At one time or another we have all had a headache. They can range from mild to annoying to excruciating. While there are many commercial medications that you can take, I prefer to take the natural route to finding relief.
20 Natural Cures for Headaches
1. Lavender and peppermint rub
Grate fresh ginger in hot water and drink as a tea. Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory. It can also help to relieve the nausea that can accompany headaches.
Apply firm pressure to the point just below your first and second toe on the bottom of your foot. You can also apply pressure to the webbing between your index finger and thumb. Use firm pressure for 3-5 minutes.
Fairly new on the market, extract of butterbur is anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic. You can find it at most health food stores or online.
Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant. It’s one of my favorites for headache relief. It can be taken as a supplement or as a tub soak. Epsom salt is made of magnesium sulfate. A word of caution: don’t take too much magnesium at one time. It’s the chief ingredient in Milk of Magnesia. Too much when your body isn’t use to it can have the same laxative effect. (Find magnesium bath flakes, lotions, gels, and oils here.)
7. Hot and cold water
Soak your feet in water as hot as you can stand for two minutes, then as cold as you can stand for another two minutes. Alternate for a total of 20 minutes. This will help increase blood flow and relieve pain.
8. White willow bark
9. Hot or cold compress
Either one may be more comfortable for your head. Try alternating heat and cold for 20 minutes as you would with your feet. If one bothers you more, use the other one. Heat does nothing for me for headaches, but cold works well.
10. Take a break
If you’ve been working for a while, especially at a computer, take a break to give yourself some time away. Take a walk. Get your circulation going. Sometimes just turning off your mind for a few minutes can help ease a headache.
11. Natural sugars
I get a headache when my blood sugar is low. Natural sugars include fruit juices, honey or maple syrup. If nothing else, grab some peanut butter. It has natural sugars and protein to help keep your blood sugar even for a while. If you have problems with your blood sugar, you might want to try cinnamon or licorice. Both have been shown to help stabilize blood sugar levels.
Headaches can be caused by too little sleep. Even a short nap can help. Try to rest in a quiet, dark place.
A headache can signal dehydration. Be sure you’re getting enough water. Sports drinks with electrolytes can help too, but watch the labels. Many contain refined sugars which can make matters worse.
15. Lemon juice
Many people swear by lemon juice in warm water.
16. Avoid triggers
Headaches can also be caused by red wines, aged cheeses, chocolates or nitrates. Some artificial sweeteners can cause problems in some people. If you know what is a trigger for you, avoid it.
The old line “not tonight dear, I have a headache” doesn’t hold water. Sex increases the heart rate, which increases circulation, which can cure a headache. Really!
18. Dark, quiet place
Sometimes just finding a quiet place for even a few minutes can help.
19. Valerian root
Taken mainly for inducing sleep, Valerian root can also help ease a headache. This is best taken in capsule form as the smell can be overwhelming for some. It is non-addictive and very safe.
20. Steam aromatherapy
If you find yourself with a headache, there are a great many natural alternatives. Have you tried anything that isn’t listed here?
photo credit to Avenue G