The first thing people do when they develop a headache is reach for an over-the-counter medication or their prescribed painkillers. However, there are also many good natural home remedies for headache that are worth checking out. They are quite effective and can even provide almost instantaneous relief without any of the side-effects chemical-based medication presents.
Here is a look at the top home remedies for headache.
Best home remedies for headache
Ginger is one of the most effective home remedies for headache because it helps to control and even reduce blood vessel inflammation in the head.
All you need is to mix an equal part of ginger juice with lemon juice and drink this mixture once or even twice every day. You can also get relief from your headache by applying a mixture containing a teaspoon of dry ginger powder and two tablespoons of water. Simply apply this paste on your forehead for a few minutes and get quick relief from your headache.
Mint contains both menthol as well as menthone which are known to provide relief for headaches.
All you need to do is obtain a small amount of mint juice from a few mint leaves and then apply it on your forehead and temples to treat your headache. Another way to use mint is by placing mint tea compresses on your forehead for alleviation from your headache. You can also get relief by drinking coriander juice.
Peppermint is one of the best essential oils to help relieve headaches. It also contains menthol like mint, which helps opening up clogged blood vessels, a frequent cause of headaches. If that’s the origin of the pain, unclogging the vessels can provide instant relief.
Simply mix about 3 drops of peppermint oil with a tablespoon of almond oil and olive or even some plain water. Use this mixture to massage your forehead and temples and get instant relief. it is also possible to get relief from your headache by preparing a steam treatment which requires a few drops of peppermint oil being mixed with boiling water. Simply inhale its steam for a short time and get relief.
Basil is good for alleviating headaches because it relaxes the muscles and is therefore a good remedy for a mild headache caused by tense muscles.
Put 3 to 4 leaves of fresh basil into a cup of boiling water and allow the mixture to simmer for a short time. You can also add some honey to the mixture, let it cool and take small sips of it. This will give you slow relief from your headache.
The soothing smell of lavender oil is enough to provide relief from headaches, especially tension headaches.
According to research findings, lavender oil is effective in providing relief for those suffering from migraine headaches. You can preprare several home remedies for headache with this oil. To get its benefits, you need to put some drops of lavender essential oil on a tissue and inhale it. Alternatively, you can also add some lavender oil drops to two cups of boiling water and breathe in the steam. Keep in mind that you should never try to take lavender oil orally.
An ice pack is also an effective one of the best home remedies for headache, albeit a simple one. The coolness from the ice helps to bring the inflammation down and, in this way, it provides relief from headaches. The nice thing about using ice is it also helps to numb the pain.
All you need to do is apply the ice pack to the back of your neck. This is a good way of obtaining relief from migraine headaches. Alternatively, you can also use a towel that has been dipped in ice-cool water. Take the towel and drape it over your head for 5 minutes to get relief. Keep in mind that this process has to be repeated multiple times to get total relief.
Stretching your neck and head
There is also a stretching exercise that you can perform in order to get relief from headaches. Simply stretch your head as well as neck to bring down the intensity of your headache.
To perform this exercise, you must move your chin up and down and from left to right. At the same time, you also need to bend your neck from one side to the other in the direction of your shoulders. Rotating the neck clockwise and then anti-clockwise can also help you relax your neck muscles, and in this way, you can get relief from your headaches.
Cloves have been known to provide relief from throbbing headaches. The reason why cloves are good for a headache is that they have cooling as well as pain-relieving properties.
All you need to do is crush some clove leaves, put them in a sachet and inhale their smell to get relief from headaches. Alternatively, mix a couple of drops of clove oil in a tablespoon of coconut oil and a bit of sea salt. Use the mixture to do a gentle massage on the temples and forehead to help to provide relief from headaches.
Apples, along with apple cider vinegar, are effective home remedies for headache because they help to restore the acid-alkaline balance in your body.
To get relief, take half a cup of apple cider vinegar and mix with ½ cup of water and boil the mixture. Then, put a towel over your head and slowly inhale the steam to get instantaneous relief from sinus headaches. Eating an apple with some salt on it followed by a drink of warm water can also prove to be effective.
What causes headaches?
Headaches can arise from several causes. Sometimes it’s easy to find the trigger based on the pain placement on the head and its type (if it’s steady, throbbing, comes and goes, etc.). To know the right home remedies for headache and even to get the most suitable OTC to treat it, you first need to know how to identify the type of headache you’re feeling.
The majority of headaches is categorized as tension headaches, migraine headaches and cluster headaches.
Tension headaches and their causes
Tension headaches are a one of the most common types of headache. In developed countries, it is estimated to affect over 1/3 of men and 1/2 of the female population.
This type of headache is caused by tension as well as by stress. The constant tigntening and contracting of the scalp, face and neck muscles can also provoke spams which in turn lead to pain.
Migraine headaches and their causes
Migraine headaches, on the other hand, are more severe and can also lead to a debilitating condition. Not much is known about the cause of such headaches other than it is caused by a few triggers. Hormonal changes, certain kinds of foods as well as lack of sleep are the most common ones. Migraine headaches can also be caused by concussion or brain injuries as well as by stress.
Sinus headaches and their causes
Sinus headaches are not so common and many who develop such headaches also suffer from migraine headaches. This kind of headache is caused by upper respiratory infection and by bacteria that invade and infect the nasal sinuses.
Cluster headaches are a somewhat rarer kind of headaches that affect males more than females. This kind of condition can also be hereditary. This kind of headaches comes in grouped, usually concentrating the pain in one side of the head, just behind the eye, and changing sides on the next pain cluster.
Nothing concrete is known about its causes.
Ice-pick headaches which are also known as primary stabbing headaches and can cause severe pain. This sudden pain may only last for a brief moment or two, but during that time the patient experiences intense pain at a small and localized spot. The causes of this kind of headache are still unknown. The good news is this kind of headache is not very serious.
How to avoid headaches
No matter how good these home remedies for headache are, prevention is always better than cure and there is nothing quite as bad as experiencing a headache. Fortunately, if you change your routine, it is possible for you to avoid headaches. If your headaches persist, then it may be time to see a doctor to see whether some underlying condition might be causing the pain. Here is a brief look at how you can avoid headaches.
Identify the triggers
The first thing you need to do is find out what are the things that are triggering your headaches.
The trigger could be anything, including certain foods you are eating or it could even be a smell that causes headaches. Once you know what is triggering your headache, you can learn to avoid it. To identify the triggers of your headache, you may want to keep a diary in which you can note down the things or factors causing your headaches.
Drinking too much alcohol will cause headaches. Therefore, if you want to avoid them, you need to moderate your alcohol consumption.
When you consume too much alcohol, your body becomes dehydrated, which in turn triggers the headache. Ultimately, if your headaches are constant and intense, you may need to give up alcohol consumption.
Drinking coffee in moderation is alright and it can even help soothing the pain, but if you consume too much caffeine then you are definitely going to experience headaches. If you are sensitive to caffeine, then you may need to eliminate it completely.
It is also a good idea to stay away from energy drinks because they are loaded with caffeine and other unhealthy additives that could become a potential reason why you may start experiencing headaches.
Computer and television screens
It pays to not look at a computer or television screen for extended periods of time. If you are working with computers, then you should take breaks every half an hour. It is also a good idea to get up and stretch. Overall, it’s just good to take small breaks from the screen and rest your eyes and mind a bit to avoid headaches.
Overexposure to the sun
Being exposed to the sun for long periods can also cause headaches. Bright sunlight is often a trigger that can cause headaches because it leads to dehydration and also to unwanted eyestrain. When in the outdoors in bright sunlight, remember to wear sunglasses and take a hat or an umbrella with you to avoid direct sun exposure on the head. If you are feeling overheated, then make sure you enter a shaded area to cool off.
Changing your lifestyle can also help you avoid headaches. Drinking more water and eating small meals on a frequent basis all help to avoid the pain. Try to eat as healthy as possible to keep your body strong and working efficiently and avoid any foods that you suspect are triggering your headache, even if they are healthy otherwise.