18 All Natural Remedies for Headaches

stress and headache

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It seems as though headaches often get brushed aside as if they were no big deal. For those people who are suffering from regular headaches, however, it IS a big deal! Some headaches can turn an average day into boot camp, a meeting into torture. Most people just make a bee line right for that over the counter pain reliever but, in the long run, that won’t really solve the problem.

When you take those over the counter pain relievers all they do is cover up your symptom and they don’t address the real problem: what is causing your headache? These natural remedies might take a bit more time than just swallowing that pill, but in the end you will be glad you took the natural route. Pain killers only wreak more havoc on your body.

Check out our list of the top 18 all natural ways to kill your headache for good. One of these is sure to work for you.


1. Hydrate

You’re shaking your head at this right now, aren’t you? “Another suggestion to drink more water, that’s your solution?” you are saying? Like it or not, it’s true. Very few people dink enough water during their day and that is enough to give you a headache. Add alcohol, coffee, or other types of caffeinated drinks and you’re adding to your dehydration. As soon as you feel the first pain, drink a tall glass of water. Then try sipping on water throughout the day and see if that pain gradually starts to disappear. Although drinking water seems just too simple, it really does work sometimes. Why make it more complicated than it has to be?


2. Find a pencil

Although just finding a pencil might take you a little work, it’s worth it. Grab a pencil and hold it between your teeth. Don’t clench it tight and don’t bite into it, just hold it there so it doesn’t fall out. The physical action of holding the pencil activates the same muscles you smile with and it will relax your jaw. Many people clench their teeth or jaw when they are stressed and they aren’t even aware of it. Clenching your teeth can cause tension headaches. So hold that pencil lightly between your teeth and allow that jaw to relax. After about 20 minutes, your headache should start to disappear.


3. Cure it with cayenne

This might sound a bit bizarre, but cayenne is well known for its ability to fight pain and inflammation. Here’s how to do this:

  • ¼ teaspoon of cayenne powder
  • 4 ounces warm water
  • Cotton swabs

Mix the powder into the water. Soak the cotton swab in the solution and be sure you stir it around as the powder sometimes sticks to the bottom. Then apply tat moist swab very gently to the inside of each nostril. Yes, your nostrils are going feel the heat but that burning sensation will only last a short while. After it subsides, your headache should be completely gone.


4. Go a bit nutty

Instead of hittin’ up the pill jar when you get your next headache, try tossing back a few almonds. For those every day, tension headaches, almonds can be a life saver. The active ingredient in almonds is salicin, and many over the counter pain relievers have this. Eat one or two handfuls of almonds the moment you feel the ache start. Find out why almonds are a super healthy snack.


5. Know your B3

Niacin, sometimes called vitamin B3, is a water soluble vitamin that can sometimes trigger headaches. Niacin tends to open up the blood vessels in the body and this increased blood flow to the head sometimes causes headaches. If it seems as if your headache is the pounding kind, it could be causes by the pounding blood flow. Talk to your doctor about B3 and how you can properly take it, or if it might help.


6. Eat less chocolate

One of the sad facts in life is that chocolate, and the caffeine it contains, causes many people to get headaches. Try cutting it out for a few weeks and see if that relieves the problem.


7. Got migraines? Try Butterbur

No, not Butter Fingers, BUTTERBUR. It’s a plant from the daisy family and has been used for hundreds of years by Native Americans as a remedy for headaches. Butterbur has been shown to be very effective in studies. Most adults should take between 50-100 milligrams twice a day but you should always check with your doctor before using.


8. Try feverfew

Another great plant that the Native Americans used to use is called feverfew. This is also effective for those who suffer from migraines. Migraines actually change your blood vessels, pressing on the nerves. Feverfew is known to constrict the blood vessels and ease the pressure.


9. Try a using apple cider vinegar

This is an oldie but goodie that your grandmother or great grandmother probably used. If you find that you are coming down with one of those killer, throbbing headaches, try this old home remedy. Read more about top uses of apple cider vinegar.

  • ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup cool water

Pour the apple cider vinegar into a large bowl (don’t use plastic), then fill the bowl half way with the boiling water. Put a towel over your head so it covers both your head and the bowl, capturing the steam underneath. Don’t let your face become burned but breath in the steam as deeply as you can. Once the water cools down, go drink that glass of cool water.

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Attractive Man Breathing Outdoor

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10. Stretch, relax, and breathe

Our lives today are busy, hectic, fast paced, and filled with more than just a little stress. Our muscles tend to get knotted up around the shoulders, upper back, and neck, often resulting in a tension headache. Sometimes, instead of a pill, what we really need is to chill.

Try yoga. It will focus your mind and stretch out those muscles (read more about yoga benefits for your health). Or try deep breathing. Many times, when we are stressed out or are in pain, we tend to hold our breath or breathe very shallowly. Always remember to drop your shoulders. When sitting at our desks, typing away on our computers, we tend to hold our shoulders hunched up around our ears. Drop those shoulders to avoid headaches.


11. Move it

Ok, so a pounding headache does not necessarily inspire you to get up and moving but sometimes moving those muscles and breathing in some fresh air is exactly what you need. Take your time, don’t do anything too strenuous, but sometimes a nice brisk walk outside will make both your mind and body feel better.


12. Try fish oil

There have been a few small studies that have shown how taking fish oil can reduce migraines and other headache pains. This is due to the omega-3 fatty acids that can reduce inflammation as well as blood pressure.


13. Try hot….or cold

Headaches can be tricky little things to pin down. What works for one person doesn’t work for someone else. For some, headaches are cause by the expanded blood vessels pressing on nerves. In that case, applying something cold to the affected area should work. However, if the headache is caused by tension or tight muscles, you need heat to release the pressure. Try to determine which type of headache you have. Try a cold compress first. If that doesn’t work, then try taking a hot bath.


14. Avoid MSG

MSG (monosodium glutamate) is often added to food, especially Chinese food, to enhance the flavor. Some people who suffer from headaches find that foods that contain MSG trigger headaches. Never add MSG to your foods and read labels to be sure that what you are eating does not contain MSG. Chinese food, soy based products, and canned veggies are famous for having added MSG.


15. Sit up straight

Improving your posture can make a huge difference when it comes to those tension headaches. A great many of us spend our days working in offices, hunched over a computer and many of us are guilty of having poor posture. Slouching, slumping and hunching only strain our muscles and creates those killer headaches. If you sit a lot, use an ergonomic chair. Work on strengthening your core muscles as these are the ones that support our backs.


16. Use that imagination

Visualization, sometimes called mental imagery, has been shown to be effective in reducing headache pain. There are numerous guided imagery coaches, but you can do this on your own. Picture a beautiful spot, a mental escape, where everything is calm, peaceful, and pain free.


17. Crunch a bit of gingerroot

Gingerroot is an all-natural alternative to aspirin as it works much the same way. Also, for those of you who tend to feel nauseous from migraines, gingerroot calms nervous stomachs at the same time. Try making a nice cup of gingerroot tea and watch while your headache dissipates.


18. Try peppermint oil

Peppermint oil has long been known to calm both upset stomachs and easing headache pain. Try massaging a bit of peppermint oil at your temples, back of your jaw, forehead, or back of the neck. If it irritates your skin, mix it with a few drops of sweet almond oil or olive oil first to take the sting out of it.