Headaches are as common as the day and all of us suffer from them all the time. Headaches can range from mild to excruciating pain; wherein it can hinder your daily activities.
There are different types of headaches; and the most common are the tension headaches. Migraines are also becoming quite common and the pain is moderate-to-severe.
Some of the most painful headaches are cluster headaches; named because they develop in clusters or groups.
There are multiple medications available for relieving symptoms of headache, of which many are quite effective too. Nonetheless, there are quite a few effective and natural treatments or remedies for getting rid of headaches that we have listed down for you to try.
20 Amazing Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Headaches
Here are 20 effective home remedies to naturally get rid of headaches.
Get Rid Of Headaches by Getting Sufficient Sleep
Sleep deprivation is also one of the common causes of headache along with it being bad for overall health too. A study has also shown that the severity and the frequency of headaches is more in people who slept less than six hours a night when compared to people who slept longer.(1)
Getting insufficient sleep triggers or causes headaches, so make sure to get enough sleep to get rid of headaches naturally.
Massage to Get Rid Of Your Headache(2, 3, 4)
Giving yourself a gentle massage on the back of the head, around the temples and even on neck and shoulders can help relieve tension headaches.(2) You can do the massage yourself or go to a massage therapist for headaches caused by chronic shoulder and neck tension.
Exercise Benefits in Reducing Headache Frequency and Intensity
Exercise or any physical activity is a simple yet effective natural remedy to get rid of headaches and to cut down its severity and frequency. A large study has shown that individuals with sedentary lifestyle had an increased risk of headaches.(6)
Another study showed that doing some indoor cycling three times per week for half an hour was better than some relaxation techniques used for reducing the frequency of headaches.(5)
Cold Compress Your Headache Away
Application of frozen or cold compress to the head and neck area helps to get rid of headaches naturally. The application of cold compresses helps in decreasing inflammation, constricting the blood vessels and slowing the nerve conduction; all these help in giving relief from headaches.(7)
Hydrate yourselfby Drinking lots of Water
Headache can also occur as a result of insufficient hydration in the body. A research has shown that a common cause of migraines and tension headaches is chronic dehydration(8). If the cause of a headache is dehydration , then drinking adequate amounts of water helps get rid of the symptoms of headache in half-an-hour to a couple of hours(9). Water is an effective remedy to get rid of headaches developed as a result of dehydration.
Other than headaches, dehydration can also cause loss of concentration and irritability, thus worsening your headache symptoms.
Biofeedback is Beneficial for Alleviating Your Headache(10)
Biofeedback is a technique,which is used for re-training the mind. Biofeedback helps in getting rid of various types of headaches, such as tension headaches, cluster headaches and migraines.
Cut Down on Alcohol
Research has shown that alcohol is one of the causative factors to trigger migraines in about 35% of people of suffer from frequent headaches(11). Moreover, cluster headaches and tension headaches seem to occur from excessive alcohol consumption.(12, 13)
Alcohol is a vasodilator, where it dilates the blood vessels thus increasing the blood circulation and this can lead to headaches in some people.In fact, vasodilators,such as blood pressure medications,have headaches as their common side effect.(14)
Moreover, alcohol also is a diuretic, wherein your body loses electrolytes and fluid through excessive urination resulting in dehydration and worsening or causing the headaches.(15)
Reach out for Magnesium
One of the important mineral is magnesium and it is vital for numerous functions in the body, such as nerve transmission and blood sugar control(16). Other than this, magnesium is also known to be an effective and safe remedy to get rid of headaches naturally. Studies have shown that people suffering from constant migraines tend to have magnesium deficiency.(17)
Studies also have demonstrated that taking oral magnesium citrate of 600 mg per day benefits in cutting the severity as well as frequency of migraines.(18)
However, it is to be born in mind that digestive side effects,such as diarrhea,can occur with magnesium supplements. So, it is better to consult a professional before taking these supplements and best to begin with a smaller doseto get rid of headaches naturally.
Make Use of Essential Oils
Essential oils are often used topically and have various therapeutic benefits. These oils are extremely concentrated liquids having aromatic compounds from different plants. Some essential oils can also be ingested.When suffering from a headache;lavender and peppermint essential oils are beneficial in treating it naturally.Application of lavender essential oil to the upper lip and inhaling it is beneficial in alleviating migraines and its related symptoms(19).Application of peppermint essential oil to the temples helps in decreasing the tension headaches(20).
Vitamin B-Complex helps with Headaches
Vitamin B group are water-soluble micronutrients responsible for various functions in the body. Vitamin B helpsin conversion of food into energy and also in neurotransmitter synthesis(21).Headache symptoms can be reduced by taking various B vitamin supplements,such as pyridoxine (B6), folate,and riboflavin (B2)(22). B vitamins can be taken regularly, as they are considered safe and being water soluble can be easily excreted if taken in excess amounts(23).
Avoid Histamine Rich Foods
Histamine is a chemical and is naturally found in the human body and is also present in some foods like cured meats, beer, fermented food,aged cheeses,smoked fish and wine. Histamine plays an important role in the nervous, immune and digestive systems (24). Some people are sensitive to histamine and can get headaches or migraine from it. There are also some people who are unable to properly excrete histamine due to impaired enzymes function that is responsible for breaking the histamine(25).
Cutting down on foods that are high in histamine from your diet is a natural remedy to treat your headaches(26).
Coenzyme Q10Helps Decrease Your Headaches Naturally
CoQ10 or Coenzyme Q10 is naturally produced by the human body and is a powerful antioxidant(27). CoQ10helps in conversion of food into energy(27).According to studies, CoQ10 supplements helps to get rid of headaches naturally and also help with migraine symptoms like nausea.(28, 29)
Elimination Diet Helps Eliminate Headache Naturally
It has also been shown that intolerance to certain food items can also cause headaches. An elimination diet needs to be tried if you want to know which food is responsible for your frequent headaches. Elimination diet consists of removing the foods that are associated with your headache symptoms.
Some of the common food items that are not tolerated by some people and can result in headache include: citrus fruits,coffee,alcohol and aged cheese.(30)
One study has shown that people who underwent a 12-week elimination diet experienced decrease in the frequency of migraine headaches.
Drink Coffee or Caffeinated Tea
Drinking caffeinated beverages can help to get rid of headaches naturally.Caffeine increases alertness, enhances mood and constricts blood vessels; and these things helps benefit in headache symptoms(31). Caffeine can also help in increasing the effectiveness of medications used for treatment of headaches.(32)
However, the downside of caffeine is caffeine withdrawal that can also cause headaches when a serious caffeine drinker suddenly stops drinking it. Hence, it is important for people suffering from frequent headaches to be aware of their caffeine consumption.
Yoga for Relaxation from Headache
Yoga is an amazing way to get rid of pain, stress and for improved flexibility(33). Practicing yoga regularly helps in reduction of the frequency and intensity of the headaches.
According to a study, people practicing yoga for more than three months experienced reduction in severity and frequency of headaches(34).
One more study showed that people who were getting conventional care along with yoga displayed reduction in intensity and frequency of headaches when compared to people who were getting conventional care only.(35)
Relieve Headaches Naturally with Acupuncture
Acupuncture is linked with decrease in the symptoms of headache and migraine just like any other medicine, but in a natural way.(37) Acupuncture is a popular Chinese medicine technique that consists of inserting thin needles into the skin for stimulating certain points on the body.(36)
Stay Away From Strong Smells to Stay Away From Headaches
Certain strong odors,such as from cleaning products or perfumes,can cause headache in some individuals.Osmophobia is the name of this hypersensitivity to odors and is often found in people suffering from chronic migraines(38).
Research has shown that individuals suffering from tension headaches or migraine often found strong odors, particularly perfumes as a causative factor for their headaches (39).If you feel that some particular smell is causing your headache, then best avoid it (cigarette smoke; perfumes; pungent foods).(40)
Herbs Can Rescue You from Headaches
Butterbur and feverfew are some herbs that can help reduce symptoms of headache.Feverfew has anti-inflammatory properties and is a flowering plant.Butterbur root is native to Germany and comes from a perennial shrub and also contains anti-inflammatory properties.
Studieshave shown that feverfew supplements taken in moderate doses help in reduction of headache frequency. However, more studies are needed regarding this.
Studiesalso have discovered that taking butterbur extract in moderate doses also helps in reduction of headache symptoms in children as well as adults.(41)
Butterbur should be taken with caution, as if it is taken in unpurified forms, then it can lead to liver damage.(42) Not much is known regarding the long-term effects and usage of butterbur.
Feverfew is usually considered safe if it is taken in the prescribed dosage.
Ginger Tea Helps in Getting Rid Of Headaches Naturally
Ginger root boasts of many beneficial properties, such as compounds, anti-inflammatory substances and antioxidants(43).Gingernot only helps with the headaches, but also helps in decreasing headache symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting.(44, 45)
A study has shown that 250 mg of ginger powder taken by individuals suffering from chronic migraines was equally effective in treating it as sumatriptan; a standard migraine medication.(46)
Fresh ginger root can be used to make tea; or ginger powder can be used in a capsule form for more convenience.
Try to Stay Away From Nitrites and Nitrates
Nitrites and Nitrates are food preservatives that are found in bacon, sausages and hot dogs. Consumption of such foods that containNitrites and Nitrates can trigger headaches in some individuals.
Nitrites cause dilation of vessels leading to headaches.(47) So, restrict the amount such type of foods, such as processed meats to prevent headache and opt for organic and nitrate-free food item.
Headache is as common as the day and affects people all over the world. Frequent and intense headaches make a person incapable of performing daily activities of living. Medications for treating headache can come with various side effects;so it is better to opt for natural remedies that are better and equally effective in treating your headaches. The above mentioned methods, like exercise, yoga, dietary modifications, good sleep, essential oils and drinking more water are all effective, safe and natural ways to manage and treat headaches. You just have to find out which remedy suits you the best in getting rid of headaches naturally.
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