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Oct 4, 2008 10:52 PM

Food (not drinks) that help ease a headache?

Any ideas? Looking for actual food, not drinks (e.g. tea, water, etc.).


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  1. The only thing I can eat when I have a headache, migraine (TGI been a long time) or sinus headache, is a plate of cottage cheese and some canned peaches. Nothing else. Since you said "not drinks" I won't bore you with my tea ceremony method of headache prevention. Feel better.

    1. Here are a few results from
      (enter headache as the search term


      Healing Effects :
      Cool and clean the blood; treat hypertension, constipation, headache and dizziness; relieve hangover; treat hot skin diseases.

      Sword Bean:
      Healing Effects : Warm the middle region; push energy downnward; relieve hiccup, cough, asthma, headache and pain.

      Healing Effects : Clear internal heat and dampness especially in liver and bladder; expel wind; prevent kidney disorder; relieve hypertension and headache; relieve heavy menstruation.

      2 Replies
      1. re: hannaone

        hannaone, if anything relieved "internal dampness" it would kill you. My insides are definitely supposed to be wet.

        (OP) Regarding headaches, I think a lot depends on what kind of headache you have. If you have a headache from congestion, seasonal allergies or cold/flu, then spicy hot food may help a lot. When I lived in Tallahassee and got colds in the very rainy winters I would eat hot Thai curry and it always made me feel better. But eat alone because your nose may start running so you may not be the best dinner companion. :P

        1. re: glowworm

          "hannaone, if anything relieved "internal dampness" it would kill you. My insides are definitely supposed to be wet." ROFL!!

          I believe the internal dampness refers to either excessive liquid production or "impure" liquid production. (Diarrhea and incontinance/toxins)
          Celery and Spinach would treat headache caused by hypertension.
          Sword bean would treat headache associated with coughing disorders and possibly just general pain.

      2. turkey and other poultry contain tryptophans which are the ingredients of triptan meds for migraines.

        1. It does depend on the type of headache I think. If we're talking migraines here, I know myself that I don't want anything to eat, not just because of nausea, but also because it's like my system shuts down (my stomach doesn't growl for an entire day of not eating for example). Also with migraines, I think I read it somewhere that migraine sufferers tend to crave the very thing that will accelerate the headache.

          With that said, there seems to be more of a list of things to NOT eat than things we should. For migraine sufferers, a regular diet with magnesium and b vitamin sources is recommended. Food sources of magnesium here:

          I just pulled out my Herb and Spice companion, and two things were mentioned, nutmeg, and sesame seeds. So who knows, maybe a bit of halvah, tahini or spiced oatmeal might do the trick. Some headaches seems to stem from digestive troubles , and sometimes if you take care of that, the headache will follow. So i'd recommend ginger in any form (i've had candied ginger do wonders on occasion). Alternately, something hot and spicy can clear the sinuses, if that's the problem.

          I know when i'm on the side of recovering from a migraine and the belly seems to be working again, I always want simple carbs. Usually salty simple carbs.

          1 Reply
          1. re: im_nomad

            Yes, salty carbs are usually my first post-migraine food.

          2. For migraines, I like canned tomato soup- the salt seems to get my electrolytes back in order (exercise in overly hot weather is a migraine trigger for me) and the tomato's got some nutritional value.