The other day my husband Dave came home from work with a pounding headache. He usually takes Excedrin for headache relief, but apparently that wasn’t cutting it on that particular day. He actually asked me if I would make up one of my “voodoo essential oil cures”. lol.
Well, I am no expert, but my SISTER is, and I remembered her posting something on her blog, Camp Wander, about Peppermint and Lavender being effective in getting rid of headaches. So I dug through my ever-growing inventory of essential oils and found the Peppermint and Lavender and proceeded to work my “voodoo magic”. ;-)
That “magic” consisted of putting a couple of teaspoons of fractionated coconut oil into a little roll-on bottle, and then adding a few drops each of the Peppermint and Lavender EO’s. I then had him roll it on his forehead, temples and neck.
I got distracted with something else after that, but about a half hour later I remembered to ask him how his head felt. For a split second he didn’t know what I was talking about because I think he’d completely forgotten about it! Headache gone!
After that experience (and numerous others) we have become BIG believers in the power of essential oils in this house….AND in the idea that it’s not always necessary to reach for the pill bottle when you have a headache.
Here are some MORE homemade headache remedies to try:
Crush up an inch of ginger root and add it to boiling water. This homemade tea reduces inflammation in about the same amount of time as it would take an aspirin to work. It has been used for centuries in Asia to treat a number of ailments.
The active ingredient in this cream is cayenne pepper. Apply a small amount to the inside of your nostril that’s on the side of your head where you are experiencing pain. The cream works to block nerve pain signals.
In clinical trials, this supplement from the sunflower family has been shown to be effective for treating migraines. It reduces inflammation, which takes pressure off the nerves and can help prevent migraines entirely.
This ancient Chinese healing method involves applying pressure to certain points on the body to relieve pain. Place your finger in the depression between your first and second toe and press firmly for 3-5 minutes. Another technique is to put your thumb in your mouth on the same side as the pain, reaching up to find the cheekbone. Press that bone up and out. Repeat on the other side. Then place both thumbs on the upper palate (inside the mouth) and press the sides out.
Used medicinally since the middle ages, butterbur extract can be taken daily to help reduce the number and severity of headache attacks. It is available commercially in capsules, powder, tincture, or other forms and is thought to have both antispasmodic effects and anti-inflammatory properties.
Take a multivitamin containing magnesium. The mineral helps to calm nerves, which tend to get overexcited during a migraine. Some studies have found that migraine sufferers tend to be deficient in magnesium. You can also increase your magnesium by eating foods like broccoli, beans, soy milk, nuts, spinach, etc.
Stand in water as hot as you can stand for two minutes (this increases blood flow to the skin), then as cold as you can stand for two minutes (this sends blood to the core of the body). Alternate back and forth for 20 minutes to increase blood flow and circulation, bringing nutrients to organs and carrying away toxins.
Cold (or Hot) Compress
Apply icepack to your head, but make sure not to put the ice directly on your head. You can wrap ice or a bag of frozen vegetables in a towel.
Apply heat to the back of the neck with a hot shower, bath, or heating pad. Heat can loosen up the muscles that tighten with tension headaches.
Staring at a computer screen for long periods of time can leave your head aching. To avoid eyestrain the most important thing you can do is take frequent breaks from your monitor. Get up at least once every fifteen minutes and focus your eyes on something that is at least twenty to thirty feet away. Adjust the brightness and the contrast on your monitor so that the glare is not hard on your eyes. You should also have your monitor set up so you are viewing it at eye level and keep it at least a foot and a half from your face.
Getting Adequate Sleep
Studies indicate that those who sleep an average of six hours a night tend to have significantly more severe and more frequent headaches than those who get more z’s. Keeping a regular schedule that allows for adequate sleep may reduce sleep-related headaches.
Proper Sleeping Conditions
Make your sleeping place comfortable. Be sure that it is dark, quiet, and not too warm or too cold. If light is a problem, try a sleeping mask. If noise is a problem, try earplugs, a fan, or a “white noise” machine to cover up the sounds.
Exercise increases blood circulation and the fresh air will also help to relieve headache. Also, it allows the whole body to relax. Most tension headache sufferers find immense relief with the addition of exercise.
- Count to 10. This makes you stop and relax before you react to a stressful situation.
- Take deep breaths. This makes you breathe slower and helps your muscles relax.
- Think positive. Remember the things that are good in your life.
- S T R E T C H. Stretching makes muscles relax and helps you feel less tense.
- Take hot baths or showers to help you relax.
- Massage tense muscles. The muscles in the back of your neck and upper back usually get tense when you are stressed.
- Listen to relaxing music.
Boil a handful of rosemary in a liter of water and place it in a bowl after it boils. Place a towel over your head and inhale the steam for as long as you can. Keep repeating this until the headache goes away. Peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus, sandalwood, and basil work well also.
Probably the most common reason people get headaches is because they are dehydrated. A headache is a warning sign, letting you know that something is wrong. Most people don’t drink enough water. Drinking at least 4-6 glasses of water every day will ease a lot of headaches.
Fresh lemon juice with tea is one of the best cures for headaches. The lemon peel is also very useful. Pound the lemon peel into a fine paste and apply it as a plaster on the forehead.
Avoiding Certain Foods
Some foods can cause headaches and migraines. Limit foods rich in sodium (salt), saturated fats, cholesterol, Trans fats, and added sugars. Foods like milk, butter, cheese, cream, meat products, red wine, caffeine, and chocolate are known headache triggers. You should also try to avoid foods with nitrites and sulfites in them. These dilate capillaries in the brain and increase blood flow which causes pain.
And possibly my FAVORITE natural headache remedy…….
A headache is often brought on by lack of oxygen to the brain. Laughter increases our intake of oxygen, so, you feel better! :-)
What natural remedies do you use to relieve headaches?