There are so many things that can make your head ache – a bad day at the office, deadlines, a lousy argument, traffic etc. These are just a few of the reasons for a headache, and we all have our own different reasons too. Whatever may be the reason, once the headache kicks in, you rather have a hole drilled into your skull to make it stop.
A headache is a pain experienced in any region of the head. It is generally your body’s response to physical or emotional stress. It is occasionally followed by aggression and violence towards anyone that crosses your path.
Although there are more than a dozen types of headaches, the two most common types are:-
This is one of the most common types of headache experienced. The person experiences a vice squeezing in the head. It is caused by the contraction of muscles that cover the skull, often caused by stress and lack of sleep.
A migraine is another type of headache that occurs with one or more of the following symptoms which are nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light. It is characterized by the throbbing pain felt only on one side of the head.
The obvious choice by a person to kill the pain is medication. Non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs, aspirin and many more are the first actions towards relief. But when your headaches are persistent and if medications just aren’t doing their magic, there are many home remedies you can consider which actually does wonders. Here is a list of the top 10 home remedies for headaches. Read away!
Top 10 Home Remedies for Headache:
1. Ice Pack – The Cold Comforter:
The first thing you say to a person who is frustrated and angry is, “Cool down!”; in this case it’s your head. Headaches are caused when the muscles and blood vessels in your head begin to contract. The best way to relax them is to cool them down. Apply the ice pack to the part of your head that hurts. Place it on your forehead or on the back of your head for 15 minutes or until the pain reduces.
2. The Magic Drink – Cinnamon And Milk:
Cinnamon isn’t only useful in cooking, but also as a cure for headaches. This simple drink can actually do wonders for the pain. Add 2 teaspoons of cinnamon powder to 1 ½ cup of milk and boil it for two minutes. Add a spoonful of honey; mix and drink it at least twice daily when suffering from a headache.
3. Rosemary and Thyme:
Rosemary and thyme can be very helpful in the treatment of headaches. It has anti-inflammatory properties which instantly alleviate pain. You can drink an herbal tea made from a combination of rosemary and thyme to ease headaches. Alternatively, apply a few drops of thyme or rosemary essential oil on your forehead and on each temple. Gently massage and rub the oil into the skin, then sit quietly for couple of minutes to let this remedy work.
4. Ginger root Tea:
Ginger helps in reducing migraine headaches. Plus, ginger helps to overcome the nausea that often follows migraines. Make a tea of ginger root by simmering four small-sized slices of crushed ginger root in 3 cups of water, covered, for 30 minutes. Drink while hot. This homemade remedy reduces your headache in about the same time as it would take an aspirin to work. Plus its ginger root, hence no risks of an overdose to worry about.
5. Chamomile Tea:
Chamomile tea contains compounds that help reduce the pain and relax your mind. To brew up a cup of chamomile tea, add one chamomile tea bag in a cup of boiled water. Let it steep for ten minutes. Add a tablespoon of honey if required. Drink the hot tea slowly while resting in a less noisy and quiet spot.
6. Menthol Balm:
Made from peppermint or other mint oils, this waxy white balm does the trick and is an instant headache home remedy. Rub a small amount of this balm on your forehead and your temples, and massage slowly. Some say rubbing menthol balm below your feet also works. No matter where you use it, its cooling effect makes you feel calm, relaxed and makes your headache disappear.
“Butter-what?” you ask. Also called Petasites, this is the most effective natural medicine for headaches. Butterbur root extracts have been shown to be very effective in reducing the severity of migraine headaches. It is available in numerous forms like tincture, powder, or other forms and has both antispasmodic effects and anti-inflammatory properties.
8. Peppermint Oil:
Peppermint oil helps expand and contract the vessels that helps blood flow and quickly reduces the pain from a headache. It generally also has soothing and calming effects. To use, massage peppermint oil onto your forehead, back of the jaws, and temples. For a stronger effect, you could prepare a steam treatment by adding a couple of drops of peppermint essential oil into a small pot of boiling water. Inhale the steam in deep and slow breaths for fifteen minutes.
It is true what they say, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Both apples and apple cider vinegar have properties that can normalize the alkaline and acidic levels in the body, giving you comfort from headaches. Simply eat an apple with some salt or add two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a full glass of water and drink it to get relief from the headache.
Crush that nagging headache with the simple cayenne. While you may think that consuming something spicy hot will only worsen the pain, cayenne in fact can help treat both inflammation and pain. Capsaicin, an ingredient in cayenne is said to inhibit pain perception. Dilute half a teaspoon of cayenne finely ground in about 4 oz of warm water. Soak a cotton swab in it and gently apply to the insides of the nostril. Yes, it will burn! But when the burning sensation subsides, your headache will be all gone!
Go find some feverfew flowers, for this can help relieve a nagging headache. Several theories suggest that your head begins to pound as the blood vessels begin to expand and put pressure on the nerves. This potent herb is said to relax the tension in your blood vessels while also constricting them, and thus eases the pain and reduces inflammation. So ditch the aspirin and go natural with feverfew. Add an ounce of the dried flower to a pint of water and boil. Let it steep for 15 minutes, strain and drink a few times in the day, for relief from bothersome headaches.
12. Drink Up:
Now now, don’t go for that bottle of beer. We are talking of water. Not drinking enough water in itself can be a cause for headaches. Add to it stress and coffee consumption, and you need to combat with pounding headaches that refuse to abate. As soon as you sense the signs of an oncoming headache, drink a large glass of water and keep sipping water throughout the day. Trust me, your headache will gradually decrease and finally be gone!
13. Say No to Chocolate:
If you are susceptible to headaches, it is time to resist the temptation to chomp chocolates. Yes, chocolates are irresistible but they also trigger headaches as they are rich in caffeine. Drinking fewer cups of coffee too, will do the trick!
Tension headaches can be treated effectively by consuming basil. This herb will relax and soothe your nerves and help you combat with a stubborn headache. Massage some basil oil gently on your forehead for relief. Combine this treatment with the consumption of a concoction of these leaves. Just drop a few basil leaves into a boiling cup of water. Add some lemon and honey, and sip away on this herbal tea.
15. Lavender oil:
A fragrant home remedy with absolutely no side effects, lavender oil is perhaps your best bet to beat a nagging headache. Just put some lavender leaves into a bath and soak in its goodness, or drop them in a bowl of hot water and inhale the vapors. You can also apply some lavender oil externally to calm your senses. Do not consume the oil!
Clove is an active ingredient in most over-the-counter pain balms. In fact it is also the most commonly used home remedy in case of toothaches. The very same clove can also help you get relief when a headache looms. In order to ease a tension headache, apply clove oil on your forehead. The cooling effect will give you instant relief. Alternatively, crush a few cloves, wrap them in a napkin and inhale throughout the day. You could also make a paste at home and apply it generously on your forehead for relief from pain.
Yet another herb extensively used in home remedies to treat several ailments, the rosemary has anti-inflammatory properties that will shoo away your headache in a jiffy. Simply apply the oil of rosemary to bid adieu to bothersome headaches. A gentle massage will also induce better sleep. Alternatively, make yourself a cup of rosemary tea! Drop some rosemary and sage leaves into boiling water. Cover the vessel and let it boil together. Let the tea cool down and sip a few cups of this fragrant tea. Not only will you feel refreshed and hydrated, you will also find the headache either gone or reduced.
18. Stretching Exercises:
How could we possibly round up home remedies without exercises? Try some headache relieving stretches at home. Chin forward, upward and downwards towards each shoulder is perhaps the easiest exercise that you can add to your daily workout. Also try neck isometrics – press your palm onto your forehead and hold for a few seconds. Next press your hand on both sides of your head and release. Stretch twice a day for a few minutes to keep muscle tension at bay.
19. Pick up a Pencil:
Don’t think of me as a whacko. This does help! Yes a simple home remedy for headache! Hold a pencil between your teeth. Do not clench too hard or bite, but simply hold it firmly between your teeth; exerting a little pressure on your jaws will activate your smile muscles and relax your jaws. Often stress is the reason for headaches, and this simple and funny exercise will help you relieve your nerves and free you from a nagging tension headache.
20. Take A Nap:
Your mind is frustrated. Your head hurts. You don’t want people beside you. The only thing left to do is to start counting sheep. Let the busy world in front of you pass by while you go to your fantasy land. Taking a nap relaxes your body both physically and mentally which in turn, reduces your headache. As simple as that!
A few more tips that are sure to help:
1. Did you know that a headache can be triggered by the food you eat? Yes, that plate of burger and fries might quite be the reason for a next day headache. To pinpoint what food set your headache off, maintain a food diary. This will help you track headache patterns and spot a link. Say no to food that you know will cause trouble. A big plate of cookies is certainly tempting. But ask yourself if it is worth the aftermath!
2. Indulge in occasional treats, but bring down your coffee consumption to reduce frequent headache attacks. While some claim that it is a cup of hot coffee that helps their headache, most often than not it is the caffeine in the coffee that is the culprit behind migraines.
3. Read food labels while shopping for your groceries. Look out for ingredients that you know will trigger a headache. The FDA now needs to list out all ingredients, so do your research and shopping for food that your body agrees to.
4. This one is sure to appeal to each one of you. As crazy as it may seem, this will help ease a painful headache. Soak your feet in a bath of warm water. Add to it a few drops of essential oil for a relaxing sauna treatment at home just for your feet. You could also add some mustard powder, and the hot foot bath will ease the pressure built up in your blood vessels and also make you feel great!
So the next time you have that pain in your head, try these natural home remedies for headache first rather than popping a pill into your mouth.