Headaches are one of the main conditions for which people seek homeopathic treatment.  Headaches take a wide variety of different forms, and each person experiences them differently.  The sensation of the pain will vary greatly, along with causative factors, and the circumstances which ease or aggravate the symptoms.  

Headaches can be triggered by a wide range of external factors, including emotional distress, bright sunlight, exhaustion, long hours of studying, insomnia, food sensitivities and jet lag.  If you only get a headache occasionally, your headache has come on very recently, and the cause is clear, you can self treat with homeopathy and this will often be effective.

If there is no obvious cause, and especially if you know you are prone to recurrent headaches or migraines, it is advisable to seek professional care with a homeopath.  A course of treatment will address the root cause, whether your headaches are associated with, for example, hormonal fluctuations, allergies, sinusitis, or a history of head injury.  The homeopath will take a detailed and careful case history, and prescribe homeopathic medicines which exactly match your experience of the headaches, engaging your healing process to raise your level of health and reduce their incidence.

I have given below brief symptom pictures of eleven homeopathic remedies, which are often used in the treatment of acute headaches (ie recent onset with a clear recent cause).  If you would like to discuss professional care for chronic long term headaches or migraines, you are welcome to get in touch.


Belladonna is the first remedy to consider for headaches associated with high fever or sun exposure.  The pain comes on suddenly and is intense and violent.  The pain is throbbing and pulsating,  and is most typically frontal and right sided.  The face is often flushed, and the pupils dilated.  There is acute sensitivity to light, noise and smells, and the pain may be better for pressure, and for lying down in a dark room.


Bryonia is a common remedy for acute headaches, and the strongest feature of a headache that will respond to Bryonia is aggravation from even the slightest movement, including moving the eyes, coughing or stooping.  The pain is often experienced in the forehead and over the back of the head, and may be described as bursting or crushing in character.  It may typically begin in the morning and get worse as the day goes on.  Bryonia is often indicated in headaches due to constipation.


Cocculus is a useful remedy for headaches that come on from loss of sleep and anxiety (eg from looking after a sick relative), or a headache associated with nausea from travelling by car or boat.  The headache is typically accompanied by vertigo, and the person feels better for lying down, and worse for noise and light.  There may be feelings of dizziness, weakness and trembling, and reactions may be slow due to exhaustion.


Gelsemium is indicated in headaches that come on when the person is facing an ordeal of some kind – a major event, job interview or exam, for example – and they feel paralysed by the anxiety of it.  The head feels heavy, and the pain typically starts at the back of the head and radiates forwards.  The person may feel dizzy and drowsy with the headache, and their eyes may also feel heavy, as if they cannot keep them open.  Gelsemium is a remedy also used in the treatment of flu and other respiratory infections, and it will help with headaches associated with flu, where the symptom profile matches.


In acute treatment, Glonoinum is a helpful remedy for headaches that come on from sun exposure.  The typical symptoms are intense pain of a bursting, pulsating character, with flushed face and bloodshot eyes.  Symptoms may come and go with the sun, even if the person does not continue to be directly exposed to it.  There may be a sensation of heat and pressure in the head, and the pain comes on in waves.  There are similarities to Belladonna, and Glonoinum is worth considering if Belladonna has been given but has not helped.  In professional care, Glonoinum is a remedy often prescribed in hormonal headaches, including at menopause.


Ignatia is a well known remedy for its association to grief.  It is indicated in headaches that come on after a loss, which are typically felt as a stabbing pain, as if a nail or needle were driven into the side of the head.  In this situation headaches can also be congestive or throbbing in character, worse for stooping, and the causation of a recent loss can lead to the choice of Ignatia.

Nux vomica

Nux vomica is the first remedy to think of for headaches associated with too much coffee or alcohol, or from mental overstimulation (eg working late and lack of sleep).  The person is usually irritable and oversensitive, especially to noise and pressure.  The headache is typically accompanied by digestive upset with nausea, and they feel worse around 3-4am or on waking in the morning.  


Pulsatilla has a strong affinity for headaches, and has a wide range of uses, including in hormonal headaches. In acute treatment it is indicated in headaches associated with indigestion, especially after eating fatty or rich foods, or pork.  It is also used in headaches which come on in a warm or overheated room, or after emotional stress.  The character of the headache is often congestive, with sensations of pressure, and accompanied by flushing of the face.  The pain is typically worse in a warm or closed room, and in the evening, and better for open air.


Staphysagria is one of the main remedies for headache associated with emotional stress, especially in cases where the headache comes on after the person feels they have been insulted or mistreated, or after a quarrel.  There may be a painful sensation as of a hard lump in the forehead or back of the head, and there may also be a typical pressing or bursting sensation, as if the head is compressed by a bandage.


Spigelia is a remedy frequently indicated in migraines.  It has a distinct character, with violent pains which are stabbing or stitching (as from needles), and located above, around or through the eye.  The left eye is most often affected, with only occasionally a right sided focus.  The pain is worse for touch, motion and noise.  Spigelia has a strong affinity for the nervous system, and is often indicated in facial neuralgia.


Sanguinaria is another remedy very often used in the treatment of migraines.  A Sanguinaria headache is typically right sided, and begins in the neck or at the base of the skull, extending forward to the forehead and right eye.  They are often accompanied by vomiting, and may be cyclical, returning every seventh day.  The person feels better for lying down and for sleep.

If you are thinking of professional care for recurrent headaches or migraines, you can book a discovery call or appointment via this link:   https://karenleadbeater.co.uk/work-with-me/