History of Headaches

by Rachel Bartels January 29, 2021

History of Headaches

Do you know the history of headache remedies? It's so varied and wacky, it'll make your head explode!

In ancient times, headaches were considered a sign of evil spirits. Thus, the remedy was to drill a hole in the skull to release the demon. Or sometimes, the local medicine man would simply remove part of your skull. Cavemen from the 8th century BC have been found with multiple holes in their heads due to this remedy. Yikes, right?

In Greek times, the physician Arateus of Cappadocia suggested fire to alleviate head pain. Cauterizing the head down to the muscles and sometimes the bone, was the favored treatment. No thanks!

The Egyptians knew about migraines too. Ancient papyrus suggests a remedy that includes firmly binding a clay crocodile with grain in its mouth to the patient's head with linen. The linen had the names of gods who were believed to cure ailments. In all actuality, this remedy probably worked a bit simply because the blood vessels in the scalp were constricted.

Roman physician Galen linked headaches to digestion, "How constantly do we see the head attacked with pain when yellow bile is contained in the stomach; as also the pain forthwith ceasing when the bile has been vomited," Hippocrates also connected the two, suggesting that vapors from the stomach rose to the head and caused pain.

The message throughout history is that headaches hurt! They often put you out of commission and are hard to overcome. Over the counter medicine can work, but its really not the most natural way to heal your head. These medicines often mask symptoms. If you can figure out from where the headache originates, you can treat the cause. Is it from allergies? Congestion? Sickness? Stress? Dehydration? Lack of sleep or too many processed foods? Treat the cause and the headache will be relieved.

In the meantime, you can use Peppermint to relieve your pain. Peppermint can work on both mild head pain and migraines. We've had much success with this little oil! Simply apply the oil (dilute if you are sensitive or if using on a child) to your temples (keep away from the eyes!), forehead, jaw line, and back of the neck. The immediate cooling sensation will relieve some of the pain and then the rest will dissipate slowly. Remember to rest, drink lots of water, and perhaps close your eyes for 10-15 min. If you're able to, a Detox Bath can help kick that migraine too!

What's your favorite way to use Peppermint? Have you used it for headaches?

Rachel Bartels
Rachel Bartels


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