Herbal Migraine RemedyTweet
Herbal remedies include conventional applications such as:
. hormonal agents
. pain relievers decongestants.
There are also herbs whose actions are not found in conventional drug descriptions. Mostly this is because of their complexity which- is best reflected in the older names for their applications. We can include here:
. circulatory tonics
. digestive tonics
. mucous membrane tonics
There is only one herb - feverfew - which is considered a general anti-migraine herb. It has a range of actions, relieving pain, controlling prostaglandin, production and improving digestion.
Identifying herbs in the wild
It is important first of all to know that you have the right plant. Some botanical families include poisonous and edible plants which look very similar and can only be distinguished from each other by fine botanical detail, like hemlock and valerian which have subtle differences in stem and flower colouring. You could buy a field botany guide, as identification of plants is a great hobby, but it would be wiser not to select your remedies from the wild if you are a complete beginner.
Fortunately many of the most important medicinal herbs are garden favourites such as thyme, sage, rosemary, lemon balm and peppermint. Most people recognise them and they are pretty unmistakable. Even where there are different varieties such as the thymes and mints, they have the same aroma and characteristics. It is better to choose the original sort for medicinal purposes rather than a variety because it may be a more reliable source of the chemicals that you need for your remedy.
Choosing herbs for Migraine Remedy
There is a system of naming plants which gives each one two Latin names - the family name comes first and has a capital letter, the individual name comes second written in lower case. The meaning is reversed in Latin, for example Thymus vulgaris means common thyme. This is the one you would use for cough medicine - other types, such as Thymus aureus (golden thyme) or Thymus serpillus (creeping thyme) will do no harm, but they don't have as much aroma - in fact they put most of their energy into looking pretty! The same can be said for the many lovely varieties of achillea - a cottage garden flower related to
Yarrow (Achillea officinalis) The word officinalis in a plant's name means it was known to be used medicinally in the seventeenth century or before. You will need to specify both names when you are buying seeds or plants from nurseries.
Many of the herbs mentioned in this book can be grown in British gardens, some can be grown in pots or window ledges. Growing herbs is a veryrelaxing and rewarding hobby. Although most aromatic herbs originate in the warm Mediterranean countries, they will do fine in a sunny spot in any garden soil, even on London clay. They do prefer well drained (slightly dry) soil, so adding grit and compost will help them along. If you are growing from seed, you will need to start them off in pots first on a window ledge or in a greenhouse. To sow seeds really successfully, you should buy John Innes compost number 1. This contains lots of sand and fine grit, so that water runs through quickly and the seed doesn't sit in its own tiny puddle of water, which causes a fungal growth gardeners call damping off. When you have a small stem with two leaves, pull it up gently and plant in a pot with John Innes number 2 compost. This has more soil, so that fine roots can spread and take in water - it also contains a little more nutrient to feed the growing plant. When your plant is about 10 cm tall or has a few branches, it's time to plant it in a sunny spot or container, using John Innes number 3. John Innes is a type of compost, not a brand name, so you can ask for it at any garden nursery.
Locate your herbs in the south west corner of your garden if possible. Herbs don't need feeding or watering once they have extended their roots into the garden soil (after about a week) but containers will need to be watered as they dry out continually. You can even grow herbs in hanging baskets. You can use multi-purpose compost, but you run a much greater risk of damping-off and losing seed before they even grow, which can mean a whole growing year lost. If your plants don't succeed in one spot in your garden, move them! Just dig up enough soil around the plant to ensure minimum root disturbance and put them in somewhere else. Experiment to see what works. There are plenty of herbs to choose from, so find one that suits your garden or space.
. choose a sunny spot
. add grit to improve drainage
. start tender plants under glass
. water pots and baskets daily
. move plants if they aren't happy.