Monday, May 5

natural remedy*

tiny victoria daisies, canon digital rebel xti

I've had a gnarly headache for the last few days that won't seem to budge. I feel it halting me at a time when I've got a lot going on.

I would love to hear about some home remedies that have helped you. I am trying not to rely on quick fixes like Advil or Tylenol or others. I've done some deep breathing and going out for fresh air, staying hydrated and such. I know I might have to result to meds but I am curious if any of you have discovered a natural remedy to get rid of these achies.

This is something I don't have a lot of experience with as I am not one to get headaches.

Thank you!


Blogger AnnaC said...

It really depends on the kind of head ache...
if it is a sinus headache, then drinking water sometimes helps, sometimes a little caffeine also helps to relieve a sinus headache. Pressure points work really well here too... this weekend, a masseuse helped me with a little eucalyptus oil and some pressure points!

I get headaches from neck pain and tmj as well. These headaches are relieved by stretching or running! A little extra movement really helps.

When I am just exhausted by the headache, I also try to nap...and hope I wake up without it.

It will be easier to search for your remedy, though, if you can isolate what kind of headache is plaguing you.

Hope you feel better!!

May 5, 2008 at 3:25:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Denise - sorry to hear you've been struggling with a headache...no fun. I've recently been reading and learning alot about Ayurvedic and thought you might find the following interesting...check out the link. I loved the overview of the head halfway down the page and what the pain in your head is really about! Feel better soon :) Michele


May 5, 2008 at 3:27:00 PM PDT  
Blogger boho girl said...

Thank you, Anna!
Hmmm...I don't think it is sinus as my head is not at all stuffed.

It feels stress related because my jaw is sore too. So, I think I've been clenching the last few days (i don't have TMJ, though).

I'll try stretching and perhaps a jog tomorrow.

Michelle ~
Yes, I've heard about Ayurvedic and will def. check out that link.

Awesome tips.
Thank you...


May 5, 2008 at 3:30:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You might try Bancha or Twig Tea with Umeboshi Plum and 1/2-1 teaspoon of tamari or Shoyu. This is a macrobiotic remedy that I use for migraines. It is strong though so only drink it once or twice a day for a couple of days at the most.

You might also try 1/2 cup of rye berries boiled with 2 Cups of water and 1/4-1/2 t of sea salt. This will make a broth or "tea." This is alkalizing for the body. Also a macrobiotic remedy.

Jen Diamond

May 5, 2008 at 4:01:00 PM PDT  
Blogger -Maria- said...

Ginger and Garlic work well!

May 5, 2008 at 4:20:00 PM PDT  
Blogger jana said...

I know this is going to sound weird, but it's a remedy that my yoga teacher taught me and it's worked for me many times. If you can, lie down on the floor and relax a bit (corpse pose, if you're familiar with yoga). Then pinch the skin between your thumb and forefinger really tightly, so tight that it even hurts just a bit. Squeeze for about two minutes on each side.
Good luck!!

May 5, 2008 at 4:26:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Helen said...

Ooooh, yes, unfortunately I know all too well about this. Here is my best best best immediate SYMPTOM management:

1) pour a hot epsem salt footbath (I usually do in the sink)
2) while soaking feet, hold an ice pack to your upper neck or to your temples - wherever you think the source of the pain is
3) MOST IMPORTANT - apply "Olbas oil" - you can find at Whole Foods http://www.mothernature.com/shop/detail.cfm/sku/87888/S/10000 to your temples and upper neck. This is a very very potent cooling mix of oils, like spearmint, etc. Take care not to get in eyes but you can put it even all over your scalp.

I have read a lot about headaches and the most important thing is tom manage the first "tier" of pain. In other words, if you don't soothe the first level of pain, the barrier will break and you will moove into the second tier of the pain. My doctor taught me this, essentially once you're into that second tier it is much more difficult to treat the pain of the headache. Often times if my headache feels like it could progress further than I can manage the symptoms with my technique above, I will take two advil to help as an anti-inflammatory. This will help me avoid the tier 2 and relaxes me. After I take the foot bath, I often nap or relax in bed (lights off) with an eye pillow and with the ice pack under my neck.

Hope this helps!

Oh, and I carry Olbas in my car trunk, my travel bag, at work... it's a lifesaver and is fast acting + all natural essential oils. It also helps for respiratory stuff.

May 5, 2008 at 4:27:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to suffer from them when I had fibromyalgia. I learned about the uses of lavender oil and it worked for me. You can get it already mixed at Trader Joe's or any other health food store, the best ones come very highly concentrated in a small bottle then you mix with an almond oil or such.

Use on your neck & forehead and rub gently. If you can get someone to give you a back massage as well as neck that works best, plus it helps you sleep - double whammy!

Hope this helps!

Nancy, Southern CA

May 5, 2008 at 4:28:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Helen said...

oops - I forgot to mention - soak your feet in the epsom salt bath. The theory behind this, from Chinese medicine I believe, is to draw the heat out of your head and out your feet. The salts help to remove the toxins...

May 5, 2008 at 4:28:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to suffer from them when I had fibromyalgia. I learned about the uses of lavender oil and it worked for me. You can get it already mixed at Trader Joe's or any other health food store, the best ones come very highly concentrated in a small bottle then you mix with an almond oil or such.

Use on your neck & forehead and rub gently. If you can get someone to give you a back massage as well as neck that works best, plus it helps you sleep - double whammy!

Hope this helps!

Nancy, Southern CA

May 5, 2008 at 4:28:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Daphne said...

A neck massage (self-administered or, better yet, partner-administered!) always works wonders for me. Also, extra sleep, a tiny bit of caffeine, and a little extra protein of whatever type. Also, that hand-pinch trick works pretty well!

May 5, 2008 at 4:35:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Silvia said...

Pressure points work very well for me most of the time. However, I've had this tension headache for several days now too and it hasn't helped much, so I'm gonna check out some of the advise your readers gave on this :)

Hope you feel better soon!

With love,

May 5, 2008 at 4:36:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Silvia said...

i just thought that sometimes (depends on the kind of headache) a little coffee or sugar does help. Or just eating something. if the headache isn't to bad and so I can still focus a bit, i might try and meditate. mythoughtcoach.com has some very good guided meditations on healing your body/headaches. you need to subscribe for them though, but they're worth it in my opinion :)

May 5, 2008 at 4:41:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Denise,
I usually don't chime in here, but enjoy reading your thoughts and words, your experiences with life. However, your call for advice with headaches made me want to let you know what's worked for me.
I've been prone to headaches my whole life, some at more times then others, but last yr. I got a headache that lasted over a month (more-or-less), went to the chiropractor, and he gave me a series of stretches. After a couple days they kicked in, and relieved the nasty thing. Its preventative, so I try to be consistent, but when I don't do them regularly, the buggers will often come back. 7 simple stretches that help tremendously.

1.chin to chest with the weight of hands on top of yur head. Slow 30 sec count.
2.turn head to the right, gently pressing the left side of yur chin. Slow 30 sec count.
3.Other side. 30 sec
4.Right ear to right shoulder, gently pull down with right hand on head. 30 sec.
5.Other side same thing.
6.chin to chest with head slightly turned to the right. Press down gently on head where you can feel the best stretch. 30 sec.
7.Same thing with the chin down to the left. 30 sec.

It opens up the blood flow to the head, by allowing the muscles to loosen.

Also, tigerbalm on the temples in a quiet room make me feel better!
Good luck,

May 5, 2008 at 4:43:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Kristin Klock said...

I think the whole state of California is suffering from allergies right now. Including those who don't have allergies. I am the queen bee of the headaches I'm finding that much of my headaches right now are actually resulting from my sinues getting clogged, EVEN if I don't feel congested. For me, the best remedy always is:

1. quiet dark space, lie down
2. wash washcloth over my eyes and head, rubbed with Vicks Vaporub or eucalyptus
3. quiet breathing through my nose
4. start rubbing the headache out - if it's in the front rub down the temple to the nose. if it's in the back rub down the neck to the spine.

works for me...hopefully you feel better.

May 5, 2008 at 4:47:00 PM PDT  
Blogger all over the map said...

i feel your pain and i hope it passes quickly. i just read all of the above pointers. it's all helpful and different things work for different souls. i've suffered migraines, not regularly, but oh i've been down for the count where i can do nothing and it's an unpleasant experience.
i was also going to mention the pressure point between your index finger and thumb. a really strong scalp massage does wonders for me along with pressure points on my temples and lower neck. this is where boho boy comes in.
i like the use of teas and herbs but you have to find what soothes you. don't be fooled by sinus if you aren't stuffy. it is a common symptom but it doesn't rule out your sinus cavity. a new thing i've used as well is a neti pot. i love the results.
do remember if it gets where you can't manage it then tablets become necesssary, until you can recognise when and how it is triggered. i also don't like to quick fix things with popping tablets. i always feel i'm masking the bigger picture but they are necessary and have their place.
let us know what remedies you try and which ones work. it's always helpful to share the info.
take care of you.

May 5, 2008 at 4:55:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Denise,
First of all, thank you for creating such a beautiful and reflected corner of cyberspace filled with so much inspiration! I always enjoy visiting.

I find that if nothing else works (essential oils (e.g. peppermint), stretches, baths, drinking water etc), and i have had the headache for days, I go for an acupuncture treatment (which usually includes both needles and then massage). It is amazing how well it works. If the headache is deep it might take a couple of treatments. After that I am able to maintain the headache-free state by neck and shoulder stretches as stress/tension is usually what feeds my head-aches. Hope you will feel better very soon!

May 5, 2008 at 5:02:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Morgan said...

I'm not sure if this works, but just 5 minutes ago I was reading this cure for a headache in "Health" magazine: Lay with your back on a mat; scoot your butt against the wall with your legs resting against the wall, pointing towards the ceiling; lay with your hands on your belly; open your mouth slightly, slack-jawed; breathe deeply for 3-10 minutes. May this will work?

May 5, 2008 at 6:11:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Jamie said...

I've found when my headaches just won't go away (especially from tightness and stress) that a massage helps a ton. :)Sometimes it's the ONLY thing that will relieve me of any pain.

May 5, 2008 at 7:09:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Stacy said...

hi honey ~

pressing hard on the pressure point between the thumb and forefinger that others here have mentioned has worked for me in the past. hope you are feeling better soon!


May 5, 2008 at 8:23:00 PM PDT  
Blogger christianne said...

it usually really helps me to gently massage my temples and then move slowly backward onto my skull. also, it helps to gently massage the base of the skull and nape of neck and neck muscles. not sure if your pain will be relieved by either of these areas of tension, but my headaches usually need this kind of attention when i get them.

hope you feel better soon! and i also have to chime in and say your blog continues to be a deep source of inspiration and kindness in my world. you rock, denise. love to you . . .

May 5, 2008 at 8:31:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may want to try peppermint! A peppermint bath/shower gel works wonders. If that's not available, try peppermint tea. I hope you feel better soon.

May 5, 2008 at 10:06:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and it depends on your dosha. if you're pitta no hot or salty food. vata...no astringent food. if you're kapha...no dairy.
but what helps me the most is sleep, quiet, rest, warm lemon water and anything else that just feels right.
wish you well.

May 5, 2008 at 11:52:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a company called Origins that has a product called Peace of Mind- I have used it for many years to combat headaches and neck-aches. It has a minty smell and it causes the skin to tingle a bit. I rub it on wherever the pain of my headache is coming from, close my eyes and breath it in deeply.
hope this help- take care.

May 6, 2008 at 4:40:00 AM PDT  
Blogger pERiWinKle said...

oh...what great advise. I would just add...;-) some heavy pampering by Bohoboy! :-) Enjoy xx

May 6, 2008 at 4:49:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reflexology works for me everytime...it seems that pressure points in the feet are the cure for any of my headaches. Good Luck!

May 6, 2008 at 7:56:00 AM PDT  
Blogger ~Michelle~ said...

I rub Arnica Gel (homeopathic/Boiron) on my neck and shoulders. Hubby likes While Flower Analgesic, however is quite fragrant with menthol, eucalyptus, etc. Both can be found at Whole Foods.

May 6, 2008 at 8:05:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would ring in on the side of deep relaxation and talking to your body. Go somewhere quiet, w/headphones even, lay down (I get on my chi machine), and maybe take 15 minutes, maybe longer. And say, what is that headache all about? It increases your awareness of what you might be holding on to, and you usually get an answer. And then I work on telling myself, okay, but I no longer have the need for that pain, and work on releasing it. Sounds simple but it's a practice I highly recommend.

Also, are you taking anything new vis a vis this new doctor you're seeing? If so, you might want to let her know.

Wishing you good health.

May 6, 2008 at 8:25:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cranio-Sacral Therapy and a Chiropractor.
I know a lot of people dislike Chiro's out there, and I think the majority do because of their high pressure sales tactics, but you can find ones that don't do the whole 3x a week for 3 months thing.
It can really help.

May 6, 2008 at 8:37:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


hope you feel better and stay that way!

May 6, 2008 at 11:15:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Lil said...

well i was going to suggest the reflexology and pressure points and herbal teas and baths and such...but here's one consideration that may not go away with all the remedies. are you on any new herbs/vitamins/minerals? your headache could be allergy related...which is why i'm asking. check with your new fertility team and see what kind of light they may be able to shed.

in the meantime, get ready for some canadian reiki tonight!


May 6, 2008 at 12:47:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi Denise!!!!

I have been thinking of you! Ok, neti pot is so helpful to me when I have headaches. Something about its cleansing effect gets the clouds out and for those people with sinus/pressure headaches neti is amazing. I am not sure how you are feeling it. Also, for some reason turning upside down helps me...either with legs up the wall pose and an eye pillow over my eyes, or even coming into table pose and bringing the top of my head to the earth and rolling it from side to side. Oh, and when in doubt, I go for a little caffeine. Something about it (maybe like a tylenol) takes it away. Maybe the headache is a sign things are shifting for you?

heaps of love and warm thoughts,


May 6, 2008 at 1:28:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok so I am a migraine prone girl and the thing that works best ofr me is Euclyptis oil, I massage it on my temples and breathe deep. as well as sometimes put a few drops in the wash with my sheets, take a bath and sleep, somehow it seems to be the best remedy by far. I get mine from Aveda but i have seen it at whole foods. Good Luck.

May 6, 2008 at 1:47:00 PM PDT  
Blogger boho girl said...

oh my goodness!

i love that my readers are a bunch of earthy boho hippies. ; )

these remedies are all absolutely wonderful and i so appreciate your time in sharing.

drawing from the great response, it seems headaches are actually pretty common, so i hope these have helped so many others as they have helped me.

i haven't felt well enough to go to the store but i did use a few things that i had here in the home.

i've been hanging in my room with candles and soft music. last night boho boy gave me a neck, head and shoulder massage. i also put tiger balm on my temples and pressure points. squeezing the skin between my thumb and forefinger also helped.

before bed boho boy also squeezed the skin between my thumb and forefingers. he squeezed them for a while and then also worked on pressure points around my feet. i found that to relieve it for a bit.

i will head to the store tomorrow to pick up some oils and teas, as well as try some more remedies!

my headache is better. it is still there and a bit dull but better thanks to you!

lots of gratefulness and love,

May 6, 2008 at 2:58:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Red Hen (dette) said...

I suffered from migraine headaches monthly until found Homeopathy. I now worship this lovely woman who was able to stop these crippling headaches.I would recommend using homeopathy which can now be bought in our local health food shops (I am in Australia) along with Bach flower essences and other remedies.
I did start having migraines again some years later (on the other side of my head) along with pesky three day headaches and were the result of a hormone imbalance- now controlled with thyroid medication.
You have probably got more advice than you know what to do with!!!
Good luck finding one that works for you.

May 7, 2008 at 2:56:00 AM PDT  
Blogger AbraMichelle said...

I am so glad that you are feeling some better. Take care boho girl.

May 7, 2008 at 4:18:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Sweets,
I love all your, well, everything...you make me smile. Sorry you have a headache! I don't have a super duper headache remedy, but I think I've read you talk about being vegan?? I was vegan for a long time...a B12 deficit (eliminated by a simple supplement) can work havoc on all things.....even make heads ache. Totally random, but to all you vegan gals out there...make sure you are taking a B12 supplement. Peace and LOVE to you all!! FEEL BETTER BUTTERFLY! xxoo

May 7, 2008 at 6:22:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just an FYI, early in my pregnancy, before I even knew....I ahd the WORST headaches! :-)
feel bette!

May 7, 2008 at 11:17:00 AM PDT  

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