In the present day world, with traffic jams, work stress, family demands, skipping meals, dehydration, disturbed sleeping patterns etc haunting us all the time, headaches are bound to occur.
Headache is one of the most common and annoying symptom affecting day to day lives and people often resort to popping over the counter pills every now and then. As these pain killers act as occasional or temporary pain relievers and their long term use may cause side effects, it is always better to be knowledgeable about other alternative methods of its treatment that are safe as well as handy.
Apart from chucking off the real cause of headache like lack of sleep, inadequate diet, dehydration, stress etc, there are some natural, home remedies that can help you overcome the nasty headache easily. Read on to gather those magical health tips that will help you counter the pain in a healthy way.
Natural Ways to Treat Headache
1. Water: As dehydration is a common cause of headache, drinking sufficient amount of water can relieve the pain instantly. Continue to sip small quantities of water throughout the day to compensate for the loss and feel the difference. Drinking sports drinks that contain essential electrolytes will be an added advantage. Also, water acts as an anti-depressant and eases off the stress helpful in curbing the pain.
2. Lemon: Lemon is an effective solution for treating headache. It can be taken in as lemon juice by mixing it in warm water, as lemon tea or even applied directly on the forehead as a paste. It has immense medicinal qualities in regards to headache especially if it is due to gastric troubles.
3. Ice pack or cold compress: If you have constant stress leading to throbbing headache, applying a cold compress on your forehead in the form of ice pack or cold cloth for a few minutes will numb the pain as well as improve the blood circulation to the area thereby, soothing the pain. The cold contracts the blood vessels of the affected area and prevents them from pressing on the nerves and relieves the pain. Alternatively, soaking your hands in cold water and constantly opening and closing your fists will also, surprisingly relieve your headache.
4. Hot application: In case cervical spondylosis or strained neck muscles are the reason for the pain, applying hot water bottle on the neck or taking a hot shower will relax the tensed neck muscles and alleviates the pain. Of course, you will need to consult a doctor for additional treatment of cervical spondylosis. A hot water foot bath also, helps in drawing blood to the feet and reduces the pressure on the blood vessels of your head.
5. Massage: Massaging the temples, forehead, neck or shoulder gently, in circular motion provides immense relief to the aching muscles and nerves of the head in addition to improving the circulation of blood to that area. Massaging on certain acupressure points have proved to be beneficial in combating the severe pains too. One of the acupressure points is the fleshy web of skin between your thumb and forefinger as it is believed to be connected to the areas of brain responsible for headaches. Other pressure points include the tip of thumbs, centre of your forehead, the area between your eyebrows or the root of the nose if the headache is due to sinus congestion. Tight bandage with a scarf, bandana or tie on the painful part is helpful in relieving the pain due to swollen blood vessels as the pressure from the bandage reduces the blood flow to those blood vessels.
6. Coffee: Caffeine present in the coffee has a vasoconstrictor effect and reduces the swelling off the blood vessels and calms down the pain. However, excess of coffee can have harmful effects so limit to just 1 or 2 cups a day. Squeezing a little lemon to it will enhance the beneficial effect apart from uplifting its taste.
7. Ginger: Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and helps in relieving the headache by relaxing the blood vessels. Three to four cups of ginger juice or ginger tea can be taken throughout the day for constant relief, especially for migraines.
8. Essential Oils: Many essential oils such as peppermint, lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus etc have shown remarkable results in treating headache. Massaging them on the forehead or inhaling in their aromas gives a relaxing effect to the aching nerves and muscles and eventually, kicks off the pain. You can also, add peppermint to your tea to take more advantage of its menthol effect. Also, applying wet peppermint tea bags on closed eyelids or forehead for five minutes serves the same purpose, in particular for those headaches which are due to eye strains. Lavender is a natural analgesic and has believed to treat many migraine patients whereas eucalyptus is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and provides quick relief.
9. Rest, relax or sleep: Lack of sleep or rest is a very common cause of headache and thus, lying in a dark, quiet room will benefit people suffering from migraine or stress-induced headache. Practicing additional mind relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, breathing or stretching exercises or listening to soft music further, reduces the stress levels and improves the sleep quality.
10. Avoiding certain food stuffs: Some substances found in food items are known as headache-inducers or headache triggers and hence, their abstinence is required in order to avoid this pain symptom. Nitrites or nitrates present in processed meat, monosodium glutamate used as a flavor enhancer in certain foods, alcohol, tyramine found in nuts, cheese and soy, aspartate found in artificially sweetened products are some of the common examples of such headache triggers while consuming more of vitamin B2, magnesium, coenzyme 10 etc. help in relieving headache.
Get rid of those horrible, troublesome headaches with these home remedies and put an end to your dependence on harmful analgesic pills. However, if the headaches are severe and persistent, always get yourself examined by a doctor to evaluate and treat the underlying condition.
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