Q. We were glad to see your article about hot spicy soup for headaches. My husband has been plagued with headaches from an early age, so we’re always on the lookout for something new. Although it is early in our trial of using hot salsa with chips at the onset of a headache, it has definitely stopped two headaches which would have been doozies!
I am attempting to find capsaicin in another form because hot salsa isn’t travel friendly. The health food store has cayenne pepper capsules which contain capsaicin. Do you think they would help?
A. The people who have shared their experience with fast headache relief have used soups that are both hot and spicy. The substance in hot peppers that gives them their kick is capsaicin, and we suspect this is responsible for the pain relief.
We don’t know if cayenne pepper capsules would work as well as piping hot spicy gumbo or salsa, but they certainly are more portable. You might try them and let us know if they work–or carry a tiny bottle of Tabasco for emergencies away from home.
We have been astonished at healing power of hot peppers. Joe is a pepper head himself and loves hot stuff. The hotter the better, so he tends to be enthusiastic about such remedies. Here are just a few stories and links to stimulate your appetite:
“Q. I was on reflux drugs like omeprazole (PPIs) for over ten years and even had surgery for severe reflux. I was determined to get off the PPIs, so I started drinking ginger tea, eating crystallized ginger when acute pain hit, snacking on several almonds every few hours, and taking a teaspoon of honey at night before bed. It definitely helped ease the symptoms but did not eliminate the heartburn.
Feeling discouraged, I ate some jalapeno-topped snacks even though my doctor had warned me to avoid anything hot. My reflux is now kept in check by jalapenos every few days without needing anything else! The reflux pain only returns if I go a week without eating any jalapeños.
“I have been PPI-free for over 18 months now and feel so much better. Why would jalapenos make such a difference so quickly? The pain eases within an hour of eating them and lasts for several days.”
“I was fascinated to read the letter linking spicy gumbo to relief for migraine headaches. I have a similar history of migraines which occur in clusters or cycles. Over the past 40 years doctors have given me a variety of medications, many with side affects more debilitating than the headaches. Between headaches during these cycles, most of the medications kept me feeling drugged or “hung-over.”
“Several years ago I was in the middle of a migraine cycle, feeling as if my head was under water. I had a bowl of Chinese Hot and Sour soup and my head instantly cleared. In addition, the cycle of headaches ended.
“Since then I have used this soup to halt migraines–and the cycle–in mid-stream. I order the soup extra hot and my favorite restaurant provides a small container of extra red pepper in oil. The best part of the soup is that there is no drugged feeling afterwards.”
If you would like to read about other headache and migraine remedies you may find our Guide to Headaches & Migraines of value. It can be downloaded as a pdf file for $2. You may also find our books, Best Choices From The People’s Pharmacy or The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies of great interest. Not only do we have lots of additional treatments for headaches, but there are thousands of non drug approaches for just about every ailment you can think of.