Migraines can really suck, and I mean REALLY suck, especially those that are stubborn and don’t budge with migraine treatments. We can experience all types of headaches. You have the mild to moderate pain caused by tension headaches, that hurt on both sides of your head. Migraine headaches cause pain, anywhere from mild to severe, and many times just on one side. There are many more types of headaches than just these two, that you can experience. But whether it’s a migraine headache or a tension headache, a nice warm mug of tea can offer some pain relief from the throbbing, pulsating pain that just won’t quit. Thankfully there are many types of teas for headaches, which can help with things such as inflammation and nausea that comes along with a migraine. So whenever you feel a migraine creeping up on you, why not brew a nice pot.
Now there’s the question of whether you should drink caffeinated or decaf herbal tea for migraines. There is no doubt that caffeine does help relieve migraine pain in some people, and has proved to be very helpful to me time and time again, but for other people, it may not work as well or could even trigger a migraine. Look at your past history of caffeine use and make an educated decision. If you’re not sure, it might be best to stick with herbal tea. If you’re up for caffeinated tea, however, there is definitely some scientific backing for why it relieves pain.
Research shows that caffeine, such as that in tea and coffee, can relieve pain and inflammation just as quickly as painkillers. Experts even suggest that a cup of tea or coffee is a great treatment for nervous, tense migraine headaches. Caffeine has always been known to perk you up, but the proof that it has anti-inflammatory benefits haven’t been as clear. Thankfully, new scientific studies involving hundreds of people who suffer regularly from tension headaches, show otherwise. Half of the group were told to take a regular anti-inflammatory (ibuprofen) without caffeine, or in conjunction with caffeine. The rest of the group were given a placebo or caffeine. The groups then were analyzed.
Results clearly showed that the people who took caffeine with the painkillers had more relief than those who took the ibuprofen by itself. Interestingly enough, the people who had only taken the caffeine by itself had just as much pain relief as those who had took only the painkiller. Less than one half of the people that took the placebo claimed to have complete relief of pain. Their findings can be found in the medical journal, Current Pain and Headache Reports.
While caffeine is effective for some, it may not work well for others. Other studies suggest that regular caffeine intake is actually associated with an increase of migraines and headaches. Herbal tea is also a great option if you are wanting to avoid drinking caffeine on a daily basis. Here is a list of the many teas that can help with your migraine pain. It might not be a headache cure, but it sure doesn’t hurt.
Chamomile tea is often used to help with anxiety and insomnia. There’s no clear link between chamomile tea and migraine treatment, however its relaxing qualities can help with tension headaches. You can buy chamomile tea in just about any grocery store, and it is usually fairly inexpensive. Just a word of caution for those who have an allergy to ragweed, marigolds, chrysanthemums, or daisies; an allergic reaction is possible so be careful. Speak to a doctor or pharmacist before consuming chamomile tea if you are on antirejection medication for an organ transplant, or if you are taking blood thinners.
There seems to be some evidence that applying peppermint oil to your forehead can you’re your tension headaches. Although peppermint oil generally is more potent than peppermint tea is, peppermint tea may still have some similar benefits. Another benefit of mint in general is that it tends to relieve nausea, and I’m sure a lot of us know what migraine nausea feels like. Peppermint tea is found at most grocery stores and tea stores, and is quite safe to take with no notable side effects.
Ginger is a very popular spice in cooking, but it also provides many health benefits. As a strong antioxidant, ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory. Ginger has also been known to ease nausea and motion sickness, which is helpful for those of us who get nauseous when we get a migraine headache. Ginger is also a very common tea that can be found in most grocery stores and tea stores. There is no immediate safety concerns with ginger tea, but if you take blood thinners or have a gallbladder condition, it is always best to consult a medical professional before taking.
Feverfew has been used throughout history in medicine, and there have even been studies that have shown that feverfew may help with migraines. Not only does the herb feverfew help treat migraine pain, but it might actually prevent them from occurring in the first place. You may be able to buy feverfew at a health food store but is also available to buy online on sites such as fewer leaves and more water. Please avoid drinking feverfew tea if you are pregnant, as it might induce labour.
Clove is a spice that comes from Indonesia but is grown globally. Clove has been used throughout history to alieve various pains, such as headaches. Cloves are known to be an antinociceptive, which means that it reduces or even blocks pain perception. Ground or whole cloves can be found in grocery stores. Steep 1tsp of ground cloves into a single cup of boiling water for up to 10 mins. Strain and drink. A word of caution: cloves have chemicals that can slow down your body’s ability to heal itself, so if you’re on blood thinners or had a recent surgery, please talk to a medical professional before consuming.
Willow Bark Tea
For years and years, willow bark has been used for inflammation and pain. Willow bark comes from willow trees, and it contains the ingredient ‘salicin’ which is similar in chemical makeup to aspirin. Willow bark is actually known as “nature’s aspirin” You can find willow bark tea at health food stores or online on websites such as Amazon. Keep in mind, if you can’t consume aspirin, it’s a safe bet that you won’t be able to take willow bark. This includes people who take blood thinners, pregnant or breastfeeding mothers, and children.
Lavender is a flower that has many uses. It has been used for years for sleep, anxiety, relaxation, and even indigestion. Lavender tea can be bought at the grocery store, health store, or online. You can also prepare your own lavender tea by steeping dry or fresh blossoms in boiling water. Another option is Earl Grey Lavender tea, which is exactly what is sounds. The added caffeine might give you a boost and help relieve the pain faster. Lavender is quite safe but in some cases may cause headache, constipation, and increased appetite. Because it may cause headache, I would advise you to not drink it in large amounts, as it would increase the risk of this side effect. Otherwise lavender tea might actually be helpful in pain relief.
Skullcap gets its name from the fact that it is effective at relieving tension headaches. It helps relieve anxiety and nervous tension, as it is a mild sedative that relaxes your nervous system. Skullcap also has anti-inflammatory properties which will help with pain as well. You can find skullcap tea at the health store or online on websites such as Amazon. Please consult a doctor before taking skullcap, as it can cause serious side effects if combined with certain medications. It is also not advised to take skullcap if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Caffeinated Teas: Green Tea and Black Tea
The teas on my list are herbal and don’t contain any caffeine. It might be helpful to note that green tea contains a small amount of caffeine. Black tea contains the amount of caffeine equivalent to a half cup of coffee, but the amount of caffeine in green tea is much less. You can find green tea and black tea just about anywhere, from the grocery store, tea store, health store, and online.
So next time you have a pounding, throbbing, pulsating, or tense head, why not boil some water and make some tea. It can really make a big difference in how you feel, and it is also relaxing. Some of these have anti-inflammatory properties, others are soothing, and some even help with nausea associated with migraines. Whichever you choose, I hope you enjoy your tea, I wish that your migraine will go away, and I hope that you’ll leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you! Until next time, take care of yourselves my migraine warrior friends!