I’ve been feeling for Savannah Guthrie ever since I read the Page Six item a week or so ago about how her chronic migraines are getting worse because of stress brought on by her new Today show anchor gig. First off, I feel for her because exploiting a person’s health issues for the purposes of gossip headlines is awful always, and I do very sincerely hope the unnamed source for that item gets a colossal, head-splitting, puke-inducing migraine of his or her very own, sooner rather than later.
Secondly, I feel quite literally for Savannah, because I’ve also suffered from migrianes. Like hers, mine have been accompanied by excruciating light sensitivity. And I am here to tell you that there is no adequate way to describe what it feels like to have light become your Kryptonite. I played through a lot of pain for a long time when I had a big old stressful job—but not as big and stressful as hers, and not in front of blinding white lights and the bright morning sun. I don’t know how on God’s green earth she’s doing it.
One of the more irksome parts of having migraines—or any serious condition, as I’m sure those of you who’ve been through it can attest—is that everyone’s got an amazing doctor/ homoeopath/accupuncturist/masseuse/book/special diet that totally worked for their aunt/sister/trainer that you totally HAVE to try. People mean well, but something I learned early on was that no one thing works for everyone. There does seem to be some consensus among the migraine sufferers I know, however, that lavender can almost always provide at least some degree of comfort. There aren’t many times that it actually got rid of a headache for me, but it has nipped countless dozens in the bud, and kept many bad ones from getting much worse. I’ve tried too many lavender products to count. This is the stuff I’ve leaned on for years.
My favorite candle is, alas, also the priciest. What I will say in favor of the splurge is that this Diptique number lasts forever, and is lovely to gaze at as well.
Back when headaches were a daily thing for me, I ordered these Red Flower candles by the case. Their scent runs a very close second to Diptique’s version, and they cost about half as much. In addition to which, the travel size is eeetsy and adorable.
There are about a billion lavender body oils on the market, but this one is so richly scented—and very nice in the bathtub too.
The smell of nail polish remover is so fume-y that it can give a headache to just about anyone. This organic version does take a lot longer to work, but eventually it does, and it’s totally worth it.
There’s no real therapeutic reason to have a lavender hand wash, but when my headaches are bad, that’s the only scent that I can bear (aside from no scent at all, in which case this is a solid option). Plus, it just looks so great.
There are a lot of sources for good lavender essential oils, and you’ve really just got to go out to your local organic emporium and—quite literally— sniff them out. My new standby is Enfleurage, a boutique that sells essential oils and pretty much nothing else. They’ve just added e-commerce, but if you’re ever near their store in the West Village—and essential oils are at all up your alley—you must stop by because these people know their stuff. They’ve got three types of lavender: French, English, and Bulgarian organic. I like the French because it’s got a nice touch of green in it, but they’re all fantastic.