10 Herbs For Headache: Natural Way to Relieve the Pain

What is the difference between headache and migraine?

A headache is simply a pain in the head without other accompanying symptoms. Migraine is a neurological problem accompanied by nausea, vomiting and auras or flashes.

What can we do to relieve the pain?

People will always choose medications over alternatives because they think it is more effective and it needs less time to stop the pain. But sometimes medication can cause rebound headaches.

In a fact, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can effectively treat both headaches and migraines. Chinese medicine involves using herbs combined with acupuncture which gradually improves the whole immune system. Acupuncture helps relax the neck muscles and shoulder areas which further lessen headache and migraine. It re-establishes blood and qi flow and focuses on the point from which pain comes from.

Chinese Herb for Headaches and Migraines at Makari Wellness

Michael Woodworth is a licensed herbalist and acupuncturist with more than 15 years of experience in practicing Chinese medicine. He gives every person a custom approach and directly addresses a certain issue. Michael is known to help a lot of people get rid of headaches and migraines, and his ways provide long-term results. Try alternative headache treatment; call us at (888) 871-8889 to book an appointment in one of our clinics in California. For those who are not near us, we offer telemedicine exams – virtual consultation via video link.

Herbs That Help Relieve Headache and Migraine Pain

Many years before medications and modern medicine was developed, different cultures around the world used herbal medicine as remedies for headache and migraine. Of course, before starting herbal therapy make sure to discuss the issue with healthcare professional since it can interfere with other medications.


The name butterbur comes from its large leaves used to wrap butter during warm season. Butterbur is a shrub traditionally used in parts of Europe and Asia to treat various health issues, such as cough, fever, and stomach upset. But commonly people use it for headaches and strong migraines.

This plant contains a mixture of petasins, which are known to possess anti-inflammatory and blood vessel-widening properties. These goods may decrease migraine attacks by relaxing your muscles which lessens pressure and tension in the head.

Make sure not to use butterbur unless they are free of PAs (pyrrolizidine alkaloids) since this chemical can seriously harm the liver, lungs, and blood circulation.

Dong Quai

Otherwise called Angelica Sinensis, is perennial plant found at high elevations in the mountains of Japan, China, and Korea. Chinese use it as a spice for preparing various dishes and it is said to taste a bit stronger that parsley.

The root of dong quai is thick and light brown, and people use it to cure a wide variety of conditions. Dong quai contains antiasthmatic, anti-inflammatory and anticoagulant features. These contribute to widening blood vessels which help with strong migraines.

Its usage is yet to be proven. Some say that it can cause skin rash and increase sensitivity to sunlight. Dong quai should not be combined with other drugs or herbs. Make sure to speak with a doctor or holistic practitioner before using it.


As its name states, it has been used to treat fever for centuries, as well as other health issues. It is highly recommended for treating migraines. Feverfew reduces pain and nausea related to migraines and tension headaches because of its anti-inflammatory features.

Leaves and flowers of feverfew contain an active component parthenolide which represses brain chemicals that cause arteries to enlarge. It can be contraindicatory for pregnant women, children under two, people who have diabetes, liver problems and take anticoagulants.

Lemon Balm

Lemon balm is an easy-to-grow medicinal herb and it is known to relieve symptoms of migraine headaches. It is soothing for the nervous and digestive systems which helps with reducing stress and tension-related migraines.

Lemon Balm is a vasodilator which means it broadens capillaries and blood vessels to reduce head pressure. It also has mild sedative effects that calm nerves and tense muscles.

How to make at home tincture?

Combine three parts lemon balm and two-parts feverfew in a jar and pour 100 proof alcohol above the herbs. Shake it well and let it rest for 2-6 weeks in a sunny place. The next step is to strain with cheesecloth and put in a dark colored bottle. While experiencing migraines take ¼ – ½ teaspoon every 30-60 minutes until symptoms fade.

Ginger Root

It is an essential herb for treating migraines and headaches. Ginger roots contains prostaglandins substances that alleviate inflammation, pain and stress which is usually the cause of headaches. It relieves pressure, nausea and vomiting in migraine attacks.

Preventive methods would be to drink ginger tea a few times a week or a day if you experience migraine episodes. It is quite simple to make it: Put water into the saucepan, add ginger and boil for 15-20 minutes. In the end, add lemon juice and honey.


Lavender’s essential oils are used as a sedative, mood balance, antimicrobial, for anxiety and stress relieve. It also helps treat headaches and migraines. People reported that 15 minutes of breathing in lavender essential oil significantly reduced pain.

Before you give it to your child speak with the pediatrician. Adults can use it every time experiencing symptoms by adding two or four drops of oil to boiling water and inhale the vapors. Another way of using it is to massage it on your skin.


Valerian is a wildflower that originated from Asia. It is considered one of the most famous herbs for treating various conditions such as sleep problems, anxiousness, and stress. Valerian does not always help with migraines but prevents stress as the main cause of migraine headaches.

Talk to your medical or holistic practitioner before using valerian, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or using other medications to treat migraines.


Rosemary is one of the main ingredients in essential oils and lotions. For centuries people used it to relieve joint pain and arthritic issues, but in the 20th century, its effectiveness in reducing migraines has been studied.

The most common trigger for headaches and migraine episodes is stress and anxiety and rosemary is known to lessen these two and relax your muscle tension. Rosemary can be applied directly to painful areas such as temples, forehead, and neck.


Skullcap belongs to the mint family and there are two species of this plant: American skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) and Chinese skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis). The former was used by Native Americans and the leter was used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine.

Skullcap has sedative effects on nerves which results in muscle relaxation. It lessens headaches and migraines related to stress, anxiety, and tension.

Always make sure to buy natural herbs from an herbalist supplier since it happened that some put germander instead, which caused liver damage.


Cayenne peppers are considered to have many health benefits, including cessation of strong migraine headaches. One of the main ingredients contained in cayenne pepper is capsaicin which most nasal sprays contain. Capsaicin can dull neurotransmitters that carry pain signals to the brain.

It is advisable to consummate it as a part of regular diet because it can prevent future migraine episodes from happening. To make cayenne remedy for headache you’ll need:

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder
  • Warm water
  • Cotton swabs

Mix cayenne powder with water first and then use a cotton swab to stir. Make sure the cotton is covered with the cayenne. Apply it inside your nostrils until you feel the heat.

Benefits of Using Herbal Remedies for Headache and Migraine

Herbal medicine combined with acupuncture is a holistic approach to treating various chronic conditions. It doesn’t only focus on the core problem, but it helps the whole organism and hiding conditions. Using this way of treating headaches may result in getting rid of it for good.

The crucial benefits of TCM and acupuncture for migraine headaches are:

  • Stress, anxiety, and depression reduction
  • Improved sleeping patterns
  • Emotional balance
  • Energy boost
  • Spiritual and emotional growth

Other Natural Remedies to Reduce Headaches and Migraines

Beside using herbs and acupuncture to prevent and relieve head pain and migraine, there are other natural ways that can help.

  • Drink more water – One of the main causes may also be dehydration and here the solution is very simple: drink more water.
  • Cold compress – Apply cold compress on your forehead and reduce inflammation and widen your blood vessels. You can use either a cold washcloth or wrap ice bag in soft towel. Try to add lavender or rosemary essential oil drops to relax even more.
  • Try massaging pressure points – Most people naturally rub their temples in circular motion when feeling stress. By reducing stress, the headaches may also lessen. You can use tips of index fingers and apply pressure at center part between the eyebrows and release to ease pain caused by eyestrain. Another tip is to rub the place between your thumb and index finger to reduce stress, migraines, and other pain conditions.

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