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Natural ways to relieve headaches

Irene Brenneisen

Irene Brenneisen

September 4, 2023

reading time

6 min

Say goodbye to headaches - the natural way! Irene Brenneisen, patient coach and psycho-oncological counsellor at Zollikerberg Hospital, shares her expertise in anthroposophical medicine.

The mustard flour footbath

What is a mustard flour foot bath and how does it work?

A mustard foot bath made from black mustard powder is a traditional form of naturopathy used to alleviate certain complaints such as headaches and migraines. The effect of mustard foot baths is explained in various ways.

  • Mustard contains capsaicin, which stimulates blood circulation
  • Distraction through the unfamiliar sensation of the mustard foot bath
  • The mustard flour dissolved in the water releases mustard glycosides. These act deep down through the skin, stimulating the metabolism in the foot area and relieving congestion in the head.

Preparing the mustard foot bath

  • Fill the foot bath with water: the water should reach approx. 2 cm above the ankle so that the feet can stand comfortably in the bowl.
  • The water should have a temperature of approx. 38 C°.
  • Add black mustard flour (2 handfuls for a bowl size, 2 yoghurt pots full for a high footbath).
  • Prepare a large towelling cloth.
  • Prepare a shower, bathtub or jug with clear lukewarm water.

Carrying out the mustard foot bath

  • Pour the mustard flour into the footbath or bowl and mix together
  • Sit on a chair with your knees covered with the towelling cloth and soak your feet in the mustard bath. The mustard glycosides irritate the skin and cause a stinging pain, the skin reddens, which is a positive sign, but must be observed very carefully.
  • After removing the feet, the mustard flour must be rinsed off very well (in the bath, shower or with a jug of lukewarm water).
  • Then dry the feet. Attention: the spaces between the toes must also be clean.
  • Duration: 3 to 15 minutes

Important to note

  • Important: Avoid any contact with the eyes when handling mustard. Sensitive skin types (especially red-haired people) may not tolerate mustard applications. In this case, a shorter application time should be considered or ginger should be used instead.
  • Important: Be careful not to burn or irritate the skin.
  • Important: The first foot bath should be carried out under professional supervision, as each person has a different reaction time.
Macro shot of a wooden spoon with ground maca powder.

Solum embrocation

What is solum embrocation and how does it work?

"Solum uliginosum" consists primarily of a bog extract obtained from raised bog peat. The powers of the moor have an even, gentle warming, loosening and eliminating effect. They strengthen and rebalance the vital processes in the body's connective tissue metabolism.

The Solum oil works as follows:

  • High moor peat has a warming, loosening and pain-relieving effect. It has a preserving and demarcating effect.
  • Horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) strengthens liver function and revitalises the fluid processes in the venous system.
  • Field horsetail (Equisetum arvense) stimulates kidney activity and promotes elimination.
  • Essential lavender oil (Lavandulae aetheroleum) has a calming and relaxing effect.

When can a Solum rub be used?


  • Tension headaches, migraines
  • Rheumatic pain
  • Nerve pain (neuralgia)

Procedure for Solum embrocation

  • For tension headaches, it is recommended to rub 2-3 ml of Solum oil into the back 1-2 times a day and then wrap it in a woollen cloth, sheep's wool or other material and rest.
  • For migraines, whole-body rubbing is recommended once a day to several times a week.
  • Solum uligenosum is also available in ampoules for intravenous injection. injection and can be injected for migraines.
Person pours oil into the palm of the hand for a massage or skin care.

Further tips from integrative and complementary medicine for patients with headaches

  • Peppermint oil: Studies have shown that peppermint oil is just as effective as chemical remedies. We recommend rubbing a few drops of peppermint oil onto the painful area of the head and temples.
  • Drink plenty of fluids: We particularly recommend water and unsweetened tea.
  • Relaxation exercises: Mindfulness meditation, yoga, progressive muscle relaxation, eurythmy therapy
  • Magnesium: For example in the form of Schüssler salts (Schüssler salt number 7, magnesium phosphoricum).
  • Passiflora incarnata: The use of passion flower mother tincture is recommended for tension headaches. For this purpose, 2-5 drops should be dissolved in a little water 1-3 times a day and then taken.
Portrait photo of Irene Brenneisen

Irene Brenneisen

Patient coach and psycho-oncological counsellor SGPO

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