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How Can You Reduce Your Recurring Headaches?

One reader found that drinking tart cherry juice every night eliminated recurring headaches, perhaps due to the anti-inflammatory activity of cherries.
How Can You Reduce Your Recurring Headaches?
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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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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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