Herbal Remedies for Treating Tension Headaches
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Herbal Remedies for Treating Tension Headaches

Tension headaches are painful and long lasting, but you do not have to suffer from them. There are several herbal remedies you can use to help treat these types of headaches naturally.

Tension headaches cause a great deal of pain and tightness in the neck, shoulder and head. These types of headaches typically come from keeping your body in one position for long amounts of time.  However, these headaches also happen due to stress, loud noises, medications, consuming caffeinated beverages and food, fatigue, drinking alcohol beverages, depression and anxiety and panic attacks. The best way to treat tension headaches are with herbal remedies such as willow bark, passionflower, valerian root and roman chamomile.

Willow Bark 

Willow bark comes from the willow trees that are native to Europe, North America and Asia. The bark of these trees have medicinal properties to them that help relieve aches, pains, inflammation and fevers the same way aspirin does, but without it being harsh on the stomach. Willow bark is wonderful for tension headaches because it helps relieve the stiffness and pains in the shoulder, neck, back and head naturally. You can take willow bark to drink a headache in the form of an herbal tea, supplement or tincture. However, people allergic to aspirin should not take this herbal supplement to treat tension headaches because it can cause allergic reactions and asthma attacks. Those on steroids and pain relievers should also stay away from this herbal remedy because it can cause bleeding. People with stomach ulcers and diseases should talk to your doctor before using this remedy to treat your headaches.


Passionflower is a perennial herb with a woody vine with light purple and white blossoms that like to climb trees and buildings to reach the sunshine. Sometimes you will see little berries growing off the vine. Typically, you can find this herb growing in North and South America. This herb is amazing for treating tension headaches because it contains natural tranquilizing properties. The tranquilizing properties help calm the central nervous system down gently which is why this herb is amazing for treating tension headaches. The forms you can take passionflower in to help relieve your tension headaches are herbal teas, tinctures and supplements. However, you should only use this herb when you do not have to be driving, working, or doing any kind of physically activities because it will make you drowsy to the point you will want to sleep. This herb is safe to take without side effects, but pregnant woman should not use this herb because it does cause uterine contractions. However, it is still best to talk to your doctor before taking this herbal remedy as well.

Valerian Root

Valerian root is a perennial herb that grows in Asia, North American and Europe. It grows about 4 feet tall and has large white and pink blossoms that bloom throughout the summer months. When you get up close to this herb when it is blooming, you can smell the sweet floral scent it has. Valerian root is wonderful as an herbal remedy for treating a tension headache because it has natural sedative properties in it. These properties help relax the body from stress by calming the neurotransmitter receptor system which is why it is excellent for treating tension headaches. When the body is under less stress, you are less likely to get tension headaches. However, once again you do not want to be doing any heavy physically activity on this herb because it will make you drowsy and sleepy just like passionflower will.   You should not take valerian root with any other sedative unless advised to by a doctor. In high doses, this herb can cause dizziness, allergic reactions, and hives, breathing difficulties, stomachaches, nightmares and panic attacks. Pregnant women should not consume this herb at all because it is toxic to the fetus. Before taking valerian root in herbal tea, supplement or tincture form it is strong suggested that you speak with your doctor to make sure it is right for you.

Roman Chamomile

Roman chamomile is a daisy like flower with a sweet aroma to it. It typically grows in Europe, Asia, North American and Australia. You can find roman chamomile growing in hay fields, roadsides and in herbal gardens. It is one of the most popular herbs used to treat tension headaches because of its mild sedative properties and ant inflammatory abilities. Drinking a cup of roman chamomile tea can help relieve stress and relax the muscle in the neck, shoulders, back and head. Some people do get drowsy from drinking several cups of this herbal tea. Those who are allergic to ragweed should stay away from this herbal remedy because it can cause server allergic reactions. Taking this herb in high doses to treat a tension headache will have laxative effects. This herb is relatively safe to use, but it is always best to talk to the doc before using it.


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Comments (1)
Stalybridge Physiotherapist

Very informative post! If poor posture and muscle tension are contributing to your tension-type headache, physiotherapy may help to relieve these symptoms. Acupuncture may relieve some of the symptoms of your tension-type headache by helping to reduce tension in your muscles.