Conflict of Interest: None.
Herbal Treatment of Headache
Article first published online: 2 OCT 2012
© 2012 American Headache Society
Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain
Special Issue: Proceedings of the Headache Cooperative of New England 2012 Meeting, Stowe, Vermont
Volume 52, Issue Supplement s2, pages 76–80, October 2012
How to Cite
Levin, M. (2012), Herbal Treatment of Headache. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 52: 76–80. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2012.02234.x
- Issue published online: 2 OCT 2012
- Article first published online: 2 OCT 2012
- Accepted for publication May 31, 2012.
- herbal remedy;
Herbal (botanical) therapy has been used as treatment for headache disorders for millennia. Botanical therapy can be divided into 3 categories: oral, topical, and “aromatherapy.” In this article, the options in these categories and the evidence supporting their use are discussed. Unfortunately, evidence is sparse for most herbal treatments, in large part due to a paucity of funding for the type of studies needed to assess their efficacy. Butterbur and feverfew are the 2 herbal oral preparations best studied, and they seem to have real potential to help many patients with migraine and perhaps other headache types. Patients most appropriate for trials of herbal therapy include those who have been refractory to pharmaceutical and other modes of therapy, patients who have had intolerable side effects from pharmaceutical medications, and patients willing to participate in controlled comparative studies. As for mechanisms behind botanical treatments, the lack of funding for studying these agents will continue to retard progress in this area as well, but hopefully the future will bring more concentrated efforts in this field.