A migraine is a primary headache disorder distinguished by moderate to severe headaches every now and then. These headaches affect only one side of the head, are pulsating in nature, and last from 2 hours to 3 days. Its symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light, sound, or smell.
Read on to know which herbs can come handy when suffering from migraine or severe headaches.
An easy-to-grow annual herb, basil has a relaxing effect on the muscles. It is also considered as a warming herb that helps stimulate the body processes. It has an analgesic effect that helps to relieve pain.
Bay leaves, also known as sweet bay, were initially considered a culinary herb.But after they were used by the Native Americans to treat headaches, its painkilling effect came to be known widely. Bay laurel contains the natural anti-inflammatory chemical parthenolide. Leaves can be steeped in hot water for tea or used in the bath. The oil, diluted and in small amounts, can be applied topically to get rid of the pain.
This anti-inflammatory herb relaxes the blood vessels in the brain and as a natural beta-blocker encourages normal blood flow. Raw, unprocessed butterbur should not be used since it contains harmful properties. Only use the extract of the root, processed to remove toxicity. It most often comes in capsule form.
The flowering top of this member of the mint family is another excellent migraine remedy. Taken in tea form, catnip is a mild sedative used in traditional herbal medicine. It has anti-inflammatory characteristics that help reduce stress and anxiety, often the cause of migraine headaches. The essential oil or a leaf salve can be used topically in combination with a carrier oil on the temples.
A cup of chamomile tea has mild sedative properties, with anti-inflammatory components that can help reduce muscle spasms. It can also be used in a hot compress on the back to relieve the pain caused by muscle tension.
The ginger root is actually not a root at all but a rhizome, and this is the source of the plant’s healing qualities. Another herb with anti-inflammatory traits, ginger root is an excellent herb for migraine relief. Add fresh slices of ginger root to your cup of tea in the morning. Extracted ginger juice can be used on compresses and in baths or made into a paste or oil for topical use.
The wonderfully aromatic scent of lavender is an uplifting boost in its own right just by inhaling it. Also, rubbing a few drops of diluted lavender oil on the temples brings about soothing relief to headache pain.
Peppermint is one of the most widely-used plants in herbal remedies. It contains menthol and other oils that add to its benefits. Peppermint tea is excellent for migraine relief and other ailments, like cough and cold. A simple infusion of its leaves taken as a drink can help reduce headache pain and also as a cold compress applied to the head with a few drops of diluted mint oil.
Initially, Chinese herbalists used rosemary in tea for treating headaches. It warms the body from the inside out according to traditional wisdom. It continues to be a viable choice for migraine sufferers, reducing feelings of tension and stress. Use the essential oil in diluted form in the bath, in a salve or cream, or as a rub on temples and back of the neck.