by Nichole Santoro, LAc
Headaches from Excess of Yang in the Head (ie. headaches from high blood pressure, anger, stress, strong emotion)
This type of head pain usually occurs at the temples or at the very top of the head if the blood pressure is really high.It may present on only one side of the head and is usually sharp or throbbing in nature. Often accompanied by red eyes.
Food Cure: Foods high in B
vitamins and iron like dark leafy greens, seaweed and whole grains help to calm the nerves and nourish the blood. Oatmeal in the morning is excellent to ground the yang. Healthy fats like nuts, seeds and avocados are nourishing to the nervous system because fat insulates all of the nerves in our body.
Headaches from Excess of Yin in the head (ie. headaches from sinus congestion, inner ear infection, toxicity, hang over)
This type of headaches results from the presence dampness and phlegm in the head which prevents the clear yang from rising to the head and providing clarity of the senses. For this reason it is associated with a heavy sensation, brain fog, and overall dulling of the senses. It presents in the forehead and face where the sinuses are. If phlegm is more prevalent there may even be dizziness, vertigo and blurred vision.
Food Cure: Avoid dairy at all costs! Dairy, and especially cold (milk) and sweet (ice cream), are the biggest culprits of creating dampness and phlegm in the body. It is also important to avoid rich fatty oily or fried foods as these congest the system even further. On the other hand, foods that drain dampness are bland and often rich in fiber. For example; mushrooms, adzuki bean, kidney bean and barley. To scour phlegm it is good to also add foods that are bitter and pungent like mustard greens, celery, radish, ginger, garlic, onion, and green tea.