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16 natural headache remedies

by Aleigha (follow)
Lists (60)      Pain Management (7)      Natural Cures and Prevention (3)     
Headaches affect a great many of us. Sometimes they are annoying dull aching pains and sometimes they are full-on debilitating migraines. They can ruin our day and impede our performance. There are many types of headaches including tension, sinus, hunger, and migraine headaches.

image courtesy morguefile


Below is a list of different remedies and preventative measures one can use to alleviate an existing headache or to reduce the occurrences of future headaches. Keeping a headache journal may assist you in discovering (and then avoiding!) personal triggers, as well as keeping track of which natural remedies work best for you. Try one or more of these before reaching for that bottle of over-the-counter pain medicine. This list is not exhaustive nor meant to replace advice from your medical doctor.

1. DIY scalp massage. Massage the greater occipital nerve located at the back of the head and base of the skull. This reduces tension headache and migraine pain.

2. Bandana method. Tie a bandana, scarf, or necktie around the forehead just tight enough to feel the pressure. This will help reduce throbbing associated with some headaches and migraines.

3. Peppermint essential oil is helpful with tension and sinus headaches. Peppermint oil improves blood flow and opens the sinuses so more oxygen can get into the bloodstream. Apply 1-3 drops to the temples, behind the ears, across the forehead and back of neck. Peppermint oil can be applied with or without a carrier oil. It can also be beneficial to inhale deeply directly from the bottle.

4. Lavender essential oil is helpful for migraines. Apply 1-3 drops by massaging the temples, forehead, and back of neck. Lavender oil can be applied with or without a carrier oil.

5. Eucalyptus essential oil is helpful for tension and sinus headaches and tight muscles. This oil helps relax muscles, reduce tension, and open the sinuses applied to the temples and back of the neck. It may also be inhaled directly from the bottle. Eucalyptus oil must be diluted with a carrier oil per bottle directions prior to applying to the skin.

6. Apply heat. For a throbbing headache, a hot foot soak will draw blood to the feet, thereby reducing the pressure on the blood vessels in the head and reducing the throbbing. For a tension headache, applying heat to the back of the neck will reduce tightness and tension.

image courtesy pixabay


7. Apply cold. For a throbbing headache or migraine, applying cold to the artery that lies behind the temples will reduce the throbbing. This can be used in conjunction with the hot foot soak for more relief.

8. Drink plenty of water. Dehydration can cause or exacerbate headaches. Be sure to drink enough water daily and in particular at the onset of headache.

image courtesy pixabay


9. Eat regular meals. Some headaches are a result of a dip in blood sugar related to skipping meals.

10. Feverfew herbal remedy taken daily has been found to reduce the occurrence of migraines.

11. Moderate aerobic exercise (jogging, brisk walking, swimming, cycling, etc) has been found to reduce the occurrence of headaches and migraines when done on a regular basis (30 minutes 3 times per week).

12. Yoga and daily meditation have also been found to reduce the instances of headaches, as well as stress levels.

13. Ginger is helpful in reducing inflammation, which is believed to be one cause of headaches. Ginger can be made into tea using teaspoon ginger powder (or 1 tablespoon grated) in 1 cup of hot water. This is reported to be helpful for migraine headaches in particular.

image courtesy pixabay


14. Flax seeds have omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation. Flax seed oil or the milled seeds can be added to smoothies on a regular basis to reduce the amount of headaches.

15. A daily magnesium supplement may also reduce the occurrences of menstrual related headaches and migraines. Be sure to follow package directions.

16. Basic diet changes may also reduce the amount of headaches one endures. Avoid foods with nitrates, MSG, or other ingredients/foods that seem a personal trigger for headaches (note these in your headache journal).

image courtesy pixabay



Tip #1 Lavender, Peppermint, and Eucalyptus oils have many uses other than treating headaches. Essential oils are potent and should be used per bottle directions. Essential oils can be found in natural health food stores or may also be found online for purchase.

Tip #2 Common carrier oils are coconut oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, and grapeseed oil. These can be found at natural food stores, grocery stores, or for purchase online.

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