Peppermint oil has a wonderfully soothing effect when you’re suffering from a headache, easing the discomfort and clearing your mind. It can be applied to various places, and people who use it find that it works quickly to relieve pain. If you have sensitive skin and find that it irritates it, try diluting it with a bit of olive oil or water.
You will need…
Massage the peppermint oil onto your temples, the back of your jaw, and forehead. You will feel a cooling sensation upon applying it. Breathe deeply, and if possible, find a quiet place to relax and sip some cool water.
Butterbur for migraines
Butterbur refers to plants found in the daisy family. Long used by Native Americans as a remedy for headaches and inflammation, Butterbur has gained more and more credit lately in the world of western medicine, and the American Academy of Neurology and American Headache Society both endorse butterbur for preventing migraines based on at least two strong clinical trials. It is thought to be effective because some Butterbur species contain chemicals that work in two ways, one in which inflammatory effects of certain chemicals are lowered, and the other being that it functions as a natural beta blocker, which results in normal flow of blood to the brain. That in turn can help control blood pressure/the spasmodic capillary action that can cause migraines. The highest concentration of the plants helpful chemicals are found in Butterbur root.
Please Note: The usual adult dosage is 50-100 milligrams twice daily to help reduce severity of migraines/ prevent them, but check with a healthcare practitioner before using butterbur as a migraine treatment. Look for a brand of extract labeled PA-Free, which ensures that it was safely processed to remove potentially harmful, toxic, chemicals found naturally in the plant.
Eat less chocolate
Pretty straightforward-chocolate and the caffeine it contains make it a common trigger for headaches in many people.
Know your facts about B3
Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, is a water-soluble B vitamin that may trigger vascular headaches, thanks to something called a “flush.” Niacin dilates (opens up) the body’s blood vessel, right down to the small capillaries, which increases blood flow. While it can be helpful in some cases, it may cause a headache triggered by the pounding blood flow and possible nerve pressure caused by it. It’s best to talk to a healthcare practitioner about B3 to know how you should properly take, or if it will be helpful.
Grab a pencil
Holding a pencil between your teeth (holding, not biting or clenching your jaw) can help a tension headache dissipate. The actual physical action of holding the pencil between your teeth activates your “smile” muscles, relaxing your jaw. We often times clench our teeth when stressed and this in turn strains the muscle connecting the jaw to the temples and causes a tension headache. Again, make sure your jaw is relaxed and the pencil is held lightly between your teeth.
On average we don’t drink enough water daily, and that alone is cause for a headache. Coffee, alcohol, sugary drinks-all can dehydrate you (hence the pounding headache that comes along with a hangover) and should be avoided. As soon as your head starts to hurt, drink a tall glass of water, and then sip throughout the day. Gradually the pain will start to ease up, and you’ll be hurting less and well-hydrated to boot. Simply drinking water may seem too obvious or simple to actually work as a headache remedy but it can, and often time’s does. We humans often just seem to feel the need to make things more complicated than they are.
You use your head for a lot of things, maybe not all things, but hopefully for a lot of them, and a throbbing pain in your noggin can really make it hard to function. While over-the-counter pain killers may temporarily relieve the discomfort, they’re not going to prevent headaches from returning full force-or worse- in the future. Give some headache home remedies a shot, and you’ll end up saving yourself a headache (probably lots of headaches) in the future.
Tips for food-related headaches
Food, especially nowadays with all the extra synthetic/chemical stuff we add to it, can be a major trigger for some people’s migraines or other types of headaches. To pinpoint what may set you off, try the following.
Keep a food diary: Record the foods you eat and track your headache patterns. See if you can spot a link.
Always read food labels: While the FDA requires companies to list many things on their labels, some things can also be hidden as a component of other ingredients. Do you research on words to look out for that may disguise or make it difficult to avoid the things you want to.
Listen to your body: You should always listen to your body, but sometimes it’s hard…like when there’s a plate of double-chocolate chunk cookies sitting in front of you, or you’re craving a mug of steaming hot fresh coffee. Of course we’ll indulge at times, but if your body protests (like with a migraine) respect it. It’s your body, you two live together, and you simply can’t have all the things you want in life all the time (which is probably a very good thing.)
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Seek your doctor’s advice before taking this herb and for proper dosage