Headaches are a common annoyance that people deal with on a daily basis. They can make your days more challenging, cause unnecessary stress, and even interfere with everyday tasks. While taking Tylenol or ibuprofen is an option for some, not everybody wants to regularly take over-the-counter medications. The good news is that there are many natural remedies, including minor dietary and small lifestyle changes, that can relieve headache pain.
There are several types of headaches, some of which are easier to get rid of than others. Tension headaches are the most common and less severe. Migraines can be moderate to severe and cluster headaches are quite painful and occur in groups (clusters). The way to end a headache quickly all depends on what causes it. If dehydration is the culprit, for example, hydrate with water and electrolytes. You may need to eliminate certain foods if headaches are the body’s way of signaling sensitivities. To help you tackle headaches from as many angles as possible, we have eight natural remedies below.
The first thing to do if you want to get rid of a headache is hydrate with water. Because of excess caffeine, soda, and sugary drink consumption, most people are dehydrated. Being in a state of mild dehydration can cause headaches, and can even be a catalyst for migraines. Drink water throughout the day to avoid headaches, and make sure to drink a lot of water if you feel a headache coming on.
Avoid Foods High In Histamine
Found naturally in the body, histamine is a chemical that has roles in the immune, nervous, and digestive systems. It exists in certain foods like beer, fermented foods, smoked fish, cured meats, aged cheeses, and wine. According to research, consuming histamine foods may induce migraines in people who are prone to them. Cut out histamine-rich foods from you diet to see if that gets rid of frequent headaches.
Don’t Quit Caffeine Cold Turkey
If you want to quit caffeine, that’s perfectly acceptable, but it may not be wise to do so cold turkey. Caffeine withdrawal is real thing, especially if you regularly consume coffee, black tea, soda, or any other caffeinated beverages. A lack of caffeine in your day may be the cause of your headaches. Instead of quitting cold turkey, taper off by drinking less coffee, switching to green tea, and then consuming every other day. This will help you avoid unnecessary withdrawal headaches.
Use a Cold Compress
One study of 28 women found that applying a cold gel pack to the head significantly reduced migraine pain. Applying an ice pack or cold compress to the head or back of the neck helps to reduce inflammation. Additionally, the cold works to slow nerve conduction and it helps constrict blood vessels. As a result, the headache pain often goes away quickly.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicinal practice that involves placing tiny needles at specific points on the body. Acupuncture aims to establish the optimal flow of internal energy, also known as qi or chi. Several studies confirm that acupuncture is an effective therapy for pain reduction, including pain from headaches. An April 2017 study showed a significant reduction of migraine attacks following a 24-week trial of acupuncture.
Use Essential Oils
Essential oils can be very effective at reducing both headache pain and stress. You can click here to learn more about how they help reduce headaches. Some research studies observed that inhaling lavender essential oil’s aroma was an effective way to manage migraines. Other scents that may help reduce headaches include rosemary, eucalyptus, chamomile, and peppermint. Drop a few drops in a diffuser, lay down, and breathe deeply.
Eat More Magnesium
Research states that people with low magnesium levels tend to experience more headaches. There are many magnesium supplements and experts recommend a 400- to 500-milligram dose to avoid headaches. You can also increase your magnesium intake via your diet. Great magnesium-rich foods include pumpkin seeds, banana, spinach, avocado, quinoa, black beans, and flaxseeds.
Limit Screen Time
People look at screens for upwards of 10 hours per day. Sometimes, people look at multiple screens at the same time, for example, watching a show on TV and checking Instagram on their phone. People who have higher screen time tend to experience more neck tension and sleep poorly, two common causes of headaches. Take frequent breaks from your computer and smartphones to give the eyes a break. If you can’t cut down screen time at work, limit your time spent in front of the TV or on your phone once you return home from work.