My Inner Alchemist #3: Headaches

Ever since I moved to the Northwest 3 years ago, I have been getting bad headaches. For the past month or two I have been experiencing some dizziness, too. I’ve suspected for sometime that it was allergy related. I went to the doctor recently and she confirmed that my ear tubes (I don’t feel like looking up the proper name for ear tubes) are inflamed. Brooks’ allergies have been getting worse lately as well. We think our increased symptoms are related to the construction that’s been going on for a while right outside our window.

We purchased an air purifier and plugged it in a couple of days ago. Hopefully that will help decrease the amount of allergens in the air. It makes a quiet hissing noise, as though it were leaking gas, but I’m sure that’s not the case. Our research said that if it even has an effect we won’t notice for several weeks.

Last night, after spending the whole day working on the couch, my headache got really bad. Since I have Crohn’s disease, I can’t take Advil, Aspirin or narcotics (these drugs ulcerate my digestive track). I’m allowed Tylenol but I used to be on a lot of toxic immunosuppressants and I worry about my poor liver, so I try to avoid taking it. So what does that leave me for pain relief? Not much in the way of modern drugs.

There are many home remedies I use that work, though. Last night I had to do a few things to combat the intense pain, but they all worked together to reduce my inflammation.

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The first thing I tried was a bit of advice I got from my friend, Aeone. I remember once she suggested inhaling certain essential oils. I have rosemary essential oil, which contains camphor, a great anesthetic. I inhaled it through my nose several times and it definitely helped. I know sniffing fumes sounds like suspicious advice, but trust me, it’s like breathing in Vicks Vapor Rub.

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Then I made ginger tea. I grated half a handful of fresh ginger and steep it in hot water. It has a strong bite to it and often makes me cough it’s so strong. Ginger is a great anti-inflammatory, and drinking it as a tea reduced the pain the rest of the way for me.

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The third thing I did was just drink more water. This is more important than people tend to realize. I’ve reduced some headache pain before just by drinking water and making sure I’m well hydrated.

Obviously if you are a healthy person, and don’t mind the potential to ulcerate your digestive track or over tax your liver, than you have plenty of modern medical options to deal with any physical pain. And good for you! I’m genuinely glad. But if you are like me, and need alternatives, these are just a couple that work for me.

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