Though many of these are widely accepted remedies for getting rid of a headache, it may pay to visit your family doctor before attempting any of these. Also, most herbal remedies come with a caution for pregnant and lactating women not to attempt them.
Most experts agree there are three main types of headaches – tension (stress), migraine and cluster. Tension headaches can usually be solved by drinking water or taking some time out to rest. A few paracetamol tablets and you can be back on the job within an hour.
Migraine and cluster headaches aren’t as easy to rid yourself of. Yet there have been many remedies and ‘old wives myths’ handed down throughout the ages. Listed below is a selection of remedies that might just offer some headache relief – but seek medical advice before trialling.
Natural Plants for Headache Relief
Research suggests that capsaicin can also help relieve cluster headaches. In one study, people with cluster headaches rubbed a capsaicin preparation inside and outside their noses on the same side of the head as the headache pain.
Within five days, 75 percent reported less pain and fewer headaches. They also reported burning nostrils and runny noses, but these side effects subsided within a week.
How to Apply Cayenne
As using cayenne intranasally can really hurt someone who suffers with skin allergies you may want to seek some professional help for using this method. Cayenne is usually applied as an ointment.
2. Ginkgo biloba
While Ginkgo biloba has a reputation for producing headaches as a side effect of its use, it can assist those who suffer from headaches brought on in older age. These can be quite common for the elderly and may debilitate their activity.
How to Apply Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo is produced in tablet form or can be seeped as a tea. The nuts from the Ginkgo biloba tree can even be used in a porridge.
Full effectiveness in preventing migraines may not be evident until feverfew has been taken for 4 to 6 weeks – sometimes even longer. It won’t stop a migraine, but this herb will help prevent them from occurring.
How to Apply Feverfew
Feverfew tea may be made by soaking about one teaspoonful of dried feverfew leaves in 5 to 8 ounces of boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes. Drink at least 1-2 cups per day.The leaves can also be eaten fresh or freeze-dried.
Extremely helpful in reducing the effect of nausea brought on by a headache. Peppermint is also a helpful assistant for sinus headaches brought on by colds and flus.
How to Apply Peppermint
Can be drunk as a tea or peppermint oil applied to the temples. Add a few drops of peppermint oil to a bowl of hot water and use as a steam inhalation.
Although not directly linked to help get rid of a headache, chamomile is great for reducing stress and tension.
How to Apply Chamomile
Best used as an aromatherapy solution, add some drops of chamomile oil to an essence burner. Chamomile also makes a great tea that will help soothe and calm your head.
Anecdotal evidence is that a woman in Denmark took 500 to 600 milligrams of powdered ginger in water at the first sign of a migraine. Relief came within 30 minutes. After a few days of taking powdered ginger, the woman changed to eating fresh, raw ginger.
The amount is not given. Fewer migraines were reported and those that did breakthrough were of less intensity. Ginger seems to reduce nausea also. Apparently, ginger is great for front of the head headaches.
Combined with Fenugreek, both these herbs can be made as a tea and seem to reduce the pressure from migraines, throbbing headaches, and nausea. Pure Thyme oil can actually bring on the headaches rather than rid you of one, so it is always best to use it mixed with fenugreek.
How to Use Thyme
Thyme is best prepared as a cold infusion allowing it to steep overnight covered with cold water. The mixture can then be slightly warmed and strained before drinking. This method is best for mild headaches or constant migraines.
Used widely in Indian medicine, turmeric is well-supported as a help in dealing with migraine headaches.
How to Use Turmeric
Turmeric is best used as a tonic for suppressing and getting rid of headaches. It can be mixed with lemon balm and feverfew for steeped cold tea.
9. Bay Leaves
Bay Leaf has been used for centuries as an herbal remedy for headaches. It contains chemical compounds called parthenolide, which have proven useful in the treatment of migraines.
How to Use Bay Leaves
These leaves are best steeped as a hot tea.
“Robert Milne, M.D., author of the “Alternative Medicine Definitive Guide to Headaches,” suggests eating 12 almonds instead of taking aspirin for a headache. Almonds contain salicin, the active ingredient in aspirin.”
How to Use Almonds
Melatonin is found in tart cherries; this can make you sleep better at night and be more wakeful in the daytime. Cherries contain compounds that can even relieve headaches. 20 cherries are 10 times stronger than aspirin. So, take 20 the next time you have a headache!
How to use Cherries
Apparently, fennel was used by the Aztecs for many ailments including migraine headaches. Its many other remedial purposes were for increasing milk production in lactating women, regulating menstruation, and removing tumours or obstructions in the mammary glands.
How to Use Fennel
The most common form of relief through Fennel is to create a herbal tea. This can be made with either the seeds – crushed and then steeped – or with the fresh stalks. There isn’t really a limit on how much of this you can drink before becoming detrimental to your health but be wise in your use of fennel extracts.
In the past, before modern medicine had come to rely on drugs so completely, herbs, flowers and special foods were used to help sufferers cope with the pain of various ailments.
Lavender water appeared in the medicine cabinets of many families in those days, and when dealing with a condition for which we still haven’t discovered a cure, a look back at the past can yield many helpful ideas which may have been forgotten along the way.
How to Use Lavender
Pouches of lavender tucked under your pillow, burning essential oils, lavender oil rubbed into your temples and even potpourri consisting of lavender may all be good uses for this wonderful herb.
Plants offer so much for our well-being. Did you know they can help with dry eyes too? Check out our guide on dry eyes to learn how plants can soothe your eyes.