Headaches are one of the most common ailments in the world. They can affect anyone at any time and can be caused by a variety of factors. While over-the-counter pain relievers can be effective and offer instant relief, there are headache home remedies that can don’t come with any side effects.
For migraines and other debilitating headaches, we recommend that you consult a doctor. This is because headaches can also be a symptom of a variety of underlying conditions and should be evaluated by a medical professional.
In this ListPink article, we will talk about 15 headache home remedies that you can try at home. All the home remedies are safe to apply and don’t come with any side effects. Some of them even come with additional health benefits.
While all the below-mentioned home remedies are safe for any type of headache, you may want to first figure out what type of headache you have. You can check this list of 16 different types of migraines and what triggers them.
1. Cold Compress With an Ice Pack
Cold compresses are a very effective home remedy for migraines. Although several studies have shown that ice packs can help abort migraine attacks, even without any medication, the effects are only temporary.
If you have a migraine or a headache, try this remedy:
- Wrap a cold pack or a bag of frozen veggies/ice around your head.
- Keep it on for a few minutes.
2. Hot Compress With a Towel
A hot, damp towel can provide quick relief from a headache, and it’s safe for everyone. The heat from the towel increases the blood flow to the head, which helps relieve pain.
Opposite to a cold compress, a hot compress relieves pain by dilating blood vessels and increasing blood circulation.
You can also try a hot shower or placing a heating pad on the forehead.
Here is how to do a hot compress:
- Take a clean towel and soak it in hot water.
- Alternatively, you can place the towel over steam for a few minutes.
- Wring out the excess water and place it on your forehead and temples.
- Leave the towel in place for a few minutes and repeat the process until the pain subsides.
3. Benefit From Acupressure
This simple, natural headache treatment is an effective way to get quick relief. Acupressure reduces the tension in the forehead and temples, and it stimulates the pressure points on the face and neck.
To perform acupressure, use your thumb and index finger to press and rub the spot between your eyebrows and the spot between your eyes. Press and hold for about 15 seconds. Next, use your thumb and index finger to press down on the back of your ears, and hold for 15 seconds.
4. Drink Some Ginger Tea
Ginger has been used for thousands of years for its health benefits. It contains compounds that help fight inflammation and relieve pain.
Ginger is also an effective anti-inflammatory and can help relieve a headache. This herb is available in many forms, including fresh, dried, and ground.
Here’s how to make ginger tea:
- Grate a small piece of fresh ginger and add it to hot water. Alternatively, you can add a teaspoon of dried ginger powder
- Stir well and enjoy!
5. A Glass of Lemon Water
Lemons are a good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is an important nutrient for your body and brain, and it can help fight inflammation and reduce pain.
Here’s how to make lemon water:
- Squeeze one or two fresh lemons in a glass of water.
- Stir well and drink this lemon water in the morning.
6. Drink a Cup of Chamomile Tea
Chamomile is a flowering plant that contains flavonoid compounds that have potent anti-inflammatory properties. It has been used for thousands of years for its medicinal effects.
According to a study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research, daily consumption of chamomile tea helped reduce the frequency and severity of migraines in some people.
Here’s how to make chamomile tea:
- Steep a bag of chamomile in a cup of hot water for a few minutes.
- Stir well and drink this tea.
7. Peppermint Tea is Equally Useful
Peppermint contains menthol, a compound responsible for the cooling sensation that you feel when you drink peppermint tea. It also contains menthol carbinol, a compound that has been shown to reduce the frequency and severity of migraine headaches.
Here’s how to make peppermint tea:
- Steep a bag of peppermint in a cup of hot water for a few minutes.
- Stir well and drink this tea.
8. Drink Some Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is an effective home remedy to treat headaches. It contains acetic acid, which has potent anti-inflammatory properties.
Apple cider vinegar also contains malic acid, an organic acid that helps balance the pH in your body, and pectin, a fiber that’s good for digestion.
Here’s how to make an apple cider vinegar drink:
- Add one cup of water to one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
- Stir well and enjoy this drink.
9. Try a B-Complex Supplement
B vitamins, including B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), and B12 (cobalamin) are essential vitamins for the body.
They’re involved in several important functions, including energy metabolism, brain function, and blood sugar control.
A study published in the National Institute of Health showed that taking B-complex supplements can offer possible prophylactic treatment against Migraine with Aura and Menstrual Migraine
10. Caffeinated Tea, Beverages, and Coffee
Caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, tea, and caffeinated soft drinks, have been linked to a reduced frequency and severity of migraine headaches in some people.
A large analysis of randomized controlled trials published in the journal Cephalalgia found that consuming caffeine reduced the frequency of migraine headaches by about 50 percent.
In addition, according to a study published in the journal Headache, caffeine can help reduce the amount of pain from a migraine.
11. Consume Magnesium-Rich Foods
Magnesium is a mineral that is found in many foods and is an important part of the body’s physiology. Magnesium is a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems and is involved in the metabolism of every cell in your body.
According to a study published in the journal Headache, a magnesium deficiency may be a risk factor for the development of migraines.
Magnesium reduces the symptoms of headaches by lessening the activity of the neurotransmitter glutamate.
Here are some foods that are good sources of magnesium:
- Whole grains
- Dark chocolate
12. Over-the-counter Drugs
Over-the-counter painkillers, such as ibuprofen, are the most common home remedies for headaches. They are available at drugstores, grocery stores, and pharmacies.
Below are some of the drugs commonly used to provide headache relief. Please make sure you take any of the medications after consulting with a health professional.
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Ibuprofen (Advil, Advil Migraine, Motrin)
- Naproxen (Aleve)
13. Sit in a Dark Silent Room
Light, noise, and too much activity can all contribute to headaches. If you are suffering from a headache, try to avoid bright lights, noise, and people.
Find a dark, quiet room and try to sit still for a while. If you are able to, remain there until the headache goes away. It is also helpful to try to get enough sleep.
14. Try Some Yoga Poses
Certain yoga poses like the forward bend, downward-facing dog, and shoulder stand can help to relax the muscles in your head and neck.
Depending upon the cause of your particular headache, any type of exercise may help but yoga is always better.
Other yoga poses that may help calm you down and offer relief from a migraine include the child’s pose, the cat pose, and the locust pose.
Note: If you suffer from frequent headaches, please consult a health professional. Your particular headache may be due to an underlying health problem. Take your migraine as a warning and get checked up as soon as possible.