How to Stop a Headache: Easy Natural Remedies
Did you know that around 45 million Americans suffer from headaches each year? Of these 45 million, 8 million Americans visit their doctor searching for headache relief. There are over 150 different types of headaches with tension, migraine, cluster, hormone and sinus being the most common.
Doctors are usually quick to prescribe a triptan, which is a drug that narrows the inflamed blood vessels in the brain. However, this medication does have side effects such as tightening of the neck and jaw muscles, shortness of breath and fainting (just to name a few).
But, not to worry. There are several ways that you can treat your headaches at home naturally. In fact, these remedies have worked for me numerous times, and I hope you'll benefit from them also.
1. Caffeinated Coffee
For a while, I suffered from tension headaches and had no idea that drinking a cup of strong, caffeinated coffee could quickly get rid of them. Plus, coffee beans contain lots of antioxidants which keep us healthy and reduce inflammation. It's said that the brewing process enhances these properties of the bean.
Caution: Depending on the person, caffeine can also make a headache worse. So, consume caffeine slowly at first to see how your headache reacts.
2. Peppermint Tea
Peppermint tea is said to help increase blood circulation. It also works as a sedative and can promote relaxation. If you're sick to your stomach, peppermint is known to reduce nausea as well.
Note: If you're caffeine sensitive, skip the tea and just add a few drops of peppermint oil to warm water, stir and enjoy.
3. Cold Pack or Mask
Try using a cold pack for a headache behind your eyes.
Lay down, get comfortable, and place the pack over your eyes until it returns to room temperature. The cold can help reduce inflamed blood vessels which, in turn, can help get rid of your headache.
Note: I don't recommend putting the pack in the freezer—just the refrigerator.
4. Hot Shower or Bath
This next tip is very simple: take a hot shower or bath. Sometimes hot water and steam can help relieve a bad headache. If that doesn't work, try applying a hot compress to your forehead but be careful to not burn yourself. Check the temperature before applying.
These methods are a form of what's called “heat therapy”. Heat therapy is often used to treat headaches and migraines because it increases blood flow to the area and helps relax muscles.
Sometimes, the best thing for a headache is just to try and get some sleep. However, if you have a tension headache, I would not recommend lying down completely flat. When you experience a tension headache and you lie down, you're putting pressure on the muscles in the back of your neck which can actually make your headache worse.
Instead of lying down on a bed or sofa for a nap, try reclining in an armchair. However, be very careful to not put a lot of pressure on your neck muscles. Using pillows for comfort and stability on each side of the head can also help to relieve strain on the neck when sleeping in this position.
These are some of the remedies that have personally worked for me to relieve headaches and migraines with coffee being the best (and quickest) fix.
If you have any natural remedies that you'd like to suggest for headache relief, feel free to leave them in the comment section below.
What Causes Headaches?
- iHATEheadaches.com, "Headache Statistics", https://www.ihateheadaches.org/headache-statistics.html, Accessed 6/27/18
- WebMD, "Headache Basics", https://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/migraines-headaches-basics#1, Accessed 6/27/18
- WebMD, "Sumatriptan Succinate: Uses", https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-7741/sumatriptan-oral/details, Accessed 6/27/18
- WebMD, "Sumatriptan Succinate: Side Effects", https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-7741/sumatriptan-oral/details, Accessed 6/27/18
- WebMD, "Caffeine and Headaches", https://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/triggers-caffeine#1, Accessed 6/25/18
- Migraine.com, "Cold Therapy", https://migraine.com/complimentary-and-alternative-therapies/cold-therapy/, Accessed 6/25/18
- Migraine.com, “Heat Therapy”, https://migraine.com/complimentary-and-alternative-therapies/heat-therapy/, Accessed 6/24/18
The information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained or available in this article is for general information purposes only. You are encouraged to confirm any information obtained from this article with other sources, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician. Never put off or delay seeking professional medical or nutritional advice and/or treatment.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2018 Shelly Warren