45 million Americans suffer from chronic headaches and one in six of those people are suffering from a headache at any given moment. Some studies show that between 4% and 5% of Americans suffer from headaches on a daily basis. That’s a lot of headaches. Some studies have even shown that an over use of non-prescription headache relief medicines can be the cause of headaches. Everyone has their own way of reliving a headache.
The common cures are resting, taking a hot bath, taking over the counter medicines or doctor prescribed medicines, and submerging your hands in either hot water or ice cold water. While I am not discounting any of the above the methods, I would like to introduce the option of using herbs. Herbs have been healing people since time began and over the last decade or so, have become very popular. Herbs should be treated just like a medicine when taken and one should use precaution. Never take more than one herb for the same ailment. Be sure to read labels and do research to make sure you are taking the correct herb and the correct amount. Finally, always be sure to consult with your doctor before taking an herb.
Here is a list of some herbs that are recommended for headache relief and their recommended dosage.
Birch ~ Birch comes as dried bark, a tea or as an essential oil. It is strongly recommended not to use Sweet Birch Oil if you have children in your home. Applied topically to children’s skin can cause serious skin irritation and can be fatal. In tea form, you can drink several cups a day to relieve or prevent headaches. Birch can also be used for digestive problems, bladder infections, and kidney stones. Boldo ~ Boldo most commonly comes in tea or tincture form. Consult your doctor for a recommended dose. Large doses of Boldo volatile oil may cause poisoning symptoms including a very slow rate of breath. Boldo can also be used for gas pains, digestive disorders, earache, menstrual pain, and the common cold.
Catnip ~ Catnip isn’t just for the kitties, it can help your headache. It most commonly comes in capsules, tinctures, and tea. As a tincture, the recommended dose is 2-4 milliliters taken orally, up to three times a day. To make a tea, pour boiling water over 2 teaspoons of dried catnip leaves. Catnip can also help with many other ailments such as menstrual pain, gas, the common cold, hiccups and insomnia.
Celery ~ Celery comes in 450 milligram and 505 milligram capsules, but experts disagree on a dosage. Contact your doctor for a recommended dose. Celery can also help with vomiting, a toothache, fever reduction, and heartburn.
Marjoram ~ Teas and tinctures are made from dried or powdered marjoram leaves. One cup of boiling water added to 1-2 teaspoons of marjoram leaves can be drank up to three times a day to help relieve and prevent and headaches. You may also opt to take ½ teaspoon of a tincture. Marjoram can also be used for muscle and join pain, nausea, and to prevent intestinal gas.
Mint ~ Teas, extracts and oils are the most common forms that mint comes in. Use one tablespoon of dried leaves and a cup of boiling water to make a tea. Experts agree that two or three cups a day will help relieve a headache. It can also help diarrhea, intestinal gas, toothache, and the common cold. If you have acid reflux, discuss this with your health care provider before taking mint as it may worsen symptoms.
Mugwort ~ Mugwort most often comes in tincture form. Experts recommend 1-4 milliliters of the tincture to help relieve a headache. It can also help anxiety, insomnia, stress, mild depression, and fever. It is not recommended if you have acid reflux.
Thyme ~ It is recommended to use thyme in tea form. About 1 ½ grams of dried leaves added to boiling water can be taken up to three times daily. Thyme can also be used for intestinal gas, menstrual cramps, and indigestion. Avoid this herb if you have any heart trouble.
It is very highly recommended that you consult your doctor before taking any herb in any form. Just like medicines, some herbs cannot be mixed with other herbs, medications, or alcohol. Some herbs may have side affects such as drowsiness and some herbs may require food to be in the stomach. Use precautions with any herbs or medicines.