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 Menopause

What I am about to say about menopause may surprise you:-

It is not an illness!

Rather look on it as a change, just like first starting your periods was a change in the way your body functioned.

I have helped so many women in my clinic get through menopause I feel it is a bit of a specialist area for me.

Having said it is not an illness, I of course know it causes many women serious distress, with many symptoms both physical and emotional.

Most common of the symptoms are hot flushes ranging from a few mild ones a day to 2-3 an hour with face redness and sweating.

Apart from the flushes, symptoms include, poor sleep, digestive problems, weight gain, depression, headaches and more.

My approach is to help people get through the menopause as easily as possible which means getting the body to accept this new way of functioning as normal and to prevent it trying to return to its youthful state which is the major cause of the symptoms.

There is a system in the body called the Endocrine system, consisting of the Thyroid, Adrenal glands and Ovaries or Testes, which are responsible for the production of most of our hormones.

It starts with the Pituitary gland situated just below the brain which controls the secretions from the Thyroid, Adrenal glands and Ovaries/Testes. These organs send messages to the pituitary gland and to each other to give a status update and messages from the pituitary control the output of the hormones produced in these organs.

When the ovaries stop ovulating (producing an egg) each month, the message to the pituitary is one of panic SEND REINFORCEMENTS I can’t manage on my own!

Unfortunately for us the area of the brain which controls the pituitary is right next to the temperature control area and any message which goes up there to stimulate the pituitary into action also stimulates the temperature control area. Hence the hot flushes. Who designed that?

It is completely wrong to try and increase the amount of oestrogen in the body in hopes of stopping the flushes. We need to get the body to accept the new lower hormone levels so that it is not sending panic messages around and about.

There is one herb I have found to help the body adjust to these new levels and that is Dong Quai. Which of course we have not seen on our herb walks as it is a Chinese herb. To help with the flushes I use the traditional herb, Sage, which we have not looked at yet, but we will visit an herb garden and have a look at soon in a video, so keep your eye on the walks section. Sage is not the be all and end all for hot flushes but does help to reduce them. There are other herbs for flushes such as Willow and Zizyphus but these need to be used under the supervision of a practitioner as they are not commonly available over the counter.

I often mix these with a liver herb such as milk thistle, to ensure the liver is metabolising hormones properly and calming herbs such as Passiflora or Motherwort.

St. John’s wort which we looked at in the shingle beach video is also excellent during menopause as a nervous system supporting herb, but remember cannot be taken if you are on any orthodox medicines.

Eat sensibly and cut out Caffeine containing drink and food (sorry, chocolate), drink plenty of water and you are going to hate me for saying this, but many many women report that alcohol sets off flushing horrendously.

Of course if you get stuck qualified Medical Herbalists are around to provide excellent support.

Linda Bostock

Medical  Herbalist

Herbal Health Information

View Clinic information