Helps clear sinuses fast! Helps reduce sinus discomfort, stimulates lymphatic drainage, and supports immune function.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF HERBS
When using herbs, you will find you have many health benefits above and beyond possible headache relief. Herbs are packed full of nutrients and micronutrients that our bodies need. It’s a wonderful world of health that opens up to us when we open up to using herbs!
At Cedar Bear, we make only natural products that are totally alcohol-free. We use the best herbs from all over the world that we can source for our natural remedies, with only the herb, purified water, and the highest grade of glycerin (Kosher and Halal certified, and GMO-Free) in them. Nothing else!
By trying some of the headache-reducing lifestyle tips I’ve mentioned along with Cedar Bear herbs, you may find your life, and your head, both feel a whole lot better!
(These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Association. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.)