Familiar with a throbbing headache? This tension in your neck that rises up and creates a nasty headache? Or simply “just” a migraine that leaves you unable to even check your phone to see what time it is? Ugh… Haven’t we all?!
One thing we can do, is to take medicine to stop the headache. But if you’re a bit like me and my family, you know that medicine isn’t always the preferred solution. In fact, I’d rather go for natural solutions than taking too much medication. Because, yes, I believe that there is such a thing as taking too many medicines and I don’t think it’s a good thing for your body. Even more so, the human body is perfectly capable of healing itself when supported properly (on a body, mind and soul level).
I always encourage people to take a better look at what’s causing a headache. Sure, numbing the pain might sound interesting, but that doesn’t take away the reason why it’s there in the first place. Do something about that and the pain will lessen! Perhaps it’s tension or stress, or perhaps your sinuses are blocked causing you a headache. Or maybe you simply didn’t drink enough all throughout the day, which also can cause a headache. So look further for an answer, than just seeing the headache.
Herbal Headache Relief Tea
A cup of tea really does wonders! Not only does it warm you up from the inside, it also replenishes your body with liquid. But why not take it a step further, by having a cup of tea that can also lessen the intensity of your headache?
This herbal relief tea is based on 4 different herbs that will both calm your mind and help you relax, so that the horrible headache can pass. Drinking this headache relief tea does not only help your body feel good from the inside, but simply inhaling the scent of this tea does wonders too. Make this whole “drinking a cup of tea – moment” into a full body experience, by using all of your senses.
Smell the relaxing scent while making the tea.
Hear the relaxing sounds when pouring it in your cup.
See vibrant colour of the tea.
Taste the herbal flavours and try to distinguish each herb separately.
Feel it warm you up and change how you feel.
Doing so, makes you instantly BE in this present moment. And that, my dear, calms your body, mind and soul.
So let’s have a closer look at what’s in this witches brew that I call “headache relief tea”. It’s a fine combination of Lavender, Rosemary, Peppermint and the oh so lovely Chamomile.
All throughout history, lavender has been used for its calming, soothing properties. Most people know this herb as either being a plant in their garden, or as a herb of which you can use an essential oil. Especially the essential oil has become famous, because it’s so easy to use in your daily life. Use the oil in a diffuser for a gorgeous, calming scent. Rub it on your sin for pain relief, and even on your temples for headache relief. Be sure though to check if your skin doesn’t get irritated from it, because it can cause irritation of the skin if not diluted. Or create a pillow mist of lavender oil, for a deep and relaxed sleep.
Internal use of lavender
However, not too many people know that this is also an amazing herb to use in the kitchen. There’s some delicious recipes out there that include a hint of lavender. You can either use dried lavender buds, or go for a good quality essential oil. If you go for the latter, be sure to check if that oil can be safely ingested. Doterra has a lavender oil that safe to use internally, check it out through this site and click “shopping”.
Reduction in headache severity
Recent study for European Neurology showed that people with diagnosed migraine who inhaled the scent of lavender essential oil for 15 minutes – while they had a headache – experienced a greater reduction in headache severity than people in a control group who did not inhale lavender. This may suggest that the inhalation of lavender scent is an effective and safe treatment modality in acute management of migraine headaches.
Contraindications for lavender
Lavender Oil can potentially increase the effectiveness of medications such as those related to sleep disorders or those prescribed for depression and the same advice applies for any cough or flu medicine that induces sleep, as Lavender Oil stimulates drowsiness. It is best to avoid using Lavender Oil when undergoing surgery or anesthesia.
There is not enough research to prove that this oil is safe to use at any stage of pregnancy, as it can act as a muscle relaxant and can affect hormone levels; therefore, pregnant and nursing women are advised not to use Lavender Oil, especially pregnant women in their third trimester, unless a medical practitioner is consulted first. Despite being considered generally safe for children to use, the effects of Lavender Oil on hormones means it could potentially be harmful to pre-pubescent boys. Parents are advised to exercise caution, when using it on children in this age range.
This woody herb is an evergreen shrub that is mostly found in the Mediterranean coast. However, if you’re like me and love having fresh herbs around the house, you can plant this in your garden and see it grow over the years. With its typical and bold flavor, Rosemary is often added to dishes from the Italian and French kitchen. And it’s not just a herb that we have started using since the past century, but this herb was actually commonly cultivated in Medieval monastery gardens.
Medicinal properties of Rosemary
Rosemary is known to improve memory and support blood circulation, but also to significantly reduce pain. When using rosemary oil, simply rub it directly to your temples when dealing with a headache or migraines. Aside from that, Rosemary is also used for reducing inflammation and muscle tension. And the main reason why this herb was so popular in the Middle Ages, is because people believed that Rosemary protected them against infections. A reputation that started when it first used during the plague and burnt during the many burials at that time.
As rosemary is a circulatory stimulant, it increases blood flow in the entire body. This is especially helpful in cases of depression, lethargy, poor memory and headaches. Aside from that, rosemary can help with elevating low blood pressure, which makes it a useful herb in cases of fainting and general weakness due to cerebral insufficiency. By using it as aromatherapy, rosemary is helpful in cases of muscular pain, sciatica and neuralgia. And by using it topically – so applying it to the skin – rosemary is great at alleviating headaches and increasing concentration when inhaled.
Tension relief Peppermint
Peppermint is one of those herbs that is well-known for helping treat headaches, especially tension-headaches. This is exactly the type of headache that we see most often, and is caused by daily stress of any kind. Another reason we can experience a headache, is because of poor diet. Drinking too little and eating not enough nutritious foods, can trigger headaches. A soothing cup of peppermint tea can reduce the headache and help you to relax.
The active proponent in peppermint is called menthol, and this is the ingredient that helps relieve headaches and migraines. When looking at headaches caused by a poor diet or tension, you can typically see the brain’s blood vessels restricted, which then leads to pain. Peppermint tea helps to open up such constricted blood vessels.
Other benefits of peppermint include fighting sinus problems, calming an upset stomach, reducing stress and increasing alertness.
Contraindications of peppermint
Also peppermint has some contraindications to be aware of. To anyone with a history of gallstones or gallbladder inflammation (cholecystitis), peppermint oil is contraindicated. In addition, peppermint can trigger menstruation, so therefore peppermint oil should be avoided during pregnancy. Lastly, peppermint should also not be ingested or used near the face of babies and children, as it can lead to breathing problems.
One of my fave herbs, chamomile. Just the sweet and lovely scent of chamomile makes me feel so relaxed and calm. Perfect for when I’ve got a lot to do and my mind is running wild! And that’s what chamomile is all about.
Chamomile is one of the most effective herbs that can help your body to relax. It depresses the nervous system and is effective in calming the body, while alleviating tension. Aside from that, chamomile can be used to reduce inflammation, muscle spasms and anxiety. At the same time, it can help treat stomach cramps and can induce sleep.
Chamomile in itself may not stop the migraine, it does help reduce the tension in your body and mind, whilst reducing the inflammation that occurs as a result. A perfect ingredient that helps calm the body and alleviate tension headaches.
Contraindications of Chamomile
Just as any other herb, there are some contraindications for the use of chamomile that you should be aware of. The use of chamomile-containing preparations is contraindicated in persons with hypersensitivity to ragweed pollens, chrysanthemums or other members of the Compositae family.
Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with liver or kidney disease has not been established, although there have not been any credible reports of toxicity caused by this common beverage tea.
Let’s make some headache relief tea!
Ingredients for headache relief tea
How to make headache relief tea?
You can make this herbal tea with both fresh and dried flowers/leaves. If you are using a home-grown lavender, make sure to find out it’s safe for consumption. The best time to harvest lavender flowers is right before they start to open. They will have the highest fragrance and the best taste. Alternatively buy dried lavender flowers that are marked safe for culinary use.
I have a big glass jar filled with all ingredients in dry form. This makes it so easy for me to just make it whenever I need it, instead of first trying to scramble all ingredients together. Now it’s all mixed and I just need to scoop the right amount out of the jar. I love making life as easy as possible, don’t you?
Bring enough water to a boil. Fill an empty tea bag or tea leaf holder with the ingredients. If you are not used to the intense scent and flavor of herbal tea, steep it for 5 minutes. The longer you let t steep, the more intense the flavor becomes. If you want to add some sweetener, a bit of honey goes well with this tea but it’s definitely not required. In fact, I hardly ever drink tea with honey and never with sugar. It all comes down to getting used to drinking it purely, without anything sweet in it.
This article is for informational purposes only. It’s not intended to replace medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Every person is different and may react to different herbs and teas differently. Never use teas or herbs to treat serious medical conditions on your own. Always seek professional medical advice before choosing home remedies, and make sure you always check contraindications when using herbs and medicinal plants.