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First and foremost, especially for those of you new to homeopathy,
remember that homeopathy and herbs are two totally different healing
arts. Homeopathy uses tiny white pills that dissolve under the tongue
and must be taken at least 15 minutes from food or drink. But herbal
remedies have basically no rules and are usually taken in capsule form
and swallowed with or between meals.
There are quite a few great herbs for headaches.
Some of the ones that I prescribe on a daily basis include PSI Daytime
and PSI Nightime. These two formulas are used in place of aspirin, 3-5
capsules every 2-3 hours for all types of headaches. They have an
anti-inflammatory effect as well as the ability to cut and reduce pain.
Feverfew is also used a lot, and is usually taken preventatively for
those with migraine headaches, but also can work well when taken at the
onset of a headache.
A great Chinese herbal formula is called
Oophiopagon and Asarum. This one works for pain which has a nerve
component, with shooting or stabbing pain from the back of the neck to
the eye, or pain that originates from tightness, soreness, or muscle
spasms in the upper back or shoulder area. Another good Chinese formula
is called Corydalis. This one is used for all types of headaches and is
particularly beneficial when the headache is due to stress and overwork.
Remember, that there is frequently a blood sugar
component to many people’s headaches. If you suffer from
headaches around 10 a.m. or 3 p.m., or if you wake with a headache, it
could be that you are either not eating enough protein or are eating
too many refined carbohydrates or sweets. Caffeine can also cause
headaches, although in some people, caffeine can alleviate a headache.
If you think you might have a blood sugar type of headache, you can try
taking the mineral chromium. This is not only effective for headaches,
it is good for curbing the appetite and burning fat for weight loss,
reducing cholesterol, and controlling blood sugar in diabetes and
hypoglycemia. If you are under stress, and your adrenal glands are
“burnt out”, you will naturally be subject to
frequent headaches. See Adrenal Burnout.
From the Chinese medical perspective, we always
need to examine the Liver and its function when someone has headaches,
as excessive Liver toxicity will cause headaches. No matter what
treatment you use to treat the pain, the headaches will later return.
Iron-ically, the use of Western pain medications, while temporarily
removing the pain, increases toxicity in the Liver, creating more
long-term headaches or other symptoms of Liver toxicity.
Now, for the primary subject at hand: Homeopathic
medicine is one true cure for headaches, along with acupuncture, Reiki,
psychotherapy, cranial-work, and breathwork. You also might want to
remember that homeopathy and acupuncture are almost the only safe
treatment methods to use during pregnancy and nursing!
Here are the five most important points to remember
when determining which homeopathic remedy will work for your headache.
(Remember, there is no good or bad in homeopathy; we take each symptom
as it is with no judgement):
1. Left Side/Right Side: Some
homeopathic remedies have an affinity to one side of the body or the
other. Some of the most common left-sided remedies include Lachesis,
Sepia, Bryonia, Spigelia, and Pulsatilla. Some of the most common
right- sided remedies include Belladonna, Sanguinaria, Natrum mur,
Lycopodium, and Chelidonium.
Lachesis works particularly well if the head-ache comes on when you
first wake up. A headache that emerges after vigorous exercise, like
dancing or jogging, would be best treated by Sepia. Lycopodium is good
for a person who has a temper and Chelidonium often works well on
headaches which originate in the right scapula area of the upper back.
2. Next, we need to look at the
different types of pain: Remedies that work best for bursting or
pulsating pain include Belladonna, Lachesis, and Sanguinaria. Remedies
for headaches that feel like a vise squeezing the head include
Lycopodium and Iris. Headaches that have a stabbing or piercing type of
pain respond best to Spigelia, Pulsatilla, and Nux vomica. Remedies for
a burning pain include Arsenicum, Sulphur, or Phosphorus.
3. The third factor we always
need to examine is the Cause of the headache: In fact, the initiating
cause is frequently of more importance than which side the headache is
on or what the pain feels like. For example, if the cause is
hormone-related, as in puberty, pregnancy, PMS, or menopause, some of
the possible homeopathics are Lachesis, Sepia, or Pulsatilla. When the
cause is due to an injury, the remedies commonly considered will be
Arnica, Natrum sulph, or Aconite. When due to emotional trauma or
grief, common remedies are Ignatia, Natrum mur, Aconite, or Pulsatilla.
When due to fright or fear, common choices might be Ignatia,
Pulsatilla, Gelsemium, or Argenticum nitricum. Often, headaches can be
associated with, or be the result of drug use or anesthesia. In these
cases, two of the common remedies are Nux vomica and Lycopodium. For
headaches associated with the ßu or a common cold, you might
want to try Belladonna, Ferrum phos, Gelsemium, or Bryonia.
4. The next important aspect to
consider in choosing an effective homeopathic remedy is called the
Remedy Modalities: This includes the various internal and external
factors that affect the severity and onset of the headache. Here is a
partial list of the modalities and their corresponding homeopathic
remedies. Remedies for headaches that are worse when you're lying down
include Belladonna, Lycopodium, and Gelsemium. If worse during menses,
remedies include Sepia, Pulsatilla and Natrum mur. Worse after sleep or
a nap, Lachesis. Worse when wearing a hat, Natrum mur and Lachesis.
Worse after anger, Nux vomica, Bryonia alb, Natrum mur, and Lycopodium.
Better after exercise include Sepia, Pulsatilla, and iris. Better with
hard massage and deep pressure include Belladonna and Sanguinaria.
Better with warm compresses include Nux vomica, Sulphur, and Ignatia.
Better with the start of menses is Lachesis. Better after belching or
vomiting is Sanguinaria.
5. The ?nal category of symptoms
to consider are called the Concomitants.
These are the symptoms that tend to either occur at the same time as
the headache, but in other parts of the body, or alternate with the
headache symptoms. Some of the more common concomitants, and
recommended remedies, are the following: Eye pain‹Belladonna
or Spigelia; Vomiting‹Sanguinaria or Pulsatilla; Visual
Distortion‹Lachesis, Sepia, or Natrum mur; Increased Sexual
Desire‹Sepia; Dizziness‹Calc carb or Nux vomica;
Twitching‹Belladonna, Sulphur or Ignatia.
If you are a newcomer to homeopathy, you can also
go to the health food store and try a homeopathic combination remedy.
Combination homeopathics contain four or more homeopathic remedies in
one pill. If any one of the homeopathics in the combination happens to
be the right one and in the right potency, it might work. If not, then
it won’t work at all, but you won’t have caused any
long-term harm. However, do not take more than just a few doses of the
remedy. If it’s going to work, it’ll work quickly.
You can cause harm to your body if you continue to take the wrong
remedy for more then a couple of days.
This article is just touching the surface of the
subject of homeopathy for headaches. If you have more specific
questions, please email them to me and I’ll try to answer
them in my next newsletter. If you are on medications prescribed by
your medical doctor, don’t try any of the suggestions in this
newsletter without first checking with your doctor, and never take
yourself off a prescription medication without the supervision of your
medical doctor. If you are being treated by a homeopath, do not take
another homeo-pathic remedy without checking with your homeopath first.
See Dr Randy Martin’s book "Optimal
Health: How to Get it, How to Keep It", for more on headaches.
I’d like to thank the National
Center for Homeopathy and an article by Todd Hoover
for inspiring this article. You can contact the National Center and
subscribe to their newsletter via http://www.homeopathy.org.
This is a great monthly journal, full of information to help you
understand homeopathy and to use it more effectively in your life . If
you are a patient of mine, it’ll help you to understand what
information I need in order to make the best homeopathic prescription.
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