Home Remedies That Will Make Your Headache Disappear

Whether it’s your micromanaging
boss or just your time of the month, these natural home remedies for
headaches will have you feeling better in no time.

Oh,
my aching head! In a world of traffic jams, tight schedules, and
high-speed everything, it’s no wonder we find ourselves popping an
occasional pain reliever.

For
a bad headache, choose one that contains a combination of aspirin,
acetaminophen, and caffeine. (Off-limits…if you have a bleeding
disorder, asthma, ulcers, or liver or kidney damage.)

But
painkillers are only part of the solution. There’s much more you can do
to escape the thump and wallop of a throbbing noggin.

Home remedies for headaches: give it a good press


With a firm, circular motion, massage the web of skin between the base
of your thumb and your forefinger. Continue massaging for several
minutes, then switch hands and repeat until the pain resolves.
Acupressure experts call this fleshy area trigger point LIG4 and
maintain that it is linked to areas of the brain where headaches
originate.

Heat up and cool down

• Believe
it or not, soaking your feet in hot water will help your head feel
better. By drawing blood to your feet, the hot-water footbath will ease
pressure on the blood vessels in your head. For a really bad headache,
add a bit of hot mustard powder to the water.

• For a
tension headache, place a hot compress on your forehead or the back on
your neck. The heat will help relax knotted-up muscles in this area.


It might sound contradictory, but you can follow up the heat treatment
(or substitute it) by applying a cold compress to your forehead. (Put a
couple of ice cubes in a washcloth or use a bag of frozen vegetables.)
Cold constricts blood vessels, and when they shrink, they stop pressing
on sensitive nerves. Since headache pain sometimes originates in nerves
in back of your neck, try moving the compress to the muscles at the base
of your skull.

• Here’s an alternative to a cold
compress: Soak your hands in ice water for as long as you can stand it.
While your hands are submerged, repeatedly open and close your fists.
This works on the same principle as an ice pack on your head’the cold
narrows your dilated blood vessels.

Try the caffeine cure


Have a cup of strong coffee. Caffeine reduces blood-vessel swelling,
and thus can help relieve a headache. This is  why caffeine is an
ingredient in some extra-strength painkillers like Excedrin. However, if
you are already a heavy coffee drinker, skip this. Caffeine withdrawal
can cause headaches, creating a vicious cycle.

Do something constrictive


Tie a bandanna, scarf, or necktie around your forehead, then tighten it
just to the point where you can feel pressure all around your head. By
reducing the flow of blood to your scalp, this can help relieve the pain
caused by swollen blood vessels. You might try soaking the bandanna in
vinegar, a traditional headache remedy.

Soothe with scent


Certain essential oils, especially lavender, can help ease tension and
relieve the pain of a headache. Gently massage a bit of lavender oil
onto your forehead and temples, then lie back and enjoy the relaxing
scent. For maximum relief, slip away to a room that’s cool, dark, and
quiet. The longer you can lie there quietly breathing in the aroma, the
better.

• In addition to lavender oil, or instead of
it,use peppermint oil. The menthol it contains can help dissolve away a
headache. Its fragrance at first stimulates, then relaxes, the nerves
that cause headache pain.

• If you have a vaporizer,
add seven drops lavender oil and three drops peppermint oil, then
breathe in the relief. If you don’t, try sprinkling a few drops of
peppermint oil on a tissue. Inhale deeply several times.

• Try wringing out two wet peppermint tea bags and place them on your closed eyelids or forehead for five minutes.

Swallow some throb stoppers


An anti-inflammatory, ginger was traditionally used to treat headaches,
and it seems to work. Grind up a half-teaspoon ginger, stir it into a
glass of water, and drink this ‘ginger juice.’ Or pour 1 cup hot water
over 1 teaspoon freshly ground ginger, let the tea cool a bit, then
drink it. Ginger is especially effective against migraines, though how
it works is not well understood. Doctors do know that ginger has an
effect on prostaglandins, hormone-like substances that contribute to
inflammation. Ginger also helps control the nausea that so often
accompanies migraines.

• Try drinking a cup of rosemary
tea; some people say it helps keep a headache from getting worse. Pour 1
cup boiling water over 1 teaspoon of the dried herb, steep for 10
minutes, strain, and drink.

• At least one grandmother
counted on strong black tea with a few bruised whole cloves added. Tea
contains caffeine, and cloves have anti-inflammatory properties, so the
brew might indeed help a headache.

• Down a large glass of water and see if it helps. Dehydration can cause a headache.

The power of prevention


If you grind your teeth or clench your jaw-either when you’re awake or
asleep-take steps to prevent the problem. You might need to wear a mouth
guard at night.

• Eat at regular intervals. There’s
evidence that a drop in blood sugar-the result of going too long without
eating-can set the stage for headaches.

• At least
three days a week, spend 30 minutes walking, cycling, swimming, or doing
some other form of aerobic exercise. These exercises are great
stress-relievers.

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