Herbal Health Information on Stomach Bloating and Wind

I have seen patients with quite distended and hard abdomens due to bloating. This is often accompanied by wind and considerable pain. It usually follows eating, but people will report that it seems to be any kind of food substance that sets it off.

My own experience of treating people with Bloating is that it is food related and once the digestive tract gets sensitised and aggravated by an original food substance it will react to any food substances after that. Imagine an open wound that is constantly being irritated, it oozes liquid and swells up. Sometimes people have suffered a discomfort after eating, most of their lives, in other cases it may start after a Tummy bug or period of stress.

The lining of the gut is covered with a membrane which is normally intact and across which digested food gets transported into the blood stream to be used around the body.

There are many foods which can aggravate the gut lining causing inflammation and a subsequent decrease in digestive function. This may result in poor digestion of food or poor absorption of food or both.

Although most gut bacteria aid digestion, poorly digested food is a veritable feast for  gut bacteria which feeds on it and causes fermentation in the gut with the production of gas, which fills and extends the gut, until it is expelled.

If you have found that a particular food substance causes bloating, it is essential you cut it out of your diet.

The foods most likely to cause bloating are Wheat and dairy products.

Wheat, because it is a high fibre food and the fibre in wheat is very harsh, dagger shaped and will irritate the lining of the gut, which it is designed to do.

Dairy because it is food for baby cows and humans, especially of Italian and Asian backgrounds, can find it hard to digest as they do not have the proper enzymes to do so.

Wheat is quite easy to eliminate from the diet as it can be substituted with rice and corn products.

Dairy I usually say don’t cut it right out but reduce it. The major problem with both these foods is that we are eating too much of them, for example:-


Wheat cereal with milk tea/coffee


Sandwich and yogurt



Pasta and ice cream or a milk pudding


You can see that the wheat and dairy intake may be three times a day seven days a week. Imagine if you did that with fish or eggs or any other food, your tummy is going to complain.

An example of a reduced wheat and dairy diet would be:-


Rice krispies or Cornflakes or Muesli (Oats have a gentler form of fibre) with cow’s milk or rice milk. nuts/ seeds/ fruit


Baked potato with a filling or salad /fruit


Meat eggs or fish or vegetarian alternative, with vegetables, potatoes or rice

The secret is to vary the foods you are eating so that you do not eat too much of the same foods. Yogurt a couple of times a week and cheese no more than twice a week.

Tea and coffee should be no more than three a day (together not separately)

Drink at least two pints of water a day.

The herbal approach, using tinctures, is in two stages:-

  • Firstly, to protect the gut from the ingested food and improve digestive function.

Marshmallow root is high in mucilage which coats and protects the gut lining. Seen in the Cuckmere herb walk video.

Meadowsweet has anti inflammatory properties to reduce inflammation in the gut.

Fennel and peppermint aid digestion and break down wind produced in the gut so that it is easily expelled. These two herbs are the basis for many baby anti colic mixtures and can be drunk as teas. Fennel can be seen in beach herbal walk video.

I have found it may take a couple of months to calm the inflammation in the gut.

  • secondly to repair and toughen up the gut lining

Any herb that is high in tannin will do this job, such as Agrimony or Centaury. Agrimony can be seen in the Beachy Head video. Centaury can be seen in the Shingle Beach video.

The very best healing herb in the herbal Pharmacopoeia is Marigold.

Marigold, (Calendula officianalis, not any of the ornamental ones) is also anti bacterial, anti viral, anti fungal, anti inflammatory and antispasmodic. It is a growing medicine chest in one very pretty little plant.

The healing process can also take up to two months, but at the end of this time the digestive process should be working well and people can usually start to reduce the amount of tincture they are taking.

If you need more help please do come and see me in clinic, the details of which you can find by clicking the Clinic tab at the top of the page.

If you would prefer to visit me in my clinic, please click here for details or go to the clinic tab at the top of the page.

Linda Bostock

Medical Herbalist, Herbal Health Information

Herbal Health Information on Panic Attacks

Many people who suffer from panic attacks will tell you that they consider themselves to be level headed, very calm people. They will often say that they have been through a time of horrible stress but that everything has settled down and they no longer feel stressed.

Ha! This is the trouble, whilst the body is under stress it produces adrenaline from the adrenal glands and other hormones to help us cope with the stress. This is our fight or flight mechanism which either helps us to stay and face the situation or helps us run away from it. When the stress is gone, the adrenal glands are exhausted and go in to a bit of a shut down and everything “falls flat”.

The symptoms include feelings of anxiety, hyperventilation and palpitations. Hyperventilation is breathing too quickly and shallowly and in itself causes a serious imbalance in the body chemistry, as carbon dioxide produced during normal body metabolism is not excreted properly by the lungs. This leads to an acidic internal environment, sending all the wrong messages around the body and further panic caused by the body trying to right the wrong.

Firstly, cut out all Caffeine. Caffeine increases heart rate and puts stress on the heart and nervous system, it absolutely has to go.

Caffeine is in:-




Coca cola

Many Boost drinks

If you have a high Caffeine intake you will need to come off it slowly as it is addictive and withdrawal from it causes quite severe headaches, so reduce by one cup a day every two days until you can come off it completely.

Next learn to breathe properly.

It is important that each breath you take in fills the lungs properly and then each breath out gets rid of all the carbon dioxide produced during metabolism.

Either get a Yoga video which will teach you to focus on your breathing and teach you relaxation techniques or do this simple exercise.

Lie on the bed flat on your back if you can. If you can’t then whatever position you are comfortable in. Close your eyes and breathe normally.

Count how long it takes you to breathe in and how long to breathe out. Do this for about a minute.

Put both your hands, palm down on to your belly. Just concentrate on breathing normally. As you are breathing, your abdomen should be rising and falling gently because it is your abdominal muscles which are pulling the diaphragm down as you breathe in and relaxing as you breathe out. By putting your palms flat on your abdomen you can check whether you are using your abdominal muscles properly by watching your hands rise and fall. You can do this little exercise two or three times a day for about five minutes a time, but do not at any time force your breathing, this is just making you aware that you are breathing normally.

Herbs for panic attacks fall in to two categories:-

Calming herbs

Passion flower is a gently calming herb which also supports the heart muscle.

Motherwort is calming, relaxing and also calms heart palpitations. I find it works well for women (hence the name I guess).

Valerian, this is a strong relaxant and calming herb but does not affect the way the brain functions so does not leave you with a woolly head. Smells like smelly feet though!!!!

Chamomile is the most gentle of the calming herbs and the most pleasant tasting if drunk as a tea. Also seen in the beach video.

Lime flower, seen on the Pevensey castle video, is sedative, calms, supports the nervous system and has anti anxiety properties, also pleasant drunk as a tea.

Nervous system supporting and repairing herbs,

Oats are the best nerve restorative, as well as being a brain and heart tonic, I would never leave this out of a mix for panic attacks.

Vervain, is an excellent nervous system supporting and repairing herb with alterative (bringing back to normal) properties.

Scullcap, I have to admit to using this herb ALOT. It has just the best nervous system repairing and supporting properties as well as having the ability to calm the brain down and stop it going into the mad “loop” thinking mode.

Ginseng is the herb that supports the exhausted Adrenal glands and gets them working normally again. It is an Adaptogen, helping the body to adapt to new stress and strain by stimulating the body’s own defensive mechanisms. Don’t take Ginseng an hour either side of any tannin containing drink such as Tea and Coffee and do not take it if you have high blood pressure. Ginseng should not be used for more than four weeks at a time without a break from it.

St. John’s wort is traditionally used as a nervous system repairing herb with antidepressant properties. Also seen in the shingle beach video.

Panic attacks respond well to treatment with herbal medicine so if you would like to visit me in the clinic for help, please see the clinic details which you will find by clicking here or on the Clinic tab at the top of the page.

Linda Bostock

Medical Herbalist

Herbal Health Information

Herbal Health Information on Arthritis

There is so much written about Arthritis that I am not going to pretend to know all the latest research, butI will tell you my experience of helping patients with arthritis to achieve a better quality of life.

Sadly by the time Arthritis sufferers come to see me they have usually had the condition for many years resulting in degeneration (breakdown) of the joint lining. They have a long history of taking strong anti inflammatories, pain killers and possibly steroids. I know the joints are painful and inflamed but pain tells us when to stop doing something and if it is masked then there is a possibility the joint is used beyond its capability causing further damage to the joint itself.

So my first advice is to always be aware of the limitations of an arthritic joint and only use it as much as is comfortable.

Diet is very important but different people find their joints may react to different foods. The norm, is to radically reduce the intake of dairy and wheat and never eat any Tomatoes and Oranges. The acid in these two foods is not broken down by the body so creates an acidic environment which is not good for joints and the urinary system.

Many arthritis sufferers find eating meat will increase inflammation. The message here is to keep an eye on your diet to see if any foods do make your arthritis worse. If they do, you may have to visit a nutritionist to cut out these food substances but maintain a healthy diet.

Drink loads of water.

Any inflammatory condition I approach in the same way

  • Ensure the digestive system is working well to break down food and eliminate toxins
  • Improve joint circulation
  • Make sure the urinary system is eliminating metabolic (body function) by-products
  • Reduce inflammation

A typical herbal prescription would be:-

  • Dandelion root tincture, which improves digestive function and elimination of toxins via the Bowel.
  • Ginger, (very small amounts) to improve circulation to the joints
  • Celery seed, (small amounts) to improve uric acid excretion from the kidneys as well as having anti rheumatic properties.
  • Meadowsweet, a little favourite of mine, which has strongly anti inflammatory properties.

This is not set in stone and may vary depending on the patient, what medicines they are already on and the severity of their condition.

There are many over the counter herbal remedies for arthritis but if you buy one make sure it is a licensed product, which means it is tried and tested.

I do recommend if you have been an arthritis sufferer for some time and are on orthodox medicines but want to try an alternative, that you visit a qualified Medical Herbalist who can take all those factors into account and will tailor make an Herbal Remedy specifically for you.

My Clinic details can be seen by clicking here or on the “Clinic” tab at the top of the page.

Linda Bostock

Medical Herbalist

Herbal Health Information

Herbal Health Information on Tiredness

Having a little nap in the afternoon or falling asleep in front of the T.V. in the evening is perfectly normal. It is waking up tired after a decent nights sleep and dragging yourself through the day that I am going to discuss here.

There are many causes for tiredness:-

Poor nutrition/poor digestion

Heart problems




Post viral

Chronic fatigue syndrome (M.E.)


I would advocate going and having a general check up and a blood test at your doctor’s before taking any other action. If the cause is easily picked up by a blood test, such as Anaemia, or possibly heart problems then it is easily dealt with by orthodox medicine.

If all the tests are coming back ok then there are several things you can do to help yourself through it.

A good diet is essential as you can’t run a tank on empty!

Make sure you get your fair share of:-

Complex carbohydrates such as whole grain cereals

Never snack on sugary foods to try and boost your energy levels if you are suffering from tiredness. What happens is the sugar is easily digested resulting in a sugar “high” in the blood stream giving you a short burst of energy. But if the blood sugar levels are high, the body responds by producing insulin from the Pancreas which removes the sugar from the blood and stores it in the cells either as Glycogen or eventually fat. This then causes the blood sugar to fall, resulting in more fatigue.

Fruit and Veg are both a source of complex carbohydrate and a source of vitamins and minerals which are essential for all body metabolism (chemical reactions)

Proteins, such as Eggs, Fish, Meat and Cheese.

Protein is essential for repairing any cell damage and also new cell growth. Adult humans do not need as much protein as we normally eat as we are no longer growing, but only repairing and regenerating. Children need a good source of protein due to their rapid growth. Any Mums out there will know the “I’m Hungry” mantra that starts the moment children open their eyes!

Despite the drive to encourage us to eat mostly chicken and fish, it is necessary to eat some red meat every week to ensure a good intake of iron.

Essential fatty acids. These are the omega oils about which there is so much talk. They are necessary for cell wall growth and repair. The body cannot manufacture one of these acids, linoleic, and it is a must, to have a source of it in your diet.

Fatty acids are present in oily fish and eggs, seeds pulses oils and margarines.

I know eating sounds like a bit of a mine field but don’t stress yourself about it, just eat a sensible balanced mixed diet and you will be getting all the nutrients your body needs.

This is one of the times that exercise is not a good idea. Your body usually knows when it needs rest, so let it repair itself and then think about the exercise when your energy levels have improved.

There are many Herbs which have tonic properties but it is not a good idea to get a boost of energy too quickly as you will want to rush around and do all the jobs you haven’t done for however long and this will cause further fatigue.

Slow but sure is the best approach.

If a patient visits me in clinic with tiredness I will, as usual, make sure their digestion is working properly. If you have read any of my other articles you will know that it is the “bitter” herbs that improve digestive function. These are herbs such as Dandelion, Burdock, Agrimony, Centaury and Yellow Dock, (only one at a time otherwise you will be sat on the loo forever) all of which we have seen on various Herb walks.

A good digestive system will ensure proper use of the food you eat.

The circulation needs to be working well to get nutrients to where they are required and metabolic by products away as quickly as possible.

Hawthorn is an excellent circulation herb as it supports the heart, at the same time as it increases blood flow to the capillaries.

Nettles and Yellow dock are good tonic herbs because they both contain minerals, especially iron.

Oat is also a tonic herb, supporting the nervous system to improve body functions.

For a month or two it is best to just use a combination of these nutritive and tonic herbs, before boosting energy levels with herbs such as Ginseng and Dong quai (known as ladies ginseng) these two herbs are adaptogens which return body function to normal.

You will find ready made preparations with combinations of these herbs in them or you are welcome to visit me in my clinic to have a tailor made herbal remedy prepared for you.

You can find the Clinic details by clicking here or on the Clinic tab at the top of the page

Linda Bostock

Medical Herbalist

herbal Health Information

Herbal Health Information on Sinusitis

The sinuses are just open spaces lined with mucous membranes, easily irritated by whatever enters the airways.

It is thought that they make the skull lighter to carry around and provide a resonance box for sound production.
Here’s the problem though, an open space has no blood supply! Meaning we cannot get any medicine into an infected sinus to clear it up.
As many plants contain volatile oils which evaporate up into the sinuses once they hit the warmth of the stomach, herbal medicine has the answer.

One of the best ways to get medication up into the sinuses is to put essential oils into hot water and inhale the steam that comes off them.

• Fill a basin with very hot water.
• Add 3 drops of eucalyptus oil, 2drops of peppermint oil, and 3 drops of Camphor oil. ( or if you have Olbas oil that’s ok)
• Place a towel over your head and the bowl and inhale the rising steam for up to five minutes. Don’t put your face too near the hot water, to avoid scalding yourself. Also Peppermint oil is very strong so you may need to close your eyes whilst you are inhaling.

You can do this twice a day if you have sinusitis until the sinuses are clear.

The tinctures that help clear and tone sinuses are:
Eyebright, which we saw growing in the Downs walk video and elderflower, which we saw growing in the west rise marsh video.

Eyebright tones all mucous membranes as it is high in tannins and in doing so makes them toughened up and less susceptible to external irritants.

Elderflower, seen in the West Rise Marsh video,  is anti bacterial, anti viral and anti catarrhal, drying up the membranes and preventing them filling up with mucous. It is often a good idea to add an immune stimulating herb such as Echinacea to these two herbs to prevent reinfection.

These three herbs can be mixed in equal amounts and the resulting tincture taken at 5 mls twice a day in a little water. (Echinacea is yukky tasting)

Dietary advice is to dramatically reduce all dairy product intake, as dairy increases the amount of catarrh produced which will contribute to blocking the sinuses.

As usual you are very welcome to come and see me in my clinic, the details of which can be found by clicking here the “Clinic”

Linda Bostock
Medical Herbalist

Herbal Health Information.

How To Make Mullein Syrup

Mullein Syrup Video:

Herbal Health Information on Eczema

When I had my clinic in Slough in Berkshire, Eczema was the most common condition I treated. I treated hundreds of cases ranging from a 10 month old baby covered from head to foot with red itchy inflamed weeping skin to older children whose skin had become like elephant hide due to the prolonged use of steroids.

Eczema is not an external condition. The problem lies within the body and requires internal cleansing, balancing and restoring to normal function.

Most of the Eczema I treated was Atopic, which is a genetically inherited form usually related to allergic conditions, first presenting at quite a young age as itchy broken skin in the crux of the elbows and knees and spreading around the body

A very interesting thing I noted was that many of the West Indian and Asian children reported to me that when they went back to their native country the Eczema cleared up after a few days and within about five days of landing back in England it would flare up again. So I always worked on the basis that although that particular patient may have been genetically prone to Eczema, diet and pollution were definitely factors to take into consideration.

I can hear you saying here we go again she is going to bang on about diet again, well, YES I AM. I will bang on about it until I know I have got the message across that the food we put into ourselves provides us with the building blocks to stay healthy and to repair damaged body tissue.

Think of it as a building being built with poor building materials, it is bound to fall down quickly, whereas a building built from good quality materials may last forever.

There are several foods to cut down on if a person is suffering from Eczema:-

Tomatoes and oranges are a complete no go area due to their acid content.

We do use too much tomato in cooking and orange juice is now the favourite breakfast drink. But as I have said before, too much of the same food substance is hard for the body to digest.

Cow’s milk has been implicated in Eczema and some people have found Goats milk helps. However I tell people to cut down on the amount of dairy intake, not to cut it out, especially for children who need a high calcium intake while they are growing. Cow’s milk is designed for baby cows and is too rich and hard to digest for humans. Of course in nature ancient man would have been Breast fed until the age of two ish and then not eaten any other dairy product as they did not use milk as a food substance. It was only the advent of farming about 11,000 years ago which meant that cattle could be herded and milked and that is a blink of an eye in evolutionary terms.

An “all things in moderation” diet is a good diet for Eczema sufferers except for oranges and tomatoes. Make sure there are plenty of foods containing

Omega oils….such as oily fish,

Zinc……….. such as peas and pumpkin seeds and oats

Vitamin C…..any fresh fruit and veg

These three ingredients (6 actually as there are 3 Omega oils) are essential for good cell repair within the body.

Drink lots of water and NO fizzy drinks, they contain too much acid.

Right, now on to the herbs. I am going to give you a typical herbal prescription for Eczema but please do remember that people are individuals and respond differently to different plants and Vice Versa!


Red Clover ……..we saw this in the walk on the downs video. It is just about the best lymphatic system and skin cleanser

Heartsease……….a little wild pansy, having alterative (changing to normal), anti inflammatory and anti allergy properties with the added benefit of being high in Zinc.

Burdock………as a liver and digestive system cleanser to make sure no toxins are produced and absorbed from the gut.

Nettles…………….if it is an atopic allergy related Eczema. Nettles are nutritious and blood cleansing.

Celery seed………in small amounts to act as a diuretic to make sure the kidneys excrete all waste products from the body.

Chamomile……something to calm down the irritation

This would be for an initial four weeks, after which I would see the patient again and either keep them on the same mixture depending on the progress or move on to the next stage to improve skin healing with an herb such as Marigold.

I have a high success rate treating Eczema conditions which very rarely return if the patient keeps to a sensible diet.

I do also make up Eczema cream containing, Chamomile and Aloe Vera to soothe and cool the skin whilst it is being cleared out internally.

If you have a child suffering from Eczema please take them to see a Qualified Medical Herbalist, do not try and minister to them yourself as getting the dosage of herbal medicine right is  important. That is also true for anyone.

Linda Bostock

Medical Herbalist, Herbal Health Information

View Clinic details here

Herbal Health Information on the Immune System and Colds

The Immune system is the body’s internal defence armoury, which protects us from the millions of germs out there. There are so many factors in modern day living which can affect our immune system, resulting in people picking up any virus going and suffering recurrent colds and coughs.

Stress, poor diet, Insomnia and any long term illness can all prevent the proper functioning of the immune system.

We really must look after ourselves. Put a bit of time and effort into YOU and the payback will be a healthier, fitter, happier, more energetic li



You must eat it!

Porridge/ muesli/ any wholegrain cereal/ fruit/juice. Not all at once!


Salads or baked potato or sandwich some fruit if you didn’t have any at breakfast


Cooked meal with some protein foods such as meat eggs or fish /pulses beans for the vegetarians or just if you like them. Fresh veg although fresh frozen will do if you are busy. Some carbohydrate such as rice potato or pasta.

Always vary it though and make sure you do not eat too much of any one thing. For example don’t eat toast for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and pasta for dinner. That’s three lots of wheat a day and the gut will not like digesting all that!

Loads of Vitamin C containing foods, which is all fruit and veg but especially citrus fruits and zinc containing foods which is oats, peas, pumpkin seeds, lentils and Oysters if you are feeling rich.

Zinc and Vit C help the body fight of viruses.

Drink water and not too much tea and coffee


Have a look at the article on stress to learn more, but briefly, make relaxation and switching off time for yourself. Dance, sing, read, watch a film, join a meditation or yoga class, anything that helps you to relax.

Exercise I can almost hear you groaning but this is really not an option. It gets the body in good shape to be able to cope with external and internal changes.

Alcohol and cigarettes also affect the immune system, so if you can reduce, it will help.


Echinacea is the Media’s herb of choice to boost the immune system which it does by raising the white blood cell count and increases the body’s own powers of resistance. It also has the ability to stimulate Killer cells called Phagocytes, that chomp up any foreign material in the body especially bacteria.

There is a problem with Echinacea though, in that many people are taking it constantly and bacteria are cunning little devils they have the ability to adapt and become immune to anything trying to kill them off. So Echinacea should only be taken,  EITHER when you feel a cold/cough coming on to boost the immune system and help the body fight the virus or bacteria OR for short periods of time to boost the immune system generally. About three weeks taking Echinacea is enough time to boost the immune system and then let the body take over. There are many over the counter preparations of Echinacea but make sure it is a good quality preparation with a licence, meaning it has been through a rigorous testing programme.

St John’s wort and Elder Flower have directly anti viral properties and elder is my herb of choice if someone presents with recurrent colds.

Never forget Garlic. I know some people won’t touch it because of the smell but eat as much garlic as you can in your food. It is the most astounding food for all kinds of conditions in the body one of them being to boost the immune system as well as having antiviral properties. As it is breathed out through the lungs, the volatile oils sterilise everything on the way up so it is a good cough and cold remedy.

If all else fails come and visit me in clinic!

Linda Bostock

Medical Herbalist, herbal Health Information

View clinic details here

Herbal Health Information on Headaches

I am assuming here, that you have been to the doctor and eliminated anything serious.

That usually leaves tension headaches which are brought on by unconsciously clenching the muscles in the shoulder which are attached to the back of the head. This then pulls the muscles in the head causing them to pull, resulting in headaches. There are other common causes of headaches such as eye strain, tooth pain, viral infections, neuralgia, sinus infections, arthritis and dehydration.

What I am going to talk about here is the tension headache as the others all need dealing with in their own right.

Stress is a factor in tension headaches so look at the stress article and see if you can reduce the amount of stress you have.

Become conscious of what you are doing with your shoulders. If you find yourself constantly hunched up over the computer or whatever you are doing here is a little yoga exercise you can do three or four times during the day:-


Close your eyes, sit comfortably, legs uncrossed and feet slightly apart, relax your hands on to your lap.

Breathe normally, but count how long it takes you to breathe in and breathe out. Do this for about a minute.

Lift your shoulders up to your ears as far as you can, without causing yourself pain, whilst you are breathing in.

Slowly relax your shoulders back down whilst breathing out.

Do that for a couple of minutes and it will make you aware of your neck muscles so that you will get to know when you are tensing them up and be able to relax them.

The whole exercise only takes three or four minutes and is easily done sitting at your desk.


No Caffeine

No Caffeine

No Caffeine

I hope you get the message!

And drink at least two pints of water a day (not juice or hot drinks, just water)

P.S. caffeine withdrawal is dramatic and will give you headaches so come off it slowly, substituting it with herbal teas.


The aim is to help you relax.

Crampbark, which we saw on the West Rise marsh video, is a wonderful muscle relaxant taken internally as a tincture. Both Passionflower and Pulsatilla are calming and relaxing as well as being nervous system supporting herbs.

Lavender oil in the bath or as a rub for the shoulders is relaxing and soothing.

Essential oils must always be diluted, so measure out 10 mls of any base oil, such as Grapeseed, into a container. Add 5 drops of lavender oil and there you have a muscle rub.

If you would like to visit the clinic for more help please click on the Clinic tab

Linda Bostock

Medical Herbalist

View Clinic details here

Herbal Health Information on Migraines

Migraine headache is caused by the over dilation of arteries in the brain after they have constricted. Sufferers describe various symptoms such as, nausea, visual disturbance, flashing lights, strange smells and headache. Sometimes the visual disturbances may occur without the headache.

The causes are possibly dietary, hormonal or emotional disturbances.

In all cases it is important to try and prevent the arteries going into spasm initially.


As with tension headaches, CUT THE CAFFEINE OUT. Do it slowly so that you do not suffer Caffeine withdrawal on top of everything else.

Here’s where you are really going to hate me

No Chocolate Cheese or Red wine!!!!!! It was always thought that the Tyramine they all contain can have a constricting effect on blood vessels. However modern research has both proved and disproved this. So let’s go with the tradition and cut them out to be on the safe side.

Many people find other food substances may trigger migraine so it is worth keeping a food diary to check.

Drink at least two pints of water a day.


Keeping the blood vessels from going in to spasm is the first line of defence.

Crampbark, seen in the West Rise Marsh video, Valerian and Chamomile , seen in the shingle beach video,are all good muscle relaxants and feverfew is the long standing traditional herb which has anti spasmodic properties.

Together with a muscle relaxant herb I would add a nervous system supporting and repairing herb such as St. John’s wort or Vervain.

If the Migraine is related to the monthly cycle, in Clinic I would add a hormone balancing herb such as Agnus castus or Dong quai

None of these herbs are any good if you are in the throws of a Migraine, they are all preventative treatments and should be taken regularly for a period of three to six months.

There are over the counter preparations of migraine herbs and you will be able to find Feverfew preparations in any Health shop.

Make sure the “over the counter” preparations are licensed products so that they are safe to use.

If you would like to visit the Clinic for more help with Migraines, then click on the Clinic tab at the top of the page.

Linda Bostock

Medical Herbalist, Herbal Health Information

View Clinic details