“Oh, how densely packed your head is, my sweet,”
sighs Grandmother Growth. “I'm afraid there's no room
for new growth. If you could empty your mind, leave off worrying
and planning for a while, and give in to the chaos and its
random pleasures, just for a short time, I think you'd feel
less pressure and your head would hurt less. The energy of
your womb now circulates inside you and throbs in your head.
Sit quietly; breathe out through the top of your head and
imagine the breath falling gently down to earth. Rest your
forehead against the earth. Place this cool stone on your
third eye. Your Crone's Crowning comes closer. This is the
work of your body; let your mind rest.”
Step 0: Do Nothing
• Follow your natural instinct: lie in total silence,
in complete darkness, and sleep, if possible, until the headache
• Like fatigue, a headache, especially a migraine,
is a way to get some time alone. Is finding time for yourself
usually a headache?
Step 1: Collect Information
• Menopause often brings relief to the woman who has
had migraine headaches since adolescence. Other women experience
headaches for the first time during menopause, usually the
result of fatigue, stress, rapidly changing hormone levels
racing through the liver, and rushes of kundalini moving into
the crown area.
• Menopausal headaches may also be triggered by sudden
(and usually short-lived) allergies to certain foods.
• Headaches and migraines are a common side effect
2: Engage the Energy
• Rub a drop of lavender or chamomile oil briskly between
your hands. When palms are warm and tingly, place them on
the part of your head that aches. (It's also wonderful to
have someone do this for you.)
• If it's tolerable for someone to hold your head,
try this: sit in a chair or lie down. Lean your head back
into your friend's hands and allow them to support your head
in their palms (fingers pointing down, thumbs above the ears)
for up to five minutes. Breathe fully.
• Blinking red lights can relieve extreme or severe
migraines, within an hour, 72 percent of the time. Wear goggles
that restrict side vision for maximum effect.
• Women with chronic migraines often benefit greatly
from the help of a skilled feminist therapist.
Step 3: Nourish & Tonify
• Tea, infusion, or tincture of garden sage leaves
offers immediate relief from a headache and helps prevent
• Black cohosh root tincture or a vinegar of fresh
willow leaves will ease a headache with pain-killing methyl
salicylate. Ten drops of the tincture or one teaspoon/15 ml
of the vinegar is equivalent to two aspirin.
• Vervain (Verbena officinalis) was a sacred
herb in the ancient matriarchies. Menopausal women use the
tincture of fresh vervain flowers, 20-40 drops in water, before
bed and as needed, to strengthen the nerves, relieve insomnia,
dispel depression, treat nervous exhaustion, and moderate
headaches, including migraines. (Vervain was a favored plant
for the Maiden's altar and the moon lodge, where she was used
to promote the onset of the menstrual flow, ease cramps, reduce
flooding, and quicken desire.)
• Lady's mantle, another ancient sacred plant, has
many magical attributes, including an ability to aid women
who are taking on or leaving the role of mother. What a wonderful
friend for an emerging crone! Try 10-25 drops of the tincture
of the fresh herb several times a day to relieve headaches.
• The beautiful spring primrose (Primula veris)
offers relief from menopausal headaches if taken regularly.
The golden carpet of Schlesselblume on Bavarian pastures and
roadsides is one of my favorite memories of Germany. If you
don't visit or live in Bavaria, you can grow and gather the
blossoms of Primula officinalis instead; they're
also a good source of pain-killing salicyn. Make a tea of
the dried flowers and drink several cups a day for some months.
CAUTION: Sip your first cup mindfully
and slowly, as some folks are allergic to primrose. NOTE:
The roots of most primroses contain oil-soluble estrogenic
factors and cell-softening saponins, suggesting use as an
ointment for tender, dry vaginal tissue.
• Connections between foods and headaches are sketchy.
There is little evidence that plants indigenous to the Americas,
such as chocolate and nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant,
peppers, tobacco) contribute to headaches. I do suspect that
chemicals in processed foods (such as aspartame, MSG, and
nitrates) and in some natural ones (aged cheeses, miso, red
wine) can trigger headaches. With other foods,
you're the best judge.
Step 4: Stimulate/Sedate
•Avoid alcohol. It is a known headache trigger.
• Keep cool. Being hot, from hot baths, saunas, hot
flashes, exertion, or air temperature, is the second most
common headache trigger. Stay cool. Stay in the shade. And
just say “no” to hot tubs.
• Sedate headache pain with tinctures of skullcap,
3-5 drops, and St. Joan's wort, 25-30 drops. I take them together,
as frequently as needed, up to half a dozen times a day. Migraine
sufferers take them as soon as the aura begins, before there
is pain, and repeat every ten minutes for 3-6 doses.
• Anti-inflammatory, hormone-rich wild yam eases the
aching heads of menopausal women. A dose of wild yam root
tincture is 10-30 drops up to 6 times a day, or infused, 1-2
teacupsful a day. The lower dose, taken daily, relieves chronic
headaches. In acute situations, use the higher dose.
• Soak your feet in cool water scented with a few drops
of rosemary oil. Breathe deeply.
• Migraines are most frequent between 6 a.m. and noon.
Take headache remedies before bed and on awakening to ensure
• To banish simple headaches, soak a handful of fresh
lemon balm (Melissa) leaves in a glass of wine for an hour,
or drink a tea of dried leaves. If you want sleep as part
of your headache cure, substitute catnip (Nepeta cataria)
for the Melissa.
• Feverfew (Chrysanthemum parthenium) is a
much-publicized remedy for migraine. It is most effective
as a preventative measure: eat a sprig of the fresh plant
daily. For acute headache, 2-4 fresh leaves or a cup of strong
tea may help. CAUTION: May irritate
Step 5b: Use Drugs
• Painkillers are many women's first thought for a
headache remedy. But habitual use increases the duration and
frequency of headaches.
• Taking ERT/HRT? Ease off and see if your headaches
Step 6: Break & Enter
Some women say their headaches are so bad that they want to
blow their brains out. Perhaps menopausal headaches, like
sleeplessness, are part of the physical “mind-altering”
process of becoming a crone.
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