Headache is a prevalent medical complaint, and everyone tends to get it at one or other point of their life. There are more than 100 types of headache. Among them, the most common types are migraine, tension headache, sinus headache, and cluster headache.
A person may get a headache in only one region of the head or more than one region. The various regions include frontal (forehead), temples (sides of the head), vertex (top of head) and occiput (back of the head). In some cases, the pain starts from a particular area of the head and then radiate to another area. Homeopathic mode of treatment carries a great scope to treat cases of headache. Homeopathic medicines are highly effective for headache arising from various causes. Headache both of recent as well as long duration can be treated wonderfully with homeopathic medicines. Homeopathic medicines bring recovery in headache cases by aiming to treat the root cause behind it. Homeopathic medicines for treating headache are of natural origin and hence are highly safe to use among persons of all age groups. The top grade homeopathic medicines for treating headache include – Belladonna, Glonoinum and Natrum Mur.
Top grade Homeopathic Medicines for Headache
1. Belladonna – Top Ranked Medicine for Headache
Belladonna is a top listed medicine for headache. It is a natural medicine prepared from a plant named Deadly Nightshade of the natural order Solanaceae. For using this medicine, the nature of pain in the head remains throbbing and pulsating type. Fullness in the head may also be felt. Pains come suddenly and tend to cease suddenly. From headache in all locations of the head, pain is most marked on sides of the head (temporal region). Along with headache, redness of eyes and face attend. Headache triggered from light is also indicative to use Belladonna. Apart from this headache that is triggered by the slight noise or exposure to cold air are also treated well with this medicine. Hard pressure over the head, tight bandaging or wrapping up head relieves the pain in most cases needing Belladonna.
– Throbbing and pulsating type of headache
– Headache triggered from light, from slight noise or from exposure to cold air
– Headache better from hard pressure over the head, tight bandaging or wrapping up head
2. Glonoinum – For Congestive Headache
Glonoinum is the next highly effective medicine for headache. It is mainly helpful in case of a headache that is congestive in nature. There is a sensation as if all the blood has surged to head with extreme congestion. There is also a constriction in vessels of the head. Throbbing, bursting sensation in head appears. The person feels every pulsation in the head. Extreme fullness in the head is felt with sensation as if it would burst. Great heat is felt in the head with severe pains in the forehead, and throbbing in temples. Vertigo may arise along with flashes of heat to the face, head, and throbbing headache. The face appears red, flushed with heat. Headache may get worse from motion or jar. In most cases needing Glonoinum, the headache is relieved by sleep. Glonoinum is a top listed homeopathic medicine for headache arising from sun exposure. Its use is highly recommended for summer headaches.
– Throbbing, bursting, pulsating headache
– Sun headache and summer headaches
3. Natrum Mur – Another Excellent Medicine for Headache
Natrum Mur is next well-indicated medicine for treating headache. It is a highly suitable medicine for headache from sun exposure. Headache from sunrise till sunset is attended well with this medicine. Natrum Mur is also very beneficial medicine for headache in females around the menstrual cycle. The female needing this remedy have headaches that appear immediately before/after menses or during menses. The nature of headache is throbbing in nature usually with heat in the head. In some cases, there is a sensation as if many little hammers are knocking in the head. Headache is most marked in the forehead. Headache appearing from eye strain, reading is also indicative to use this medicine. Natrum Mur is also useful for headache where profuse watering from eyes or disturbed vision attends. Headache; beginning with blindness or zig-zag dazzling, like lightning in eyes, is another characteristic feature to use this medicine.
-Headache from sun exposure
– Headache in females worse around menstrual cycle
– Headache from eye strain
Other Important Medicines
1. Iris Versicolor – Natural Remedy for Migraine
Iris Versicolor is prepared from a plant commonly named Blue Flag of the family Iridaceae. It is an excellent medicine for migraine that gets triggered by acidity calls for its use. The key features are headache, nausea, vomiting and burning in the gastric tract. The headache may be dull, shooting, and throbbing in nature. Vomiting is mainly bitter, sour in nature. Other symptoms that may appear includes blurring of vision prior headache, vertigo and constriction in the scalp.
2. Kali Phos – For Tension/Stress Headache
Kali Phos is a very useful medicine for tension/stress headache. To use Kali Phos the symptoms to look for includes nervous headache, a sensation of weight in the back of the head, and weakness. Pain locates across the forehead and into both temples. The sensation of a band around forehead just above eyes is frequently felt. Sensitivity to noise also attends headache. Tiredness is also well marked with a headache. Stress headache triggered by stress, anxiety and emotional disturbances is a key pointer to use this medicine. The individuals needing Kali Phos are anxious, sad and full of cares, worries. Kali Phos is also well indicated for a headache that arises from mental exertion as in students.
3. Cedron – For Cluster Headache
Cedron is a prominent medicine for treating a cluster headache. To use Cedron the main symptom to look forward is pain around the eye (periorbital pain). The pain is severe, shooting in nature. Periodicity in the occurrence of this pain is well marked. The person needing this medicine tend to get this pain at a particular hour of the day. The pain around the eye may radiate to the temples or back of the head or into the ear. Along with headache watering from eyes or burning in the eyes may also be present.
4. Kali Bichromicum – For Sinus Headache
Kali Bichromicum is a very effective medicine for treating a sinus headache. The person needing this remedy has pain in the forehead above the eyes, with stoppage of the nose. The pain may be dull, or throbbing in nature. Frontal sinus feels congested. Another characteristic feature is mucus dripping in the throat from the posterior nares. In some cases vertigo, shooting pain at the root of the nose and thick yellowish-greenish discharge from nose also appears.
5. Sanguinaria Canadensis – For Headache on the Right Side
Sanguinaria Canadensis is a prominent medicine for right sided headache. This medicine is prepared from a plant commonly named bloodroot of the natural order Papaveraceae. Pain starting from the back of the head and then ascending up and locating over the right eye is the characteristic feature to use this medicine. Sleep or lying quietly in a dark room relieves the pain in most cases needing this remedy. Headache arising from fasting are also treated well with Sanguinaria Canadensis.
6. Spigelia Anthelmintica – For Left-Sided Headache
Spigelia Anthelmintica is prepared from a plant named Pinkroot of the family Loganiaceae. It is a useful medicine for left-sided headache. Headache located over the left side temporal region, forehead and eyes is indicative symptoms of this medicine. Most persons needing this remedy have pain that begins in the back of the head, extends up and settle over the left eye. The nature of pain is violent, throbbing and pulsating type. Stooping may worsen headache in some cases. Pain in eyeballs may attend the above symptoms that are seen to be aggravated from eye movement.
7. Nux Vomica – For Headache Arising from Gastric Issues
Nux Vomica is a wonderful medicine for headache arising from gastric issues. The headache may be located in the forehead, top of head or back of the head. Along with headache, constipation is present with ineffectual urging for stool. The stool remains unsatisfactory even after passing it several times a day. Other symptoms that may appear with above include flatulence, rumbling, gurgling in the abdomen. Nux Vomica is also indicated for headache from taking alcohol.
8. Carbo Veg – For Headache from Excessive Flatulence/Gas
Carbo Veg is an effective medicine for headache from excessive flatulence/gas. In addition to headache, there is bloating in abdomen especially upper abdomen. Belching (putrid, sour in nature), and heartburn attends. In some persons, water brash may also appear.
9. Epiphegus – For Headache from Exertion
Epiphegus is a helpful medicine for headache from exertion, mental/physical exhaustion. Epiphegus is prepared from a plant named beech drop of family Orobanchaceae. Pain usually is felt on sides of the head (temporal region). The nature of pain is the pressing type. The pain may radiate to the back of the head. A unique attending feature is increased saliva with constant spitting with headaches.
10. Glonoinum – For Headache from Exposure to Sun
Glonoinum is a beneficial medicine for headache arising from sun exposure. Following sun exposure there appears throbbing, bursting, congestive headaches. Blood seems to surge to head with extreme congestion and fullness. Violent pulsation in the head is felt. There appear a sensation as if the head would burst. Great heat is felt in the head along with pain. The face also appears red, flushed with heat. Vertigo may also accompany headache in most cases.
11. Ruta Graveolens – For Headache from Eyestrain
Ruta Graveolens is a highly valuable medicine headache arising from eyestrain. This medicine is prepared from a plant commonly named as ‘garden rue’ belonging to natural order Rutaceae. The headache appears in the forehead from eye strain arising from excessive use of eyes in reading, sewing etc. The nature of pain may be aching, pulsating or stitching in nature. Heat in the eyes may also be present along with the above symptoms.
12. Gelsemium Sempervirens – For Headache in Back of Head (Occiput)
Gelsemium Sempervirens is a natural medicine prepared from plant yellow jasmine of the natural order Loganiaceae. This medicine works well in headache located in the back of the head (occiput). In some cases, diplopia (double vision), and dim vision may be present. Pressure may relieve the headache. Gelsemium Sempervirens is also well indicated for a headache that appears from emotional causes.
13. Silicea – For Headache when Pain from Nape of Neck Extends to Head
Silicea is a well-indicated medicine for headache where pain commences in the nape of neck and base of the brain and extends up and over the whole head. A cold sensation may be felt in the head. Wrapping head warmly may relieve. Silicea is also indicated for chronic morning headaches. Headache that gets worse from mental exertion; excessive study, cold air exposure are also indicative to use Silicea.
14. Sepia Succus – For Headache during Menopause
Sepia Succus is a beneficial medicine for headache during menopause. The headache appears in terrible shocks that make the person scream. Nausea, vomiting may attend headache. In few cases, a cold sensation on the top of the head may be felt. Sepia Succus is also suitable homeopathic medicine for females that have hair fall in addition to headache during menopausal period.
15. Natrum Mur – For Headache Worsening around Menstrual Cycle
Natrum Mur is a prominent medicine for headache in females worsening around the menstrual cycle. Headache locates over the vertex (top of head) and over the eyes. A sensation as of thousand little hammers knocking on the brain may be felt. Nausea, vomiting may attend. In some cases, dim vision, or zig-zag dazzling, like lightning in eyes may appear before a headache.
16. Ipecac – For Headache accompanied by Nausea and Vomiting
Ipecac is a medicine made from a plant named Ipecacuanha of the family Rubiaceae. Headache accompanied by nausea and vomiting is a characteristic feature to use this medicine. The individuals needing this medicine may have a headache in the back, top or front of the head. The nature of the pain may be throbbing or stinging or aching in nature. Along with headache nausea is constant. Vomiting may consist of watery fluid or greenish color.
17. Cocculus Indicus – For Headache from Loss of Sleep
Cocculus Indicus is prepared from a plant called Indian Cockle of family Menispermacae. It is a suitable medicine for headache from loss of sleep. The headache is attended with nausea and vomiting in most cases. Light and noise are unbearable during headache in persons needing Cocculus Indicus.
18. Phosphorus – For Headache Triggered by Strong Odors
Phosphorus is a significant remedy triggered by strong odors. The nature of pain is most times throbbing, pulsating, pressing type. The head feels congested. Heat on the top of the head may also attend. In a few cases, sweating on the head is also present. Dimness of sight may be there before the onset of a headache.
Causes of headache
The headaches may arise either from an underlying medical condition or without an underlying medical condition. Depending upon this factor headaches are classified into primary and secondary headaches.
1. Primary headaches
Primary headaches arise from overactivity of structures in the head that are sensitive to pain. Changes in chemical activity in the brain also play a role in primary headaches. Primary headaches do not relate to any separate underlying medical condition. Following are the common type of primary headaches:
-tension / stress headache
– cluster headache
2. Secondary headaches
Secondary headaches are the ones that arise from an underlying medical condition. Secondary headaches are often a symptom of a disease. The reasons for secondary headaches include
– sinusitis / sinus infection
– high Blood pressure
– Cervicogenic headache (headaches caused by problems with the nerves, bones, or muscles in the cervical spine (neck).
– gastrointestinal disorders
– dental complaints
– temporal arteritis
– post-traumatic (head injury)
– Alcohol-induced hangover
Common Types of Headache
Migraine refers to headache causes throbbing, pulsating pain, usually on one side of the head. The pain is severe and is often attended with nausea and vomiting. The cause of migraine is not clearly understood. However, genetics and environmental factors tend to play a role in migraine. There are many well-known triggers for the migraine attack. The major ones include stress, bright lights, noises, food (like fatty food, chocolates, caffeinated drinks, marinated food, cheese, fermented food), smoking, alcohol intake, MSG (monosodium glutamate), sun exposure, loss of sleep, strong odors, and tiredness. In addition to these hormonal fluctuations during menses or during menopause or during pregnancy can also trigger a migraine.
The symptoms of migraine include one-sided headache. The major attending features include nausea, vomiting, aversion to light, noise, and talking. Some people experience few symptoms before the migraine attack appears attack by which they can predict that a migraine attack is about to come (aura). These symptoms include – seeing flashes of light, zig zags before eyes, dim vision, blurring of vision, numbness/tingling/pin needle sensation in the arms or around the mouth.
2. Cluster Headache
Cluster headache is a severe headache in which pain locates around one eye (periorbital headache). The pain comes in clusters (group) during which one or more than one episodes of headache appears daily. The headache during the cluster period mostly appears at precisely the same hour each day. The duration of each episode of headache ranges from 15 minutes to 3 hrs. The cluster period lasts for weeks or months. This cluster period is followed by a period of remission during which no headaches appear at all. The remission period varies from months to years together. The reason behind a cluster headache is yet not known. A family history of cluster headache puts a person at risk.
Symptoms of cluster headache include one-sided pain located in or around the eye. This pain may radiate to head, face or neck. Watering from the eye, swelling of eye, redness of the eye, nasal congestion, nasal discharge, drooping of eyelids of the same side of pain are few accompanying symptoms.
3. Tension headache
In tension headache, diffuse dull pain in head appears which is described as a tight band like feeling around the head. The reason behind the tension headache is not well known yet. However, contraction of muscles of head, scalp, and neck are thought to play a role in tension headache. There are certain trigger factors that can lead to muscle contraction and give rise to a tension headache. Few trigger factors include stress, anxiety, fatigue, cold, sinus infection, sun exposure, poor posture while sleeping/sitting, eyestrain. Symptoms of a tension headache include dull, aching pain in the whole head with a tight band-like sensation around the head. Along with this pain in the neck, shoulders may attend. Muscles in neck, scalp, and shoulders also feel tightened. Head pain seems to get worse as the day passes. Tiredness usually attends the above symptoms.
4. Sinus headache
Sinus headaches appear from the congestion of the paranasal sinus that locates behind your eyes, nose, cheeks, and forehead. Sinus headaches most commonly appear when sinus becomes inflamed from allergies or from infection. In sinus headache, a constant pain/pressure in the forehead or the bridge of your nose is felt. The pain usually gets worse on moving head suddenly or coughing or leaning forward. Few symptoms tend to attend which includes a runny nose or green/ yellow nasal discharges, stuffy nose, decreased sense of smell facial swelling, a pressure in ears, feverish feeling.
Factors That Trigger Headaches
– certain food substances that includes caffeinated drinks, cheese, fermented food, processed food, nuts, and marinated food
– too much or too less sleep
– skipping meals
– hormonal changes
– Overuse of analgesics (pain killers)
– Bright light
– Loud sounds
– Strong smells
Most cases of headache usually don’t require any investigation. For e.g., tension headache, migraine headache cluster headache are diagnosed based on clinical symptoms. While in case a doctor suspects sinusitis as a reason behind the headache he may recommend X-ray of the paranasal sinus. If other causes like a brain tumor, meningitis, encephalitis, a clot in the brain, are suspected then investigations including CT or MRI scan are recommended.
How serious is a headache?
Most cases of headache are mild, and usually not a reason for big concern. They tend to resolve well in time. However, in some cases, the reason behind headache may be a serious condition like meningitis, critically high blood pressure, ruptured aneurysm, brain tumor. So every case of headache should be thoroughly analyzed to rule out any serious condition in the very beginning.
Are there any lifestyle changes that can help manage a headache?
Yes, following are some measures that are helpful to manage headache.
1. Managing stress
2. Avoiding smoking and alcohol.
3. Avoiding food substances like caffeinated drinks, cheese, fermented food, processed food, nuts, and marinated food.
4. Getting adequate sleep every day.
5. Taking plenty of fluids
6. Taking steam in cases of sinus headache