“Pain is produced in our minds, so the way we mentally respond to it can make all the difference.”
Find your personalized treatment for pain relief
If you suffer from headaches or migraines, you already know that you’d try just about anything to make the throbbing pain go away. Here’s a list of home remedies for headaches and migraines, allowing you a variety of different options other than reaching for the pill bottle. When you can handle your headaches naturally, you become your own health hero.
Important facts about headaches and migraines
- Migraines are a severe headache, often on one side of the head, which are associated with a sensitivity to light or sound and nausea
- 17 million Americans have had a migraine headache in the last three months
- Changing life habits, such as what you eat and how much you sleep, can reduce the frequency of both headaches and migraines
- Some people get an aura before a migraine, where they have visual or perceptional changes
- Headaches, and particularly migraines, have a hereditary link
Remedies for headaches
- Lavender oil: Used either topically or inhaled, lavender oil can quiet a headache and allow you to go about your day.
- Basil oil: Basil does more than spice up your salad, it’s also a muscle relaxant and helps ease a tension headache.
- Flaxseed: Filled with omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseed helps reduce overall frequency of chronic headaches.
- Almonds: Throwing back a handful of almonds, as soon as your feel a headache coming on, can be as effective as over-the-counter medications. But beware, almonds are trigger foods for some people who get migraines.
- Buckwheat: Rich in antioxidants, buckwheat can be used to reduce the amount of headaches you get.
- Yoga: Yoga can help reduce the pain associated with headaches by stretching the muscles, relaxing the body and focusing the mind away from the pain.
- Breathing exercises: When you’re in pain from a headache, chances are your breathing becomes shallow. By taking a few minutes and focusing on deep breaths, your brain gets more oxygen, and headache pain diminishes.
- Exercise outside: While you don’t have to run a half-marathon with a headache, getting moving outside can reduce the symptoms. Between the fresh air and endorphins, you’ll be feeling better in no time.
- Grab a glass of water: Too many headaches are caused by dehydration, so simply drinking a glass of water may help. Be sure to consume at least eight glasses a day, and reduce consumption of drinks that dehydrate you – such as coffee, soda and alcohol.
- Put a pencil between your teeth: If you suffer from tension headaches, hold a pencil between your teeth – but don’t bite it. This forces you to relax the muscles of your lower jaw to help relieve tension.
Remedies for migraines
- Learn your triggers: Many migraines are caused by specific triggers, which could be related to food, lights or certain sounds.
- Track the calendar: Sometimes migraines are associated with hormonal changes, so track your headaches on a calendar, and see if they occur at certain times.
- Change your diet: Certain foods can trigger migraine headaches, such as dairy, chocolate, peanut butter, meats containing nitrates and MSG.
- Eat every three hours: Severe headaches can be caused by fluctuations in blood sugar. Keep yours balanced by eating a light protein every three hours.
- Sleep: If you’re sleep deprived or experience a lot of sleep disruptions, you’re more at risk for developing a migraine.
- Ice: Use ice on the specific spot of your migraine to help reduce inflammation.
- Vitamin B12: An increase in vitamin B12 can help reduce the symptoms and frequency of migraine headaches.
- Massage: Rub the area where your head hurts to help reduce the tension that arises there. While this works for regular headaches, it can work for migraines too.
- Ginger: Use fresh ginger to make tea, or chew on the raw root as soon as signs of a migraine appear.
- Butterbur: This herb can be used to prevent migraines by improving the blood circulation to the brain.
- Chamomile: Used in a tea form, chamomile can reduce the severity of a migraine.
- Feverfew: Use feverfew – another herbal remedy – as a tea, or chew on the fresh leaves to reduce migraine symptoms.
- Apple cider vinegar: Mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with one tablespoon of honey, and add it to a glass of water to help dissipate a migraine headache.
- Cayenne pepper: Use a half to one teaspoon ground cayenne pepper with a cup of water to help eliminate a migraine. If it’s too hot to get down, mix in a little lemon or honey.
- Peppermint: Use as either a tea or topically, by massaging it onto your temples, to find migraine relief.
- Apple: Eating an apple, or even smelling a fresh green apple, can help make a migraine headache go away.
- Coffee: Because of its high levels of caffeine, coffee restricts blood vessels, helping to reduce the severity of migraines.