6 Natural Remedies For Headache
Are you looking for a holistic way to treat your recurring headaches? If you think you have popped enough pain-killer pills to treat the debilitating pain, perhaps, it is time to go natural.
By Monali Bordoloi • 7 min read
Rajani Pradhan dreads evening time when she has to return home from work. A lawyer by profession, Rajani suffers from throbbing pain in her head mostly during this time of the day. The pain subsides only after she takes a painkiller pill. When this starts affecting her relationships with her children and husband, she decides to try some alternate cures for her headaches.
Reports suggest that women suffer 50 per cent more headaches than men. Frequent headaches take a toll on a person on an emotional level too. The causes for a headache could range from having spicy food to exposure to the sun. As a first step, you should try to identify the factors that trigger the headaches.
1. Water therapy
Some people develop a pounding pain in the forehead when they are dehydrated. As a first step, always drink enough water throughout the day. This will keep headaches at bay to some extent. Most symptoms of headaches subside gradually after drinking water.
If you are dehydrated, it makes you irritable and can affect your concentration level too. In such cases, your headache will feel worse.
2. Oil therapy
Soothing oils like peppermint and lavender essential oils are a very effective cure for a headache when applied topically.
When you have a headache around your forehead, try applying peppermint oil to the temples. It reduces the pain considerably. Menthol in peppermint oil brings in a cooling effect.
If you are suffering from migraine pain, where a part of your head is having pulsating pain, lavender oil can come to help. Lavender oil should be inhaled for better results.
Ginger roots have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances. Munching on bite-size ginger also helps in reducing common symptoms of severe headaches like nausea and vomiting.
Or else, you can try sipping on ginger tea for relief as it also helps in reducing the throbbing pain.
4. Hot and cold compress
Some people get quick relief using a cold compress when they are suffering from headaches. To make a cold compress, wrap some ice cubes in a handkerchief/face towel and put it to the neck or head area to get some relief. A cold compress helps with a headache as it constricts blood vessels and releases some of the pressure on those.
However, there are other groups of people who get relief from a headache when they apply a hot compress.
To prepare a hot compress, soak a face towel in warm water, ring out excess water and spread the towel on the forehead or back of the neck, where you have pain.
Try trial and error method to see which one suits you, some people use both alternatively or both cold and hot in different areas like forehead, back of the neck where there is pain.
Do you know that nuts like almonds are good when having headaches? When you have pain in and around the neck, almonds can act as a pain reliever. Almonds contain a compound named salicin which helps in relieving pain. Over-the-counter pain-relieving medicines also have the same compound. So, next time when you start having throbbing pain in your temples, try to have some almonds.
However, for people with migraine, almonds could trigger headaches.
6. Yoga and exercise
A little bit of physical activity goes a long way in reducing frequency and severity of headaches. Cycling, walking, light cardio exercises help in reduction of headaches. One more reason to pull up your socks and go for a morning/evening walk.
Those of you who are more comfortable doing yoga than exercise, don’t lose heart, even practicing regular yoga is helpful as it reduces stress and increases flexibility. This, in turn, reduces the intensity and frequency of headaches.
Apart from trying out these natural remedies, you should avoid certain things if you have frequent headaches.
Eating food laced with monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a total no if you suffer from regular bouts of headaches. Strong smells like paints, perfumes and cleaning products could trigger headaches in some people. Avoiding such smells could help in reducing chances of getting a headache.
Certain food could also cause headaches in some people as they are intolerant to that food group. Look for headache-triggers in your diet and try to avoid that food. Some commonly reported food triggers for headaches are alcohol, chocolate, citrus fruits, dairy products and coffee.
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