Disclaimer: The instructions I offer here in this post (and in all my posts about herbs and home remedies) are what I use personally at home. Of course the standard disclaimer goes: I am not a doctor and don’t prescribe medicines or herbs, this is just what we have done here for generations with great results.
I do occasionally suffer with a Migraine headache. They aren’t as bad as they used to be and I chalk that up to menopause. Yes, the “M” word actually does offer a few benefits. But I still get them now and then and they really do hurt. They seem to be worse in the fall and winter so I thought I’d share with you how to make a tincture that will help with these nasty headaches.
I have used Feverfew for these headaches for over 20 years. I just go outside, pull a leaf off and pop it in my mouth. I bite down on the leaf and though bitter, the oils in the plant usually relieve the pain before it gets started good.
But in the winter when the plant isn’t growing outdoors and my brown thumb rears its ugly head with my indoor herbs, I was out of luck. And since I’ve been on somewhat of a Tincture Kick lately, I figured, why not?
I don’t particularly like tincture taste, it kind of burns. I could make tinctures with glycerin, but I prefer to use more old fashioned ways so I use vodka or pure grain alcohol or even brandy. The alcohol pulls the oils from the plants and its the oils that do the trick.
Now, Feverfew is quite bitter. I don’t like it either but I figured if I put some other herbs in the vodka with it, it might taste better. I used Feverfew, Spearmint and Lemon Balm. Spearmint and Lemon Balm are often used for headache as well as Feverfew.
I mashed equal amounts of the herbs into a half pint jar, covered with vodka let it sit for about 4-6 weeks. Now its winter time and I have strained the liquid off, put the used herbs in the compost bin and bottled up the liquid in a dropper bottle.
At the first sign of a migraine, which for me is the aura, I’ll start taking the liquid, about 1/2 teaspoon at a time. I’ll increase the dosage if needed. Many herbalists recommend using 30 drops every 2 hours for an acute attack and 30 drops 2 times a day to prevent migraines.
Feverfew contains a sesquiterpene lactone called parthenolide. Parthenolide is believed to be the primary active chemical responsible for alleviating both the severity and the frequency of migraine headaches. For more information about how Feverfew works on migraine headaches see the article at Webmd
The picture below shows the kind of dropper bottles I use. That’s elderberry tincture on the plate.
You may be interested in these other tinctures I make: