Almost everyone suffers from occasional headaches.

Most are only temporarily uncomfortable but some can be quite debilitating.

Headaches respond well to homeopathy, which not only elevates the symptoms but also corrects the underlying causes.

The most common are tension and migraine headaches.

The former have multiple causes, including mental/emotional stress, depression, inadequate rest or poor posture.

Tight muscles in the neck and shoulders result in persistent band-like pain, pressure or throbbing.

Try one of the following remedies:

Aconite: For anxiety or apprehension with the sensation of a band around the skull.

Nux-vom: Piercing frontal pain and neck tension and irritability.

Kali-phos: Mental strain, worry, sleeplessness or stress.

Ruta: Eyestrain.

Pulsatilla: Overwork or emotional distress.

Silica: Pain beginning in the head and ending in one eye. In migraines, also called vascular headaches, blood vessels in the head constrict, then dilate, allowing an excessive blood flow. This causes throbbing pain on one side of the head, aggravated by light and sound and often accompanied by visual disturbances, nausea and vomiting.

True migraines are debilitating. There are a number of factors known to trigger an attack but why it happens is not known.

Migraine is a common cause of headaches in children.

Homeopathic remedies can ease the pain and sickness, especially if taken early. Long-term constitutional treatment helps reduce the frequency and severity of migraines.

Match your symptoms to one of the following remedies:

Belladona: For migraine starting at the back of the skull and spreading to the forehead/temples, throbbing, pounding pain, aggravated by light and noise.

Bryonia: "Splitting" headaches with pain over one eye (left) or the entire head, aggravated by movement.

Cimicifuga: Throbbing pain or shooting pain felt in the eyes, often associated with menstruation.

Gelsemium: Feeling weak, lethargic, droopy eyes with diminished vision and pain mostly in the back of the head and the neck, often relieved by urinating.

Ignatia: For emotional upset or grief with sensation as if a nail is driven in.

Kali-bich: Excruciating pain felt in little spots or over the eyebrows.

Lachesis: Left-sided migraine with congested, pulsing pain aggravated by pressure, worse before menstruation.

Nat-mur: Hammering headache proceeded by misty vision or zig-zagging lights before the eyes, caused by grief, emotional upset, too much sun, before or after menstruation.

Sanguinaria: Rght-sided migraine with tension in the neck and shoulder, a bursting feeling in the eye, caused by missing meals, digestive problems, allergies and premenstrual.

Sepia: Left-sided migraine with dizziness and nausea, worse near menstruation or during menopause.

Silica: Right-sided migraine, starting in the back of the head and extending to the forehead.

Spigelia: Excruciating left-sided headache, with violent throbbing pain above or through the eyeball.

Persistent headaches can be a sign of an underlying serious health problem. In such cases, seek a medical diagnosis.

Elizabeth Whitney is a qualified, registered homoeopath and can be contacted at Advanced Homoeopathic Centre, 20 New Road, Brighton. Call 01273 390938 or email