Headaches count among the more common health problems affecting individuals of all age groups. Headaches can be triggered by physiological changes in the head, constriction of blood vessels, genetic causes, excessive smoking, excessive drinking, dehydration, oversleeping, eye strain, neck strain, among other factors.
Individuals often use medicines or prescription pain killers to get relief from headaches. Instead they should try the many natural remedies that can prove useful in treating headaches.
Menthol and menthone in mint are very effective in alleviating headaches.
Extract mint juice from mint leaves and apply it on forehead and temples to soothe headache. Coriander juice mixed along with mint juice is also effective in treating headaches.
Ginger is useful in reducing inflammation of the blood vessels in the head, providing relief from a headache.
Mix ginger juice with lemon juice and drink the mixture once or twice.
Another way to consumer ginger is to apply a paste of one teaspoon of dry ginger powder (sonth) and two tablespoons of water on the forehead for a few minutes.
You can also boil ginger powder or raw ginger in water and inhale the vapour.
Peppermint contains menthol that helps open up clogged blood vessels that cause headaches. It also has calming and soothing effects.
Mix three drops of peppermint oil in one tablespoon of almond oil, olive oil or just water. Massage your forehead and temples with it. Alternatively, you can apply crushed fresh peppermint leaves on your forehead.
You can also opt for a steam treatment by adding a few drops of peppermint oil to boiling water.
Basil acts as a muscle relaxant and can help treat mild headaches caused by tense muscles. It also has calming and analgesic effects.
Mix three or four fresh basil leaves in boiling water while preparing tea. Also consider adding a little honey to the tea
You can go for the steam treatment by boiling water with a few basil leaves or a few drops of basil oil
Optionally, chew some fresh basil leaves or massage your forehead with basil oil mixed with a base oil
Just inhaling the soothing scent of lavender essential oil can help in relieving tension headaches. It can also help improve migraine symptoms.
Add a couple of drops of lavender oil to boiling water and inhale the steam. Also inhale a few drops of lavender oil from a tissue.
Alternatively mix two or three drops of lavender essential oil in one tablespoon of carrier oil such as almond oil or olive oil and massage your forehead with it.
Avoid taking lavender oil orally.
Ice helps reduce inflammation that contributes to headaches. Also, it has a numbing effect on the pain.
Applying an ice pack to the back of your neck can give you relief from a migraine headache.
You can also place a cloth dipped in ice-cold water over your head for five minutes.
The rosmarinic acid in rosemary oil has soothing and anti-inflammatory properties that is useful in treating headaches.
Simply massage your forehead and temples with a few drops of rosemary oil mixed in a tablespoon of carrier oil
Alternatively, make an herbal tea by boiling one teaspoon of crushed rosemary leaves and one teaspoon of crushed sage leaves in a cup of water. Let the tea cool to room temperature, then drink it.
Rosemary oil is avoidable for those suffering from epilepsy or high blood pressure.
Cloves are useful for easing tension headaches given their cooling and pain-relieving properties.
Crush some cloves and put them in a sachet or a clean handkerchief. Inhale the smell of the crushed cloves whenever you have a headache until you get some relief from the pain.
Alternatively you can put two drops of clove oil in a tablespoon of carrier oil and massage your forehead and temples with it
Both apples and apple cider vinegar have attributes that can balance the acid and alkaline levels in the body offering relief from headaches.
Apple can be had raw as a fruit or as apple cider vinegar mixed in a glass of water.
Press and massage the fleshy area between the thumb and index finger at the highest spot of the muscle when the thumb and finger are brought close together. Do this for one or two minutes and then repeat on the other hand.
This is known as the ‘Joining the Valley’ (L 14) acupressure point and can be effective for soothing a headache.