Posted by Bobbie P. (220.127.116.11) on September 28, 1999 at 13:37:55:
I have just found this site! What a blessing to finally be in touch with others who suffer as I do. Having suffered for 16 years, I have "been there, seen that, done that". My conclusion is that nothing short of discovering and nailing down the precise cause of this brain malfunction (pituitary, hypothalmus, thyroid, adrenal system imbalance)will stop the physical and mental pain that we suffer. All we can do is try to cope with it, each in our own way and not lose hope. Each day is a new day, try not to focus on what has been (or in our case, how bad the last headache was). Instead focus on good things that have or will happen. Some days will be better than others, some will be a dead loss, but our lives can and do go on.
But enough philosophy... back to treatment:
I have found that taking tincture of german chamomile(7 drops under the tongue at onset of headache)will lessen the severity of the headache as well as bring a measure of relaxation to the sufferer and ease the nausea. German chamomile is a known anti-inflammitory, anodyne(pain reliever), and "tummy soothing" herb. As a tea it is wonderfully calming. I usually mix chamomile and peppermint tea together for a morning tea after a particularily bad night or if I am experiencing a early morning cluster. Hay fever sufferers are CAUTIONED about taking chamomile as it is in the family of ragweed. The suggested tincture dose is 7 ml.(15 drops) 3 times per day. If you use it as I have suggested (7 drops under the tongue at onset) then you could use it for 2 or three headaches per day without going over the recommended dose. As with any herb, you should take a rest from it periodically - ie: take for 6 days, off 7th day, take for 6 weeks, off 1 week, take for 6 months, off 1 month. I have found that if taken for a long time or in large doses, chamomile will affect the female hormonal cycle. However as a side effect(considering the side effects of some pharm.drugs) I can live with it. It is better than destroying my liver or worse.
I have mentioned using peppermint as a tea for cluster headaches. I have found peppermint to be very helpful to me. For my more severe headaches, I rub one or two drops of peppermint extract right into my scalp and temple. You must use caution as peppermint is very strong, and may feel like it is burning the first time you use it. Be careful especially around your eyes, do not get too close. Peppermint works to shrink the blood vessels involved, reduce nausea, sooth pain and generally take your mind off the headache. Again, as with any herb, your body will need a rest from it periodically.
The above herbs will not cure your headaches, but can act as a lifeline to reduce the suffering that we bear. I know that what will work for one may not work for another. Each of us must try our own thing, and whatever works is the right thing for you. I pray for all of us who suffer, that we will not lose hope, that our pain will someday end, that we will have the strength to carry on each day and that we will not lose sight of who we are.
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