Headache: study confirms the usefulness of old remedies of folk medicine
The old remedies used by our grandparents to treat headache were somewhat effective. This has been demonstrated by a CNR study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology. According to the study, about 80% of the plant substances used by Italian folk medicine between the 19th and 20th centuries have natural components able to counteract the mechanisms underlying headache.
“Organic components such as flavonoids, terpenoids and phenylpropanoids seem to be able to block, in vivo, the chemical mediators involved in the onset of headaches”, said Giuseppe Tagarelli of the CNR Institute for Agricultural and Forest Systems in the Mediterranean, one of the authors of the study. “For example”, the researcher added, “diterpenes extracted from sunflower, elder flower and artemisia can act like NSAIDs, the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs normally used to treat headaches.”
The study also revealed that about 42% of the plants used by Italian folk medicine to treat headache were already in use between the 5th century BC and the 2nd century AD, as evidenced by the writings of Hippocrates, Pliny the Elder, Dioscorides, Galen and Serenus Sammonicus. An example of extraordinary knowledge transfer that has lasted for over 2,000 years.