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Last updated: Jun 05, 2024

10 best herbal tinctures for headaches

Herbal tinctures for headaches are concentrated liquid extracts of medicinal herbs, which are used to alleviate headaches through their natural healing properties.

These tinctures are often made from herbs such as feverfew, ginger, and willow bark, which have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and muscle-relaxant effects that can help reduce headache pain and inflammation. By using herbal tinctures, individuals can benefit from a more natural and holistic approach to managing headaches, reducing the need for over-the-counter or prescription medications that may have unwanted side effects.

For example, a person who suffers from chronic tension headaches may find relief by taking a feverfew tincture daily, improving their quality of life by reducing pain and increasing their ability to focus on daily activities.

A summary of the 10 best herbal tinctures for headaches is provided in the following cheatsheet.

herbal tinctures for headaches cheatsheet.jpg

The following article describes in detail the most important tinctures for headaches, including medicinal properties, parts of herbs to use, and recipes for preparations.

1. Black cohosh tincture

Black cohosh tincture helps with headaches because it contains phytoestrogens, which are plant-based compounds that can mimic the effects of estrogen in the body.

Fluctuations in estrogen levels are known to trigger headaches and migraines in some individuals, particularly women. By regulating estrogen levels, black cohosh tincture can help alleviate headache symptoms. Additionally, black cohosh has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, which can further help reduce headache pain and inflammation.

Its sedative effects may also promote relaxation and reduce tension, which can contribute to headache relief.

headache herbs

The list below shows the primary active constituents in black cohosh tincture that aid with headaches.

The list below shows the primary parts of black cohosh tincture used to make tinctures for headaches.

The following recipe gives a procedure to make a basic black cohosh tincture for headaches.

  1. Chop 1 ounce of dried black cohosh root into small pieces and place in a clean jar.
  2. Pour 2 cups of 100-proof vodka or rum over the herb, ensuring it is fully submerged.
  3. Seal the jar and store in a cool, dark place for 4-6 weeks, shaking it gently every few days.
  4. Strain the mixture using cheesecloth, squeezing out the liquid and discarding the solid material.
  5. Store the resulting tincture in a tightly sealed glass bottle in a cool, dark place; take 30-40 drops in water every 4-6 hours as needed for headache relief.

2. Sweet flag tincture

Sweet flag tincture helps with headaches because it contains properties that can help reduce inflammation and relax muscles, which can be beneficial for tension headaches.

Its active compounds, such as beta-asarone, have been shown to have analgesic and sedative effects, making it a popular natural remedy for headache relief. Additionally, sweet flag tincture may help improve circulation and reduce stress, both of which can contribute to headaches.

Its soothing and calming properties can also help alleviate the symptoms of headaches and promote overall relaxation.

headache herbs

The list below shows the primary active constituents in sweet flag tincture that aid with headaches.

The list below shows the primary parts of sweet flag tincture used to make tinctures for headaches.

The following recipe gives a procedure to make a basic sweet flag tincture for headaches.

  1. Harvest fresh sweet flag (Acorus calamus) roots, rinse, and chop into small pieces (approximately 1 inch long).
  2. Fill a clean jar with chopped sweet flag roots, filling it 3/4 full, then add 80 proof vodka until the jar is full.
  3. Securely fasten a lid on the jar and store it in a cool, dark place for two to four weeks, shaking the jar gently every few days.
  4. After the designated time, strain the liquid from the jar using cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer, discarding the solid plant material.
  5. Store the resulting sweet flag tincture in a clean, amber glass bottle, keeping it in a cool, dark place for up to one year. For headache relief, take 1-2 mL (20-40 drops) of the tincture orally, as needed.

3. Indian hemp tincture

Indian hemp tincture helps with headaches because it contains natural compounds that have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

These compounds, such as cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), interact with the body's endocannabinoid system to regulate pain and inflammation. When applied topically or taken orally, the tincture can help reduce the severity and frequency of headaches by alleviating muscle tension, improving blood flow, and reducing inflammation in the affected area.

Additionally, the herbal formula of Indian hemp tincture may provide a more holistic and natural approach to headache relief compared to conventional medications.

headache herbs

The list below shows the primary active constituents in indian hemp tincture that aid with headaches.

The list below shows the primary parts of indian hemp tincture used to make tinctures for headaches.

The following recipe gives a procedure to make a basic indian hemp tincture for headaches.

  1. Chop 1 ounce of dried Indian hemp (Cannabis indica) leaves and stems into small pieces, then combine with 2 cups of vodka and 1 cup of distilled water in a large jar.
  2. Securely fasten a lid on the jar, then store it in a cool, dark place for 2-3 weeks, shaking the mixture daily.
  3. After 2-3 weeks, strain the mixture through a cheesecloth-lined strainer into a clean glass container, squeezing out as much liquid as possible from the plant material.
  4. Discard the plant material and store the tincture in a tightly sealed glass bottle in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months.
  5. To use, dilute 1 mL (approximately 20 drops) of the tincture in water or tea and consume up to three times daily as needed for headache relief.

4. Yanhusuo tincture

Yanhusuo tincture helps with headaches because it contains alkaloids that can help relax and dilate blood vessels in the brain, improving blood flow and reducing the pressure that can cause headaches.

It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to treat various types of headaches, including tension headaches and migraines. Yanhusuo tincture may also help reduce inflammation and relieve pain by inhibiting the release of certain chemicals in the body.

Its active compounds, such as tetrahydropalmatine, have been shown to have analgesic and sedative effects, making it a natural and effective remedy for headache relief.

headache herbs

The list below shows the primary active constituents in yanhusuo tincture that aid with headaches.

The list below shows the primary parts of yanhusuo tincture used to make tinctures for headaches.

The following recipe gives a procedure to make a basic yanhusuo tincture for headaches.

  1. Chop 1 ounce of dried Yanhusuo root into small pieces and place in a clean jar.
  2. Pour 2 cups of 80 proof vodka or rum over the herbs, ensuring they are fully submerged.
  3. Seal the jar and store in a cool, dark place for 2-4 weeks, shaking occasionally.
  4. Strain the liquid through a cheesecloth into a dark glass bottle, discarding the solids.
  5. Label the bottle with the name, date, and dosage (typically 20-30 drops up to 3 times a day) and store in a cool, dark place.

5. Tian ma tincture

Tian ma tincture helps with headaches because it contains a powerful compound called gastrodin, which has been shown to effectively alleviate various types of headaches, including tension headaches and migraines.

Gastrodin works by reducing inflammation and improving blood flow in the brain, thereby reducing the pressure and pain associated with headaches.

Additionally, tian ma tincture has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to treat headaches and other neurological disorders, making it a safe and natural remedy for those seeking relief from headache symptoms.

headache herbs

The list below shows the primary active constituents in tian ma tincture that aid with headaches.

The list below shows the primary parts of tian ma tincture used to make tinctures for headaches.

The following recipe gives a procedure to make a basic tian ma tincture for headaches.

  1. Chop 1 ounce of dried Gastrodia Elata (Tian Ma) root into small pieces.
  2. Combine the chopped Tian Ma with 1 pint of 80 proof vodka in a clean jar.
  3. Seal the jar and store it in a cool, dark place for 2-6 weeks, shaking it daily.
  4. Strain the mixture, discarding the solids, and store the liquid in a tightly sealed glass container.
  5. Take 1-2 mL of the tincture up to three times a day as needed for headache relief.

6. Maidenhair tree tincture

Maidenhair tree tincture helps with headaches because it contains active compounds that have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

These compounds work to reduce inflammation in the blood vessels surrounding the brain, which can help alleviate the pain and pressure associated with headaches. Additionally, the tincture can help to relax tense muscles in the neck and head, further reducing the frequency and intensity of headaches. The herbal extract may also help to improve circulation, which can promote healing and reduce the symptoms of headaches.

Overall, maidenhair tree tincture offers a natural and effective way to manage headaches and promote overall health and well-being.

headache herbs

The list below shows the primary active constituents in maidenhair tree tincture that aid with headaches.

The list below shows the primary parts of maidenhair tree tincture used to make tinctures for headaches.

The following recipe gives a procedure to make a basic maidenhair tree tincture for headaches.

  1. Harvest 2-3 handfuls of fresh maidenhair tree fern leaves, ensuring they are fully grown and free from pests or diseases.
  2. Chop the leaves finely and place them in a clean, dry glass jar, filling it up to three-quarters full.
  3. Pour enough high-proof alcohol (such as vodka or rum) into the jar to completely cover the chopped leaves and fill the jar up to its brim.
  4. Seal the jar tightly and store it in a cool, dark place for at least 4-6 weeks, shaking it gently every few days.
  5. After the maceration period, strain the liquid through a cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer into a clean, dry glass bottle, squeezing out as much liquid as possible from the leaves. Store the tincture in a cool, dark place for up to a year. Take 1-2 dropperfuls of the tincture up to three times a day as needed for headaches.

7. English lavender tincture

English lavender tincture helps with headaches because it contains active compounds, such as linalyl acetate and linalool, which have been shown to have analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.

When taken internally, these compounds can help to reduce inflammation and relax muscles, including those in the head and neck, which can help to alleviate tension headaches. Additionally, lavender has been shown to have a calming effect on the nervous system, which can help to reduce stress and anxiety, two common triggers of headaches.

By addressing both the physical and emotional causes of headaches, English lavender tincture can provide effective and natural relief.

headache herbs

The list below shows the primary active constituents in english lavender tincture that aid with headaches.

The list below shows the primary parts of english lavender tincture used to make tinctures for headaches.

The following recipe gives a procedure to make a basic english lavender tincture for headaches.

  1. Harvest fresh English lavender flowers, filling a clean, dry mason jar halfway.
  2. Pour 80-proof vodka over the flowers until they are fully submerged, covering the jar with a tight-fitting lid.
  3. Store the jar in a cool, dark place for 4-6 weeks, shaking it gently every few days.
  4. Strain the mixture using cheesecloth, squeezing out the liquid and discarding the spent flowers.
  5. Store the resulting lavender tincture in a dark glass bottle, using 1-2 ml as needed to alleviate headaches.

8. Lemon balm tincture

Lemon balm tincture helps with headaches because it contains rosmarinic acid, which has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

These properties can help reduce the swelling of blood vessels surrounding the brain, one of the primary causes of headaches. Additionally, lemon balm has been shown to have a calming effect on the nervous system, which can help alleviate tension-related headaches. Its soothing properties can also help reduce anxiety and promote better sleep, both of which can contribute to the onset of headaches.

By taking lemon balm tincture, individuals may find relief from headaches and experience an overall improvement in their mood and well-being.

headache herbs

The list below shows the primary active constituents in lemon balm tincture that aid with headaches.

The list below shows the primary parts of lemon balm tincture used to make tinctures for headaches.

The following recipe gives a procedure to make a basic lemon balm tincture for headaches.

  1. Harvest 2 ounces of fresh lemon balm leaves, carefully crushing them to release their oils.
  2. Place the crushed leaves in a clean jar, adding 1 cup of vodka or rum, ensuring the leaves are fully submerged.
  3. Seal the jar and store it in a cool, dark place for two to four weeks, shaking it gently every few days.
  4. Strain the mixture using cheesecloth, squeezing out the liquid and discarding the spent herbs.
  5. Store the resulting tincture in a tightly sealed glass container, taking 1-2 ml up to three times a day as needed for headache relief.

9. Catnip tincture

Catnip tincture helps with headaches because it contains nepetalactone, a compound that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and mild sedative properties.

These properties can help to reduce muscle tension and soothe nerves, which can often be the cause of headaches. Additionally, catnip is known to have a calming effect on the body, helping to reduce stress and anxiety that can also contribute to headaches. By taking catnip tincture, the active compounds are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, allowing for fast-acting relief from headache symptoms.

It's important to note that while catnip tincture can be an effective natural remedy for headaches, it should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment, especially in cases of severe or chronic headaches.

headache herbs

The list below shows the primary active constituents in catnip tincture that aid with headaches.

The list below shows the primary parts of catnip tincture used to make tinctures for headaches.

The following recipe gives a procedure to make a basic catnip tincture for headaches.

  1. Chop 2 ounces of fresh catnip herb, placing it in a clean jar, then pour 1 cup of vodka or rum over the herb to cover it completely.
  2. Securely fasten a lid on the jar and let it sit in a cool, dark place for 2-4 weeks, shaking the jar every few days.
  3. After the allotted time, strain the liquid through a cheesecloth into a dark glass bottle, squeezing out all the liquid from the catnip.
  4. Label the bottle with the contents, date, and potency, then store it in a cool, dark place; the tincture will last for several years.
  5. Take 1-2 mL of the catnip tincture up to three times a day for headache relief, or as directed by a healthcare provider.

10. Maypop tincture

Maypop tincture helps with headaches because it contains passive phytochemicals, particularly secobarbituric acids, that have been shown to possess analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.

These compounds work by inhibiting the production of prostaglandins, chemicals that cause inflammation and sensitivity to pain. Additionally, maypop tincture may help relax constricted blood vessels in the head, thereby alleviating the pressure that can lead to headaches. Its sedative effects can also help reduce tension and anxiety, which are common triggers of headaches.

However, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any herbal remedies, especially if you are taking other medications or have a medical condition.

headache herbs

The list below shows the primary active constituents in maypop tincture that aid with headaches.

The list below shows the primary parts of maypop tincture used to make tinctures for headaches.

The following recipe gives a procedure to make a basic maypop tincture for headaches.

  1. Harvest 2-3 ripe maypop (Passiflora incarnata) seeds from the flower, ensuring they are brown and not green, during late summer or early fall.
  2. Grind or crush 1 ounce of dried maypop seeds and leaves into a coarse powder using a mortar and pestle.
  3. Combine the powdered maypop mixture with 2 cups of 80-100 proof vodka or rum in a clean glass jar, ensuring the mixture is fully submerged.
  4. Store the jar in a cool, dark place for 2-4 weeks, shaking it gently every few days.
  5. Strain the mixture using cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer, squeezing out any excess liquid, and store the resulting tincture in a dark glass bottle or jar in a cool, dark place for up to a year. Take 1-2 mL (20-40 drops) up to three times a day for headaches.

How to best treat headaches with herbal tinctures?

The best way to treat headaches with herbal tinctures is by using feverfew and ginkgo biloba.

Feverfew is a potent anti-inflammatory that helps reduce muscle tension and restricts blood vessel dilation, both common headache triggers. Ginkgo biloba enhances vascular health, improving blood flow and alleviating headaches. A combination of these tinctures, taken three times a day, can provide effective relief for various headache types.

Consult a healthcare professional for proper dosage and potential interactions with other medications.

What ailments similar to headaches are treated with herbal tinctures?

Ailments similar to headaches that are treated with herbal tinctures include migraines, tension headaches, and cluster headaches.

For migraines, feverfew and butterbur are commonly used herbs. Tension headaches can be alleviated with lavender, chamomile, and skullcap tinctures. Cluster headaches may respond to butterbur and feverfew, as well as melatonin and valerian root for their sedative properties.

It is essential to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new herbal treatment to ensure safety and efficacy.