There are few things worse than that feeling you get when a headache starts forming – except for that feeling you get when the headache keeps growing and growing. If you’re looking for natural headache remedies you can try at home, we have you covered. None of these require more than two ingredients and all can be done in the comfort of your home. The next time you feel that terrible headache coming on, try one of these quick and easy home remedies.
1. Lavender Oil
Lavender oil may help relieve your headache or migraine pain. Most essential oils need to be diluted before using, but lavender oil is one of the few that can be applied to your skin as-is. (Note: Do not take lavender oil orally. That lavender syrup you see at the coffee shop is not the same as the lavender oil you’ll find in the health or beauty aisle.) You can apply a few drops of lavender oil topically to your skin or you can add 2 to 4 drops to 2 to 3 cups of boiling water to inhale the lavender vapors. As a bonus, your home will smell great.
2. Neck Stretches
Fight back against muscle tension by incorporating stretches into your workout routine – or just do the stretches on their own when you feel a headache coming on. To do neck range of motion stretches, start with your chin forward. Lift your chin up then turn toward each shoulder. Then move onto shoulder shrugs: shrug your shoulders up, forward, and back. Finish with neck isometrics: start with your palm pressed into your forehead. Press your hand against each side of your head. Try to stretch twice a day for 20 minutes at a time. Hold the stretches for five seconds and relax for five seconds before moving onto the next one. Do each stretch 3 to 5 times.
Soothe your headache with anti-inflammatory rosmarinic acid by massaging a few drops of rosemary oil mixed with a carrier oil (try sweet almond oil, avocado oil, jojoba, grapeseed oil, hazelnut oil or olive oil) onto your forehead and temples. You can also make a tea by boiling a teaspoon of crushed rosemary leaves and a teaspoon crushed sage in a cup of water. Cover while boiling and let steep for 10 minutes. Once at room temperature, it’s ready to drink. This tea is generally safe to drink 2 to 3 times a day, but here’s an important note: people suffering from epilepsy or high blood pressure may need to steer clear of rosemary oil. Discuss with your healthcare professional.
4. Chamomile Tea
If rosemary tea isn’t your style, opt for its gentler cousin chamomile. The process is the same: combine a chamomile tea bag with a cup of boiled water, cover, and steep for 10 minutes before drinking. The compounds in chamomile tea promote relaxation and may help soothe your pain. If you don’t like the flavor on its own, try sweetening the tea with honey.
5. Cayenne Pepper
This remedy isn’t as pleasant as the others on this list, but it is effective. The capsaicin in cayenne blocks the pain preceptor Substance P in our bodies. The next time you feel a headache come on, dilute ½ teaspoon of cayenne in warm water. Soak a cotton swab in the cayenne water and make sure the swab is covered. Dab the moist swab inside each nostril. You will feel the heat and it will not be pleasant, but when the burning goes away your headache should be gone or lessened.
6. Posture Correction
When you slouch, your muscles tense. When you practice good posture, you can relieve some of the tension. Whenever you’re standing, bring your shoulders up and back and keep your head level. Pull in your ab and butt muscles. When you’re sitting, make sure your legs are parallel to the floor and your head is straight forward instead of slumped. This is a quick fix you can apply every day.