Herbal Teas for Headaches ~ Migraine & Tension Remedies

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Herbal Teas for Headaches

My husband suffers from migraines. Since I’ve started practicing herbalism, I’ve been experimenting with various herbal teas to treat his headaches.

By drinking herbal teas, you’re receiving the healing benefits of the herbs, but you’re also hydrating your body. Dehydration is one of the most common causes of headaches. By consuming a nourishing herbal infusion, you’re healing yourself in multiple ways.

Following is my favorite herbal tea blend for relieving migraines, tension headaches, and even headaches of unknown origin. Plus, instructions for making your own herbal headache tea blend using effective nervine herbs.

NOTE: Always consult your physician before trying any new herbal remedies to make sure the specific herbs are safe for you – especially if you’re pregnant, nursing, or taking prescription medication. Herbs are powerful medicine and can cause interactions, so always do your own research!

Skullcap & Chamomile Tea for Headaches

The combination of skullcap and chamomile has worked well for my husband’s migraines, and I’ve also used it myself to relieve minor tension headaches.

Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) is a versatile nervine indicated for the treatment of many nervous system disorders – including headaches, stress, anxiety, insomnia, and nervous exhaustion. It has sedative and anti-spasmodic properties.

Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) is a gentle, but powerful nervine, sedative, and anti-spasmodic herb. It’s useful for treating stress, anxiety, insomnia, and digestive issues. I like to combine it with skullcap for treating headaches. It provides extra nourishment to your nerves and helps mask the slightly bitter taste of skullcap.

Skullcap & Chamomile Headache Tea

This combination of herbs soothes nerves and relieves migraines and tension headaches.
Servings: 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 part dried skullcap
  • 2 parts dried chamomile

Instructions

  • Bring water to a boil in a stainless steel, glass, or enamel pan.
  • Turn off heat and add herbs to the boiling water. Cover tightly and steep for at least 20 minutes.
  • Strain and drink. Add honey or stevia to taste, if desired.

Notes

Use 1 tablespoon dried herbs to 1 cup water. I recommend making at least 2 cups of herbal tea at a time. 

Drink 2-3 cups daily, as needed until symptoms are gone. For the best results, drink at least 1/4 cup every half hour. You can also drink a cup of this tea daily as a preventative if you’re prone to migraines or tension headaches.

It takes about two cups, consumed over an hour, to knock out my husband’s migraine pain. For a minor headache, one cup might do the trick. You’ll have to play around with the dosage to see what works best for you.

Both skullcap and chamomile are sedative, which means this tea will make you drowsy and relaxed – almost like taking a light muscle relaxer. Make sure you’re at home where you can rest the first time you try it. It’s not a good idea to drink this tea right before work or other important engagements!

Skullcap & Lemon Balm Blend

Here’s another very useful headache tea blend that utilizes chamomile and skullcap – but tastes better due to the addition of lemon balm. This blend works great for treating stress-induced headaches too.

Skullcap & Lemon Balm Headache Blend

An herbal tea blend for headaches and nervous stress.
Servings: 4 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 parts dried lemon balm
  • 2 parts dried chamomile
  • 1 part dried skullcap

Instructions

  • Bring water to a boil in a stainless steel, glass, or enamel pan.
  • Turn off heat and add herbs to the boiling water. Cover tightly and steep for at least 20 minutes.
  • Strain and drink. Add honey or stevia to taste, if desired.

Notes

Use 1 tablespoon dried herbs to 1 cup water. I recommend making at least 2 cups of herbal tea at a time. 

Drink at least 1/4 cup every half hour until your pain subsides. It is mildly sedative due to the addition of skullcap and chamomile, so be aware it might make you feel very relaxed or drowsy. Drink hot or iced, as desired.

Measuring in Parts

Some herbalists use the “simpler’s method” of measuring herbs for use in herbal medicine. I’m one of those. I like to measure in “parts,” which is much easier and more versatile than giving exact measurements (in my opinion).

A part is a unit of measurement that can be interpreted to mean a teaspoon, tablespoon, cup, pound, or any other amount – as long as you use that unit consistently throughout the recipe.

For example, if the recipe calls for 2 parts lemon balm, 2 parts chamomile, and 1 part skullcap, you could use 2 tablespoons lemon balm, 2 tablespoons chamomile, and 1 tablespoon skullcap. As long as you keep the proportions consistent, you’re good to go.

Make Your Own Herbal Headache Blend

The following herbs are indicated for treating migraines and tension headaches. Use any combination of them together to make your own herbal headache teas.

  • Chamomile – This gentle herb has anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties. It also reduces stress and anxiety, a leading contributor to headaches. Works well when combined with other headache-relieving herbs like skullcap and lemon balm.
  • Feverfew – Commonly used as a natural remedy for migraines, feverfew reduces headache frequency and duration. Though it will help to alleviate the pain of an active migraine, it is far more effective taken over a period of 1 to 3 months as a preventive. Do not use if you’re pregnant, as it can cause uterine contractions.
  • Lavender – Inhaling lavender essential oil can help relieve headaches after only 15 minutes. You can also rub some of the oil (diluted in carrier oil) on your temples when you feel a headache coming on. Adding the dried flowers to your headache tea may also be beneficial.
  • Lemon Balm – An anti-spasmodic and vasodilator, lemon balm broadens the capillaries, which helps relieve migraines and other types of headaches. It has a nice flavor that pairs well with other herbs – especially bitter ones like skullcap.
  • Passion Flower – Best used to treat stress-induced headaches and tension headaches, it’s a good tonic herb for the nervous system.
  • Skullcap – A sedative and anti-spasmodic herb useful for alleviating all types of headache pain. It has a bitter taste, so I recommend combining with more pleasant-tasting herbs like chamomile and lemon balm.

Combine herbs in your desired proportions. You can store them in a glass jar as a ready-made tea blend if you like. Or simply combine a small amount to test.

For the best results, use 1 tablespoon dried herbs to each cup of water. To make herbal tea:

  1. Bring the water to a boil in a stainless steel, glass, or enamel pan.
  2. Turn off heat, add dried herbs to the water, stir briefly, and cover tightly. (Alternatively, you can pour boiling water over the herbs instead of adding them on top.)
  3. Steep 20 minutes before straining and drinking. Do not remove lid before at least 20 minutes has passed.

If you have a chronic headache, make a larger amount of tea at once (2 – 4 cups), then drink slowly throughout the day. You can drink herbal tea warm, room temperature, or iced. Try to drink at least 1/4 cup every 30 minutes until pain subsides.

Additional Resources

If you’re interested in making your own herbal medicine, I can recommend the following resources. Also, be sure to check out my Resources Page for suggestions on where to buy high-quality herbs and supplies for medicine making.

  • Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health – Renowned herbalist Rosemary Gladstar provides 175 proven therapies and herbal remedies that are easy to prepare and safe enough for children. Offering a potent and effective alternative to commercial pharmaceuticals, Gladstar will inspire you to nurture yourself and those you love with nature’s healing herbs.
  • Home Herbal by Penelope Ody – A great book for my British and Australian readers. Full of instructions for making herbal medicines including tons of recipes, pictures, and an herbal encyclopedia. All measurements are in grams and milliliters.

1 thought on “Herbal Teas for Headaches ~ Migraine & Tension Remedies”

  1. Hi! This is great. Thank you. I only have fresh lemon balm.. How would you measure, when combining with skullcap or feverfew which I do have fried..? Thanks again!

    Reply

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