8 Natural Ways to Bust a Headache
Headaches can bring any pleasant and productive day to a screeching halt. For many, headaches come as often as multiple times per week, and from chronic pain to slight tension, they have the power to negatively affect one’s quality of life.
Many factors can contribute to a throbbing, tense, and nauseating headache, so when it comes to cures, there is no one right way to get feeling better. Instead of turning to the pharmacy or your medicine cabinet, try out a number of these all natural remedies to get your head feeling better and your life up and running again.
1. Aroma Therapy
Not only will certain natural oils get your home smelling great, but they will also come in handy when it comes to headaches. Many essential oils can soothe painful headaches by easing tension in your head and the rest of the body. Because most headaches are a result of bad circulation, some oils can really help by opening up the sinuses and blood vessels as well.
Lavender oil, basil oil, and peppermint oil are the most effective at relieving pain, and both can either be applied topically or inhaled.
If you’re prone to headaches throughout the day, grab a handkerchief and apply a few drops of lavender, basil, or peppermint oil. When you start to feel your head throb, grab your handkerchief and take a few deep breaths to let the oil help ease your tension.
If you are in a situation where you’re free to smell as strong as lavender, basil, and/or peppermint as you want, then go ahead and apply a drop or two directly to your forehead and temples. Close your eyes, turn down the lights, maybe turn on some relaxing music, and take some deep breaths.
A vaporizer can also come in handy, as it’s a way not only to add a little humidity to your space but to distribute essential oils as well. Drop in a bit of oil or even a mixture, and let the scent take away your tension.
If you don’t have a vaporizer, you can still make a breathable remedy by boiling some water plus 5 or so drops of oil on the stove. Simply grab a bath towel and drape around your head as you lean slightly over the hot water. Make sure not to get too close or have too much exposure to the hot steam. The tent-like towel will help to trap in moisture and the scent of the oils.
Peppermint can also be enjoyed as a tea. For a chronic migraine, try wetting two peppermint tea bags and setting them over closed eyes. Take a few minutes to recline, rest your eyes, and inhale the soothing scent.
2. The Power of Cayenne
You may not be craving spicy food or food at all when you have a bad headache, so cayenne pepper may not necessarily be on your radar when it comes to soothing the pain: it is, however, a powerful remedy. A great cure for pain and inflammation as well as a bloodsugar stabilizer, cayenne pepper can quickly soothe a painful headache due to the fact that it contains capsaicin. Capsaicin is an ingredient commonly found in store-bought remedies and it is proven to prevent the pain of headaches.
Get a natural dose of this capsaicin by mixing about a half teaspoon of cayenne pepper with a glass of warm water. Sip until the headache dissipates.
3. Feverfew Cure
The aptly named feverfew plant is great for not only fever treatment but also headache relief. This powerful herb relaxes constricted blood vessels which cause headaches and reduces inflammation and pain. Parthenolide is a powerful substance in feverfew which is mainly responsible for this soothing effect.
Feverfew can be taken as a supplement everyday, and it is with this constant intake that migraine prevention can occur. You may also be able to find feverfew as a medicinal tea, although it is not so common due it its very bitter taste.
4. Caffeine Bust
Caffeine is a common ingredient in over-the-counter painkillers and migraine cures, but you don’t have to spend money or buy man-made pills to reap the benefits. A strong cup of coffee is often enough to open up the blood vessels and get some blood flowing again.
This remedy is great for some, but for regular coffee drinkers, it is not an effective treatment. In fact, if you are used to having a large amount of caffeine, you may actually start to get headaches when that caffeine wears off. Try to avoid over-use of caffeine, and try another one of these natural remedies to treat your headaches.
5. Experiment with Your Diet
Sometimes headaches are caused by what we eat. Caffeine, nitrates, MSG, and other substances in our food can create tension and headaches. Dairy, chocolate, citrus fruits, onions, bacon, and even fermented food can all contain tension-creating ingredients.
Pay attention to your diet when you have your headaches, and try eliminating certain foods to find out what the trigger of the tension may be.
6. Hot or Cold Relief
Changing up the temperature of certain parts of your body can open up blood vessels and encourage blood flow. Cold treatments can constrict the blood vessels, which makes them less likely to push on surrounding nerves and cause you pain. Heat can relax muscles and tension in the area.
A warm foot bath can often relieve pressure in your head. By stimulating the blood to the lower half of your body, blood vessels in your head can take a break with this added flood flow in other regions. Tension headaches can be soothed by a hot compress. Place the hot towel or heating pad on your neck or forehead. A cold compress on the forehead will help to shrink blood vessels, and at the very least, a mild yet mighty cold pack can numb the pain.
7. Massage and Acupuncture
Massage is a great way to get blood flowing and relieve tension. Best of all, you can easily give yourself a nice scalp massage at the comfort of your kitchen table or your desk. A firm massage at the back of the head near the base of the skull can help. This is a key spot for relaxing tension and easing pain.
A talented acupuncturist can do a lot when it comes to soothing and preventing headaches. Do some research and ask around to find a trustworthy and skilled practitioner in your area, and get ready to experience some major relief.
8. Prevention Tips
Since tension and stagnation are usually the root of a bad headache, there are a few things you can do throughout the day to keep these away. Remind yourself to relax your jaw, drop your shoulders, unfurl your brow, and breathe during the day. Eating regularly will keep your blood-sugar levels stable, which is an effective way to prevent headaches. Lastly, make sure to get at least a moderate amount of exercise throughout the week.