Natural remedies for headaches can be very effective. One can often cure the headache without medication.
In about 90% of cases, headaches are caused by muscle tension, an unregulated lifestyle and poor nutrition. Natural therapy can thus relieve most of the tension headaches instead of only temporarily relieving them.
The majority of causes of headaches are caused by soft tissue diseases, but they can also be provoked by serious diseases. Therefore, it is necessary to consult a doctor first.
Pharmaceuticals only mask the symptoms, but do not fix the causes of the headache.
Acupuncture against headaches
Acupuncture is an old form of therapy for relieving chronic headaches, avoiding side effects caused by medication.
Fine needles are inserted under the skin to restore the flow of energy or “qi” in the body.
Acupuncture can treat all types of headaches: migraines, cluster headaches, and tension headaches.
Some studies show that acupuncture reduces the frequency and severity of pain.
Patients treated with acupuncture often do not need to take medication to relieve headaches.
Natural remedies for headache and neck pain
People with visual problems (for example, myopia or presbyopia) should go to the ophthalmologist, who will prescribe appropriate glasses.
A vision problem can change posture to approach things you can’t see.
Cold and heat packs
Anyone can do this therapy for headaches without risk, even pregnant women.
To relieve neck tension, put a hot pack on the back of the neck.
In case of pulsating and persistent headaches, however, heat should be avoided and a cold poultice should be placed on the temples.
A cold poultice on the forehead reduces the dilation of blood vessels. You should let the cold pack work on the forehead for about 10 minutes.
This method is most effective if the patient immediately applies cold treatment when the headache occurs.
The artery that carries blood to the hard meninges (the outer membrane of the brain) runs behind the temporal bone.
By lowering the temperature of the blood in this area, pulsating pain can be relieved.
Reflexology is a type of natural therapy that focuses on applying pressure to specific zones on the foot or other points of the body.
It is a different type of massage therapy because foot reflexology works on nerve endings, while massage focuses on muscles and soft tissues of the body.
A study from Denmark with 220 participants shows that 81% experience relief of headache symptoms through reflexology.
About 20% of patients stopped taking medications they had taken before the study.
An important reflex zone point in headaches is located in the soft part of the hand between thumb and index finger.
Alternatively, in case of allergy and sinusitis, you can massage the top of each finger with a light oil.
Manual therapy involves a set of manipulative techniques developed to treat the musculoskeletal system, nerves and blood vessels.
This treatment includes correction of posture and nutrition, as well as exercises for the cervical spine.
Osteopathy includes various techniques of nerve, muscle, skull, myofascial and joint mobilization, etc. Usually, one or two sessions per week are enough to reduce headaches caused by soft tissue.
There are also some muscles that can cause headaches:
- the large head turner (sternocleidomastoid muscle) – on the front,
- the deep neck muscles (suboccipital muscles) – in the upper neck area under the occipital bone.
These muscles are trigger points that can cause headaches when activated. The osteopath can deactivate them. If this is the cause, the headache disappears on the spot.
Osteopathy can also help in cases of chronic menstrual headaches, which begin each month a few days before the onset of menstruation.
Among the oldest and fastest-acting remedies, massage therapy can relieve headaches because it relieves the tension that causes the pain. So it is an excellent remedy for headaches associated with stress.
Start the head massage under the ears and slowly rise upwards to the forehead.
Continue with fingertips for the rest of the scalp.
The simple finger pressure is not sufficient.
The massage of a good physiotherapist can also be done on children and women in pregnancy.
This therapy is best suited for cervical headache.
It is particularly effective in reducing tension in cramped muscles, such as at the back of the head, neck and shoulders, and improves circulation in these areas.
In one small scientific study, people with migraines who completed six weekly massage sessions were less likely to have attacks and slept better during the weeks of treatment and also in the three weeks that followed, as opposed to a control group.
Nutrition for headaches
A change in diet can help cure chronic headaches.
There are several theories, let’s analyze here conventional medicine and nutritional methods, which usually show the best results:
- Blood group diet
- Vegan diet/raw food diet
Headaches can also be caused by certain foods, such as:
- aged or fermented cheese,
- Red wine
- caffeinated beverages,
- alcoholic beverages and spirits,
- red meat, treated or canned meat,
- foods containing monosodium glutamate,
Some studies suggest that the addition of omega-3 fatty acids may be helpful in the diet.
Fruits or vegetables should be included in every meal. It is recommended to avoid coffee and all sugary drinks such as Coca Cola.
Natural medicine According to the theories of natural medicine
and health hygiene, the vegan diet/raw food diet is the best diet.
Meat, eggs, dairy products and fried foods can only make the situation worse.
You can replace dairy products and meat with legumes, chia seeds or pumpkin seeds, nuts, almonds, pistachios and other dried fruits.
This form of diet is based on fruits, raw vegetables, nuts, legumes and potatoes.
High temperatures should be avoided when cooking, steaming is better.
A fasting cure can trigger a migraine attack, as the toxins are released in the body and enter the bloodstream; that is no cause for alarm.
Fasting can help people who have no contraindications, such as:
- second or third trimester of pregnancy,
- Organ transplant
- extreme weakening due to tumor.
Blood group diet According to the blood group diet, you can only eat foods that are intended for the respective blood group, while the others should be avoided.
For example, a blood type A member might experience symptoms after eating milk or meat, while someone with blood type B may experience headaches due to tomatoes.
However, there are foods that should be avoided by everyone:
- Sausages and pork
- Milk and dairy products
- Cereals containing gluten
You can eat fruits and cereals (without gluten), but only in small quantities.
Some substances that could cause headaches should be avoided, including the nitrates and nitrites in processed meat, as well as sodium glutamate, which is used as a flavor enhancer, for example in:
- frozen products,
- bouillon cubes,
- Tinned food.
Some heart medications also contain nitrates.
Triggering factors for headaches are:
- phenylethylamine (in chocolate and cheese),
- tyramine (in dried fruits and fermented meats, cheeses and soy),
- Aspertate (in many artificially sweetened foods).
Herbal remedies and dietary supplements
Tanacetum (common name feverfew)
Feverfew is a very well-known remedy for headaches and has been used for centuries for this purpose.
It is a preventive medicine.
The key component is parthenolide, which lowers high blood pressure in the cerebral vessels (hypertension) and, consequently, prevents migraines.
Feverfew should not be taken in the following cases:
- If there is an allergy to chamomile, calendula or yarrow from the daisy family.
- When patients suffer from hemorrhage,
- Two or three weeks before or after a surgical procedure, because the blood clotting time can be increased.
is an amino acid produced by the body that is an intermediate form of tryptophan and serotonin.
Taking 5-http leads to increased production of serotonin.
Serotonin is a chemical substance that affects the following:
Research has shown that 5-HTP can prevent migraines and reduce the frequency and severity of headaches.
This product is available in the drugstore.
Magnesium is found in green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains and supplements.
This substance helps regulate the level of sugar in the blood and is necessary for:
- the normal functioning of muscles and nerves,
- Immune system
- Blood pressure
- Bone health.
Studies have shown that magnesium can reduce the severity and frequency of headaches.
Common butterbur (Petasites hybridus)
Among herbal remedies for headaches, butterbur is an herb that can prevent headaches and migraines.
It belongs to the daisy family and therefore should not be used by people who are allergic to chamomile, calendula or chrysanthemums.
Among the oldest home remedies, chamomile is a naturally soothing herb.
A cup of chamomile tea can calm the nerves and relieve headaches naturally.
Ginger is known for relieving and preventing headaches. It is a natural anti-inflammatory, which contains pain-relieving substances.
With headaches, it is better to take this root in capsule form. You can also eat a small piece of fresh ginger root or make a tea from it.
Ginger tea is a helpful remedy for hangover headaches.
You can get it in most supermarkets or in the vegetable shop.
Peppermint can be used internally or externally and helps to relieve headaches. Internal use consists of drinking a cup of mint tea. External application is carried out by a few drops of peppermint essential oil, which are massaged onto both temples.
Traditional home remedies also include a hot cup of herbal tea with mint, verbena or lemon balm to relieve headaches, especially if they also cause nausea.
A tea made from fresh origano leaves, chamomile or rose hips relieves nervous headaches.
Lavender tea should be used in combination with lemon balm.
Essential oils for migraines and headaches
In case of severe headache due to sinusitis or cold, inhale with steam and essential oils.
Rub a few drops of lavender oil on the temples or under the nostrils. This helps to cure nervous headaches, because this substance promotes relaxation.
Massage rosemary and juniper oil together onto neck, neck and shoulders until muscles relax.
If excessive heat causes headaches, put a few drops of peppermint essential oil on the forehead or neck with a cool poultice to cool the body.
Valerian calms the nerves and is effective as a natural remedy for headaches, especially if the headache hinders restful sleep.
You can use supplements or tea from valerian root.
Often used in the kitchen, bay leaf contains parthenolide, the same plant ingredient found in feverfew used to treat migraines.
One should try bay leaf along with feverfew to prevent migraines.
Coffee and caffeine enhance the effect of painkillers for tension headaches.
Life events that provoke stress, anxiety, and depression are related to chronic migraines and headaches.
Aerobic exercise Regular aerobic exercise
, such as walking, cycling, or swimming, can reduce the intensity and frequency of migraine headaches.
In a small scientific study, patients who suffer from migraines and do not exercise participated in an indoor cycling program over 12 weeks. Participants improved their quality of life and decreased the frequency and intensity of pain.
Ayurveda is the traditional Indian medicine and offers two remedies for headache. The first is to dip a warm cloth in mustard oil and place it on the forehead to relieve pain.
The second remedy is to boil coriander seeds in water and inhale the resulting steam.
This therapy is often used to treat sinusitis.
Yoga deals with postures, breathing exercises and meditation to deepen muscle relaxation and achieve mental, physical and emotional balance.
In a scientific study on headache, patients suffering from migraines were divided into two groups. The first group did yoga therapy for three months, while the other group treated themselves as usual.
Compared to the control group, those who engaged in yoga had fewer frequent and less painful attacks, as well as fewer anxiety.
Deep breathing, relaxing music or mental images are among the home remedies for headaches.
A study of 90 people with tension headaches shows that relaxation exercises lasting 20 minutes improve sleep more than acupuncture.