9 Headache Remedies You Should Be Using Right Now!

Author Eliza Schuster

Posted Apr 10, 2023

Reads 6.3K

Photo Of Man Touching His Head

Headaches are fairly common and can affect people of all ages. They can cause pain, tightness, or heaviness in different parts of the head such as the skull, temples, and forehead. There are multiple factors that can trigger headaches such as stress, dehydration, poor posture or even certain foods. When a headache strikes, it can be difficult to focus on anything else but finding relief. Luckily, there are headache remedies that you should be using right now to help alleviate your discomfort.

One effective remedy is to use pain relievers such as aspirin or ibuprofen which target pain receptors in the head and neck region. Other remedies include taking breaks from screen time if you experience digital eye strain headaches or applying a warm compress to relieve tension headaches. There are also vet brands like MigraineX that offer non-invasive wearable devices designed specifically for migraine sufferers. Whether you prefer natural remedies or over-the-counter options, this list of headache remedies will provide you with a range of effective solutions to help you find relief.

How we vet brands and products

Evaluating brands and products is a crucial step in helping people deal with headache symptoms. We thoroughly examine the ingredients and health claims of each remedy to ensure that they are safe for our readers to use. Our team also stays up-to-date on current body of scientific evidence to determine whether or not a product is effective.

Headaches exist as a common condition that affects many people on a daily basis. From tension headaches to common cluster headaches, this moderate-to-severe type of pain can be downright unbearable and can interfere with day-to-day life. That's why we're committed to finding effective natural treatments including drinking water, taking a nap, applying a cold compress, or trying one of the 18 effective home remedies we've researched.

When we vet brands and products, our goal is to provide our readers with trustworthy information about how to treat headache symptoms safely and effectively. By carefully evaluating ingredients, health claims, and scientific evidence, we strive to help people find the relief they need without resorting to potentially harmful or ineffective remedies. So if you're looking for natural ways to manage your headaches, stick around - we've got you covered!

Causes of headaches

Causes of headaches can vary greatly, and research shows that lifestyle factors play a big role. Experiencing headaches examples include high caffeine intake, caffeine withdrawal, nutrient deficiency, underlying health issues and potentially life threatening conditions including tumors, blood clots, and traumatic brain injury.

Medication overuse can also lead to headaches, as can sleep disorders and central nervous system issues. It's important to pay attention to any changes in your headache patterns or frequency, especially if you are experiencing headaches people in your family health history have had. Headache disorders such as migraines and tension headaches are also common causes of chronic headaches.

Understanding the different causes of headaches is crucial when it comes to finding relief through headache remedies. Stay tuned for our upcoming articles on natural remedies for managing chronic headaches caused by these factors (6 7 8).

1. Drink water

Drink water! Inadequate hydration has been shown in fact studies to cause headaches 4-9. Not only can headaches impair concentration and irritability, making them worse 10, but thankfully research suggests that drinking water can reduce headache occurrence and duration. People 11 should avoid dehydration headaches by focusing on drinking enough water throughout the day and eating water-rich foods.

2. Limit alcohol

Limiting your alcoholic drink intake can be an effective remedy for headaches. People studies have found that alcohol can trigger migraines and other severe types of headaches, including tension and cluster headaches. It is considered a risk factor in provoking inflammation and activating neuronal pathways contributing to widening blood vessels, though the exact mechanism remains unclear. If you experience frequent headaches 17-18, consider cutting back on your alcohol intake as it may be triggering your headaches.

3. Get adequate sleep

Getting adequate sleep is crucial for headache relief. Fact research shows that sleep deprivation and poor sleep quality can lead to an increased frequency and severity (19) of headaches, including tension headaches (20-21) and trigger headaches. Health conditions like sleep apnea, where breathing repeatedly stops during the night, can also cause morning headaches and increased headache severity. To prevent these issues, rest is important as a natural headache prevention (22). Aim for your sweet spot of maximum benefits by prioritizing a good night's sleep (23). If you're having trouble sleeping, read up on natural sleep aids to help you get the rest you need.

4. Avoid foods high in histamine

Cutting histamine-rich foods, such as aged cheeses, fermented foods, beer, wine, smoked fish and cured meats, from your diet may help reduce symptoms of headaches. Histamine is a chemical found naturally in some foods and when consumed by individuals with impaired function of the enzymes responsible for breaking it down or excreting it properly, can cause headaches. Studies suggest that consuming histamine can trigger immune, digestive and nervous systems 24 to 27 hours after ingestion.

5. Try essential oils

If you experience frequent headaches, research suggests that trying essential oils may provide therapeutic benefits. Essential oils are highly concentrated liquids that contain aromatic compounds, such as peppermint, lavender, and eucalyptus essential oils. Diffusing essential oils or applying a small amount of essential oil, like lavender oil mixed with a carrier oil, to your temples can help alleviate headache symptoms. For high quality essential oils, check out Eden Botanicals Essential Oils online.

6. Soothe pain with a cold compress

Applying cold to the head area decreases inflammation, slows nerve conduction, and constricts blood vessels which can help reduce headache pain by 36%. Studies suggest that cold therapy is effective in treating various types of headaches, including headaches caused by nitrate medication used to treat heart conditions and chest pain. To make a cold compress fill a waterproof bag with frozen compresses and wrap it in a soft towel. Apply the cold compress to your forehead or the back of your neck for headache relief.

7. Consider taking coenzyme Q10

Consider taking coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) as an effective natural remedy to treat headaches. CoQ10 is a substance produced naturally in the body that plays a critical role in energy production and acts as a powerful antioxidant. In a 2021 review that included six studies, taking CoQ10 supplements of 100 mg per day reduced migraine frequency and severity by 39%. Thorne Research CoQ10, previously known as Q-Best 100, is a good option for those who experience migraines and want to try this well-trusted supplement company's third-party tested product. It's even approved by the Australian Government Department of Health's Therapeutic Goods Association regulatory agency.

8. Try an elimination diet

Studies suggest that food intolerances can trigger headaches in some people. Commonly reported food triggers for headache symptoms include aged cheeses, alcohol, chocolate, and citrus fruits. In a 2016 study of 50 people with migraines, eliminating migraine-triggering foods through an elimination diet properly significantly reduced migraine attack frequency, duration, and severity by 42%. If you suffer from frequent headaches, trying an elimination diet may be worth considering to see if certain foods are causing your discomfort.

9. Drink caffeinated tea or coffee

If you're looking for a quick headache remedy, drinking caffeinated tea or coffee might provide relief. Caffeine improves mood, increases alertness, and constricts blood vessels which has a positive effect on headache symptoms 43. It also helps increase the effectiveness of common medications like acetaminophen 43. However, be aware that sudden decreases in caffeine intake (especially if a person regularly consumes large amounts) can lead to caffeine withdrawal and frequent headaches. Check out some excellent tea brands on the market like Stash Teas, which offers a wide variety of flavors including green chai orange spice and double bergamot early grey. You can even buy Stash Teas online!

10. Try acupuncture

If you're looking for a natural way to alleviate your headache symptoms, consider trying acupuncture. This traditional Chinese medicine technique involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body. A 2020 overview of 15 systematic reviews concluded that acupuncture is an effective therapy for migraine, with a 46% reduction in frequency and a 47% decrease in migraine severity over 10 sessions. A 2022 study that included 156 people with migraine found that treating chronic headaches with acupuncture was a worthwhile choice for reducing the frequency and severity of migraine attacks.

11. Relax with yoga

Practicing yoga can be a great way to relieve stress, increase flexibility, and decrease pain. In fact, a study investigated the effects of yoga therapy on chronic migraines in 60 people and found that it was effective in reducing headache frequency. Additionally, a 2020 review found that several studies have found yoga to be helpful in improving headache frequency and duration for those with tension-type headaches. So why not give yoga a try as a complement to conventional care or as an alternative?

12. Avoid strong smells

If you're prone to headaches, avoiding strong odors could be an easy solution. A study of 400 people with tension headaches found that strong odors triggered headaches in 51 individuals, a condition called osmophobia. This sensitivity to smells is also common in those with chronic migraines (52%), so it's worth considering smells when looking for headache remedies. Try avoiding perfumes, cigarette smoke, cleaning products and strongly scented foods.

13. Try an herbal remedy

Looking for a natural way to reduce headache symptoms? Research suggests that herbs including curcumin and chamomile may be effective for both preventive and acute treatment. A 2020 review of 19 studies found positive preliminary findings, particularly for migraines. While some herbal supplements mentioned in the review listed found limited evidence, they are generally considered safe. Thorne Meriva-SF is an excellent choice for high quality curcumin supplement to prevent migraines while Swanson Chamomile Online can provide headache relief. As with any herbal remedy, it's always best to consult with a healthcare professional before use, especially if you have other health conditions.

14. Avoid nitrates and nitrites

If you're prone to headaches, it's best to avoid food preservatives commonly added to hot dogs, sausages and other processed meats. Nitrites and nitrates are often used for preventing bacterial growth, but they can trigger headaches, especially in people 55 and older. Nitrites limit the flow of blood vessels 56 and can cause headaches. To prevent these painful episodes, choose nitrate-free products whenever possible.

15. Take some ginger

If you're interested in natural remedies for headaches, taking some ginger may be worth a try. Ginger root contains beneficial compounds including antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances 57. A 2021 review of randomized control trials found that ginger supplements helped reduce pain, especially for migraine 58 and severe headaches 58. Additionally, ginger treatments helped reduce nausea and vomiting, common symptoms associated with headaches. You can take a high quality supplement like Pure Encapsulations Ginger Extract (500 mg) or make a powerful tea with fresh ginger root. And don't forget to stay hydrated! You can find pure encapsulations ginger extract online.

16. Move more

One of the simplest ways to reduce headache frequency and significantly reduce migraine intensity and frequency is through physical activity. Studies have shown that increasing your activity level can have a positive impact on headache management. In fact, even low-intensity exercise for just 20-30 minutes a day can decrease the duration of a headache by up to 59-61%. Keep reading to learn 10 ways to incorporate more movement into your daily routine!

Discover Effective Headache Cures with Home Remedies

A Man and a Woman Doing an Experiment

If you're someone who suffers from frequent headaches, then you know how debilitating they can be. While standard medications and pain meds can help relieve the pain, sometimes they just don't cut it. That's where home remedies come in. From soothing peppermint tea to applying pressure on specific points on your head, there are a plethora of natural remedies that can help ease your headache pain. Not only are these remedies often cheaper and more accessible than traditional medications, but they may also be gentler on your body overall. So why not give them a try next time you feel a headache coming on?

1. Apply an ice pack to your neck

One effective home remedy for alleviating migraine headaches is applying an ice pack to your neck. Studies have reported that applying a cold compress can help curb inflammation and temporarily numb nerve endings, without causing any undue side effects like many prescribed medications. To make an ice pack, wrap ice cubes or frozen vegetables in a towel or use a frozen neck wrap. Alternatively, dip a towel in ice-cold water and apply it to the treated area for 5 minutes.

2. Consume ginger

Ginger is a natural remedy that can help treat migraine headaches. A clinical trial demonstrated that ginger has abortive properties similar to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Ginger oil diluted with a carrier oil can be gently rubbed onto the temples for migraine relief, while drinking 1-2 cups of ginger tea can also provide headache relief. To make ginger tea, simply boil 1 cup of sliced ginger in 4 cups of water, then strain and sweeten to taste. Ginger's anti-inflammatory agent can help alleviate headache pain by reducing inflammation in the blood vessels. Considered a 2-in-1 migraine treatment, consuming ginger is definitely worth trying!

3. Increase your magnesium intake

Including magnesium in your diet is a safe and effective way to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks. A study reported that low levels of magnesium are associated with chronic diseases, including frequent migraine headaches. Oral magnesium is a preliminary treatment for people suffering from migraines, and staring magnesium supplements or eating magnesium-rich foods can help reduce pain perception. Intravenous forms are also available for magnesium-deficient patients, and the study showed that it is effective in relieving primary headaches. Increasing your magnesium intake is a smart and safe preventive measure against migraines.

4. Increase your water intake

One of the most commonly overlooked headache remedies is increasing your fluid intake. Dehydration, which occurs due to excessive fluid loss resulting in decreased body water content, can often result in constant thirst and dryness. Dehydration can also lead to headaches (dehydration 8-10). To combat this, it's important to drink water, oral rehydration solution (ORS), or coconut water in small sips throughout the day. Additionally, consuming water-rich foods and avoiding alcohol and carbonated drinks (which can promote dehydration) may also help alleviate headache caused by dehydration.

5. Apply a hot compress

Applying a hot compress to your head can work wonders in relieving headaches. Gentle heat from the hot water helps stimulate blood circulation, which plays a significant role in easing pressure on tense muscles and knotted muscles that cause tension headaches. Heat therapy has therapeutic effects as it draws blood towards area 13 in your brain, making the head feel better. However, be careful not to burn yourself and avoid using hot mustard powder directly on the skin. For added benefits, try a hot-water footbath as well!

6. Consume caffeine

If you suffer from headaches creating a vicious cycle of extra-strength painkillers 14 days out of the month, consume caffeine. Caffeine reduces blood vessel swelling and is a recommended intake of 200 mg to 300 mg, which is equivalent to about 3 cups of coffee. Note that excessive caffeine intake can adversely interact with heart ailments and cause caffeine withdrawal.

7. Consume butterbur products

Migraine specialists recommend managing migraines by avoiding triggers, but sometimes even the best tools fail. Enter butterbur supplements - a medicinal herb with proven efficacy (1516) in preventing and treating headaches. However, note that taking butterbur supplements requires caution as they contain harmful chemicals called pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) that can induce lung and liver damage, hamper blood flow. To be safe, always consult your doctor to determine the correct dosage and choose butterbur products labeled PA-free like those containing 75 mg or 50 mg of Butterbur extract.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to get rid of migraines naturally?

One natural way to get rid of migraines is by staying hydrated and avoiding trigger foods. Additionally, practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and getting enough sleep can help prevent migraines from occurring.

How do you get rid of a nagging headache?

One way to get rid of a nagging headache is to take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. It's also important to stay hydrated, practice relaxation techniques, and limit screen time to reduce eye strain.

How to reduce the risk of headaches?

To reduce the risk of headaches, try to maintain a regular sleep schedule, stay hydrated, manage stress levels and avoid triggers such as certain foods or loud noises.

How do you relieve headaches?

One way to relieve headaches is by taking over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Other methods include getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, applying heat or cold to the affected area, or practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation.

How to avoid dehydration headaches?

To avoid dehydration headaches, drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially when engaging in physical activity or spending time in hot weather. It's important to also limit alcohol and caffeine consumption as they can contribute to dehydration.

Eliza Schuster

Eliza Schuster

Writer at FidoFactor

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Eliza Schuster is a passionate writer and blogger with a love for all things creative. With a degree in English literature, Eliza has honed her writing skills over the years and now enjoys sharing her thoughts and opinions online. Her blog covers a wide range of topics including books, travel, lifestyle, and fashion.

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