8 Natural Headache Remedies
A lot of the time, people will overlook the odd headache by taking painkillers and hoping it will go away. But headaches are often a warning sign that your body is lacking something. Often, taking too many painkillers can cause more serious, long-term problems and won’t allow you to get to the bottom of what’s really causing them.
There are so many reasons why we get headaches, such as stress, dehydration, fatigue, allergies, eyestrain - just to name a few - and it essentially means your body is telling you that something needs to change. So, instead of just masking the pain, it’s better to fight your headache head-on, and treat it in a more natural way...
First, what type of headache is it?
This is the most common type of headache among adults and teenagers. They’re often referred to as stress headaches, causing mild to moderate chronic pain, which comes and goes over time in waves.
These are not quite as common but can be the most severe. The pain is a lot more intense, similar to a burning or piercing pain behind the eyes. They tend to come back continually over a few weeks or months, and then go away again for long periods of time.
These ones are usually paired with things like a runny nose, fever, pressure in the ears and even facial swelling. They can cause pain in your cheeks, forehead and the bridge of your nose.
Migraines can last from a few hours to a few days and usually occur one or more times a month. They normally come with a few other symptoms, such as sensitivity to light, noise or smells; nausea or vomiting; loss of appetite; and upset stomach or belly pain.
But what actually causes these headaches?
Generally, headaches are down to signals being sent from the blood vessels and muscles in the head, but there are a few different triggers that can cause a headache, such as:
Illness (sinus infection, colds, fever or throat infection).
Eyestrain or back pain.
Environmental causes such as second-hand tobacco smoke, smells from chemicals, or perfumes.
Hereditary (especially migraines).
Vitamin or mineral imbalance.
Aspartame (artificial sweetener).
The Top 8 Natural Headache Remedies:
One of the more successful headache remedies, not only because it’s safer than treating it with a painkiller, but because people who suffer from headaches or migraines often have low levels of magnesium. Those prone to low levels are those with diabetes, heart disease, alcoholism, and those on diuretics for blood pressure.
Magnesium can block the pain-transmitting chemicals in the brain and taking 200-600mg of magnesium a day can reduce the frequency of headaches. To increase your intake, eat food with lots of fibre or take supplements. Foods high in magnesium are beans, whole grains, seeds, nut, and vegetables like broccoli and leafy greens.
2. Gluten-free diet
If you’re slightly intolerant to gluten, eating it can cause headaches. Try a gluten-free diet if you’re struggling with recurring ones, but you don't necessarily have to cut it out completely. Just cutting back a little could really help you! Pay attention to how you feel and eat more or less gluten over time to find your happy balance.
3. Peppermint & lavender essential oil
Both peppermint and lavender oil have calming and numbing effects, meaning they work well to relieve you from headaches.
Peppermint oil has a cooling effect on the skin and has shown to increase your blood flow to soothe muscle contractions. One study showed that peppermint oil, when used alongside ethanol, reduced headache sensitivity.
Lavender oil, while mainly used to aid sleep, can also be used to treat migraines and other tension headaches. One study showed that out of 129 headache attacks in patients, 92 were lessened due to lavender.
So to beat headaches, you can use our own Pure Mind Oil Roller, which contains both lavender and peppermint oils in a handy essential oil roller which you can carry around with you! Just by simply applying the roller to your forehead or surrounding area, you'll feel the immediate effect on the skin, and the symptoms of your headache will cease.
4. Herbs – feverfew & butterbur
The leaves of feverfew are often used in medicine, and they’ve been shown to ease migraine symptoms such as pain, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and noise.
Butterbur is a herb which will work as an anti-inflammatory, helping prevent the causes of headaches, especially migraines. It also acts as beta-blocker, which helps keep the blood flow to the brain normal. A study showed that, over a four-month period, the chances of a migraine was reduced by 48% in participants who consumed 75 milligrams of butterbur twice a day.
5. B-complex vitamins
B vitamins are a key part of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, and people who experience migraines may be deficient in them. A lot of Americans are deficient in vitamin B, which also causes energy slumps in the day, resulting in headaches. Vitamin B works to boost brain cells, circulation, immune function, and cardiovascular health. By taking supplements, or making sure you're eating foods high in vitamin B, you can not only help prevent your headaches but overall you'll feel more awake and have more energy than you did before.
6. Stay hydrated
A surprising amount of Americans are dehydrated day-to-day, which is often the cause of a lot of headaches without many people realizing. Even if hydration isn’t the cause, it will still help other symptoms if you keep hydrated. Drink your recommended 8 glasses of water a day, and you’ll notice a difference in everything from your skin and sleep, to your energy levels and mood.
7. Stretching and moving
If you’re sat in the same position all day, it can lead to body tension and cause a headache.
And even if you’re not sat at a desk all day, the way we hunch over when we look at our phones can add an extra 20-30 pounds of pressure on your neck!
An easy way to avoid it is by taking a break every 30-60 minutes and simply stretching your head and neck by moving them around in a circular motion.
Generally, those who suffer from headaches use a warm compress, whereas those with migraines use a cold one. But whichever works for you should help ease the pain for a little while.
There are a lot of remedies you can try to ease your headaches, but it’s often best to try and get down to the root cause of it, to prevent them from happening again. Taking painkillers can ease the symptoms, but if you find you're taking them regularly because your headaches are becoming too frequent, then taking a look at your lifestyle or diet is important. If you have any doubts and struggle with regular headaches, it's always worth having a trip to the doctors, too.
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