Giving up those sodas and coffee drinks may temporarily bring on the unpleasant state of caffeine withdrawal; and you will be in good company with thousands of others attempting to relinquish caffeinated drinks. Even giving up as little as 100 mg of caffeine consumed daily -- or one cup of coffee -- can bring on symptoms of lethargy, depression, fatigue, irritability, anxiety and headaches, says Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. However, there is hope. Several natural remedies may provide relief and speed your time spent in withdrawal.
Many people forget to drink enough water during the day. Drinking water keeps your body hydrated and helps flush toxins from your liver and bloodstream. As you eliminate caffeine from your daily routine, your system may release various toxins stored in the tissues that need to be removed so you can feel better. The simple act of drinking a glass of water may provide relief from headaches and other aches and pains due to the tension you experience while detoxing from caffeine. The suggested amount of water is 1/2 oz. for every pound of body weight, according to "Concise Encyclopedia of Foods and Nutrition." In other words, a 150 lb. individual needs 75 oz. of fresh water daily.
Most fruits and vegetables are alkaline, or have a pH above seven. Drinking juices and eating alkaline foods help flush the body of toxins and reduce acidosis, according to Felicia Drury Kliment, in "The Acid Alkaline Balance." When you are going through caffeine withdrawal, replace caffeinated drinks with refreshing fruit juices. The fresher the better, say Kliment. She suggests juicing your own fruits and vegetables for added energy and to help flush your system and raise your pH.
Homeopathic Nux Vomica
Nux vomica is a homeopathic remedy that is well-suited to helping you get over caffeine withdrawals, according to homeopath Dr. William Boericke in the "Materia Medica and Repertory." Nux vomica is indicated for individuals who have a terrible headache, especially across the back of the head and neck, a common reaction to giving up caffeine. There may also be pain in the side of the head or temples that feels like a nail is being driven into your head.
The remedy belladonna is indicated for headaches that are characterized by intense pain accompanied with hard throbbing in the head, especially on your right side, according to Boericke. The headache may come on suddenly and linger for extended periods or leave as suddenly as it came on. The remedy may be useful in cases where you have pain in your eyes resulting from light sensitivity, are nauseous, and feel worse from being touched or jarred. Caffeine withdrawal can produce these types of symptoms that may be greatly alleviated by a few doses of belladonna. You can buy belladonna over the counter at health food stores.
- University of Southern Florida: Headaches
- "Materia Medica and Repertory"; William Boericke, M.D.; 1998
- Health Services at Columbia: Go Ask Alice: Caffeine's Effects on Health
- "The Acid Alkaline Balance"; Felicia Drury Kliment; 2002
- Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center: Caffeine Withdrawal