Brew a pot of soothing Headache Tea and feel your throbbing pain melt away as you sip. (Skip to recipe.)
There come those familiar signs again . . . a throbbing in my forehead, it hurts to blink my eyes, my neck feels like it's done a 360° rotation, a medicine ball is expanding inside my brain, and a dull ripple of nausea lolls in my stomach.
The headache has landed. Again.
I heave myself up and quickly boil a pot of water to simmer my concoction of dried herbs. I pour the golden liquid through a tea strainer into my mug, then sip, sip, sip. I can head off that unwelcome visitor before it takes off its coat and settles into my noggin for a long, painful visit.
I've been brewing this concoction to handle my headaches for years, and if I catch the headache early enough, I have good success in keeping it from becoming a full-fledged migraine.
Because over-the-counter pain relievers are not always the safest option!
Each of the herbs I use in my Headache Tea mix do their part to help reduce the throbbing pain.
Willow bark contains salicin, which produces similar effects to the active ingredient found in aspirin and has long been known as a headache and pain relieving remedy, but without the stomach upsets that come with aspirin.
This tea may not work for everyone, or for every type of headache, but for me - it really works, and even though it has bitter overtones from the herbs, I quite like the taste. I guess my mind knows the teas's helping my headache, so it tells my taste buds to shut up and drink it.
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Kitchen Frau Notes: It's not always easy to find these herbs, but is worth searching out different health food stores and natural foods stores to track them down. Once you've got them, you can keep the herbs in a cool dry place for several years, and mix up a batch of this healing Headache Tea whenever you run out.
- dried catnip
- dried feverfew
- dried valerian root
- dried white willow bark (chopped, not powdered)
Mix together equal parts, by volume, of the four dried herbs. (I like to use ¼ cup of each.) Store in a glass container with an airtight lid. Keep in a dark place, for up to a year or longer.
To brew Headache Tea: In a medium-sized saucepan, combine 4 cups (1 litre) filtered water with 1 tablespoon of the Headache Tea herb mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low. Cover the pot with a lid, and simmer the tea for 10 minutes. Strain through a tea strainer into a mug. Add honey to taste, if desired.
Keep the remaining tea, covered, on the lowest heat - just low enough to keep it hot until you drink the last of it. You can also pour it into a thermos or thermal carafe to keep hot until you finish it. Leave the herbs in the tea to continue steeping and strain them out for each cupful as you pour it.
Sip all the tea over the course of several hours, starting as soon as you feel the first symptoms of a headache coming on.
*Do not use Headache Tea when pregnant or nursing, or if using blood thinners, and do not give it to children. As with all herbal and natural remedies, use with caution and seek the advice of a medical expert if you have any pre-existing medical conditions, are on any prescription drugs, or develop symptoms from using the herbal remedies.
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