For the last two to three months, I have been having headaches every day – almost at the same time. Come 8 PM and the pain starts – usually around the temple, though sometimes it is like a ring around my head. It is a slow, throbbing, constant pain, and when it starts I cannot sit still, or lie down – so I take to pacing around the house.
I went to the doctor but was disappointed to learn there was nothing unusual in my head – he almost ruled out sinus headaches since my nose, ear etc look normal. From WebMD, I learnt about cluster headaches. They occur in spurts or clusters, and are caused by some kind of problem with the trigeminal nerve. Well, in any case, since I don’t know what kind of a headache it really is, I was at a loss as to what to do regarding it.
One of my office mates is Chinese, and he gave me a small bottle with some oil that smells like Eucalyptus oil, or mint, and suggested steam inhalation on a daily (nightly) basis with a little of the oil added to the hot water. The first time I got it totally wrong – I added 5 drops and that was a killer – I couldn’t breathe the steam in- it was saturated with the minty essence. That oil is potent stuff! I wish I could read Chinese, but since I can’t I can only tell you that the bottle is really small, like the size of a dollar coin, and perhaps 6 mm thick, and a drop of the oil is enough for one session of steam inhalation. It provided some instant relief and after a few days, the headaches have stopped altogether. But the thing is, I don’t know if this was directly related to the drops and the steam inhalation. Wish I could find out.
Chinese medicine is fascinating to say the least. The names of the medicines even more so. Bai Guo aka Gingko Biloba is probably one of the more popular natural Chinese medicines. Some dude has actually put together a whole website/blog about Chinese medicinal herbs – I found something called Bai Fu Zi there – maybe its worth a shot. Have to ask my Chinese friend about where to get it, and whether to try it.