Do you suffer from headaches and/or migraines and looking for a home remedy?
Did you know that there are many different forms of headaches? Many headaches are a result of food allergies and intolerances, tension, stress, hormonal fluctuations, high blood pressure, lack of adequate nutritional food intake, lack of sleep and hydration.
Most headaches have a toxic component to them and the toxicity in the body always starts in the gut. So it’s really important to heal the gut, reduce the toxicity in your body which in turn will reduce your headaches. Many headaches also have a tension component to them due to our fast-paced and stressful lives.
What are migraines?
If you have ever suffered from a migraine, you know how debilitating they can be. Some symptoms can include an increased sensitivity to light and sound, a pounding throbbing head, an achy body, dizziness, nausea and sometimes even vomiting.
Migraines are vascular headaches which usually happen in one side of the head. First a spasm happens in the wall of a meningeal artery. This spasm lasts a few minutes and is followed by a paralysis of the wall of the artery, which can last up to days in some people. The paralysis leads to swelling and inflammation of tissues around the artery wall, resulting in an intense headache. What causes the spasm in the first place? There are many factors involved; however the toxicity of our guts plays the largest role in this.
According to Dr Natasha Campbell McBride, one mechanism to consider is an overproduction of histamine in the gut (from pathogenic microbes), which drops the blood pressure too low and causes the spasm resulting in paralysis of the artery wall.
Many women also experience headaches and migraines around menstruation and ovulation – this is because there is a rapid change in hormones in the body. In the second half of the menstrual cycle a woman’s immunity is suppressed by progesterone, so any overgrowth of pathogens in the gut and elsewhere in the body becomes more active, producing an increased amount of toxins, initiating the headaches and migraine.
If you would like to try a natural remedy for your headaches and migraines, rather than relying on medication, we have listed below our favourite top seven tips and recommendations.
Seven recommendations to help manage and reduce headaches and migraines
- Avoid all processed, refined and packaged foods. Consume fresh, seasonal and organic whole foods. Make your meals from scratch so you know exactly what you are putting into your body. A quality diet will nourish your adrenals and allow your body to cope with tension and stress much better. You need to start becoming aware of your toxic load, not only in food, but also personal care products, cleaning products and your environment.
- Stay hydrated with filtered water.
- Heal and seal your gut. Abnormal gut flora upsets the hormonal balance in the body, leading to many headaches and migraines. You need to work on healing and nourishing the gut correctly to eliminate food intolerances and allergies (which also cause headaches), reduce the amount of toxicity in the body to re-balance hormones and as a result it will help with the headaches and migraines.Changing Habits have listed many healthy recipes on our website, such as sauerkraut, cultured vegetables, yoghurts, kefir, kombucha, which will all help to heal your gut. If you’re not prepared to make these foods then you need to begin consuming a quality probiotics such as our Changing Habits Probiotics Powder. You should also be aiming to have at least 1 cup of bone broth daily to begin nourishing and healing your gut. If you need further guidance with this, then book an appointment with our Changing Habits Nutritionists.
- Drink organic espresso or coffee, as it really does work for some people. You may be thinking that sounds crazy… how could coffee help ease a migraine or headache, wouldn’t it make it worse!?! Coffee helps to dilate the blood vessels which help to remove harmful toxins that can be the cause of the inflammation or headache in the first place. This isn’t really that surprising when you begin to look into the headache and migraine medications, as their active ingredient is caffeine. However, this method depends on how you use coffee, for example if you’re already consuming 3-4 cups per day (or more) it’s not likely to have much beneficial effect.
- Headaches due to high blood pressure in most cases are due to a magnesium deficiency. Aim to increase the amount of magnesium rich foods in your diet such as; Changing Habits Cacao Melts, dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish such as mackerel, avocado, figs, bananas and Changing Habits Colloidal Minerals. We also recommend using magnesium spray or soaking in magnesium salt baths for 15-20 minutes.
- Relaxation and quality sleep. Getting quality sleep daily is critical for resting, restoring and repairing your body. Also find time every day to do something relaxing and pleasant just for you. This will result in you managing and decreasing your stress levels.
- Essential oils. Applying peppermint oil topically across the forehead, on the temples or on back of the neck can effectively alleviate a headache – can be applied directly or can dilute two or three drops with a carrier oil such as coconut oil. Peppermint oil benefits include its long-lasting cooling effect on the skin, ability to inhibit muscle contractions and role in stimulating blood flow in the forehead when applied topically. Lavender oil is another wonderful essential oil that can assist in reducing muscle tension, boost mood, aid sleep and relieve stress. It can be applied topically to the back of the neck, temples and wrists. You can also use these oils in a diffuser or add five to 10 drops in a warm bath to assist in relaxing your body and mind.
Happy changing habits,
Changing Habits Nutritionist