Quick Remedies for Headaches

Whether as symptoms of cold or flu, or as consequences of exposure to low temperatures and high humidity, headaches are among the most frequent problems related to the cold season. If you want to feel more relaxed about the eventuality of a headache or migraine, keep the following remedies at hand. Traditional use has proven them to be quite effective.

Periwinkle

Periwinkle

Herbal mixture decoction

  • Ingredients: 1 teaspoon (about 15 g) of each of the following herbs: chamomile, rosemary, mint and lavender; 1 l of water. (The therapeutic effects of chamomile in this case are due to the presence of certain flavonoids which have a strong inhibitory effect on an endogenous prostaglandine in RAW 264.7 macrophages, and certain polyphenols which inhibit the pro-inflammatory biomarkers in THP1, thus reducing the inflammation in neurovascular units at headache’s site. Rosemary is thought to have a beneficial effect on the entire nervous system due to high calcium content. And mint and lavender have also been proven to be effective for treating headaches in two studies published in 1994 and 2012, respectively.)
  • Preparation: Add the herbs in the water and slowly boil the mixture for 10 minutes, then cover the recipient and let steep for another 20 minutes.
  • Administration: Drink 1-2 cups, when needed or before bedtime (it has a calming effect and also induces sleep).

Periwinkle decoction

Periwinkle increases blood circulation in the brain, prevents early aging of brain cells, improves memory and concentration, relieves mental fatigue. All these effects are due to the presence of vinpocetine, a substance sold by prescription and used for preventing Alzheimer’s disease and ischemic stroke and also for treating stroke right after it happens, because it seems to have a neuroprotective action against the harmful effects of oxygen deprivation. Vinpocetine is also used for treating chronic fatigue syndrome, some symptoms of menopausal syndrome, and motion sickness.

  • Preparation: Add 2 tablespoons of finely cut dried plant in 300 ml of water and slowly boil for 20 minutes. The obtained liquor can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days.
  • Administration: Take 15-30 drops in a glass of water, once a day or when needed.

Herbal mixture tincture

  • Ingredients: 10 g of finely cut dried periwinkle, 10 g of horse chestnuts powder, 10 g of dried grape pomace; 100 ml alcohol 70%. (Two studies, published by German researchers in 1986 and 1996, proved horse chestnuts to be efficient in the treatment of venous insufficiency, reducing leg oedema, pain and sensation of heaviness. The same medicinal properties may also work in cases of headaches or migraines. And grapes have a high content of riboflavin – vitamin B2 – which, according to a study conducted at the University of Maryland Medical Center, decreases the number of migraines by 50%.)
  • Preparation: Put the ingredients in a jar, close it tightly and let the mixture macerate for 10 days, shaking the recipient 3-4 times a day. Sift it and let it decant in the refrigerator for another 6 days, then transfer the more limpid part in dark coloured bottles.
  • Administration: take 20-30 drops in a glass of water, 2-3 times a day, before a meal.

Other uses of periwinkle

  • Brain health
  • High blood pressure
  • Oedema
  • Chest pain
  • Toothache
  • Tonsilitis, sore throat
  • Intestinal pain and inflammation, diarrhea

Precautions

Periwinkle can worsen constipation and low blood pressure. In high doses it can cause nausea, vomiting and even nerve, kidney and liver damage.

Periwinkle is contraindicated for pregnant women and for those suffering from brain tumors or heart disease. And due to the presence of vinpocetine, which might weaken the immune system, it is to be used with precautions by those with an already impaired immunity (such being the case of those suffering from AIDS or undergoing chemotherapy).

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