Naturopathy for Headaches and Migraine

Everyone at sometime suffers from a Headache. Most of the times headaches are related to temporary causes and are not caused by any major organic changes in the body. However, headaches indicate a warning of some problem somewhere in the body. The pain originates due to irritation of nerve endings in neck, shoulder and muscles of scalp and muscles that encircle blood vessels which serve these areas.  

Causes of Headaches: Emotional conflicts, Eyestrain, Allergy, High Blood Pressure, Low blood sugar, Tension, Deficiency of nutrients in the body, presence of toxins in body, excessive consumption of alcohol and migraines are common causes of headaches. 

Treatment of Headaches: It is important to first identify the cause of headache. We have listed below different remedies for different causes of headaches:

Headaches due to Allergy: It is essential to avoid products to which an individual is allergic. Causes of allergies are different in different individuals. Some people may be allergic to milk/milk products, alcohol, chicken liver, chocolates. Common indications of allergy include sneezing and diarrhea. 

Headaches due to Emotional Conflicts: Emotional causes may include hostility towards an individual, frustration in job,  or resentment about something. Stress causes muscles of shoulder, neck and scalp to get unconsciously tensed leading to this type of headache. Key to tackle emotional cause includes expressing your feelings and trying to have positive thoughts. Letting go of things beyond your control will also help. 

Headaches due to High Blood Pressure: This kind of headache usually starts from back of the head when the patient gets up in the morning. For easing headache in this condition, immerse legs to calf level for 15-20 minutes in a tub full of hot water. This helps in redirecting blood from head to the feet and relieves headache

Headaches due to excessive consumption of Alcohol: Alcohol consumption leads to swelling of blood vessels which results in hangover headache. The best remedy is to avoid excessive consumption of alcohol. Consuming thiamine (vitamin B1) along with the drink will avoid hangover headache.

Headaches due to infection: Headaches that are caused by infections such as cols, virus and fever can be dealt with by vitamin C therapy. In headaches due to cold, high doses of vitamin C every hour must be consumed as soon as symptoms such as soar throat, runny nose appear for the first time. Vitamin C is considered a natural antibiotic. 

Headaches due to Low blood sugar: Low blood sugar may cause headache and irritability. Consuming sugar temporarily relieves the pain but is not a permanent cure. The root cause of low blood sugar is overstimulated production of insulin. This can be controlled by consuming smaller portions rather than having three standard meals in a day. Cutting down carbohydrates and coffee helps as these overstimulate pancreas to produce insulin.  

Headaches due to deficiency of nutrients: Headache may also be caused due to lack of Iron leading to Anaemia. Brewer's yeast is a good source of Iron and consuming a few teaspoons of Brewer's yeast can help in preventing anaemia. Deficiency of vitamins Thiamine (B1), B 12, Pyridoxine (B6), Pantothenic acid also leads to headaches, therefore consuming these vitamins will also help. It is important to include entire vitamin B complex range to diet when one is consuming one vitamin factor separately as otherwise one factor will dominate causing an imbalance. B complex is a good protection against headaches and migraines. 

Headaches due to toxins in body: Several kinds of poisons get admitted into body through water, food and polluted air. Cosmetics and food products may contain additives which cause headaches.

Headaches due to Migraine: Migraine headaches are paroxysmal affection which comes with extreme headache usually on one side of the head and is accompanied with disorders of liver, digestion and vision. Migraine headaches are generally caused when someone is under extreme stress or has suddenly gotten over it. Migraine headache may be accompanied with nausea and vomiting.  The pain may last for as long as three days. When migraine headache comes one must stay on feet during daytime and do chores which do not require too much of concentration. One must walk around and get some fresh air. For preventing migraine improve nutrition, get involved in physical activities and keep a positive mindset. To begin with patient may start with a short fast in which he should take citrus fruits juices diluted with water six times everyday. This will lead to saving nervous energy and relieving blood lymph of great burden. Afterwards one should start with a simple diet. Breakfast may consist of fresh and dried fruits. Lunch may include protien rich food items and dinner may contain salads, cereals, rice, starchy foods. Oily food items, sour buttermilk, tomatoes and spices must be avoided. Starting day with drinking on glassful of water ( cool in summer and warm in winter ) with one teaspoon honey will also help.

Asanas such as Jalneti, Kunjal, Pranayam (Anulom-Vilom), Uttanpadasana, Paschimottanasana, Sarvangasana and Shavasan will also help in treating headaches.