Headaches are an unfortunate part of life that many people tend to brush off as a minor annoyance, but if you experience them often, they can make daily tasks a challenge. Taking pain pills every time you feel an ominous twinge in your temples can help prevent the pain, but it doesn’t actually treat the underlying cause. Fortunately, there are several holistic remedies you can turn to for relief.
Essential Oil Aromatherapy
Stress is a common trigger for headaches, so it stands to reason that relaxation is a useful treatment for relieving pain. One way to do this is through aromatherapy. Many types of essential oils boast headache-fighting capabilities, including:
- Lavender: Can be inhaled or applied topically. For best results, add two to four drops of oil to two cups of boiling water and inhale the steam vapors. Be sure not to stand directly over boiling water.
- Peppermint: Inhalation helps control blood flow and open up vessels that are constricted. It shows great success in alleviating tension headaches for this reason.
- Basil: The herb also doubles as a muscle relaxant, helping to soothe tense muscles.
- Chamomile: Often used in teas, chamomile is a great relaxer that can also relieve pain, inflammation, and congestion.
When shopping for oils, be sure they are labelled “essential” and not “fragrance,” as heavy perfumes may be counterproductive to reducing headache pain.
Foods That Help Relieve Pain
When you start to feel a headache coming on, eating a snack could be better for you than popping pills. Certain foods have been shown to be effective at stopping headaches in their tracks. Almonds, for example, contain a natural pain reliever called salicin that is often used in over-the-counter pain medicines.
Cayenne is another powerful remedy, thanks to the capsaicin it contains. Capsaicin is great at treating several types of pain because it binds to a protein on the neurons that cause your body to sense heat and pain. For best results, mix ¼ teaspoon of cayenne powder in 4 ounces of warm water. Dab a cotton ball in the mixture and gently swab the inside of your nostrils. The sensation might be unpleasant, but the solution will absorb through your mucus membranes and help wipe out your headache.
If you suffer from frequent headaches, modifying your diet could help you avoid the triggers that cause them. MSG, chocolate, alcohol, cheeses and nitrites in preserved foods are just a few culprits. It’s also important to monitor your water intake, as dehydration can exacerbate headache symptoms.
Sometimes the easiest solution is to get the blood flowing manually. Massaging your scalp and temples and engaging in brisk exercise can help open up constricted blood vessels and relieve tension. When that doesn’t work, try applying a hot or cold compress to the affected areas.
Suffering From Severe or Chronic Headaches? Visit the Migraine Institute in Plano, Texas
Head pain can be debilitating and wreak havoc on your home and social life. Freedom from pain is a phone call away. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Rodriguez at the Migraine Institute in Plano, Texas.