Life these days is too busy to have a headache slow you down. Unfortunately, headaches are often overlooked and left untreated, or they are masked with painkillers to simply hide the pain. These prescription and over-the-counter medications come with a laundry list of adverse side effects that can lead to long-term health issues. The good news? There are remedies that are both natural and effective that can alleviate headache pain!
Headaches are one of the ways your body indicates that something is “off.” They can be triggered by stress, vertebral subluxations, fatigue, allergies, poor posture, bad dietary choices, eyestrain, hormonal shifts, nutritional deficiencies, and everything in between. A headache is your body’s signal that something’s got to give!
Natural remedies have been used for thousands of years to both prevent headaches and treat symptoms as they arise. The best part about natural remedies for headache pain is they come without the long list of adverse side effects that accompany OTC and prescription medications. Here are ten great natural headache remedies:
Natural Headache Remedies
Chiropractic is an amazing, natural pathway to healing. Several clinical trials show that chiropractic adjustments help treat headaches. In one study, 22 percent of those who received chiropractic manipulation reported more than a 90 percent reduction in headaches, and 49 percent reported that the severity of their headaches was significantly reduced after receiving adjustments!
The best part about using chiropractic to treat headaches? Chiropractic care finds the root source of your headache, and through chiropractic adjustments removes these subluxations from your spine. This allows your nervous system and body to function as it should and prevents interference throughout your system.
Magnesium is needed for over 300 enzymatic reactions in the human body, including neurotransmission and energy for your very cells — it is clearly important. Unfortunately, magnesium deficiency is incredibly common, impacting around 48 percent of the U.S. population. Soil depletion, digestive disorders, and high rates of antibiotic and prescription medication all inhibit the body’s ability to absorb magnesium.
Several scientific studies have found that people who are magnesium deficient are more likely to suffer from headaches, however supplementing with between 200 and 600 milligrams of magnesium each day helps reduce the frequency of migraines. You can also boost your magnesium intake by consuming more magnesium rich foods such as broccoli, beets, leafy greens, bananas, nuts, seeds, and seafood.
3. Essential Oils
Peppermint and lavender essential oils have both a calming and numbing effect that make them perfect for easing headache symptoms.
Research shows that peppermint oil, which has a cooling effect on the skin, stimulates an increase in skin blood flow and soothes muscle contractions. Try applying 1-2 drops on your temples to allow the oil to do its job!
Lavender oil has long been used to stabilize moods and help people relax. Research shows that lavender is a powerful, safe, and effective treatment for migraine headaches. A study done in 2012 that measured the results of inhaling lavender oil for 15 minutes. This study found that out of 129 headaches, 92 responded to the use of lavender oil as treatment. Apply 1-2 drops to the palm of your hands, form a cup, and inhale to relax your mind and easy your headache pain.
Ginger root has incredible anti-inflammatory effects on the body. These effects can lead to decreased headache pain as they help relax constricted blood vessels in the head. Ginger also helps alleviate nausea, which is a common player when it comes to migraines!
One study found that just 1/8 teaspoon of powdered ginger worked as well as Imitrex, a top-selling anti-migraine drug, without the potential side effects.
Need ideas for ways to add ginger into your diet? Try adding ginger to your foods, ginger supplements, or ginger tea!
5. B-Complex Vitamins
Studies show that vitamin B2 can reduce the frequency and length of migraines, and vitamin B3 calms vascular headaches by opening up blood vessels to increase blood flow. If you’re frequently fighting headaches, try taking one B-complex vitamin a day — the benefits go far beyond headache relief.
Dehydration from coffee, sugary drinks, alcohol, and simply not drinking enough water can leave anyone with a pounding headache. While often overlooked, staying hydrated is one of the best ways to keep headaches away, and drinking water can even help ease symptoms after they’ve begun. Drink up!
Sitting or standing in one position for an extended amount of time can cause tension in your body and lead to headache symptoms. Also, many of us spend our days hunched over a desk, computer screen, or phone, putting an extra 20-30 pounds of pressure on your neck!
An easy way to avoid a headache from poor posture and a sedentary lifestyle is to get up and get moving every hour. Take a lap around the office, do some neck rolls, go outside, stretch your muscles, and watch as you have fewer and fewer headaches.
8. Cayenne Pepper
Cultures around the globe have used cayenne pepper for centuries for its plethora of health benefits. Cayenne stimulates blood flow and reduces pain and inflammation. The capsaicin compound found within cayenne pepper depletes substance P, a neuropeptide that acts as one of the main elements in our perception of pain. Several studies have found that when you apply cayenne pepper topically, theres a significant decrease in headache pain!
Feverfew plant has yellow-ish green leaves and yellow flowers and people have used this herb for thousands of years for medicinal purposes. Headaches are caused by blood vessels in your head expanding and contracting, and feverfew helps relax these constricted blood vessels, relieving pressure.
One research study found that people who took feverfew each day had significantly less painful and severe headaches than a placebo group!
Butterbur is another powerful herb that’s been used for centuries as an herbal remedy for pain, fevers, and allergies. A trial conducted in the U.S. and Germany on 245 migraine patients found that those who took butterbur supplements twice daily reduced their headache attacks by 58 percent over the course of 4 months. Just make sure you never ingest any part of the raw, unprocessed butterbur plant because it contains chemicals linked to liver toxicity.
If you’re seeking a natural solution to your headaches, call our office today to schedule your consultation and appointment. Chiropractic care can treat your headaches at their source! 615.503.9900