Q. Dear Terry, “I was recently on some strong painkillers after a surgery. I’ve been trying to wean myself off of the pain meds, but I keep getting terrible headaches. I also feel a little irritable and anxious due to the pain. I can’t really function when I’m on the pain meds. I am hoping you have an herb or natural thing that could help?” — Wyatt R., Alexandria, VA
A. Dear Wyatt, I highly recommend keeping your healthcare practitioner in the loop with any supplementation you may be considering. With that in mind, I think I have some natural options that may help with the headaches you are experiencing.
To help relieve the pain and discomfort of headaches, there are some great ingredients that can stop the associated inflammation and blood vessel constriction, which can help prevent future headaches.
You may want to consider taking the following combination: enhanced absorption curcumin with turmeric essential oil, boswellia, DLPA, vitamin B6, and magnesium. Magnesium is very useful for headaches, but make sure you find a magnesium that is chelated (or bound) to the amino acid glycine. Cheap forms of magnesium can cause loose stools and exert little to no benefit in the body.
There is also a percentage of headache sufferers who experienced enhanced pain relief from caffeine. If you are one of those people then you may also want to add caffeine to the aforementioned nutrients. Each ingredient works in a slightly different manner to stop—and prevent—headaches regardless of their cause or type. I suggest you take these ingredients one to three times per day.
Prescription drug withdrawal can ultimately affect our mood as well, so I also think you could benefit from the anxiety-relieving benefits of narrow-leaved coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia). Researchers have discovered that compounds in this unique type of coneflower can help reduce anxiety as effectively as certain prescription medications, without the side effects. These compounds have been shown to work with our endocannabinoid system, which helps to instill a sense of calm and relaxation.
I would take 20-40 mg of coneflower extract twice daily. Make sure you look for a clinically studied, narrow-leaved coneflower root extract that is standardized for echinacosides.
Lastly, you could consider a full-spectrum hemp oil extract. I prefer European, CO2 extracted, non-GMO hemp from specifically cultivated plants that are carefully tended in order to deliver maximum health benefits. I would take this once or twice daily.
Terry . . . Naturally
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