Medicinal plants Phytotherapy Plants and Essential Oils

03 Plants to Relieve a Headache

03 Plants to Relieve a Headache

03 Plants to Relieve a Headache
03 Plants to Relieve a Headache

A headache is very common in industrialized countries: more than 80% of women and 66% of men would suffer regularly. To remedy this, it is possible to turn to plants. Here are 10 plants and their dosage to fight headaches.

Feverfew against migraines

The leaves of feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) have been used for centuries to prevent and control recurrent migraines. Today, the World Health Organization and the European Scientific Cooperative On Phytotherapy (ESCOP) officially recognize the effectiveness of this herbaceous plant native to the Balkans for the prevention and reduction of the frequency and intensity of seizures. of a migraine. The preventive effect of feverfew against migraines is partly explained by the presence of an active agent in the leaves called parthenolide.

Dosage: It is recommended to chew 125 mg to 250 mg of dried leaves per day or to take the same amount in the form of dried powder capsules or freeze-dried leaves (standardized to 0.2% parthenolide).

Good to know: Feverfew should not be confused with German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) or Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile), two different plants that do not have the same pharmacological properties.

Peppermint to end a headache

Willow bark against headaches
Willow bark against headaches

Probably originating in the Middle East, peppermint (Mentha x Piperita) is a perennial that results from a cross between spearmint (Mentha spicata) and aquatic mint (Mentha aquatica). The essential oil of peppermint, extracted from the aerial parts of the plant, is used externally as a remedy for headaches. The use of this essential oil is recognized by the World Health Organization, the ESCOP and the E1 Commission. A clinical study2 showed the efficacy of peppermint essential oil externally to reduce a headache (= a tension headache). According to the results of this study, performing a circular massage with ethanol solution containing 10% peppermint essential oil would effectively relieve headaches, as well as a dose of 1,000 mg of acetaminophen (Tylenol® ).

Dosage: By external route, it is recommended to deposit between 2 and 3 drops of pure peppermint essential oil or diluted in a little vegetable oil (for example sweet almond) or warm water on the forehead, temples or at the level of the neck and massage circularly the areas concerned. If a headache persists, repeat the operation every 15 to 30 minutes. Be careful, do not apply peppermint essential oil too close to the eyes.

Good to know: Essential oils contain powerful active ingredients and are contraindicated in pregnant women and young children. It is essential to take certain precautions and scrupulously respect the dosages. If in doubt, seek advice from a health professional.

white willow bark

Willow bark against headaches
Willow bark against headaches

The use of white willow bark (Salix alba) in the treatment of headaches is officially recognized by Commission E and ESCOP. In herbal medicine, the bark of the young branches of the white willow, a living tree in the humid regions of the northern hemisphere (Europe, Russia, Central Asia, North Africa …) and up to 25 meters high, is generally used. The willow bark produces salicin, an active substance that is transformed by the body into salicylic acid and whose chemical structure is close to that of aspirin. The properties febrifuges (prevent and remove fever) and painkillers (reduce pain) white willow bark would effectively relieve a headache.

Dosage: Bring 150 to 250 ml of water to the boil with 2-3 g of willow bark and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes. It is recommended to drink up to 4 cups of this mixture a day. It is also possible to opt for the daily intake of standardized salicin extract: take 60 mg of salicin 1 to 4 times a day.

Good to know: Willow bark is contraindicated in people with allergies to acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin®). If in doubt, it is best to consult a health professional.

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