Head-Ach, or Cephalalgia, a painful sensation in the head, produced by various causes, and attended with different effects, according to its various degrees, and the part of the head where it is situated.
: Head-ach, in general, is only a symptom of disease, and frequently occasioned by effusions of blood on the brain, as also by ulcers, accretions, etc. on that sensible organ. Persons of a sedentary life, or those subject to costiveness or indiges-tion, are more peculiarly liable to the attacks of the head-ach. An acrimonious state of the fluids ;; the stone; catarrhs; contusions on the head ; a diseased state- of the teeth 5 piles ; hysterics ; strong odours of every kind ; the fumes of tobacco ; rheumatism ; gout ; scurvy ; worms both in the intestines and in the head; too much hair; grief; and intoxication, are among the numerous causes of this affection, which is sometimes so violent as almost to deprive the unhappy sufferer of his senses.
Where the head-ach originates from an internal cause situated within the brain, it is seldom curable. In nervous affections, relief may sometimes be procured by ve-nesection, cupping, or leeches ; by sneezing remedies, blisters, issues, or other topical discharges near the head ; by purgatives ; or by determining the fluids 'to other parts. Frequent combing and cutting of the hair, as well as bathing the feet in tepid water, will likewise be found very serviceable.— A poultice of elder flowers applied to the part affected, has been sometimes attended with good effects, as also has the holding of a piece of hellebore in the ear
According to Thunberg, Ca-jeput oil, applied to the head, will afford considerable relief. Similar success has attended the application of aether and spirits of hartshorn as a sternutatory, and as a local remedy. It is asserted, that the most acute and obstinate headachs have been removed by the use of vervain, both internally in the form of a decoction, and also by suspending the herb round the neck. Strong coffee has likewise been of considerable service, especially to phlegmatic habits, and those whose digestion is impaired.
The diet of persons afflicted with the head-ach ought to consist of such emollient substances as wiil prevent costiveness ; for instance, -stewed prunes, apples, spinach, etc. The drink should be diluting, such as barley-water, or infusions of malt, etc. Their feet and legs should be kept warm, and the head shaved, frequently batherl with warm water and vinegar, re-taining it as much as possible in an erect posture.