Headache is a fiend: Nearly everybody is affected at some time

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Auricularia, Reishi, Shiitake



Headaches – also called cephalgia – are besides back pain one of the most frequent form of pain and affect people of every age. Occasional, slight pain are normally harmless and be treated with simple household remedies, whereas migraine and heavy, chronical pain need a special treatment. The International Headache Society (IHS) distinguishes in between 200 different forms of headache and classifies them into two large groups – primary and secondary headache.

Nearly 90% of the complaints are primary headaches. Primary means that the complaints occur independently and cannot be associated with a particular cause. The most observed forms of primary headache are migraine, cluster and tension headache.

Secondary headache occurs less frequent. They are a warning sign which appears in association with a different disease. Secondary headaches are always caused by a disease or environmental influences. Examples are hypertension, a tense neck, side effects of medications, colds or sometimes severe diseases like tumors or strokes. It is most important to see a doctor because those forms of headache are possible sign of severe diseases.

What causes headaches?

Despite of intense scientific research, the precise processes of the development of the different forms of headaches are relatively unknown. Today, it is assumed that primary headaches are caused by an irritation of the pain sensitive head organs which goes hand in hand with an irritation of the pain inhibition. Pain is a temporary warning sign.

The most common forms of headache at a glance:

The most common type of headache is by far the dull tension headache which affects the whole head. Tension headaches are often slight to medium; they increase slowly and last only for a couple of hours to a day and rarely have accompanying symptoms. This type of headaches is normally harmless and don’t need a special treatment, as far as they don’t occur over a longer period.

A migraine attack can occur once or several times a month and starts gradually. Usually, the headache is vibrant and often located in only one side of the head. Pain is heavy and is accompanied by further symptoms like nausea, light sensitivity, vomiting and flickering eyes. A vicious circle: The regular intake of painkillers can cause medication-induced headache. This type of headache occurs on both sides, is medium to heavy and feels dull. Other medications which are taken regularly (antihypertensive medications) can also trigger headaches.

The rare but heavy cluster headaches may often last for just a few minutes, but they especially intense and torturing. In general, they occur one-sided or as a stabbing pain behind an eye.  

When should you visit a doctor?

  • Recurrent headache

  • Headaches after a concussion or another head injury

  • Headaches accompanied by nausea, vomiting, fever or disturbed perception

  • Heavy, suddenly appearing headaches

  • Children who suffer from headache should immediately visit a pediatrician.

Widespread worldwide: A look at the statistics

World Health Organisation WHO reports that headaches affect people of all ages and independently of the region, sociological or cultural background. There are approximately 45 million Americans complaining of headaches each year. That works out to about one in every six people or 16.54% of the population. The most frequent types are tension headache and migraine which add up to nearly 90% of all headaches.  The major share is on tension headaches, whereby migraine and tension headaches can occur combined.

Therapy and prevention

A general therapy for headaches doesn’t exist because there are numerous types of headache. The treatment depends on the cause of the headache.

Conventional medicine focuses on the elimination of the symptoms if the exact cause of primary headache is unclear: Household remedies like a cup of tea, resting in bed or cooling compresses can be used.  The overall lifestyle also influences the development of tension headaches and migraine: Relaxation exercises, endurance sports (running, swimming, cycling or walking), a balanced and nutritious diet, enough sleep, abstaining from alcohol and nicotine, autogenic training to reduce stress and drinking plenty of water are helpful for the treatment and prevention.

A pain diary could be helpful to identify the trigger of chronical headaches or migraine. Particular foods, environmental toxins, stress and weather can be possible triggers for headaches.

Headaches from the TCM point of view

In the Traditional Chinese Medicine, the belly and the organs are causally related to headaches. TCM distinguishes between abundance- and emptiness- headache.

If the pain is throbbing, swelling, intense and accompanied by further syndromes, we speak of abundance headaches. A dull and lasting pressure, dizziness and poor concentration are symptoms of emptiness headaches. In that case, pain is mostly moderate and tolerable. Mixes of abundance- and emptiness headaches are also not that rare.

The TCM’s point of view is holistic and identifies a blockage of Qi (energy of life) as the cause of chronical headaches and migraine. Pain results from a Qi Blockage in the organs, whereas disharmonies are mostly located in the liver and the bile. The Qi stagnates and rises subsequently via the meridians to the head and triggers the headache. The Qi negatively affects the stomach due to the stagnation and leads to vomiting and nausea. A disharmony of the kidneys can also result in headaches.

100% Natural: How medicinal mushrooms help against headache

If you are tortured by chronic headache or migraine, there are medicinal mushrooms which are effective and can also be used prophylactically. These medicinal mushrooms can provide a significant relief: Due to their metabolism-regulating, blood-flow enhancing, balancing and strengthening properties and combined with their kidney- and bile-activating ingredients, medicinal mushrooms are the perfect helpers for the treatment of various headaches.

A Reishi-Shiitake blend is recommended for the treatment of headaches in general. Both of these medicinal mushrooms have blood flow enhancing properties which is of high importance in the prophylaxis of headaches. Furthermore, Reishi improves the body’s oxygen supply, strengthens the liver, and is stress-regulating and hormone balancing. Especially, the intake of a Reishi-Shiitake blend combined with coffee enemas – one of the best natural remedies for promoting the bile flow – to ease and eliminate headaches and migraine related complaints, has proved well.

If stress is the main reason for headaches or migraine, medicinal mushrooms Cordyceps and Auricularia are recommended. Cordyceps has strengthening effects on the physique and the psyche. Moreover, it has balancing effects on the hormonal balance. Therapy is supported by medicinal mushroom Auricularia due to its blood-flow enhancing and vasodilating properties. Additionally,

All medicinal mushrooms act holistically strengthening and balancing on imbalances in the organism. In TCM, these imbalances are called “Stagnation of Qi). Medicinal mushrooms can help to rebalance.

In TCM and as well as in Mycotherapy, the stimulus of the bile flow is very important for the treatment of headaches. The bile fluid performs many important tasks in our organism and transports liposoluble toxins out of the body. 

Bitter substances are not only important against headaches, but also for the liver and the bile

Bitter substances are highly important for the liver and the bile. They counteract hyperacidity and support the liver by producing digestive juices. Hyperacidity is viewed as a strong trigger for headaches and migraine.

Medicinal mushrooms are rich in bitter substances, including diterpenes, triterpenes and steroids which belong to the largest group of bitter substances and can be found in all medicinal mushrooms. Medicinal mushroom Reishi has the highest concentration of triterpenes, and that’s why it is the most effective medicinal mushroom for a healthy liver.