Pain in any region of the head is termed a headache. It may be chronic or mild, maybe on one side or both sides. There are innumerable causes of headache; however, the most common reason behind mild headache includes stress, dehydration, lack of sleep, indigestion and eyestrain. For headaches that are not because of any underlying disease, you do not need to pop over the counter painkillers; instead, you can rely on home remedies for headaches to help you out.
Nevertheless, before we discuss home remedies for headaches, let us have a brief discussion on the causes of headaches. The causes of headache can be divided into two types:
Primary headache: Primary headache happens due to some underlying process in the brain such as migraine, tension headache or cluster headache.
Secondary headache: Secondary headache can be due to any underlying medical condition such as brain tumour, cervical neck, meningitis, post-traumatic, sinus headache, low Blood sugar etc.
Some other common causes of headaches include excessive smoking, excessive drinking, dehydration, poor sleep, neck strain, Eyestrain etc.
If your headache is mild and occasional, try some natural ways to get relief.
What Are The Home Remedies For Headache
1. Stay hydrated
The first in our list of home remedies for Headaches is drinking enough water. Inadequate consumption of water leads to dehydration and results in a headache. If dehydration is the cause behind headache, then within 30 minutes to 3 hours after drinking water, headache is relieved. Drink at least 7 to 8 glasses of water every day to stay hydrated and avoid other symptoms of dehydration such as irritability and impaired concentration. In addition, eat foods rich in water content. Avoid caffeinated beverages such as coffee, aerated drinks or alcohol as they may worsen dehydration.
Ginger is one of the most popular home remedies to reduce inflammation of blood vessels. It has prophylactic and abortive effects.
Grate a few pieces of ginger and extract its juice. Mix lemon juice and ginger juice in equal amounts. Consume it two times a day to reduce headaches. Alternatively, you may also drink ginger tea.
3. Magnesium-rich foods
Magnesium is an essential mineral required in the body to carry out vital functions such as nerve transmission and controlling blood sugar. Deficiency of magnesium is common in people who complain of frequent headaches. Studies show intake of magnesium-rich foods reduce headache. Eat foods such as pumpkin seeds, cashew, spinach, peanuts, banana, baked potato, yoghurt, brown rice, oatmeal, black beans and soya milk.
4. Focus on physical activity
Research shows that physical activity daily is one of the effective ways to deal with headaches and reduces their frequency and severity. You don’t need to go gym and sweat. Instead, practice simple cycling, running, brisk walk or simple neck and shoulder Stretching exercises.
5. Take proper sleep
Sleep deprivation is one of the most common causes of headaches. Excess of sleep may also trigger a headache. The ideal sleeping time should be somewhere between 7 to 9 hours every night. If you find it difficult to fall asleep, avoid stimulants during the evening and avoid watching the screen for at least 2 hours before your sleeping time. Have your dinner 2-3 hours before sleeping. Eat light food and make sure your room is cool and comfortable.
If you have a throbbing headache, try clove. Clove has been pain-relieving and cooling properties. Crush a few cloves, wrap them in a clean handkerchief and inhale the fragrance whenever you experience a headache.
Cinnamon reduces inflammation. Therefore, it is an effective home remedy to reduce the severity, frequency and duration of headaches in patients suffering from migraines.
To a cup of steaming water, add a 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder and let it steep for about 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, strain and drink it warm.
8. Avoid foods rich in histamine
Histamine is a chemical present in our body and plays an essential role in digestion, immunity and the nervous system. Foods containing histamines such as beer, wine, fermented foods, smoked fish, cured meats and aged foods may lead to headaches and migraines in people sensitive to excess histamine. If you suffer from frequent headaches, eliminate histamine foods from your diet.
9. Lavender Essential oil
Lavender Essential oil relieves tension headaches. In addition, the soothing smell of lavender essential oil improves the symptoms of migraines.
Prepare steam in a small pot and add few drops of lavender essential oil to it. Inhale the steam for a few minutes. Alternatively, just put a few drops of lavender oil on your handkerchief on tissue paper and smell it.
Never take lavender essential oil orally.
10. Basil leaves
Basil leaves act as a muscle relaxant. It is helpful for her to relieve tight muscles and tension headaches. In addition, basil leaves are rich in antioxidants and have an anti-inflammatory effect. It has antibacterial properties and acts as an adaptogen.
Add basil leaves to a cup of steaming water. Strain and after 15 minutes and then drink warm.
11. When to see a doctor
If you experience frequent headaches, a proper diagnosis is suggested to rule out the possibility of any underlying serious health issues. Also, see your doctor if you experience sudden headaches accompanied by a high fever, numbness, confusion, fainting, stiff neck, and trouble speaking, walking, or seeing.
Home remedies for headaches discussed in our article are to relieve occasional and mild headaches. However, it is essential to consult a physician if you suffer from chronic or severe headaches to diagnose any underlying cause and start proper treatment.
Tips to get rid of a headache naturally: stay hydrated, magnesium-rich foods, heat therapy, ginger, physical activity, lavender, cinnamon, cloves, basil