Anytime I can pick using food over medicine to heal myself, I jump at the chance. Here is a list of foods that I turn to whenever I’m suffering from a headache of any kind!
Everyone experiences headaches once in a while. Headaches are caused by simplest things such as restlessness and dehydration. Sometimes the problem lies in your lack of sleep. Or maybe you are just stressed out and tense? Have you ever been so congested that you cannot breathe? Or maybe coughed so hard that your head felt like it will split open? Apparently, sinus headaches are a thing. It is easy to reach for that over the counter pain reliever, however by doing so you are increasing your risk of heart attack and stroke, not too mention kidney failure. That is why it is so important to know some of these helpful, non-harming, home remedies.
So here are my top 10 home remedies to cure even the most stubborn of headaches.
Foods That Heal Headaches
Headache Caused by Dehydration
H2O is universal reason for life. Our bodies consist of roughly 60% of water. Our bloodstream is composed primarily of water, as well as our tissues and organ systems. All of our bodily functions depend on water. As you are reading this article, your vision is fueled by water. Even the simplest actions such as laughing and running, depend on water. Drinking two liters of water a day will protect your organs from damage by surrounding them with shock absorbing fluid. Water also acts as a solvent by dissolving electrolyte minerals, such as potassium and sodium, which are key to proper conduct of energy. Even if you are hot or cold, water will stabilize your temperature by sweating or retaining heat. That being said, at the first sign of a headache you should rehydrate your body.
- Drink one glass of water if you notice a sign of a headache, and continue to take small mouthfuls through the day.
- Having a sports drink along with your water, will boost your chances of feeling better. Sports drinks consist of electrolytes which treat headaches caused by dehydration.
Tip: In case you did not know, if you are experiencing a headache from dehydration having a glass of beer will not help. You should stay away from alcohol altogether since it dehydrates your body even further.
Headache Caused by Sinus Problems
If you think your headache is due to sinus problems, your go to remedy would be a simple cold compress. Since sinus headaches are caused by inflammation of the nasal passages putting an ice pack, or a frozen veggie bag, on your forehead shrinks the blood vessels and improves circulation.
- Place ice in a thin cloth and apply to your forehead for a couple of minutes.
- Or simply place a cold towel on your head for 10 minutes.
Tip: Never, ever, put ice directly onto your skin as it can cause damage. Continue cold compresses until you get some relief.
Ginger is a widely known anti-inflammatory remedy. It eases cold and flu symptoms, promotes digestion, and is known to prevent cancer. By relaxing the blood vessels, ginger diminishes inflammation and triggers natural opiates in the brain that help reduce headaches.
- Steep one or two slices of fresh ginger in one cup of boiling water. Drink this tea three times a day to prevent or lower inflammation and headaches.
Tip: Ginger tea works best at the first sign of a headache.
The brown bark of the cinnamon tree has served us for many centuries as a spice. In winter month, cinnamon is a perfect spice for your cup of tea. However, cinnamon has irreplaceable medicinal attributes that come from three types of components: cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate and cinnamyl alcohol. Thus, cinnamon has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory functions and is a great remedy for sinus caused headaches.
- Grind four or five cinnamon sticks. Make a paste out of warm water and cinnamon powder. Apply straight to your forehead and temples. Lie down and relax for 30 minutes.
- Alternatively, you can add two teaspoons of cinnamon powder into a glass of warm raw, organic milk or organic coconut milk.
Tip: Try to consume cinnamon in your daily diet, as it helps to improve brain activity.
Headache Caused by Stress
When you are stressed, your entire body tends to become stiff. That throbbing pain in your head is most likely caused by tense muscles. Consequently, applying heat can relax those stressed muscles and improve circulation.
- Just relax and take a hot shower. Make sure that the water is hitting the back of your neck.
- If you are in a hurry and do not have time for a shower, just submerge your hands or legs in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes. Doing so will mend your headache by boosting blood circulation.
Tip: Make sure the water you are using is bearably hot, and not lukewarm.
Even though peppermint is a popular flavour that is used to freshen our breath up, it can be used to soothe your headache with its calming properties. Peppermint comes in different forms, tea and essential oil being the most common.
- Add one teaspoon of dried peppermint to one cup of boiling water. Let steep for about 10 minutes. Once the tea is ready you can add some honey for extra flavour.
- For instant relief rub your temples, jaw and your neck gently with some peppermint oil.
Tip: Inhaling the aroma of peppermint steam can not only help your headache, but also easy symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.
This popular oil has pain relieving properties. Much like peppermint, eucalyptus oil offers calming effects and helps relax stressed muscles that contribute to that awful headache.
- Take couple of drops of eucalyptus oil and massage your temples for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Tip: Eucalyptus oil works best when blended with other oils such as coconut or almond.
You might not have heard of this, but betel leaves have painkilling and cooling properties. These leaves can efficiently relieve a headache within minutes.
- Using two or three betel leaves, make a paste. Apply to forehead for 30 minutes.
- Chew one or two leaves for instant pain relief.
Tip: Add some rosemary essential oil to the paste, it will increase camphor levels for added pain relief.
Headache Caused by Intestinal Problems
When you think of lemons, you are probably reminded of those lemonade stands run by your neighbours’ kids. This tangy, yellow fruit is not only used in cooking, but is also an effective remedy that will treat your headache, especially if they are related to intestinal gas problems. They do so by sustaining a proper balance of acid-alkaline in your body.
- Fill a glass with warm water and squeeze half a lemon into it. Enjoy!
- For immediate relief make a paste out of lemon skin and apply it directly to your forehead.
Tip: Use a straw to avoid acid wear on your teeth’s enamel.
Not everybody knows, but apples and apple cider vinegar are useful remedies that treat headaches. While lemons help maintain the proper balance of acid-alkaline, apples help to restore it. If you are suffering from migraine headaches, a simple whiff of green apples can reduce your pain.
- If a headache hits you first thing in the morning, eat a slice of salt sprinkled apple alongside some warm water.
- Place a towel over your head and breath in the steam from a hot pot of water with three to four tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Do this for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a glass of warm water. Drink this twice or even three times a day for long lasting relief. If you have a sweet tooth, just add some honey.
Tip: You know what they say: one apple a day keeps the doctor away! Make sure to leave the skin on!
These are some of my favorite natural remedies for the most common kinds of headaches. What are some of your favorites?