You may be surprised to know that headaches are not actually pain in the brain or the skull, because there are no nerves there that are receptive to pain. However, other areas of the head can ache, such as the face, mouth, and throat, because the nerve networks in these areas are stimulated. Also, the muscles and blood vessels in the head region are sensitive to pain, which can translate into a headache.
There is something known as the "trigeminovascular theory" that originated in the 1960s and explains why and how headaches or migraines occur. The trigeminal nerve is the fifth nerve out of the 12 cranial nerves and is one of the main nerves that transmits a headache. It is responsible for the front two-thirds of the face and head. The pain systems in our body are designed to let us know the mechanical limitations of the body. Since the actual brain matter does not "feel" pain, the body relies on the blood vessels and nerves throughout the rest of the body to send messages back to the brain signaling that something is wrong. There also has been a lot of research over the years suggesting that genetics may be responsible for certain types of headaches and migraines. This may have to do with a defect in calcium channels and neurotransmitters that cause vasospasms of the blood vessels.
Whether a headache or migraine is due to a hangover or muscle spasms in the neck or stress or caffeine withdrawal....we all know headaches can be debilitating. Headache symptoms like sensitivity to light, sound, and smell; nausea; and vomiting can mentally physically disable a person for hours. Sometimes, over-the-counter and prescription medications just cannot do the job in aborting a headache or migraine. As an integrative physician, my specialty is finding natural and healthy ways to relieve and treat medical problems, and headaches/migraines are a very common problem I see. Whether I administer IV nutrient therapy or correct neurotransmitter problems or tweak a person's diet, I always stress staying well hydrated and looking for natural foods and herbs to not only treat a headache or migraine, but to prevent it as well.
Here are 11 drinks that can help do the job.
Plain Old Water
Headaches thrive on dehydration, so grab a glass of water to extinguish that ache. Water increases blood flow and oxygenation to the brain. But drink room temperature or warm water, as cold or iced water can exacerbate the headache or cause an unwanted "brain freeze," and we all know those are horrid.
Cayenne Pepper in Warm Water
The compound in cayenne that makes it spicy, called capsaicin, can dull a neurotransmitter that is responsible for sending pain impulses to the brain, so sprinkle a little cayenne pepper in warm water and find some relief.
Dr. Deepa Verma of Synergistiq Integrative Health believes that healthy and holistic living is the key to happiness and aging gracefully. Follow her on Twitter @DrDeepaVerma and subscribe to her Youtube Channel.