Woman with ear pain, recurring headache

Do you have recurring headaches? Both tension headaches and migraines can cause a lot of trouble when they come back frequently. One reader found a fascinating and unique remedy.

Overcoming Recurring Headaches:

Q. I have had recurring headaches with some regularity over many years. My solution was to rely on extra-strength Excedrin, which would eliminate the pain within a half hour.

My doctor was concerned about me taking so much Excedrin and suggested I alternate taking indomethacin for these frequent headaches. Instead, I decided to try taking cherry juice five months ago. I drink a six-ounce glass of it at bedtime.

Miraculously, I have been headache-free since I started! This has changed my life substantially for the better. Perhaps it will also help others with headaches for which there is no apparent medical reason.

What Will Cherry Juice Do for Recurring Headaches?

A. Athletes have been using tart cherry juice for post-exercise muscle pain, to reduce inflammation and to promote endurance (Bell et al, Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, June 2014).  Scientists believe that cherries have anti-inflammatory activity similar to that of over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen (Kuehl, Medicine and Sport Science, online Oct. 15, 2012). Cherry juice is far less likely, however, to cause side effects such as digestive distress or increased blood pressure like ibuprofen and other NSAIDs do.

We were unable to find any research on using tart cherry juice to overcome recurring headaches. Nonetheless, we too hope your tactic will help others with recurrent headaches.

The Power of Cherries:

You can learn more about the anti-inflammatory power of cherries by listening to our recent podcast, Show 1079: What Is the Science Behind Fabulous Foods for Health?  In it, Malachy McHugh, PhD, describes the research his team has conducted on the use of tart cherries to keep muscles from becoming too sore.

You may also be interested in our Guide to Headaches and Migraines. It offers a variety of other remedies for recurring headaches.

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  1. Melanie

    Doesn’t tart cherry juice contain a good amount of sugar? I would think one would gain weight if ingested daily. Would love to hear the Pharmacists thoughts?

  2. Anne D

    “Aha!” moment: Recently my primary care doc decided to suggest statin. Question: really, at 84? After 6 months cholesterol
    is still boarderline. Patient asks to stop. Doctor: statin has lowered, continue. Patient wonders.

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