An estimated 70 percent of people with chronic daily headaches suffer from drug-induced headaches.
Conventional medicines are relatively effective in providing short-term relief from headaches. There is, however, a high price for this brief moderation in pain. Because these drugs don’t address the reasons a person experiences headaches, the pain returns shortly after stopping the drug—and the new pain is usually worse than before (this is called a rebound headache).
There's an even greater problem with continued use of these drugs. An estimated 70 percent of people with chronic daily headaches suffer from drug-induced headaches. It's ironic that the drugs that people take to relieve their headaches also cause them. Actually, this is a homeopathic principle: Like cures like.
With homeopathy, however, we use a much smaller and safer dose. We also individualize our medicines to each person and his or her own headache syndrome.
Homeopathy for Headaches
The scientific evidence for the efficacy of homeopathic medicines in the treatment of headaches is mixed. Some studies have shown beneficial results, while others find that homeopathic medicines are no better than a placebo. Despite these confusing results, it makes sense to try homeopathic medicines due to their history of safety.
It should also be noted that, although the research that showed negative results was well conducted, it primarily tested the treatment of patients who had experienced headaches for more than 20 years. While some homeopaths have claimed clinical successes in treating patients with long-term headaches, the scientific evidence for treating people with 20-plus years of headache pain does not verify this clinical experience.
Try homeopathic medicines for tension headaches—the most common (but not well understood) headaches. Stress, lack of exercise, poor posture, and overuse of headache medicines are potential triggers. Read the description of the syndrome for which each homeopathic medicine is indicated to determine which one most closely matches your pattern of symptoms. If you have difficulty finding the right one for you, consider going to a professional homeopath or trying one of the many homeopathic formula products that are readily available in natural product stores.
Bryonia (wild bryony): When a person has such splitting pain that simple motion of any kind (even moving the eyes) aggravates the headache, consider this medicine. Typically, the ache is concentrated in the front or may begin at the back and extend over the entire head, especially the left eye. Pain is aggravated by any type of jarring or coughing and is most prevalent in the morning until midday. The headache tends to be relieved by firm pressure, lying motionless in a dark room, and washing with cold water. Head pains tend to be accompanied by indigestion and/or constipation. People who need this remedy are often irritable and insist upon being alone. They also tend to have dry lips and mouth as well as a great thirst for cold liquids.
Nux vomica (poison nut): Headaches associated with overeating, overdrinking (alcohol), coffee consumption, and a stressful work environment are often effectively treated with this remedy. The headache is typically worse upon waking or with exposure to cold or wind and any type of noise or light. The headache may be relieved by being in a warm room, applying warm applications, sitting quietly, and lying down.
Coffea (crude coffee): Headaches concurrent with insomnia are typical of people who need this remedy. The head pains may be aggravated by noise or excitement, even good news. Also use this remedy for headaches related to coffee consumption.
Belladonna (deadly nightshade): This is a leading homeopathic remedy for intense, throbbing headaches (throbbing pains may also be experienced in the throat) that are aggravated by light, noise, touch, motion, simple jarring (even the person’s hair is sensitive to touch), or lying down, or that occur during menstruation or menopause. Typically, these people experience headaches at 3 p.m. or at night. The head pains tend to be relieved by sitting in a semi-erect position or lying in a dark, quiet room. The symptoms are also relieved when using cold applications or applying firm pressure. Homeopathic belladonna is indicated for headaches, especially right-sided ones, that suddenly come and go. Typically, the person experiences a pressing outward sensation as though his eyes were going to pop out. Commonly, the person’s face is flushed or hot, his eyes are glassy, his pupils are dilated, and his hands and feet are icy cold.
Helpful Headache Hints:
1. Don't relax . . . at least not yet.
An effective technique for reducing tension headaches is to tighten muscles in the head, neck, and jaw for five to ten seconds . . . and then release them.
2. Run from your headache.
Exercise can help loosen you up and release head, neck, and back tension.
3. Support your head.
Evening primrose oil and ginkgo help improve circulation to the head and can help reduce headache pain.