Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Managing my migraine naturally in my permaculture garden

For those who know me, you know it takes a lot to slow me down, but migraine headaches can. I don't get them a lot, but they seem to come in batches, and they knock me out. I've got one right now. It's been here for a few days. My head hurts a lot, my mind feels like mush and I become very grumpy (me? no!!).

Over the years I have found many ways to naturally manage my migraines until they pass. Here's how I do it. (Please note: I am not doctor - natural or otherwise. This is simply what I have found to work for me).

My garden plays a key role in soothing my throbbing skull. Resting in my a shady place in my garden, sipping soothing garden tea and slowing down are the key and listening to the gentle sounds of nature.


Firstly let me explain what's with the headscarf.  I have always found, ever since I was a teenager that strapping my head was a good way to manage the pain of migraine headaches. The pressure that this places on points around my head from the base of my skull, around my ears and across my forehead helps me continue to function, (even if it does look like I'm trying to be a Ninja - which my kids think is hilarious)

Rest and Sleep

Not always the easiest path for me when there's so many interesting things to be doing - but at times like this I need to reassure myself that it's OK to have a little lie down and ask for help. The kids actually love doing extra cooking and cleaning at times like this (why not other times!?)

Fresh air (not much bright light)

Lying down outside and breathing the fresh air deeply is soothing, but not where there is bright light . The light intensifies the pain (covering them helps). The kids have gone out for the morning rockclimbing so I have the hammock to myself (usually I get jumped on). I managed to lie down for a few moments this morning and enjoy the newly cool breeze and the gentle sound of birdsong.

Sip soothing tea

I regularly sip a soothing tea of peppermint, lemon myrtle, ginger and lemon.

Inhale aromatic steam

As well as sipping the hot tea, I make the most of the rising steam from the hot cup of lemon myrtle and peppermint.  This is especially helpful if there is some sinus blockage too.

Drink lots of water

I drink as much as I can to make sure I get fully re-hydrated - particularly if my headache is related to being outside in the heat too much. I like to let some of my tea cool down and add this to my water bottle. A couple of times a day I also add a dose of vitamin C and magnesium powder to a glass of water.


Accidentally head-butting the wall a couple of days ago  could not have helped my situation!! I was looking for a torch in the blackout caused by the recent cyclone. Typically though, a migraine like this indicates I do need some re-aligning.

Get a new garden hat

I am definitely composting the hat I have been wearing. It's a straw hat with the top cut out.  The top had been damaged and I was trying to keep it going because it had a really nice big brim that didn't flop, and I could poke my hair out the top to keep if off my neck on those hot days.  I realise now though I need a cover over the top of my head in this climate. After last weekend out in the garden teaching permaculture, I felt like I had a crispy layer of brain at the top. 


What were the migraine triggers this time? Thinking about how I have been working in the past few weeks is helpful for me to re-asses my patterns of behaviour and make changes I need. It is also useful thinking about where I have been - there has lots of car travel getting to workshops recently, that contributes.

Mostly this time, I'm pretty sure it was a lot of late night writing and film-making sessions, a couple of full weekends out in the intense heat running workshops - and possibly a new pattern of quarrelling that the kids have started (Holidays? But they homeshool! I need to sit down with them and explore what's at the bottom of that.) Mmm - that's right I also lost my reading glasses.

Head and Hand Massage

Regular head massage is very comforting - my children love doing this - even little Monty. I also gently massage those points in between my thumb and forefinger which are quite tender to touch right now.

Hopefully my head will clear today and I can come out of the fog that I feel has enveloped me.


  1. I hope you have a speedy recovery. I experience migraines with aura myself, they're not pleasant. Can take me a week to recover if I don't take my own preventative actions when I feel one coming on. Stress and manifested tension seems to trigger mine. It's usually my vision that goes first as if my body is shunting blood or nutrients to more vital parts of me. The desire to lay down and sleep may be along similar lines. The best recovery results I have are after stretching and deep massaging my neck muscles, especially just under the jaw along the front of the neck. I started doing this after reading about a woman than went in for an unrelated operation on a neck muscle and came out migraine free. It definitely helps me. Cool air helps too, as does cleaning my ears in addition to sinuses. And like your drink I also increase my magnesium intake to relax blood vessels for flow. I've also read that after oxidative stress, cells consume fructose to power garbage collection so I eat fruit. Fruits also tend to help with dopamine levels. For my vision omega-3 has been shown to increase blood flow there so I get some of that to aid recovery.
    A brain scan study this week indicates dopamine levels fall significantly during migraines and that this is likely the cause of sensory sensitivity like the light you mention. Vitamin C helps survival of dopamine neurons under oxidative stress. Another study this week mentions that people that suffer migraines are also 3x more likely to suffer generalized anxiety disorders, and that doubles for men. It also mentioned social support like your family there helps with that. :)

    1. Thanks very much for all that great information. Much appreciated.

  2. I saw this and wonder if it works. I've never had a migraine myself.
    Here is How To Instantly Stop A Migraine With Salt
    March 7, 2017 admin Health, Home Remedies & Natural Cures

    If you or someone you know suffers from a migraine, you are well aware of the unbearable pain it causes, which affects the everyday life and aggravates even the simplest daily tasks.
    Migraines also lead to sensitivity, and sometimes, even a ray of sunlight causes horrible pain. These severely painful headaches are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, blind spots, light flashes, and tingling sensations in the legs and arms.

    Moreover, their treatment is not easy, and even though there are numerous advertised migraine cures, none seems to provide relief, and they are expensive and full of harmful chemicals.

    Also, prescription migraine medication might soothe the symptoms, but not for long, as they come back as soon as the effect of the drug is over. This is great for the pharmaceutical companies, as they profit from the constant need of migraine drugs.Therefore, we will suggest an all-natural, completely safe, and incredibly effective natural remedy for your migraines.

    Its main ingredient is salt, as it is extremely beneficial in the case of various ailments, including headaches. Yet, make sure you purchase a high-quality one.

    We recommend using organic Himalayan salt. It will strengthen the immune system, treat the headaches and migraines, and restore the alkaline and electrolyte balance in the body.

    The other ingredient in the recipe is lemon, which alkalizes the body, cleanses it, and relieves a migraine.


    1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
    half a lemon

    You should squeeze the lemon juice into a glass of water. Then, add the salt, and drink the remedy!

    After a few minutes, you will experience a great relief!

    Source : http://www.healthyfoodhouse.com

    1. Thank you. I will try this now. Much appreciation for your response.

  3. Tumeric and pepper juice. And celery sticks.. Juiced or eaten raw will cure your headache pain and be beneficial. Sounds like you need to find the cause.. Red wine, chocolate, oranges, Valerian, caffeine and a handful of other things can trigger migraines, but so can what you do to your outer body.. All this I'm sure you know

  4. Don't throw out your lovely brim! They're so hard to find! Just put a smaller hat inside it and recycle it :D

    1. Great idea - thanks! I think you just saved it from the compost worms. :-)

  5. No glasses! Have you got them replaced Morag? I recently used my old glasses for a few hours - I just love the frames and my new glasses see great but are cheap and not as lovely... So, I was having a bit of a moment and just desired to wear the old ones....fastforward a few hours, I feel nausious, dizzy, I have to ly down. One eye is watering and a stabbing headache is beginning.
    Get yourself a back-up pair as soon as possible--or, you can stop looking at words and all other things that require focus until your glasses turn up.
    If you need them, you need them. I hope they can be found / replaced for you soon.... And, maybe a fresh eye exam if it's been a while?

    Hope all the causes decide to leave you be very soon xx

  6. I get migraine headaches a lot. Aren't they the worst? I drink lots of water, take ibuprofen, get fresh air, and relax in peace until it ends. Sometimes sleeping it off helps. It really consumes you I must say. Tea is also I good idea like you noted in your blog post, nature also helps. Fresh air and nature is all you need.