As most readers of my stories know by now, I have Chronic Migraine — something I have been dealing with for years. What started as Episodic Migraine back in my teens, it has persistently gotten worse and worse as I’ve gotten older, and for the last decade or so the condition has been classified as “chronic” due to the high frequency of migraine attacks I get within a single month (typically 15 or more days a month). Despite trying everything from bucketloads of medications to chiropractors to massage therapy to physical therapy to [insert weird alternative snake oil health practice here], nothing has really helped much. Last July, my headache diary looked like this:
In November, I decided to do a “medication detox” to see if Medication Overuse Headache was playing a contributing factor to the high volume of migraines I was getting in a single month — this is basically a condition in which a migraineur will get “rebound migraines” off of the very medication they take to get rid of their migraines, causing a viscious, terrible cycle. The only way to break free is to not take the medication, meaning a month of some seriously awful suffering. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to go through. But this is what my migraine diary looked like in December:
As difficult as it is, I would highly encourage other chronic migraineurs out there to go through with it… Yes, for a month there will be suffering so bad you will want to die, but look at the light at the end of the tunnel as a result! It sure did feel satisfying to finally see this pop up on my migraine diary!
It is hard, however, to not still get really bummed out when migraines still do come… I can’t do anything about things like the migraines I get from the hormonal fluctuations of being a woman, or as would be the case right now in my location, the barometric pressure changes that come as the winter snow storms move in and out over the area. It is very discouraging when I check AccuWeather, which has a handy “weather for migraines” feature, and see this:
So seeing as I’ve been spending a lot of time in bed with nasty barometric pressure migraines recently, I figured I’d feature one of my favorite teas for such occassions, which comes from a lovely little shop I found on Etsy (which as it turns out is an excellent place to find looseleaf teas!), AmberFreda, which offers “herbal-inspired products for body and soul.”
This shop has many different herbal teas designed specifically for various health benefits, so being a migraineur, I picked up her Headache Tea. It is an herbal blend that includes chamomile, feverfew, lavender, skullcap, cinnamon, and ginger. It is also one of the most cost-effective teas I have found to date for purchase — you can buy her teas in 8 oz, 16 oz, or 32 oz tins, and an 8 oz tin is only $10! I went for the 16 oz tin for $15 and the shipping was also quite affordable and quick! Since I just ran out of my Rooibos Chai from the Spice and Tea Exchange and it is quite expensive, and this seller has her own version with very similar herbs, I was quick to order myself some of it and will do a comparison when it arrives!
Just look at how big a 16 oz tin is!
Now that’s a lot of tea!
Feverfew is known to help headaches, but I’ve always avoided it as a tea as I heard it is a very bitter herb. I can safely say that you don’t have to worry about that with this tea. As long as you like ginger tea, you should be fine with this tea as far as the taste goes, as it both smells and tastes very strongly of ginger! The remaining taste I’d say is a very earthy taste, but not unpleasant; I do use just slightly more sweetener in this one than I use normally. The mix of herbs is a very good choice for migraine: feverfew, skullcap, and lavender are known to help with headaches, chamomile relaxes muscles, and ginger and cinnamon are great for the nausea that accompanies migraines.
I steep this for five minutes in a covered cup (I just put my coaster over the top of my cup while it steeps, a little tip I picked up from the great Drag Queen Coco Peru in her video Making Tea With Coco Peru (in 20 simple steps) (it is hilarious and really a must watch!), and when it is done steeping it will be a rich yellow color. You’ll really smell that earthy ginger scent! Since this seller only sells the tea in bulk sizes and the price is great, I don’t usually resteep it, as I figure the benefits of the herbs are best with a fresh brew; however, I have tried resteeping before and found that unlike many herbals I’ve tried resteeping, which just taste flat-out bad on a second steep, the strong taste of the ginger in this actually does hold out for a second cup, if one does wish to resteep their infusion.
This has become my “go-to” tea when I’m feeling migraine-sick, and if you have frequent headaches, I’d say give it a try! And if not, but you like herbals, then check out AmberFreda’s shop, as one of her other blends might be more to your appeal… you get so much tea for such a great price, and I haven’t found such a great deal from any other vendor yet!