Headaches can be the result of any of a number of causes. Sinus pressure, ear infection, muscle tension in the jaw or neck, lack of sleep, and high blood pressure are some of the most common sources of minor to moderate headaches. Migraines, the much more serious and often debilitating chronic headaches experienced by some people may be caused by environmental contaminants, hormonal changes, or genetic factors. While there are many chemically processed drugs on the market for dealing with headache pain, there are also a good number of all natural solutions available.
This article shares seventeen of the best ways to banish headache pain fast and naturally.
1. Cayenne Pepper
Capsaicin, the chemical compound in cayenne peppers that makes them hot, is a natural pain remedy that can also work on headaches. While the application of cayenne pepper to combat a headache may seem a little too uncomfortable for many people to even consider, this natural remedy actually overloads pain sensors thus halting the messages they carry to the brain.
To use cayenne pepper to soothe a mild to moderate headache, mix ¼ teaspoon of organic cayenne powder in about 4 ounces of warm water. Use cotton swabs to gently rub the mixture just inside your nose and let the heat of the pepper do its work.
On a side note, it would be best to have a tissue ready as this remedy is likely to stimulate mucus flow.
For those suffering from tension headaches, swap out your ibuprofen for a couple of handfuls of raw organic almonds. The chemical compound salicin found in almonds behaves much like aspirin when it comes to fighting pain.
3. Willow Bark
Another herb that contains pain-fighting salicin, dried willow bark has long been used to make a tea for soothing headaches.
***Salicin remedies are not recommended for those allergic to aspirin.***
Feverfew is one herb that is useful for soothing a migraine. Steep two teaspoons of dried feverfew in hot water for about ten minutes to make a tea that will reduce inflammation and constrict blood vessels in the head that may be putting unnecessary pressure on nerves. You can use this remedy up to twice a day.
Note that people allergic to ragweed, daisies, mums, yarrow, or other related plants should avoid this herb.
A natural anti-inflammatory that works by normalizing blood flow to the brain, butterbur is another herb that can help to ease or prevent migraines. Consult with your doctor before switching to Butterbur as a natural remedy in place of or in combination with any other medication. Also, be sure that you are getting PA-free supplements as this herb contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids which can damage the liver if they aren’t removed before consumption. To treat and prevent migraines with butterbur capsules, 50 – 100 mg per day is the recommended dose.
6. Omega-3 Oils
If a healthy daily dose of omega-3 isn’t already part of your diet, this may be something for you to consider. Omega-3 fatty acids not only help with circulation, they can also reduce inflammation in and around cranial blood vessels that may be causing your headaches. Try eating more cold water fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines or add organic flaxseed meal to your diet to prevent all forms of headaches.
7. Avoid MSG
We’ve all heard about MSG before. Aside from headaches, this chemical can also cause weight-gain, liver inflammation, and brain damage. Despite the health risks, monosodium glutamate is still a popular food additive that is included in a lot of packaged foods as a flavor enhancer. Even worse is the news that many food manufacturers now hide MSG inside other ingredients. Watch out for any packaged food containing gelatin, yeast extract, textured protein, and anything ‘hydrolyzed.’ Or even better yet, shop the fresh food departments in your local grocery store and avoid the inner aisles as much as possible.
8. Cut Back on Caffeine
While caffeine withdrawal is a common cause of mild to moderate headaches, consuming too much caffeine can also cause hypertension. Hypertension creates pressure in blood vessels in the head which can also be a big cause of headaches. If you must have your morning coffee, try to limit yourself to eight ounces per day.