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Home Remedies for Headaches — 6 Things You Can Try Now

If you’re tired of fighting headaches, whether it’s a chronic migraine or a cold- or flu-induced throbbing, Science Afrique has a few ideas for dealing with them naturally. For example, if you’d like a poultice on your forehead, fresh cabbage leaves beaten just enough to release their juices and compressed against your temples might work magic on your pain.


Other ideas include a variety of herbal teas and oils that, taken orally or topically, can ease the strain.

Essential oils, in particular, have been used in ancient Egyptian, Chinese and East Indian cultures for around 6,000 years, but keep in mind that before applying essential oils topically, you should dilute them first with a safe and mild carrier oil, like coconut oil, olive oil, almond or jojoba oil.

There are different ways to use essential oils for relieving headaches, including a few drops in tea, applying or massaging the oil (or oils) directly to the problem spots, and inhaling the fragrance. One thing to always remember regarding essential oils is to avoid using them on your skin (or anyone else's) undiluted.

One of the more popular natural headache remedy oils is peppermint essential oil; in fact, one study showed that applying a topical gel with 6 percent menthol "significantly" decreased pain intensity for patients after two hours.

To use peppermint oil topically, gently massage it into your temples, neck and scalp (after mixing it with a carrier oil). Drinking peppermint tea may help, too.

A review published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine noted the merits of aromatherapy using essential oils from the roots, bark, stems, leaves, flowers and fruits of the peppermint plant for a number of maladies, including swollen joints, depression, indigestion, insomnia, muscular pain, respiratory problems, skin ailments and "urine-associated complications," as well as headaches.

Lavender oil also helps with the pain of migraines, and it's one that tackles the inflammation exacerbating it, causing the head-splitting "hammer on the skull" sensation. Part of the mechanism is its ability to dilate pressurized blood vessels. Lavender also improves sleep and reduces stress, which are the two main triggers of migraine attacks.

Six other home remedies include:

1. Apply hot or cold compresses on your head — If you're dealing with a migraine, a cold pack on your forehead may do the trick. For tension headaches, a hot compress on your neck or the back of your head is more recommended.

2. Stay hydrated — Dehydration may sometimes lead to headaches. Take small sips of water throughout the day to bring up your fluid levels. Additionally, avoid caffeinated or alcoholic drinks that can further dehydrate you.

3. Use lemon — It maintains acid-alkaline balance in the body. Simply drink warm water mixed with the juice of half a lemon to reduce the intensity of a headache. You can also apply a paste made from lemon crusts on your forehead to immediately relieve pain.

4. Eat an apple — The smell of green apples can actually help reduce migraine headaches.

5. Apple cider vinegar also works — Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of ACV to a bowl of hot water. Place a towel over your head and breathe in the steam for 10 to 15 minutes.

6. Eat a piece of ginger — Ginger's anti-inflammatory properties can help banish headaches, while helping relax the blood vessels in the head and reducing swelling in the brain. Aside from eating it fresh, you can also steep ginger in hot water to make ginger tea.

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