Headaches can ruin your day badly, forcing you to top all the important work and pack up to sleep off the pain. Although, it can be possible to do this on some days, but there are days when you need to be out there to get a work done or say, you have to sit in front of the system to complete that important document by deadline. It is not possible to ignore work over health.
So, what to do in these situations? If you have frequent headaches or migraine attacks, you mostly take a tablet and continue the work. While doctors often prescribe over-the-counter medicines that work effectively for both migraines and tension headaches, there are also some proven home remedies for headache. These remedies help controlling the symptoms of headache to an extent that you can skip popping in a tablet for instant relief.
Check out these amazing home remedies for headache that you didn’t know about earlier.
Home Remedies for Headache
Try getting a soothing effect with scent
Some essential oils like lavender oil, helps easing tension headaches. Simply massage little lavender oil gently on your temples and forehead. Lie down and enjoy the soothing fragrance. To get the maximum benefits of essential moils, slip into a room that’s dark, quiet and cool. The longer you rest there, the better.
Along with lavender oil or apart from it, you can use peppermint oil to relieve the pain from headache. The menthol in peppermint oil can help in reducing the pain. The strong but relaxing fragrance of the oil stimulates at first and then relaxes the pain-causing nerves.
You can use lavender oil and peppermint oil together to get relief from headache. Get a vaporizer, add 3 drops of peppermint oil and 7 drops of lavender oil, breathe in a quiet place. If you don’t have a vaporizer, just sprinkle a few drops of peppermint oil on a kerchief or tissue and inhale deeply for a few minutes.
Take two wet peppermint tea bags and put them on your forehead or closed eyelids for around 5 minutes.
Take some throb stoppers
Ginger, an anti-inflammatory traditional remedy to cure headaches and it actually works. Just grind up a 1/2 teaspoon ginger and add to a glass of water. Drink the ginger juice. Alternatively, you can add a cup of hot water into well-grounded ginger. Let it cool for a while before you consume it. Ginger works best for migraines, though the process of effectiveness is yet to be revealed. Doctors claim that ginger works well on prostaglandins, hormone-like substances that leads to inflammation. It also reduces the problem of nausea that is a side-effect of migraines.
Drink a cup of rosemary tea. Some people claim that it helps preventing the pain from getting worse. You can prepare rosemary tea by adding 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary to a cup of boiling water. Steep it for 10 minutes and strain it in a cup. Sip it while hot.
One of the most popular traditional home remedies for headache is strong black tea with a few whole cloves added to it. The caffeine content of tea and anti-inflammatory properties of cloves, help reduce the symptoms of headache like migraines and tension headaches.
Drink a glass of water and see if you get some relief. Sometimes, dehydration can be the cause of headache.
Check your sleep schedule
If you are a migraine patient, you need to have proper sleep every day. Dy. Newman says, “The gene for migraines gives us basically a hyperactive or overly sensitive brain. Because of that, any change can induce migraines.”
Too much sleep or too little sleep can cause migraines, so having a regular routine of sleep is important. It not just helps in reducing the symptoms of migraine, but also works minimizing the chances of those occasional headaches also.
According to expert doctors like Dr. Newman, tension headaches are very different than migraines, as they are not as severe as a migraine attack. They don’t cause vomiting, nausea or sensitivity to light, smell and sound. But having a healthy lifestyle helps for all kinds of headaches.
You must be thinking, ‘how do I workout with a pounding head?’ But following the reports of some neurospecialists , exercise can help reducing the symptoms of headaches as it releases the endorphin hormones in the body, which are effective, natural pain killers.
Make a routine of investing a minimum of 150 minutes in a week for exercise. You can either get a gym subscription or indulge in a physical activity like swimming, walking, jogging or biking.
Check your stress levels
Today, in the times of a fast and busy lifestyle, stress levels are ever increasing and it is important to be keep it checked for a healthy mind and body. One of the significant reasons for frequent headaches is stress and tension. So, how can you keep your stress levels checked and thus, reduce the symptoms of headaches? Read on.
Try doing a progressive muscle relaxation workout, which helps in unclenching the tensed muscles that contributes to a headache. Here are a few easy muscle relaxing exercises you can do to ease the pain of headache:
- Focus on a particular muscle group, start from the ones in your hand. Take a deep breath while squeezing your hand into a tight fist for at least 8 seconds.
- Release your tension by exhaling and opening your hand quickly.
- Repeat the same process for different muscles in your body. Start from the feet, moving up to your face.
- You can also try some mindfulness techniques such as guided imagery as it helps you distract from the pain. According to some doctors, if you don’t attend to the problem, it reduces the impact.
Keep yourself away from screens
If you are someone who is in front of a computer, laptop or phone, you must be aware of the most common symptoms of Digital Eye Strain or Computer Vision Syndrome, headaches. According to what Dr. Newman says, whether it is mobile phone, computer, tablet or laptop, being in front of screens for a long time can trigger headaches. To avoid this discomfort, the America Optometric Association recommends the 20-20-20 rule. It talks about looking 20 feet away from the screen every 20 minutes for at least 20 seconds.
Take a vitamin B2 supplement
Dr. Newman says, “High doses of vitamin B2 have been shown to decrease migraines.” Take 400mg of vitamin B2 supplement, riboflavin every day. In a 2017 review of Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, it showed positive effect on adults having migraine issues.
Record your triggers in a diary
Keeping a journal can help you track your headache symptoms accurately. Additionally, it can help you identify the food and drinks that trigger headaches. The results can vary from individual to individuals, but commonly, aged cheese, artificial sweeteners, MSG-containing foods trigger headaches. If you have migraine frequently, try avoiding dark chocolates, whiskey, bourbon and red wine, As per studies, white rum, vodka, gin are better options for migraine patients.
Eat an apple every day
As it is said, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Apple cider vinegar and apple can be helpful in fighting headache. They are capable of restoring the acid-alkaline balance in your body. Mix ½ cup of water and ½ cup of apple cider vinegar and put it to boil in a covered saucepan. Remove it from heat, take the steam by covering your head with a towel. It offers instant relief from sinus headaches.
If you have headache in the morning as soon as you wake up, eat an apple with salt sprinkled on it and drink a glass of warm water. Alternatively, you can also drink a glass of water with 2tspns of apple cider, lemon juice and honey vinegar. If once is not enough to fight off the symptoms, drink it two to three time in a day.
Try yoga for relaxation
Practicing yoga can help in relieving stress, decreases pain, improve your lifestyle and increase flexibility. Doing yoga regularly can also help in reducing the frequency and intensity of your headaches. A study on the effects of a yoga therapy on around 60 people having chronic migraines suggested that headache intensity and frequency were reduced. Yoga therapy and conventional care works great when combined than only taking conventional care.
In another study, researchers found that individuals who did yoga for three months continuously saw evident reduction in headache severity, frequency and other symptoms as compared to individuals who didn’t include yoga in their daily routine.
Avoid strong smells
Strong smells such as cleaning products and perfumes can cause headaches in some individuals. A study conducted on 400 people with frequent migraines and tension headaches revealed that perfumes and other kinds of strong odors triggered headaches.
Osmophobia is the hypersensitivity to odors, which is commonly seen in people having chronic migraines.
If you notice sensitivity to smells, try avoiding perfumes, scented foods and cigarette smoke. It can help in reducing the chances of getting migraine attacks.
Take an herbal remedy like feverfew and butterbur
There are certain herbs like butterbur and feverfew that helps to reduce your headache symptoms. Let’s talk about these herbs in detail.
Feverfew is a kind of flowering plant with anti-inflammatory properties. In some studies, taking 20-150gms of feverfew doses reduced headache frequency considerably. However, not all the studies gave the same result.
Butterbur root is a perennial shrub native to Germany and also has anti-inflammatory effects. As per studies, taking 50-150gms of butterbur extract everyday can reduce headache symptoms in children and adults.
Note: Feverfew is mostly safe when taken in suggested amounts. But, the effects of butterbur’s long-term use are still unknown. It should be taken with caution because the unpurified forms can lead to liver damage.
Try acupressure for relief from headaches
Acupressure has evidently reduced headache and pain. It is a traditional healing process based on ancient Chinese acupuncture practice. Acupressure involves putting pressure on particular points of your body. These are called acupoints. On pressing these points, you can release the muscle tension and encourage blood circulation. It also reduces the side effects of chemotherapy.
You can practice acupressure easily at home. Here are a few steps on how to do acupressure with your fingers to reduce headache and pain:
Pressure point LI-4
- Also called Hegu, Pressure Point LI-4 is situated between your index finger and base of your thumb.
- Use your right thumb and index finger, search for the exact point ion your left hand, between the index finger and base of the thumb.
- Keep pressing this point for about 5 minutes.
- While you apply pressure, move your thumb in circular motion. Remember to press firmly but not with too much pressure that it starts hurting.
- Repeat it on your right hand.
You can practice acupressure as many times as you want in a day or when needed to reduce the headache symptoms.
The right time to see a doctor for headaches
Although these home remedies for headache prove to be helpful for most people, you shouldn’t ignore frequent headaches. If it doesn’t go away with these home remedies, you must see a doctor or it will interfere in your daily lifestyle. A good healthcare expert can prescribe you proper medication that will identify the exact health condition.
Reach out to your doctor immediately, when you notice these red flags:
- You experience explosive onset of headache.
- You have a stiff neck and fever with headache
- You experience headaches while doing certain activities such as coughing, sex, exertion and weight-lifting.
- You face problem frequent headache after the age of 50.
- You feel numb and weak, when suffering from a headache
- Your headaches are associated with cognitive changes.
The Bottom Line
Headaches can be very painful and an unwanted interference in your everyday life. If you don’t want to be on regular medicines for chronic migraines and tension headaches, these home remedies for headache will help you control the common triggers, intensity and frequency of your headaches.
Tell us in the comments what worked for you.