Headache is one of the most common pains that people suffer from often. While most tend to reach out to over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers to cure their headaches, what if we tell you that there are several ways to do so naturally? Before we jump into learning about these home remedies, it is best to understand the type of headache you are suffering from and its cause.
Knowing the type of headache you are suffering from is important before you start any home remedy. Based on the type of headache, there might be more than one natural remedy to ease the pain. Some of the most common types of headache are as follows:
Tension headache is caused due to overstressing, especially when the head muscles are tense. It is the most common type of headache that people deal with. The pain is prominent in the middle and top of the head.
Sinus headache causes pain behind the eyes and nose. It leaves you feeling generally congested in the head. You will experience this type of headache even during an alcohol-induced hangover.
Cluster headaches appear throughout the day. It causes sharp, stabbing pain in one particular spot of the head.
Migraines initiate with throbbing pain behind the eyes. The pain gradually grows throughout the head, making you sensitive to light, activity, or any kind of movement.
Some of the primary reasons that can trigger headaches are as follows:
Alcohol, usually red wine
Certain food items, such as processed meats containing nitrates
Change in sleep cycle or lack of sleep
A few home remedies that can ease the pain caused due to headache are as follows:
Ginger is one of the most effective remedies for headaches. It not only helps reduce the pain but also improves digestion, which, in turn, helps curb nausea. You can either use ginger powder and water paste on your forehead for instant relief or use ginger in your morning or evening tea. You can also mix equal parts of ginger juice and lemon juice and prepare a refreshing drink.
Peppermint is especially useful in opening-up clogged blood vessels – the primary cause of headaches. Peppermint consists of menthol, which helps regulate blood flow. In case of a headache, you can massage your temples or your neck with a mixture of a few drops of peppermint oil and one tablespoon of almond oil.
Lavender is known for its refreshing fragrance, but it is also an effective remedy against headaches. Taking whiffs of a tissue soaked in lavender oil can have a soothing effect. You can also add a few drops of lavender oil to two cups of boiling water and inhale the steam. Alternatively, you can mix two or three drops of the oil in one tablespoon of almond oil or olive oil and massage it on your forehead.
Cinnamon is yet another spice that has a soothing effect on headaches. The best way to use it is to grind some cinnamon sticks into a powder. Add some water to prepare a thick paste and apply the same on your forehead to get instant relief from headache. You can wash the paste after 30 minutes.
Cloves have pain-relieving properties. The simplest way to use it is to put a crushed clove in a sachet or a clean handkerchief and inhale the same. You can even make a paste using two drops of clove oil, a tablespoon of coconut oil, sea salt, and massage your forehead with it.
Basil is a strong-scented herb which is known to have analgesic benefits. The oil works well against headaches caused by tension and tight muscles. Put three to four fresh basil leaves in boiling water and consume it with a little honey to relieve headache.
Magnesium content in the body is known to relax blood vessels, which, in turn, reduces headache. It is usually given intravenously to treat migraine or a bad tension headache. Alternatively, you can take magnesium citrate oral supplements to prevent headaches.
Vitamin B2, also known as Riboflavin, is an effective headache treatment at home. Some people also consume Vitamin B12, B6, and B9 tablets to get instant relief from headaches.
Basic stretching can help reduce the intensity of the headache. You can move your head down to up (and vice versa) as well as from left to right (and vice versa) and bend your neck in a clockwise and anticlockwise direction for optimum blood circulation.
Ice packs also help with migraine and reduce the inflammation that causes headaches. Besides, ice has a numbing effect on the pain, giving you instant relief from headaches. Moreover, try stroking your feet in hot water to get instant relief from headaches.
If you have headaches early in the morning, you can start your day by eating a slice of apple sprinkled with salt followed by warm water. Or, you can add two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar — which helps restore the acid-alkaline balance in the body — to honey and a splash of lemon juice and have it with water.
Headaches during pregnancy can be very distressing, especially because you cannot take any medication without your doctor’s consultation. To avoid issues that can affect you or your baby, we have listed some safe, at-home headache treatments for pregnant women.
Staying hydrated is critical during pregnancy. Since most pregnant women suffer from dehydration, they are likely to suffer from headaches. Having a tall glass of mineral water 8-10 times a day should resolve this concern.
Hydrotherapy, the therapeutic use of hot and cold, is a helpful and safe remedy for treating headaches during pregnancy. Apply a hot pack to the head and the back of the neck. It can be paired by similarly applying an ice pack afterwards to maximise the relief.
It is highly advisable to consult a qualified, licenced natural health practitioner when looking for natural remedies to cure headaches. Some health experts for headache treatment are as follows:
Licenced Naturopathic Doctors (ND or NMD)
Licenced Acupuncturist (LAc or DAOM)
Massage Therapist (LMP or LMT)
Certified Reiki or Healing Touch Practitioner
People have been following these instant home remedies for headaches for years. Pills are often advised for severe pain, but home remedies for migraine headache treatment are known to have fewer side-effects.
However, if the headache does not seem to reduce even after following these natural home remedies, get in touch with your doctor. Chances are that the headache is an underlying symptom of other health issues. Hence, it is best to get yourself checked before it escalates.
Moreover, the consultation charges for the same are mostly covered under daycare expenses in your health insurance plan. If you have any doubts about it, get in touch with your provider and get it resolved as soon as possible.