Saturday, August 8, 2015

Best Home Remedies for Headache

Headaches are one of the most common health problems that affects most people at one time or another.

Headaches can be classified into three main categories: tension headaches, migraine headaches and cluster headaches.

There can be many causes of a headache such as physiological changes in the head, constriction of blood vessels, abnormal neuron activity, genetic causes, excessive smoking, excessive drinking, lack of water in the body, oversleeping, overuse of pain killers, eye strain, neck strain, and others.
People often use over-the-counter medicines or prescription pain killers to get relief from headaches. But there are many natural remedies that can treat your headache quickly and easily.
For instance, dehydration is one of the most common causes of a headache. In such cases, simply drinking a cool glass of water can cure your headache within minutes. It is a good idea to drink about eight to ten glasses of water throughout the day to keep your body well hydrated
Along with water, there are many other natural ingredients that can be used to treat a headache.

Here are the top 10 home remedies for a headache.

1. Ginger

Ginger can help reduce inflammation of the blood vessels in the head, thus providing relief from a headache.
  • Mix equal parts of ginger juice and lemon juice. Consume it once or twice a day.
  • Another option is to apply a paste of one teaspoon of dry ginger powder, also called 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 vapor.
  • Chew one or two pieces of crystallized ginger candy.
2. Mint Juice

Menthol and menthone are the primary components of mint which are very effective in alleviating headaches.
Extract mint juice from a handful of mint leaves and apply it on forehead and temples to treat headache.
You can also place mint tea compresses on the forehead to relieve discomfort. Along with mint juice, corainder juice is also effective in treating headaches.

3. Peppermint Oil

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 essential oil in one tablespoon of almond oil, olive oil or just water. Massage your forehead and temples with it. Or, you can put crushed fresh peppermint leaves on your forehead.
  • Alternatively, you can prepare a steam treatment by adding a few drops of peppermint essential oil to a small pot of boiling water. Inhale the steam for a few minutes.
4. Basil

Basil works as a muscle relaxant, making it a helpful treatment for mild headaches caused by tense muscles. Plus, it has calming and analgesic effects.
  • Put three or four fresh basil leaves in a cup of boiling water and let it simmer for a few minutes. Optionally, add a little honey and then sip the tea slowly.
  • You can also boil one tablespoon of basil leaves or a few drops of basil oil to a pot of boiling water and carefully lean over the pot to take in the steam.
  • Alternatively, chew some fresh basil leaves or massage your forehead with basil oil mixed with a base oil.
5. Lavender Oil

Simply smelling the soothing scent of lavender essential oil can be of great help in relieving tension headaches. Research suggests that it can also help improve migraine symptoms.
  • Put a few drops of lavender essential oil on a tissue and inhale it. You can also add two drops of lavender oil to two cups of boiling water and inhale the steam.
  • Another option is to 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.
Note: Do not take lavender oil orally.

6. Ice Pack

The cold from ice helps reduce inflammation that contributes to headaches. Plus, 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 washcloth dipped in ice-cold water over your head for five minutes. Repeat the process several times.
  • Alternatively, you can use a bag of frozen vegetables as a cold compress. Within half an hour you will feel some relief.
7. Rosemary

The rosmarinic acid in rosemary oil has soothing and anti-inflammatory properties that help treat a headache.
  • 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. Cover it while boiling and then let it steep for 10 minutes. Let the tea cool to room temperature, then drink it. You can have this herbal tea two to three times a day. If both the herbs are not available, you can make the tea with either of the two herbs alone.
Note: Rosemary oil may not be suitable for those suffering from epilepsy or high blood pressure.

8. Cloves

Cloves can be used to ease tension headaches as it has a cooling and pain-relieving properties.
  • Crush a few cloves gently 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.
  • Another option is to put two drops of clove oil in a tablespoon of carrier oil and massage your forehead and temples with it.
  • You can also mix together two teaspoons of coconut oil, one teaspoon of sea salt and two drops of clove oil and rub this mixture gently on your forehead.
9. Apples

Both apples and apple cider vinegar have attributes that can balance the acid and alkaline levels in the body, giving you relief from headaches.
  • Simply eat an apple with some salt.
  • You can also add two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a full glass of water and drink it.
10. Acupressure

The Joining the Valley (L 14) acupressure point is considered effective for relieving headaches.
Press and massage the fleshy area between the thumb and index finger, at the highest spot of the muscle when both the thumb and finger are brought close together. Do this for one or two minutes and then repeat on the other hand.

Note: Do not press this acupressure point during pregnancy.

Next time you have a headache, try these natural treatments for fast relief. However, if you have severe and frequent headaches, consult a doctor.
Also, do not ignore headaches accompanied by symptoms like stiff neck, loss of balance, speech disturbances, mental disturbances, numbness and loss of consciousness.

Resources:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1468-2982.1994.014003228.x/abstract
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22517298

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3727573/

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