We all have experienced headaches one time or the other, some caused due to illness while others are usually triggered by stress and tension. The biological or physical headache is caused by a genetic deficiency of the brain chemical serotonin. Two most common types of headaches are migraines and tension headache. Most people take painkiller pills to suppress the pain but they often develop tolerance to pain killers , resulting in more painkillers to stop the pain. It gets to a point that they develop a habit for these painkillers and ironically they get a headache if they do not take a painkiller. Worry not help can be now found in natural remedies for headaches. We list here some effective natural remedies of headache.
Important Note: Chronic headache can be a symptom of several health problems, if you have a severe and frequent headache seek medical advice immediately.
Natural remedies for headaches
Limited and controlled use of prescription and over the counter drugs can help control the chronic pain, however, even better choices are the natural remedies to help cure your headache:
Start with ice to relieve headache
your best remedy. Take an ice pack, wrapped ice or even a bag of frozen vegetables and place it on pain area, for not more than 20 minutes. You must use a paper towel, or a cloth to protect your skin. Use caution if you have sensitive skin as people with sensitive skin may burn their skin if they keep ice on the skin for longer period of time. Ice cuts pain by reducing swollen blood vessels that put pressure on nerves and override the pain message to your brain. Ice also lowers metabolism which reduces muscle contraction. Do it at the start of the pain for better results
Rosemary or Clove and Basil Tea
Add a few cloves to basil tea and drink to get rid of tension headache. Or pour a cup of boiling water over a teaspoon of dried rosemary and let it set. Strain and drink to relieve headache.
For fast headache relief, place a few drops of Rosemary oil on a cotton ball and dab it on your forehead.
Lavender oil headache remedy
Gently massage lavender oil on the forehead and temples and lie down to relax.
Massage Peppermint Oil
Massaging peppermint oil on your temples can help reduce the tension headache. It is as effective as ibuprofen. You can add one drop of peppermint essential oil to 3 drops of almond or olive oil and apply to the pain area. Peppermint oil can be rubbed on the forehead as it helps to relax the nerves. You can also add three drops of peppermint oil to a warm bath to relieve pain.
Aromatherapy as a headache remedy
Sprinkle one drop of peppermint, lavender or chamomile oil on a tissue paper and inhale deeply to help relieve tension headache. You can also add three or four drops of lavender oil and another three or four drops of peppermint oil in a vaporizer and inhale.
Sniff a soothing scent
Keep a bottle of peppermint essential oil (available at health food stores and bath-and-beauty shops) on hand. Then take a whiff straight from the bottle whenever a tension headache has you in its grip. The smell of peppermint short-circuits headache pain fast by improving circulation and drawing energy away from the pain.
Target your temples
Position your thumbs on either side of your head, right in the center of each temple. Using a firm, circular motion, massage your temples for a minute or two.
Schedule some tub time
Steep two tablespoons of lavender and two tablespoons of lemon balm in one cup of hot water for 10 minutes. Pour the tea into a tub filled with lukewarm water, then settle in for a 20-minute soak. You can buy both herbs in health food stores.
Henna leaves headache remedy
Soak fresh henna leaves in water for half an hour, make a paste and apply over the forehead to get relief.
Hot water mustard powder remedy
Soak your feet in hot water, It will make your head feel better. Warm feet will draw the blood from the head to the feet and ease pressure in the head. If the headache is severe, add mustard powder to the hot water in which the feet am soaked.
Cinnamon powder headache remedy
Make a paste of cinnamon powder after grinding the cinnamon This can be applied over the temples and forehead.
put one teaspoon of freshly grated ginger in a 16-24 ounce of hot water and enjoy throughout the day. Take powdered ginger as soon as you fear a bout of migraine setting in.
Apply a hot compress or hot water bottle wrapped in a towel to the forehead to relax the knotted-up muscles in the area.
If the headache is at the back or the neck, then use a cold compress by wrapping ice cubes in a piece of flannel and placing on the sensitive nerves in the back of the neck. Soak your hands in iced water and close and open your wrists in it.The cold water will narrow down the dilated blood vessels
Herbal headache remedy
Take 125mg of prepared, dried herb feverfew (botanical name: tanacetum parthenium) once a day to help relieve migraine pains. It has anti-inflammatory properties similar to aspirin.
Vinegar headache remedy
Soak a headband or scarf in vinegar and tie it around your head, as it will reduce the flow of blood to the scalp and relieve the pain in the head
Avoid these foods
People with migraines must avoid MSG, its a proven scientific fact that foods with MSG can trigger migraines, you can search on the internet to learn more about it and all the other hidden names it comes in like hydrolyzed proteins, yeast extract etc.
Do not consume cold food items like ice cream, cold drinks or bathe in cold water during a headache.
If the headache persists, it could be due to sinusitis and blocked nose. If that is ruled out, you might want to get your eyes checked by an optometrist or consult a neuro-physician.