5 Natural Remedies for Headaches
Natural Remedies for Headaches
Headaches are one of the top ten reasons for seeing a doctor. Tension headaches, usually caused by muscle tension in the head, jaw, and neck, are the most common type of headaches. Many headache sufferers turn to non-prescription drugs, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, but overuse of these medications can cause side effects.
Fortunately, you do not have to use over-the-counter drugs to relieve your headache! Nature provides some herbs and plants that ease the pain. You can use your own body’s defenses against pain, such as stretching muscles to alleviate the cramps and tension that cause some types of headaches. You can even use headache-relieving modern engineering, such as tools that help you stretch tense muscles.
Here are five natural remedies to alleviate your headache without the use of dangerous drugs.
Top 5 Natural Remedies to Relieve Headache
1. Hot or cold water
Heat can calm muscle spasms in the head or neck that lead to tension headaches. The next time you have a tension headache, dip a washcloth in hot water, wring it out, and apply it to your forehead or the back of your neck.
Cold can shrink dilated blood vessels that cause migraine and cluster headaches. In fact, the National Headache Foundation says that migraine sufferers tend to prefer cold packs to warm packs when it comes to reducing headaches.
Doctors refer to migraines and cluster headaches as “vascular headaches,” because the headaches are the result of expansion and contraction of the blood vessels in certain parts of your head. Dilated blood vessels contain a lot of blood, which causes the blood vessels to be quite large. These enlarged blood vessels cause pressure that leads to headache. Exposure to cold temperature reduces blood flow and shrinks these blood vessels to alleviate pressure and relieve headache.
The next time a migraine or cluster headache strikes, dip a washcloth in icy cold water and apply it to your forehead or temples.
2. Chamomile tea
Chamomile calms muscle spasms, relieves anxiety, decreases inflammation and serves as a mild sedative to promote sleep, according to Migraine.com, and each of these benefits can alleviate migraine headaches. Healers have used chamomile as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, astringent, and healing medicine for centuries.
Chamomile contains substances known as terpenoids and flavonoids, which have medicinal properties that alleviate headache-causing inflammation and muscle spasms.
You can purchase dried chamomile at nearly any grocery. You can even grow chamomile in your garden, so you are sure that the chamomile you brew is free from pesticides! You can make tea from flower heads plucked fresh from the garden or use chamomile dried in a dehydrator.
Stretch the muscles in your jaw, head, and neck to ease a tension headache or reduce the intensity of other types of headaches. Your jaw, head and neck muscles are closely interconnected – tension in one area can cause pain in another.
Stress and anxiety may cause tension in your jaw muscles, for example, and this causes pain in nearby muscles of your head and neck. Stretching these muscles reduces headache-causing tension.
Stretch the muscles in the back of your neck by bending your head forward towards your chest and then backwards. Stretch the muscles at the sides of your neck by tilting your head towards one shoulder and then the other.
Use a tool, like Relēver, to relieve tension headaches by only stretching your jaw muscles. Several muscles on the top and sides of your head support your jaw where it connects to your skull at the temporomandibular joint; these muscles are all interconnected. Tension builds up in the dense jaw musculature caused by everyday stresses, posture, teeth grinding or clenching can travel to the connected head and neck muscles, ultimately causing tension headaches and associated pain.
Relēver’s unique design allows the user to get a deep vertical and lateral stretch of the jaw muscles. The easy-to-use handheld device features a rubber tip that grips your lower front teeth and allows the user to have full control over each stretch.
Perhaps one of the greatest advantages to Relēver is not only is it affordable at only $12.99, but you can use it anytime, anywhere!
4. Lavender oil or peppermint oil
Peppermint oil has a calming, numbing effect, according to Migraine.com, and Healthline suggests peppermint oil can help control blood flow and open up sinuses in ways that alleviate headaches.
Peppermint oil comes in a variety of forms, including in gel capsules, incense, candy, tea, or as a liquid oil. Add a few drops of peppermint oil in your bath water or into a small bowl of hot water to unleash peppermint’s therapeutic aroma. Put 3 to 5 drops of essential oil to one ounce of mineral oil, warmed coconut oil, or sweet almond oil, dab a little onto your fingertips, and rub the mixture onto your temples.
People have used ginger as a cooking spice and healers have administered ginger to treat illnesses for at least 2,000 years. Ginger contains more than 200 substances, many of which have therapeutic value.
One bioactive compound, gingerol, is responsible for most of the medicinal power of ginger. Gingerol has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects to relieve headache.
Scientists believe that gingerol and other bioactive substances in ginger block the production of prostaglandins, a natural substance produced by the body in response to an injury or infection. Prostaglandins cause inflammation, which is associated with swelling, pain, and fever. Because it blocks the production of prostaglandins, ginger is a powerful headache remedy.
You can use ginger fresh, dried, powdered, or as an oil or juice, or add it to your favorite recipes.
The next time a headache gets you down, try one of these five natural remedies. You can even combine some remedies. Try drinking a cup of chamomile tea before using your Relēver, for example. Stay away from risky over-the-counter products and use natural remedies for the headache instead.