Tired of waking up to a headache most mornings or regularly taking pain medication? Headaches, whether tension or migraine, are a common nuisance for most adults. The World Health Organization reported that up to one adult in twenty experiences a headache nearly every day, while migraines affect at least one of every seven adults.
You may be able to get by with over-the-counter pain medication, but popping a pain pill almost daily is less than ideal for your overall well-being. Have you ever considered natural remedies for headaches? Well, there are a bunch that you can try. And most of the remedies listed below are readily available to you right now.
So, here are a few natural remedies for tension headaches and migraines you can start using today.
1. Stay Hydrated
Your entire body feels better when you get enough H2O—including your head! Research shows that staying hydrated is one of the most effective natural remedies for headaches. Information published in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice stated that among migraine sufferers, drinking more water resulted in a significant improvement in their quality of life. How much water is enough? The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends women drink 2.7 liters of water per day and men drink 3.7 liters per day.
2. Steer Clear of Triggers
If you get headaches regularly, you're likely in touch with things that bring them on. The most common headache triggers are alcohol, aged and fermented foods, lack of sleep, high stress, and strong smells. So, consider the following solutions:
- Keep a food journal to track what foods might be causing your headaches.
- Try to get regular sleep, and avoid feelings of tension by practicing yoga or stretching your neck.
- Watch for products that are made with synthetic fragrance ingredients, and instead opt for unscented personal care, like a natural deodorant.
3. Try Essential Oils
Speaking of fragrance, some can work wonders in reducing headache pain. Peppermint has been shown to be particularly promising as one of the best natural remedies for tension headaches. A study published in the German journal Der Schmerz reported that peppermint oil is comparable to aspirin or acetaminophen for tension headaches. Try switching to a natural peppermint hand soap so the smell is always around.
Another beneficial essential oil for headaches is lavender. According to Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, inhaling lavender oil is also shown to be effective in managing migraines. A lavender body wash can fill your bathroom with its relaxing fragrance as you shower away tension.
4. Consume Chamomile
A bedtime brew of chamomile tea is perfect when you've been getting a lot of headaches. The tea can help relieve feelings of stress and might even promote feelings of sleepiness. Chamomile is an all-around winner as it checks many boxes for natural remedies for headaches.
5. Get Regular Exercise
Yes, exercising while you're experiencing a headache can make you feel worse, but getting regular exercise can help reduce headache frequency. A study published in Current Pain and Headache Reports showed that a lack of physical activity was linked to an increased risk of headache. Another study, published in Cephalalgia: SAGE Journals, concluded that forty minutes of exercise three times per week was more effective in reducing migraine attacks over relaxation techniques and medication use alone.
Have you tried any of these natural remedies for headaches? Let us know your favorites on @toms_of_maine on Instagram!
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Why It's Good
Taking over-the-counter pain relievers for your headaches isn't an ideal daily solution. Natural remedies for headaches are an easy and effective solution to improving feelings of headache and migraine pain.