If you're one of those people like my husband, who almost never experience that debilitating pain of a headache, move on to another blog post. For all the others, who, like me, experience a headache more or less frequently, I offer 7 natural remedies that really help when you are struggling with a headache or a migraine.
What Causes a Headache
Although the real causes of headaches are unknown, there might be triggers such as sinus infection, cold, fever, stress, eyestrain, environmental causes (e.g.secondhand tobacco smoke), heredity, food allergies, hormone imbalance or a vitamin or mineral deficiency. Some foods and food additives such as gluten, dairy and aspartame can be triggers for a headache.
7 Natural Remedies for Headaches
Before you grab another painkiller that can have serious side effects, try these simple remedies. Unfortunately, migraines run in our family and therefore I tested all of them. Luckily, they are very effective and I do not need to opt for a medicine.
1. Magnesium is one of the most successful headache remedies. People who suffer from serious headaches, like migraines, often have low levels of magnesium. Taking 200–600 mg of magnesium a day can reduce the frequency of headache attacks. Dietary sources of magnesium include beans, whole grains, seeds, nuts and vegetables like broccoli, squash and leafy greens. Dairy products (check for sensitivity as dairy can trigger headaches in some people), meats, chocolate and coffee also include decent levels of magnesium. I personally take this or this supplement. Check the magnesium supplement you buy very closely, as there are good forms and bad forms (low absorption) of magnesium. Look for Magnesium citrate, Magnesium taurate, Magnesium malate, Magnesium glycinate, Magnesium chloride and Magnesium carbonate. DO NOT BUY supplements with Magnesium oxide (poor absorption), Magnesium sulfate (unsafe as a dietary choice, safe in Epsom salts) and Magnesium glutamate and aspartate (dangerous).
2. Food sensitivities: When people with gluten sensitivity eat foods containing gluten, it can lead to a headache. Try to cut back on your daily intake of gluten and see if there are changes in frequency of headaches. Dairy can have the same effect as do aspartame and hydrogenated vegetable oils in processed foods.
3. Essential oils: Peppermint oil is the most effective EO for a headache as it stimulates a significant increase in skin blood flow of the forehead, and it soothes muscle contractions. Lavender oil is also a safe and effective treatment of migraine headaches. Rub one of these oils on your forehead, temples and back of neck.
4. B vitamins: B vitamins are involved in the formation of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which may be deficient in people who suffer from migraines. Try taking one B-complex vitamin a day.
5. Hydration: Too many of us do not drink enough water throughout the day and the dehydrating effects of coffee, sugary drinks and alcohol can certainly leave us with a uncomfortable headache.
6. Reflexology: Foot and hands reflexology are very effective in relieving a headache. Watch this video on how to relieve headaches and migraines.
7. Stretching: sitting at your desk or computer or staring at your smartphone can lead to body tension and create headache symptoms. Practice yoga poses or stretching exercises to release tension.
I am sure these remedies will help you to relieve the symptoms of a headache. Do you have more tips? Share them on my facebook page!