Dr. Mao discusses the healing foods that can help alleviate headaches.
Let’s talk about headaches. Just about everybody I know has experienced headaches. One in six Americans suffer from chronic headaches. Many causes of headaches, ranging from sinus problems, to tight jaws, to muscle tension in the neck, to low blood sugar, to the common cold. There are many wide varieties of causes why people have headaches. What I want to show you is things that you can pull just from your fridge that can help you get some relief.
So let’s start, for example, the common carrot, wonderful, tasty vegetable, in fact, a very quick way to relieve pressure from your head is to make carrot juice. Get a nice tall glass of carrot juice, drink it all at once, and then sit back, relax and then wait for the pressure in your head to drop. It works every time. Now the carrot is, of course, filled with nutrients and beta-carotene which also helps with reducing inflammation. Inflammation and swelling causes headaches, of course. And so a carrot juice is a very quick way to relieve your headaches.
Now there’s another way that you can get rid of your headache that doesn’t involve eating the carrot. It has to do with taking the juice, put in a dropper, and squirt into your nose. Now I know you are thinking, boy, Doc, this is really weird, but it works. It works it’s one of these old folk remedies from China. When you squirt the carrot juice up in nose, and what it does is it expands your blood vessels in your nose, and then suddenly you sneeze and all this discharge comes out and really clears your sinuses really nicely.
Now if you don’t have this and you have access to another type of carrot, we call it big white carrot. It really is a radish, it’s called dicon radish, right? Looks like a carrot, looks like a fat carrot, but it’s white in color, and that also works really well. In fact, that probably works better for the squirting kind because it’s got a little pungent property to it, so it really sort of makes you just clear your sinuses. So that’s wonderful.
Let’s look at the next thing you can pull from your fridge. Now this is ginger. Ginger root, one of the most common used spice in Asian cooking, really. You use ginger in seafood as well as soups and other types of, you know, as a condiment for other types of dishes. Now why is ginger so special? Well, all the research points to ginger as a wonderful anti-inflammatory.
You see, what it can do is it can vastly reduce inflammation and swelling and again, we talked about that as one of the cause of headaches. So especially if you have headache from common cold but all the other types of headaches, too, even muscle tension because ginger can help open up the circulation and warm up the muscles and really just help relax and reduce tension. So ginger.
Another bonus is that if you are throwing up from your migraine headache, well, ginger tea is fabulous to reduce nausea and vomiting. All you have to do is make three slices of ginger, put in a cup of water and boil for five minutes. That’s all you’ve got to do, and this will help you immediately, within a few minutes of drinking the ginger tea your stomach will settle and you’ll feel much better.
The next thing we have is scallions – green onions, and this has a very pungent property so is one of these condiments that you use to cook. Scallions opens, disperses, and helps to promote a little sweating. Now what’s the big deal about sweating? Well you see, when you sweat your pores open and the blood pressure comes down. You feel relaxed and you discharge all this excessive swelling from your body which is again one of the reasons why it can help headaches, all kinds of headaches, again, sinus, muscle tension, tight jaw, migraine headaches, so all of this is very useful.
So there you have it – three vegetables from your local grocery store that you can go out and buy in order to relieve your headaches. Now of course if you have headaches that go on and on and does not respond to anything, no food remedies, not to the Advil or Tylenol, any kind of drugs you take, you better get yourself down to the doctor right away because it might be something more serious. But at least for the common headaches that we all experience from time-to-time that doesn’t last very long, the immediate relief is right there in your fridge.
About Maoshing Ni Ph.D., D.O.M., L.Ac., A.B.A.A.H.P.:
Dr. Mao, as he prefers to be called, is a 38th generation doctor of Chinese medicine, a Licensed Acupuncturist, a Diplomat of Chinese Herbology, and a Diplomat in Anti-Aging.
For over 20 years, Dr. Mao has been in general practice at Los Angeles, California’s Tao of Wellness, an acclaimed center for nutrition, Chinese medicine, and acupuncture, with special interest in immune, hormonal, and aging-related conditions. He is also the founder and Chancellor of the Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Los Angeles that is considered the premiere school for Chinese medicine outside of China.