Several factors contribute to the onset of headache. There may be, for example, a genetic cause, or the triggering reason must be sought in the stress to which we are subjected, in the lack of sleep or, on the contrary, in sleeping for an excessive time, in an unbalanced diet but also in hormonal variations, such as during the menstrual period or in pregnancy, in inflammation and in Long Covid (Kaur et al, Cureus, 2021). What can we do to counteract headache attacks, prevent them and mitigate their degree of severity? For example, we can try as much as possible to stay hydrated, follow a healthy and balanced diet, without excesses, guarantee ourselves a good restful sleep, maybe practice yoga to keep stress under control. These are all lifestyle interventions that can be beneficial, but there are also other remedies, such as supplements, vitamins and essential oils that can come to our aid. Today we talk about these remedies.
Supplements, herbal medicine and headache
Supplements based on coenzyme Q10, which is anti-inflammatory and supports good cellular functioning, B vitamins, especially riboflavin or vitamin B2, which ensures proper energy metabolism, and magnesium, which regulates the vascular tone, have been shown, in three months of treatment, to reduce the number of migraine attacks and pain (Kaur et al, Cureus, 2021 - Gaul et al, J Headache Pain, 2015). Feverfew, in addition to these substances just seen or even used alone, has shown to be another valid ally against all forms of headache, since it counteracts inflammation and helps relaxation of the muscles (Kaur et al , Cureus, 2021 - Levin, Headache, 2012). These supplements are generally considered safe, but have caused gastrointestinal upset, such as nausea, diarrhea, and heartburn in some people (Kaur et al, Cureus, 2021).
Essential oils and headaches
During a headache attack, inhaling the essential oil of lavender for 15 minutes led, in most of the subjects involved in the study, to a significant improvement in pain (Sasannejad et al, Eur Neurol , 2012). But essential oils can also come in handy when it comes to preventing headache attacks. It was observed that the topical application of basil essential oil 3 times a day for three months allowed to reduce the number of attacks and the associated pain (Ahmadifard et al, Complement Med Res, 2020). Basil oil should never be applied pure. In 50 ml of vegetable oil, such as sunflower or sweet almond oil, add 5-6 drops of basil essential oil and apply a few drops of the lotion thus obtained on the temples, forehead and neck.
A mix of herbs against Long Covid headaches
Long Covid is a condition in which weeks or months after being cured of Covid persist or can develop symptoms related to the infection such as headache, but also hair loss, muscle and joint pain, cough and attention problems, just to name a few examples since, according to experts, more than 100 different symptoms can occur. According to estimates, 80% of people who have been infected with the virus have developed one or more of these symptoms persisting over time. Among all the symptoms, headache is one of the most frequent, both during acute infection and in the subsequent phase, worsening an existing headache or appearing new (Garcia Azorin et al, Cephalgia, 2022). A blend of adaptogenic herbs, capable of fortifying the body and making it resistant to stress factors, has been able, in two weeks, to relieve most of the symptoms of Long Covid, including headaches. Study participants took a supplement containing 180 mg of Rhodiola rosea extract, 600 mg of Schisandra chinensis and 156 mg of Eleutherococcus senticosus every day for two weeks. This supplement, therefore, has been able to reduce inflammation and the symptoms associated with it, is safe, without side effects and also able to protect the kidneys, another of the organs at risk in case of progression of Long Covid (Karosanidze et al, Pharmaceuticals , 2022).