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Selecting the right remedy for a headache can be difficult because many headaches are worse or better from the same conditions. Many remedies cover these common symptoms. You should only use the person’s strongest and most definite headache symptoms when you are considering remedies. The person’s general symptoms are often the most help in making the choice between remedies. Belladonna, Nux vominca, and Bryonia are the remedies most likely to be helpful for people suffering from an acute headache with few other symptoms.
- Belladonna: intense headache with violent, throbbing pains; extreme sensitivity to light, noise, touch, strong or unusual smell or jarring; pains begin and end suddenly; pain may be localized anywhere in the head or spread throughout the head, but is most often focused in the forehead; pain may extend from the forehead to the back of the head; face is flushed and hot, and hands and feet may be cold; pupils may be dilated; often used for headaches associated with high fever.
- Bryonia: pain is described as a steady ache, marked sensitivity to motion (even slight motion of the head or eyes); pain often in forehead and extending to the back of the head, or centered over the left eye; pain is worse with light touch but better from firm pressure; the head feels full or heavy; worse in the morning; nausea, vomiting, and constipation may accompany the headache; emotionally irritable and wants to be left alone.
- Gelsemium: pain begins at the back of the head and extends to the rest of the head or forehead; may feel like a band or hood is bound tightly around the head; headache preceded by dim vision or other visual disturbances; pain may be localized on the right side of the head; pain aggravated by light, noise, motion, and jarrig, but not affected much by temperature change; better from napping or urinating; person feels dull, tired, heavy, and apathetic; eyelids droop and looks exhausted; not very irritable, but wants to be left alone.
- Iris: pain felt on one side of the forehead, especially on the right side; pain preceded or accompanied by dim vision or other eyesight changes; nausea and vomiting, with headache worse after vomiting; pain better by walking in the open air; periodically recurring migraines (e.g. every weekend).
- Nux vomica: headaches brought on by overeating, use of alcohol, coffee and other drugs, or missed sleep; overall sick feeling and digestive upset; sour or bitter taste in the mouth, queasiness, nausea and/or vomiting, dry heaving and/or gas; also for headache from mental over-exertion, cold air or cold wind; worse from morning, especially on first waking; worse with motion, but shaking the head is especially painful; sound of footsteps is especially irritating; pain better from wrapping the head up a warm room, or from a nap if allowed to finish it; very irritable.
- Sanguinaria: especially noted for pain beginning in the back of the head and extending to and settling over the right eye or in the right side of the head; pain is sharp, spitting, knife-like and sometimes throbbing; nausea and vomiting at height of the pain; pain better after vomiting; worse with motion, better with sleep and firm pressure; headaches may recur in a consistent pattern.
- Spigelia: stitching, burning, and pulsating pain, usually in the front and often on the left side of the head; better from lying with the head propped up; worse from stooping, motion, noise, and cold, stormy weather; washing with cold water may feel good, but pain usually worsens after; head pain is made worse from warmth and temporarily better from cold; headache with stiff neck and shoulders which make motion very painful; may have severe pain in and around the eyes, extending deep into the sockets.