If you suffer with frequent headaches, it’s tempting to take painkillers so the pain doesn’t ruin your day, but these natural headache cures are a great alternative when you don’t want to always reach for the medicine cabinet.
Nothing stops you in your tracks quicker than a painful headache and it’s not always obvious what causes headaches, so you often opt for short-term headache relief instead.
But if you’re worried about the side effects of pain killers or frequent pill-popping, it could be time to try more natural headache remedies and cures.
We’ve hunted high and low for the best natural remedies for headache, from acupressure you can do at home to a nifty two-minute trick you can try right now. There’s even an extremely unusual idea that you’d never associate with headache cures!
Read through our natural headache cures and if you have any tried and tested tricks of your own, then let us know in the comments box below!
Menthol is a synthetic scent made from mint and it’s now thought that it could help cure your headaches.
One women’s Facebook post has gone viral after she uploaded a picture of a bottle of Johnson’s Baby Soothing Vapor Bath claiming the £3.41 product has been ‘life changing’. Alongside the picture Jill Hamilton wrote, ‘try this if you get headaches constantly like I do… it’s life changing!’
Speaking to MailOnline Professor Goadsby of the National Institute for Health Research said there could potentially be some truth in Jill’s claims as menthol activates a receptor in our skin which can make us feel cooler and sooth pain. He said, ‘Whenever you put menthol on you head and you feel cool, that’s because you are activating this receptor.’
Despite reports that it does ease headache symptoms, the reason behind why menthol seems beneficial hasn’t yet been cracked. Professor Goadsby continued, ‘There is a link – and evidence for the link – but the cause isn’t known.’
If you’re keen to give this a go then try a menthol bubble bath like Jill suggests, and don’t forget to let us know what you think in the comments below!
Cool mist spray
Creators of a new headache-busting contraption claim that spritzing cool mist up your nose will help cure a sore head. The researchers behind the RhinoChill®, which is in early stages of development, have published their findings in the Journal of Headache and Pain. Their invention has two nasal tubes which force a cool spray of mist into your nasal passages. The bad news is, you can’t actually buy the RhinoChill® yet, and it’s still to be tested on a wide group of people as the initial study size was very small.
However, if you do fancy trying this method out you could use a cool-mist humidifier instead. It similarly will allow you to inhale a cool blast of mist and could help in desperate times. Superdrug sell a Vicks humidifier for £49.99 which you can use with their specially designed menthol pads.
Well, it doesn’t even have to be specifically Himalayan actually, but there have been reports that these little grains of salt can cure a headache as if by magic.
You’ll need three things for this: warm water, lemon juice and some good quality salt – like the Himalayan kind. It’s apparently the traces of minerals, like magnesium, that help ease the pain.
Simply mix the juice of a whole lemon with two teaspoons of salt in a cup of warm water and knock it back.
If you have tried this we’d love to know whether you think it works or not – leave us a comment in the box below.
Massage your hand (or even better, get someone else to do it for you) in the fleshy bit in between your thumb and forefinger. It’s believed that you have an acupressure point here which is related to the head and relieving tension here will help your headache.
Headaches can be brought by tense muscles in your neck and head. Holding a hot water bottle (not with boiling water in it! Just hot water) or a hot compress against your forehead the the back of your neck, can relax the muscles and ease the pain.
A hot foot bath will draw blood to your feet and relieve the pressure in your head. It will also help you relax, which can only help you feel better.
A head massage is great for getting rid of headaches. Even if there’s no one around to give you one, doing it yourself will still help. Concentrate on your temples and apply pressure slowly in a circular motion.
Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties which can help ease the throb of a nasty headache. Crush up about an inch of fresh ginger, pour boiling water over it and drink it as a tea once it’s cooled a bit.
Feverfew (pictured in its flower form) can be bought as a supplement and is a well-known natural headache remedy. 250mg every morning should keep headaches at bay.
An infusion of rosemary (just a spoonful in a cup of hot water) is said to stop a headache getting worse.
Tension in your jaw and grinding your teeth are often the reason why we get headaches. If you do this at night, a mouthguard (we know it’s not a great look, but it really does work) will stop you doing it.
It may not seem like a good idea, but having a strong coffee reduces swelling in the blood vessels and can ease headache pain. This won’t work for people who drink lots of caffeine, though.
Some people believe that if you get a headache from being cold, a fine cinnamon paste spread on your forehead will make you feel better.
An infusion of marjoram leaves, drunk as a tea is a commonly used headache treatment. The leaves have a slightly minty, lemony taste. If you don’t like it, you can also get your other half to give you a massage with marjoram oil.
Have a good old roll in the hay! It’s a great stress reliever and even if it doesn’t cure your headache, at least it’ll take your mind off it for a while…
Elevate your legs
Before you grab that packet of paracetamol, give this yoga position a go. Also known as the Inverted Lake, elevating your legs whilst lying on the floor, it encourages blood to flow around your body – in particular to the parts that really need it. Simply lie on your back on the floor with your bottom against a wall and stretch your legs upwards so you’re laying at a right angle.
As well as helping to cure headaches and migraines, it’s claimed the position can also help to relieve menstrual cramps, reduce swollen ankles and ease back pain amongst many other things. Free and easy, it’s definitely worth a try!
This might sound like a really weird cure for headaches, but lots of people have been swearing by it on Facebook (one pic has had over 95,500 shares and counting), so bear with us!
For it to work, you’ll have to submerge your feet and hands in hot or warm water and put a bag or frozen peas, or something else that’s very cold, at the base of your skull.
This simple headache relief trick is based on the hydrotherapy treatment, which aims to draw blood away from the head and into the limbs, consequently relieving congestion, throbbing and pain. The efficiency of the treatment increases the higher the contrast is between hot and cold, so keep the water as hot as you can stand, and the frozen peas or other cold alternative as cold as possible.
Image: Pinterest/Liz Brown
Who knew getting your ears pierced could actually have health benefits? This type of piercing, known as a ‘daith’ piercing, passes through the ear’s innermost cartilage fold, which is also the pressure point to reduce headcahes and migraines used in accupuncture, which is why it’s said to really help with pain relief in the long term.
Although the unusual method is not yet scientifically proven, the Migraine Relief Center recognises there might be link between daith piercing and migraine relief as the piercing ‘mimics acupuncture by hitting a pressure point, which relieves the pressure in the patient’s head.’
Lots of people on social media have been crediting dairth piercing for their migraine and headache relief, so we reckon it might be worth a try.