Whether stress-related, hormonal, caused by a hangover or just completely random, a headache can be debilitating. OTC painkillers can be effective but if, like me, headaches are a regular part of your life, relying on painkillers is far from ideal. Not to mention tablet blister packaging is nearly impossible to recycle.
I started to research some natural remedies to help me get through headache city as quickly as possible, thank you google and my IG followers for the recommendations. Here are the 10 I tried.
- Tiger Balm
This is my FAVOURITE find ever – however, it’s not strong enough to get rid of a full-scale migraine. I tend to use this when I feel a headache starting, I just dap a little on the affected area and it helps to numb it before it really takes hold. I also find it works alongside other remedies such as heat treatments. Tiger balm can also help on tight shoulders and neck muscles which can contribute to a headache later on.
- Lavender oil
Similar to tiger balm, I sometimes dot this on my temples when I feel tension starting in my head. Lavender oil is also in my ‘good night sleep kit,’ so if you have trouble sleeping or want to try nap off a headache, flick a little bit of lavender oil on your pillow to help relax and soothe your mind. No need for expensive pillow sprays.
- CBD oil
I’ve used CBD oil to try sleep before, but never considered it for curing headaches. Using it for sleep, I always found its more of a placebo effect than actually helping – and that’s the case for using it as a headache cure too. In fact, even less so, I didn’t feel it did anything. And also, I have a plain CBD oil which tastes horrendous. 0/10 from me, but feel free to give it a go.
- Mixed heat treatment
Feet in hot water, frozen peas or cold flannel on the back of your neck, using ice packs. Ice packs have long been my go-to. Honestly, cannot describe how nice it is when you first apply an ice-cold pack to a sore head. Issue is, as soon as it warms up even slightly, I feel it loses its magic – so best to have a couple so you can rotate them round. Placing feet in hot water changes how your blood flows, and can relieve tension in your head.
- Increase water consumption
Now this was something I’ve always been told to do to avoid headaches but I literally drink 3-4 litres of water a day. However, if you’re not drinking at least 8 glasses, and you suffer from headaches, dehydration might be the cause of your sore head, and you should really consider drinking more.
We all love a good nap, and if you can manage to fall asleep when you’ve got a headache – go for it, might be your quickest remedy. But I personally really struggle to lie down and sleep when I’ve got an achy head, so this didn’t really work for me. I suppose trying to close or cover your eyes is useful when you have a light-sensitive migraine – or a hangover.
- Massage (washing hair, temples)
I often massage my head when I have tension headaches and find it quite soothing. I liked the idea of washing my hair, in the mindset that you’re ‘washing the migraine away’ (a suggestion from an Instagram user) but sadly this didn’t really work for me, and the hot water made me feel worse.
- Tragus piercing
I got my tragus pierced just over a year ago and hadn’t realised this was supposed to relieve headaches. The tragus and daith are the same pressure points on the ear that acupuncturists target to relieve headaches. I don’t think I noticed much of change with headaches but targeting pressure points is a well-known remedy.
- Camomile tea
A lot of the natural remedies are calming and de-stressing, which is what this one is supposedly for. I didn’t find it helped any headaches at all but others swear by it. It is helpful when trying to get to sleep, and a good night’s sleep is crucial for taking care of yourself.
The endorphins our bodies produce when exercising, naturally help treat pain. Usually a sweaty gym session is not what you want to be doing if your head is pounding, but low-impact movement such as like going out for a short walk or yoga are my usual go-tos. Exercise also helps relieve stress which can prevent tension headaches.
Other suggestions to try
I haven’t had time to try all the suggested remedies but if the above don’t work for you, maybe you’d like to try some of these.
- Having a tablespoon of peppermint oil.
- Drinking Floradix.
- Running cold water over your wrists.
- Using a wheat pillow.
- Clothes peg between thumb and finger – another pressure point to target.
- Check if you need to wear glasses amd get regular eye appointments to check your general eye health. I’m already a glasses wearer and get checked regularly.
- Check the side effects of your contraception and other prescribed medications.
The list of natural remedies is endless but let me know in the comments if any of these solutions work for you, and please inform me of any other natural remedies that I can try.