“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
Step 0: Do Nothing
• Follow your natural instinct: lie in total
silence, in complete darkness, and sleep, if possible,
until the headache is gone.
• 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
• Menopausal headaches may also be triggered
by sudden (and usually short-lived) allergies to certain
• Headaches and migraines are a common side
effect of ERT/HRT.
Step 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.
• 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
• 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 future ones.
• 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
• 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
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
• 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 maximum effect.
• 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 mouth.
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 ease up.
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
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