10 Natural Remedies for Headaches
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Headaches are more than an inconvenience. They can impact your mood, workday and relationships with those you love. How can you get rid of them quickly?
Reaching for the acetaminophen might work on occasional pain, but taking it too frequently can lead to a rebound effect. Then you get stuck in a vicious agony cycle. Instead, give these 10 natural remedies for headaches a go to ease your distress and even ward it off before it starts.
1. Turmeric and Black Pepper
Turmeric contains curcumin, which is one of the most potent anti-inflammatory agents on the planet. It works so well, you’ll find it as an ingredient in many over-the-counter pain-relieving creams.
However, to get it to work more effectively in your body, it needs a catalyst. From black pepper, piperine increases the bioavailability by 2,000%, meaning a combo of this substance with turmeric provides considerable relief. Try adding both to your tea.
2. A Pair of Quality Shades
If you get migraines, you know that they’re more than “just a headache.” You might also endure visual and motor disturbances, along with nausea and vomiting. Exposure to bright light can trigger attacks in susceptible individuals.
Therefore, a quality pair of shades can prevent some migraines. If you work on a computer, the blue light can spur headaches and keep you awake. Consider investing in a pair of specs designed to block this wavelength — it could decrease pain and make you sleep more soundly.
3. A New Lighting Scheme
The fluorescent lights in your office can make you miserable if you have migraines. They flicker undetectably and emit a subtle hum that can spur attacks.
You do have some options besides dusting off your resume. Ask if you can move your desk away from such lights or install a screen to diffuse them. If that doesn’t work, take advantage of the shift toward telecommuting spurred by COVID-19 and cast your hat in the ring for a more flexible working arrangement.
4. Lavender and Mint Essential Oil
Experts remain unclear on how aromatherapy works, but they believe it activates smell receptors in your nose. These then carry the message to your brain’s limbic system, which controls your emotions.
Anecdotal reports support the use of lavender and mint essential oils as natural remedies for headaches. If nothing else, a small diffuser on your desk makes your workspace smell more appealing. Plus, you can find rollers that fit in your purse and let you add a scented dab to your temples as needed.
5. A Spoonful of Magnesium
Doctors sometimes prescribe 400 to 500 milligrams of magnesium as a migraine preventive. Many people have deficiencies in this mineral because of modern food processing.
When manufacturers make white flour, they separate the bran, where all the nutrients reside — including magnesium. Consider switching to whole grains and take a supplement to prevent attacks.
Some people get significant relief from acupuncture. Western scientists believe the process stimulates the central nervous system to alleviate pain.
If you try this route, make sure your practitioner is licensed. While the microthin needles don’t hurt, you want to get maximum effect for your buck, as many insurance plans don’t yet cover this treatment.
Chiropractic manipulates your skeletal system, most notably your spine, to ease the pain. Your chiropractor should perform a thorough evaluation before embarking on this natural remedy for headaches.
While they will often start with manual therapy, they may employ soft tissue manipulation or electrical stimulation and ultrasound. Tell your doctor immediately if the pain increases.
8. A Steamy Hot Bath
What melts away tension like a hot day on an ice-cream cone? A hot, steamy bath, of course.
You can make yours more therapeutic by adding a few lavender and chamomile tea bags. Both herbs aid in relaxation, and inhaling the steam may increase the beneficial effects.
9. A Yoga Practice
Yoga is like giving yourself a massage and an adjustment when done right. Find a practice style that’s right for you.
If you have chronic pain, a gentle yin or restorative class can increase flexibility without putting pressure on your joints. If you’re more athletic, styles like Ashtanga test your endurance.
10. A Mindfulness Body Scan
Sometimes a mindfulness body scan can work as a natural remedy for tension headaches. When you feel stressed, you might unconsciously clench your jaw or tighten your muscles. Fatigue leads to inflammation and pain.
All you need is a quiet space and a few minutes to focus on your breath. As you do, become aware of any areas of discomfort. Breathe into achy areas while consciously telling yourself to relax your mouth and the tiny muscles around your eyes.
Try These 10 Natural Remedies for Headaches to Ease Your Pain
These 10 natural remedies for headaches can help ease your pain with little if any rebound effect. While you should see a physician for ongoing discomfort, these tips should help you feel better quickly.