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Natural remedies for headaches

 
gardener
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What herbs, food, lifestyle changes etc. are good for treating headaches?
 
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I would recommend pickle juice if you have a headache due to dehydration or working too hard.

Otherwise peppermint oil (maybe the leaves as well? Confirmation is welcome) applied to the temples and forehead have been successful at relieving my headaches.

Another suggestion was that it might be "elevation sickness". I have no idea if such a thing exists, but when I worked at a scout camp, our medic said if you have a headache, it might be due to an elevation change. It was recommended to go travel a ways to relieve the pressure, go eat a hamburger, and come back. I don't know why, but the campers did it and complained less. It somehow worked.
 
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Years ago my method of getting rid of headaches was to distract my mind by concentrating on a movie.  When the movie was over so was the headache.

Now I have found that a circular massage at the temples or where the headache is will relieve it for me.  

Watching a movie still help though not as fast.
 
Nathaniel Swasey
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Anne Miller wrote:Years ago my method of getting rid of headaches was to distract my mind by concentrating on a movie.  When the movie was over so was the headache.



Being happily distracted would surely help. No matter how sick I get I usually can forget about it by playing a video game.
 
master pollinator
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I've had success eliminating some headaches by sucking on a dandelion root. If the crown is 1/2" in diameter, a 1/4" disc works fine. It takes about 20 minutes for a migraine to subside. I have yet to identify the source of the headaches that this helps.

Warning: the root is quite bitter. My family is not overly sensitive to bitterness, so it is often used here. Also, all bitters help keep your liver functioning well, so there is that.

Once the headache is gone, you can console your tastebuds with chocolate!
 
master gardener
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This is maybe more of a nasal pressure headache. However a netti pot has helped me tremendously. Whenever i am getting a slight ache in my head. Using the netti pot always helps cool my head and the salt in the water helps remove phloem. I am always able to breath better and feel relieved.

This took many years to figure out. Now this is what i used.
 
Jennifer Richardson
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Yesterday and today I've had a tension headache from office work. I tried some yoga and stretching, which made my body feel better, but didn't do much for the headache. I also tried massaging my neck muscles; again, felt good, headache remained. Then I remembered a remedy I heard about recently where you brew up a strong peppermint infusion, soak a washcloth in it, and apply it to the back of your neck and/or forehead to relieve a tension headache. I didn't have a lot of hope, but I tried it, and it seems to be working really well! The feeling of the menthol from the peppermint is really nice, too, although you should definitely close your eyes and/or avoid putting it over your eyes at all, since the menthol can irritate them.
 
pollinator
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I suffered from regular headaches for years, to the point of needing to retreat to a dark room and lie down to recover.

My “fix” has been getting my first ever set of glasses (mild astigmatism) and then a year later getting eye drops for (previously not realised!) extremely dry eyes. The first time I put eye drops in it felt like my whole body went “ahhh...”

My suggestion - find the cause and treat that
 
pollinator
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I think there can be many causes of headaches and thus likely many different solutions are needed based on the cause.  I've got two things to add to the discussion here.  First is trigger point therapy.  I wrote a blog about it some time ago referencing the workbook I use.  Looking through the book I see there is a section that deals with various types of headaches and what the likely problem muscle is causing the referred pain.  If interested here is a link to the blog.   (By the way, this can be good for far more than just headache pains.)

The other remedy I wanted to mention is ginger.  Over at the Nutritionfacts.org site they have a article and short video about ginger for migraines, and since this is Nutritionfacts they have the scientific studies to back it up.  Here's a short quote from the article.

A double-blinded, randomized, controlled, clinical trial compared the efficacy of ginger to sumatriptan, also known as Imitrex, one of the top-selling billion-dollar drugs in the world in the treatment of migraine headaches. Researchers tried using only one-eighth of a teaspoon of powdered ginger versus a good dose of the drug.

They both worked just as well and just as fast.



Of course the drug can have serious side effects where the ginger really doesn't.  Oh, and it's WAY cheaper.

 
pollinator
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Since you mentioned lifestyle changes...

I grew up fully on the suburban SAD diet, and I regularly suffered terrible headaches to the point of having to retreat to a darkened room being unable to function.

As I started to question diet more, I discovered through trial and error that Sodium Nitrate (found in hotdogs, jerky, an other preserved meats) was the cause.  Since cutting those out, headaches are rare, rather than a way of life.

Occasionally I indulge in a social dog at a backyard barbecue, and I can guarantee, like clockwork, a headache 30-45 minutes.

The difference in my experience was so night-and-day for me, that I have to jump in every time I hear a person say they suffer from chronic headaches, and say, "Try cutting out nitrates!!!"
 
gardener
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Funny enough, I had a headache today that persisted from yesterday (could be eyestrain, work, or pressure from a huge storm we had, the fact I bonked my head on a shelf last night, or who knows what else).
I am a big fan of peppermint and have always used that, but today I decided to make a big glass of strong iced black coffee, which also usually helps. Mint oil dripped on something also works (I have a nice diluted blend for pain that I use when my wrists hurt, it does double duty)
 
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For headaches and migraines the fresh herb of feverfew worked the best for me (and many others I helped with a sandwich or some tea). I received this tip from a lovely Welsh herbalist on a week long course with her in Ireland. Many other recipes as well but this is the one for headaches.

Sandwich: take any soft bread, butter it and put some fresh leaves of feverfew on it. This version you can even freeze and have it handy in the winter time. Take a small sandwich every few hours until the pain seizes. Usually it doesn't take more than one sandwich.
Tea: pour some hot water on two or three feverfew leaves and infuse for 10 minutes. The dried herb doesn't work as well as the fresh one though.

It is a very strong and bitter taste but worth it to get rid of the headache. Get well soon!
 
master pollinator
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Heating up a wheat bag and holding it on the sore/throbbing area helps a lot.
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