A headache is a pain or discomfort one feels in the head, scalp, or neck area. It is one of the most prevalent ailment globally.
However, serious causes of headaches are rare. As such, a headache can be alleviated through lifestyle changes, taking some drugs, or by simply relaxing.
The most common type of headache is a tension headache. A tension headache is caused by muscles tightening in the shoulders, neck, scalp, or jaw. It is often related to anxiety, stress, depression, head injury, or placing your neck or head in an abnormal position. Furthermore, tension headache normally starts from the back of the head and spreads forward.
Another type of headache, called migraine headache, involves intense pain and is accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, sensitivity to light or sound, and vision changes.
Other types of headaches include;
- Cluster headache: Cluster headache is a sharp, painful headache that tends to happen at the same time of the day. The headache usually lasts for less than an hour. This headache could go for a few weeks or months and may return later on.
- Sinus headache: Sinus headache occurs at the front of the head and face. It is due to inflammation of the sinus passages which are found behind the eyes, cheeks, and nose. This type of headache tends to be most severe when you wake up in the morning and when you bend forward.
- Headaches that occur due to the flu, cold, or premenstrual syndrome.
- Headaches that occur due to a disorder called temporal arteritis. Temporal arteritis is a condition whereby an artery that supplies blood to the head, neck, and temple area becomes swollen and inflamed.
Causes of headaches include; dehydration (dehydration is the most common cause of headaches), excessive consumption of alcohol, smoking of cigarettes, neck strain, eye strain, excessive use of painkillers, hereditary tendencies, sleep apnea, and constriction of blood vessels.
Here are some tips and good practices, to consider, when dealing with headaches;
- Ensure you stay adequately hydrated by drinking fluids all day.
- You could take a quick nap when you notice the headache pangs.
- You could place a cool cloth on your head.
- You could use a relaxation technique such as yoga, deep breathing, or meditation to help manage the headache.
Below are home remedies for headaches;
1. Ice Pack
A headache can be instantly relieved by applying an ice pack. The cold temperature will numb the area for some time and help you get rid of the pain. It will also reduce any inflammation which could be the probable cause of a headache. Dip a washcloth in cold water and apply it to your head. If your headache is due to a migraine, you may apply the ice pack at the back of your neck.
Apples help in balancing the pH of the body and relieve headache naturally. Slice an apple and sprinkle salt over it. Eat it to reduce the pain. You may also use apple cider vinegar for similar benefits. Simply mix 2 teaspoons of ACV in a glassful of water and consume it.
Ginger helps in fighting inflammation which could, in turn, effectively diminish the headache. Extract some ginger juice and mix it with equal parts of lemon juice. Consume it 2 times a day. Applying a paste made of powdered ginger and water is also proven to be beneficial. Another way to use ginger is to boil a few pieces of fresh ginger roots in water and inhale the steam for some minutes.
Massaging your forehead and temples may provide you with gradual relief from headaches. Massage improves the blood circulation of the area and relaxes the tight muscles which are a common cause of a headache. Therefore, it may provide you an eventual relief from the pain. Simply use your fingers to gently massage the area. You may use an oil or a balm for a better action.
Yoga offers relief from various disorders in an easy and inexpensive way. Yoga relieves the tension in the muscles that contribute to the pain. It also increases blood circulation and promotes relaxation. Performing yoga, every day, can prevent headaches from arising.
Cloves have natural cooling properties that reduce headaches. Take a few cloves and crush them. Then, wrap the ground cloves in a piece of cloth and secure it tightly. Bring it close to your nose and inhale the smell. You would gradually notice some relief. You may also use clove oil to massage your forehead. Dilute a small amount of clove oil with a carrier oil, such as olive oil, and apply it with a gentle massage on your forehead and temples. Another way to use clove oil for a headache is to mix it with coconut oil and some sea salt. Rub it gently on your forehead for a soothing action.
Acupressure may help in dealing with a number of health conditions. It is also useful in treating a headache naturally. Just hold and pinch the area of hand between the index finger and the thumb until you feel a dull ache. This would help in reducing headaches. Do this for a couple of munites and repeat with the other hand. Avoid pressing this point if you are pregnant.
Basil has strong analgesic properties that may help in minimizing headaches. It also relaxes muscle tension that may cause a headache. Take 3-4 leaves of basil and boil it in a cup of water. Simmer it on low heat for a few minutes and strain it. Add a small amount of honey to it and sip it slowly. Inhale the steam that comes after boiling the leaves in the water. Chewing a few basil leaves may also treat the headache naturally.
Thyme is another natural ingredient that may help you deal with headache in an easy manner. It has a great capability of minimizing a headache quite quickly. Take a small amount of thyme oil on your fingertip and apply it gently on your forehead and the temples. Relax while you do this to speed up the healing process.
The anti-inflammatory action of this beneficial herb is great for reducing a headache. Rosemary also relaxes and soothes the tight muscles to relieve discomfort. For this remedy, take some drops of rosemary oil in a bowl and mix it with a carrier oil such as olive oil or coconut oil. Then, apply it on your forehead and massage it slowly. Another way to use rosemary to treat a headache is to boil its leaves in water. Also, add some sage leaves to it. Remove from heat and let it sit for 10 minutes. Cool the tea and consume it 2-3 times in a day. Avoid using rosemary if you suffer from high blood pressure or epilepsy.
A quick nap may greatly relieve a headache. Taking a nap relaxes the body and freshens up your mind which may promote a faster healing. So whenever you feel a headache, try taking a nap to relieve it.
The healing properties of cinnamon may relieve the tensed muscles and provide you a soothing relief from a headache. Take powdered cinnamon and mix it with water to form a paste. Then, spread the paste over your forehead and take a rest of half an hour. Wash it away using warm water, thereafter, and you would gradually notice the headache dissipate.
A few times, tightening of muscles around the neck region leads to a headache. Doing some stretches may instantly relax the muscles and relieve the pain. To start with, move your chin down and then up. Also, move it towards the right and then left. Rotate your neck slowly in clockwise and anticlockwise direction for a few minutes. Make sure you do not apply pressure as it may worsen the condition.
Dehydration is one of the biggest causes of a headache. Quite a few times, having a glassful of cold water could be an effective remedy for a headache. Drinking more water is not only beneficial for better functioning of the body but it also keeps headaches from arising.
15. Lavender Oil
The soothing and relaxing aroma of lavender oil is known for its potent ability in reducing a headache. Simply add a small amount of lavender oil in a piece of cloth or a handkerchief and smell it for some time. You may also add lavender oil, in a small amount, in a pot of boiling water and inhale the fumes. Alternatively, mix the oil with olive oil and massage the oil mixture on your temples and forehead.
16. Willow Bark
Willow bark is as effective as aspirin in treating your headache. It contains a compound called salicin which combats pain. Prepare a tea by steeping the willow bark root in water and consume it to get rid of headaches quickly.
17. Peppermint Oil
The presence of menthol, in peppermint oil, is beneficial for reducing a headache. The compound opens up the clogged blood vessels and eases pain. Dilute a little amount of peppermint oil with olive or water and apply it to your forehead. Massage gently to spread the oil. If the oil is not readily available, you may crush some fresh peppermint leaves and apply it on your forehead.
Cherries are rich in a compound called quercetin which has strong antioxidant properties. It also offers an anti-inflammatory action which is helpful in relieving pain. Consuming cherries or drinking a glass of juice extracted from cherries may help you combat a headache.
19. Mint Juice
Mint juice contains menthol which has a soothing action on the body. Thus, it can effectively reduce a headache. Wash a handful of fresh leaves of mint and extract its juice. Apply it directly to your forehead for a relieving action. Alternatively, you may also use a mint tea compress for reducing a headache. To do this, simply soak a clean washcloth in mint tea and place on your forehead.
Feverfew is another great natural remedy for a headache. It has soothing properties that may banish a headache gradually. Due to this reason, it has been used for centuries to alleviate the problem. Prepare a tea using feverfew and drink it slowly to reap the healing benefits.
Headaches can be treated effectively using magnesium. A deficiency of this mineral may cause severe headaches and migraines. Therefore, having a supplement to provide your body with adequate amounts of magnesium is a great way to prevent headaches. It can also reduce an already existing headache in a natural way. Ensure you consult your healthcare provider before taking any supplement.
22. Chamomile Tea
Sipping a cup of warm chamomile tea may also prove to be beneficial in diminishing a headache quickly. Chamomile promotes deep relaxation which may release the tension from the stressed muscles and reduce headaches. For this remedy, boil some water and add chamomile flowers to it. Let it steep for some time, then, strain the liquid. Consume it when warm to benefit from its relaxing effect. Green tea is also known to help people deal with a headache due to the presence of caffeine in small amounts that reduce pain.
23. Hot Shower
If you are having a pain in your head, a hot shower may help you get rid of it in an amazing way. As hot shower relaxes the body as well as the mind, it relieves the pain. Furthermore, the soothing action of hot water relaxes the tensed muscles while improving the blood circulation of the entire body. So, the next time you experience a headache, give this remedy a try.
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