Headaches are a familiar ailment for all of us. While some of us struggle with them on a sporadic basis, others of us battle them more frequently. No matter what their frequency or intensity level, they can cause disruptions to our daily life. Home remedies for headaches are often step one in remediating the pain they cause.
Increasing daily water intake is one of the most frequent home remedies for headaches. Without adequate hydration, headaches are common and likely. Additionally, dehydration can cause irritability and difficulty concentrating, which makes the headache feel worse. Drinking half your body weight in ounces each day is a good starting point to prevent headaches.
Lack of sleep is another common culprit for the onset of headaches. If you sleep less than six hours a night, you are at higher risk for headache frequency and severity. Too much sleep, regularly sleeping over nine hours each night, can cause similar problems. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep to experience one of the many rewarding natural home remedies for headaches.
Natural oils are increasingly recommended as another of the home remedies for headaches. Peppermint and lavender oils are reported to have the greatest impact on reducing pain. Rubbing peppermint into your temples or placing lavender on your upper lip and inhaling may reduce headache symptoms.
Sipping a cup of coffee or tea can also help relieve the symptoms of a headache. Caffeine constricts blood vessels and makes medicine like ibuprofen and acetaminophen more effective, making it a strong addition to the list of home remedies for headaches. Find the balance between too much and too little caffeine to avoid triggering headaches.
Move Your Body
Exercising helps reduce stress, which can also cause headaches. A study of 92,000 people showed that low levels of exercise are associated with increased risk of headaches. Regular exercise is one of the most natural home remedies for headaches and one of the most effective. Increasing daily steps is an easy way to move your body to fight off headaches.
In the throws of a headache, applying a cold compress to your forehead, scalp, or neck can provide pain relief. A cold cloth or ice/gel pack reduces the blood flow to the head and provides a numbing effect, which alleviates symptoms of a headache. If the headache falls into the tension headache category, however, heat is a better solution than cold therapy.
Practice Relaxation Techniques
Yoga and meditation are two additional home remedies for headaches. Because stress is a common culprit for triggering headaches, reducing stress through gentle movement and thoughtful breathing can provide symptom relief. Regular yoga and mediation can also help prevent the onset of future headaches as well by alleviating chronic stress.
Moderate Your Diet
Highly processed food can trigger headaches. MSG and artificial sweeteners are often responsible for causing headaches, as are high levels of sodium. Reducing these ingredients in your diet and shifting toward more whole foods is one of the longer term home remedies for headaches.
If you’re looking for natural home remedies for headaches, these are just a few of the options to treat them on your own. As always, if pain is chronic and persistent, seek help from your physician as soon as possible to rule out other causes and conditions that are triggering your headaches.