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There are numerous Chinese herbal prescriptions for headaches. For severe headaches, including migraines, the formulas often include blood vitalizing herbs, of which cnidium is the dominant ingredient: it nourishes blood, vitalizes blood, and dispels wind (the initiator of the headache). In this formula, vitex, schizonepeta, and mentha are used to assist cnidium to dispel wind, silkworm is used to alleviate spasms (and "wind-phlegm"), and tang-kuei, peony, carthamus, and eupolyphaga are utilized to assist cnidium to nourish and vitalize blood. This formulation was based on research formulas for severe and recalcitrant headache, such as the "obstinate headache formula" and the "cranio-pain decoction," as well as the traditional Cnidium and Tea Formula (Chuanxiong Chatiao San) designed originally for headaches that accompany the common cold, but which as been found helpful for migraines. Another headache formula, Angelica 14, is comprised mainly of the wind dispelling herbs; it is appropriate to use (in addition to Cnidium 9 or in place of it) at the onset of a headache. If the headache is associated with wind-heat rather than wind-cold, Chrysanthemum 9 can be used. Cnidium 9 contains the blood vitalizing herbs that are thought to help address an underlying syndrome that leads to recurrence of headaches in persons with chronic headache problems. Other contributors to headaches are blood deficiency (try Tang-kuei 18, Shou Wu Tablets, or Gui Pi Wan), liver fire (try Long Dan Xie Gan Wan, Pine Mountain), or wind-phlegm (try Gastrodia 9).

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