Today’s busy lifestyle can cause frequent headaches that we tend to overlook or mask with a painkiller. However, have you thought that your headache can be a sign that your body lacks something? You might need to change your diet, drink more water, or you need rest. You may have a food sensitivity or lack of certain nutrient or vitamin.
Headaches can be caused by various reasons like allergies, stress, alcohol, fatigue, drugs, hormones, low blood sugar, constipation, eyestrain, nutritional deficiencies, etc. You need to change something in your lifestyle or diet in order to overcome your headaches in a healthy and natural way. For that purpose, we present you the following 10 headache remedies.
Top 10 Remedies for Headache
First and most important, magnesium is an effective and much safer option than a regular painkiller. Headache and migraine sufferers often have magnesium deficiency. Some studies says that magnesium can lower the frequency of migraine attacks in those with lack of magnesium.
Magnesium can prevent the cortical spreading depression, a wave of brain signaling, which produces the sensory and visual changes typical when experiencing a headache or migraine. This mineral can block the chemicals that transmit pain in the brain. It can also enhance the platelet function which help our body respond to injuries and prevent bleeding.
You can lower the frequency of your headaches by taking 200-600 mg of magnesium. Both, intravenous and oral magnesium are widely available, inexpensive, and extremely safe so even pregnant women can use it. The most frequent side effect is diarrhea which can be solved by lowering the magnesium dose or taking it less frequently (1).
Eat more fiber if you like to increase your daily magnesium intake. Some dietary magnesium sources are seeds, nuts, whole grains, beans, and vegetables such as leafy greens, squash, and broccoli. Chocolate, meats, coffee, and dairy products also contain decent amounts of this important mineral.
2. Gluten-Free Diet
If you are gluten intolerant but you still eat foods containing gluten, you can experience headaches. The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness explain that people with undiagnosed migraines and celiac disease have noted significant improvements in terms of severity and frequency of the headaches, and even their complete resolution after cutting off gluten.
Your headaches might not be caused by celiac disease, but a gluten sensitivity. In such case, you can just cut back on your daily intake of gluten, instead of giving up of gluten completely. Eliminate gluten for a period of 3 weeks, and then gradually introduce foods with gluten in your diet. In this way, you will see your reactions to the different levels of gluten and discover your happy balance. You will learn how much gluten your body can tolerate without experiencing side effects (2).
3. Lavender & Peppermint Essential Oil
Both, lavender and peppermint oil provide numbing and calming effect, making them ideal means for relieving headaches.
The common use of lavender oil is as a sedative and mood stabilizer. According to a research, this oil is an effective and safe treatment of migraine headaches. A 2012 study involved 47 participants who were supposed to inhale lavender oil for 15 minutes. They recorded the effects every 30 minutes, for a period of 2 hours. 92 out of 129 recorded headache attacks responded to this lavender oil remedy (3).
Applying peppermint oil on the skin provides long-lasting cooling effect. According to a research, this oil stimulates a significant raise in the blood flow to the forehead, and alleviates muscle contractions. A study proves that when combining with ethanol, peppermint oil lowers the headaches sensitivity (4).
As you can see, both of these essential oils are extremely effective in relieving headaches, so place few drops of each oil into your hands and rub the mix on your temples, forehead, and back of the neck. In case the smell of the blend is too strong for you, combine it with coconut, grapeseed, or almond oil. If you choose coconut oil, you will gain further benefits such as decreasing wrinkles, moisturizing skin, and balancing hormones.
4. Chiropractic Care & Posture Lumbar Spine Anatomy
Chiropractic care is a surgery- and drug-free way to heal naturally. Just like antioxidants, a chiropractor can lower the oxidative stress in the body. When free radicals are in higher number than antioxidants in the body, they cause damage to all body cell components: DNA, lipids, and proteins. This damage is in fact oxidative stress.
Headaches can be treated with spinal manipulation therapy, as noted by several clinical trials. In one such study, 90% reduction of headaches was reported by 22% of the people who have undergone chiropractic manipulation; on the other hand, 49% of the participants noted significant reduction of the headache intensity after being exposed to chiropractic treatment (5).
Spinal manipulation or chiropractic adjustments helps to reduce the stress of our system. According to studies, it lowers tension and migraine headaches. A study conducted by the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College involved 729 participants with frequent headaches. 613 of them undergone a chiropractor care and they reported to have obtained well to excellent results. This indicates that this treatment is an effective headache remedy (6).
5. Herbs: Butterbur & Feverfew
Another natural way to relieve your headache is using the tension-easing herbs butterbur and feverfew.
The herb called butterbur lowers the inflammatory effect of chemicals that cause migraine headaches. Since it functions as a beta blocker, in improves the blood flow to the brain. You will obtain the best headache-reducing effects by taking 75 mg of the herb twice a day. A four-month research done at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine was conducted on migraine sufferers, and showed that the frequency of migraine attacks was lowered by 48% in those who consumed 75 mg of butterbur two times a day. This proved butterbur as an effective remedy for reducing the frequency and intensity of headaches (7).
Feverfew leaves are used in the production of medicines. According to researches, consuming this herb lowers the headache symptoms (sensitivity to noise and light, nausea, pain, and vomiting) as well as the frequency of migraine headaches.
The School of Postgraduate Medicine and Health Science, U.K have made a systematic review by comparing the outcomes of 6 studies. They have discovered that feverfew is an effective and safe method to prevent migraine headaches (8). Feverfew products are widely-available and they are produced from dry leaves of this herb. You can find dried, freeze-dried, or fresh feverfew supplements. It can be find it the form of tablets, capsules, or liquid extracts. The recommended dose of feverfew extract for treating headaches is 50-100 mg.