Treat headache according to guidelines - with peppermint oil
In the treatment of acute headaches, the local use of peppermint oil proves to be equivalent to taking acetylsalicylic acid or acetaminophen, researchers from the Pain Clinic Kiel report. The herbal medication has already been included in the guidelines of specialist societies as a standard medication.
Scientists currently distinguish at least 367 types of headache, Prof. Dr. med. Dipl.-Psych. Hartmut Göbel and his colleagues in a CME contribution to the certified advanced training in the specialist journal "The Pain" (Pain 2016; 30: 295-310, DOI 10.1007 / s00482-016-0109-6). Over 92 percent of all headache disorders are caused by two main types of headache: tension-type headache and migraine.
According to worldwide epidemiological studies, 42 percent of all adults suffer from tension-type headaches in adulthood. Her life can be severely affected by the disease.
Synthetic analgesics offer quick, but short-term relief from the symptoms. However, if they are taken frequently or continuously, habituation effects and undesirable side effects are very likely to increase the frequency of headache episodes and their intensity will increase, warn the Kiel researchers.
The external application of a ten percent peppermint oil solution offers a tolerable and safe alternative. Peppermint oil works quickly, does not lead to medication-related headaches, is inexpensive and suitable for self-medication.
Applied to the forehead and temple skin, peppermint oil stimulates the cold and pressure receptors, at the same time the smooth muscles relax and the blood circulation is increased.
The therapeutic efficacy of the herbal medicinal product has been tested in numerous controlled clinical studies and has shown paracetamol and acetylsalicylic acid to be equal in terms of the effectiveness and speed of onset of action, as well as in terms of reducing pain intensity. In the meantime, the guidelines of the German Society for Neurology also point out the effectiveness of peppermint oil. The German Migraine and Headache Society recommends that peppermint oil be preferred during pregnancy and used in children. The "Primary Headache" practice guideline from the German Society for Pain Medicine lists peppermint oil as the first choice for acute therapy for tension-type headaches. (pm)