Headaches are a common problem for almost all of us. Quite possible, you might have even woken up in the morning with a headache for no apparent reason. Sometimes it happens when you are stressed out or get disturbed in the middle of sleep, ending up with a headache. And, more often than not, you tend to pop an OTC pill for quick relief. But, if we tell you there are effective headache remedies that provide relief naturally, would you still reach out to OTC medicine? We hope not.
So, here are some easy, simple, and effective headache remedies; have them pinned up so you can use them when you are in need.
Five effective remedies for headache
1. Drink water
It may sound very simple, but plain water can do wonders for an annoying headache. This would be particularly familiar to parents caring for young children. They may get cranky for no reason; dehydration and feeling thirsty might be the reason. Give them water, and in some time, they will be usual selves!
In adults, too, if your headache is due to dehydration, drinking plain water is an awesome remedy that effectively helps in relieving headaches. So, if you feel a headache starting, drink a glass of water first thing.
2. Herbal tea
Herbal teas are a great remedy for headaches. Morning or evening doesn’t matter. Just sip on herbal teas when you are wincing with a headache. Reach into your tea repertoire and opt for the one you feel like drinking at that time, the smell and taste you would find appealing. Chamomile tea, peppermint tea, ginger, feverfew, and clove are some of the excellent choices.
Tip: It is a good idea to maintain a good selection of herbal teas since they are not only an effective remedy for headaches but a host of other issues! In fact, it is excellent to have a cup of herbal tea every day for good health.
3. Essential oils
Generally, essential oils are associated with relaxation and reduce anxiety. They can help you in pain also.
Essential oils such as eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, peppermint oil and rosemary oil are effective headache remedies that provide quick relief.
Ways to use essential oils:
- Inhale the aroma from the bottle
- Dilute using a carrier oil such as coconut oil or olive oil and apply to your temples
- Add a few drops of essential oil to your bath and relax
Are you a lover of essential oils but don’t know how to use them? Here is a detailed guide on Aromatherapy and Essential oils by Simmi, The Aromatherapist.
4. Cold or warm compress
The age-old and trusted remedy is always effective in relieving a headache due to stress. Both warm and cold compress work, so you can opt for either option based on your preference.
While people with migraines tend to choose cold, people with tension headaches often choose warm compress.
You can place it on your forehead, temples, or back of your neck. If you don’t have a store-bought cold compress handy, just wrap some ice in a piece of cloth and use it. You can also use a cold water bottle as a compress.
It’s been a couple of decades since yoga has taken the world by storm, and the therapeutic uses of Yoga are many. As you rightly thought, several asanas can help reduce your bothersome headache.
The following are some asanas/poses to make you feel better when you have a nagging headache.
- Wide-legged child’s pose
- Bridge pose
- Cat cow pose
- Downward dog pose
- Standing forward fold
- Seated forward fold
- Legs up the wall pose
- Corpse pose
Not all poses can be easy. Don’t worry. You need not practice all of the poses. Choose the ones you are comfortable with. Practising a few poses itself will be a good and effective remedy for relieving a headache.
Pro tip: You may use yoga props to make the practice as therapeutic as possible. For example, lie down on a bolster in the wide-legged child’s pose, rest your sacrum on a block for a supported bridge pose and prop yourself up with cushions under your head and hips in the leg up the wall pose.
Following up with alternate nostril breathing pranayama (Anulom vilom/ Nadi shodhana) is a good idea to feel even better.
Tips to prevent headaches in future
Prevention is always better than cure. So, apart from the five effective headache remedies explained above, here are some useful tips for you to prevent headaches.
- Stay hydrated
- Get sufficient sleep
- Limit alcohol intake
- Manage stress
- Exercise regularly
- Know the triggers and avoid them
- Eat wisely
Start one or more of the remedies recommended above as soon as you feel a headache coming on rather than letting it progress. That way, the remedies would be effective and relieve your headache quickly. If your headache is not going away despite using a remedy, visit your doctor because some medical conditions can might be causing the pain and it is better you seek advice from your GP.