Headaches & migraines—Alternative remedies
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Remedies for Menopausal Symptoms

The Menopause Self Help Book by Susan M. Lark, M.D.,
The Wild Rose Scientific Herbal by Terry Willard, Ph.D.,
Menopausal Years The Wise Woman Way by Susun S. Weed
are drawn heavily upon for this segment. All references are provided here.


When headaches or migraines play a part in your process, try to regard them as evidence that the body needs time to be alone, to recharge. Lie in total silence, in complete darkness, and sleep, if possible, until the headache is gone.

Some women find that menopause brings relief from a lifetime of migraines, and others find that migraines appear for the first time during menopause. Headaches may also be suddenly triggered by short-lived allergies to certain foods. Migraines have often been found to be a side effect of ERT/HRT.31

It seems that actions other than pain relief (anodyne) will help when treating headache. A wide variety of herbs has been found useful for a myriad of physical and emotional traumas. They include cayenne, chamomile, elder flower, feverfew, garden sage, ground ivy, Jamaican dogwood, lady's slipper, lavender, marjoram, peppermint, rosemary, rue, skullcap, tansy, thyme, valerian, wood betony and wormwood.31

It would be wise to avoid known triggers such as citrus fruit, yogurt, aged cheese, miso, liver, cured meats such as ham, red wine, aspartame, MSG, chocolate and the nightshade family (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, tobacco).31

Black cohosh root tincture may ease a headache. 10 drops of the tincture is considered equivalent to two aspirin.31

Feverfew will often clear migraine occurrences after a month of treatment using the fresh herb (2-4 leaves), a tablet, or a tea. If chewing the leaves irritates your mouth, a tea can be made from the dried leaves. The fresh flowers can also be chewed when you feel a headache coming on.31

Vervain and Lady's mantle were sacred herbs in the ancient matriarchies.31 The tincture of vervain flowers 20-40 drops in water, before bed and as needed, treats the nerves, relieves insomnia, depression, nervous exhaustion and moderate headaches, including migraines. Lady's mantle aids women taking on or leaving the role of mother. Try 10-25 drops of tincture of fresh herb several times a day to relieve headaches.31

Black willow, Jamaican dogwood, passionflower, valerian and wood betony are all said to ease the pain of a migraine once it has started. If there are digestive symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or acid indigestion, herbs such as black horehound, chamomile, golden seal or meadowsweet may be useful.13

St. John's Wort tincture, 25-30 drops, and Skullcap tincture, 3-5 drops taken together as needed, up to half a dozen times a day may help headaches. For migraines take as soon as the aura appears, before pain appears, and repeat every 10 minutes for 3-6 doses.31

Wild yam tincture, 10-30 drops up to 6 times daily, or an infusion 1-2 cups daily. The lower dose is helpful for chronic headaches.31

Essential oils: A soothing bath using essential oil emulsions of lavender, rosemary, marjoram and peppermint is often helpful. Or use a drop or two of the helpful essential oils lavender or peppermint rubbed directly on the forehead or temples. Rub a drop or two of lavender, chamomile, or peppermint essential oil between your palms and inhale deeply for 3 or 4 minutes.9

Stomach-related headaches may be helped by drinking a tea containing carminatives and bitters, made from equal parts of skullcap and valerian. A short-term treatment for headaches associated with menstruation is a tea made with equal parts balm, lavender and meadowsweet.13

Magnesium and Vitamin B6 may help reduce headaches.31

Habitual use of aspirin may increase the duration and frequency of headaches.31 One undesirable side effect of aspirin and other NSAIDS is their inhibition of cartilage repair and acceleration of cartilage destruction.3, 2, 22, 27, 28 


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Researched and written by the ProjectAWARE group, 2000













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Updated 09/29/2010