A migraine is a severe pounding or pulsing headache that commonly starts in the forehead and moves toward the side of the head and around the eyes. Migraine headaches are caused by a combination of the enlargement of blood vessels and the release of chemicals from nerve fibers that coil around the blood vessels. During a migraine attack, the temporal artery, which is found just under the skin of the temples, enlarges and causes nerves to stretch around the temporal artery. The tension of nerves then triggers the release of chemicals that cause inflammation, pain and even more enlargement of the artery. The increasing enlargement of the artery intensifies the pain.
Chamomile contains sesquiterpene lactones which appear to help control expansion and contraction of blood vessels in the head. When one begins to get a migraine, our brain releases the neurotransmitter serotonin, and our blood vessels constrict. Sesquiterpene lactone appears to counteract our brain’s order by causing blood vessels to dilate. Thus, chamomile enhances the “tone” of blood vessels, thereby helps in controlling migraine headaches. In addition, chamomile appears to neutralize chemicals called prostaglandins, some of which are linked to pain and inflammation.