Home Remedies For Headaches For Instant Relief

A headache (in medical terms known as cephalalgia) can be described as pain in the region of the neck or head. In United States, as per the survey conducted by the National Headache Foundation, 45 million Americans suffer from recurring, chronic headaches and around 28 million suffer from migraines. Twenty percent of adolescents and children also suffer from headaches due to indigestion of food or medication allergic to their body and changes in lifestyle. In this article on home remedies for headaches information will be given on the causes and simple Do-It-Yourself techniques for getting relief from the discomfort.


home remedies for headaches

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According to medical science, 150 types of headaches have been diagnosed. The most common types only are taken into consideration:

Tension Headache – The most common type of headache. The pain will be mild to moderate, occurs as a result of stress and change in lifestyle. Its duration will be little from two hours to four hours. A good sleep with a simple home remedy listed below will do the trick.

Migraines – A genetic disease, occurs as a result of abnormal brain activity. The pain can be from moderate to severe. Depending on the lifestyle, the duration can be from four hours to three days. Some of the common symptoms can be loss of appetite, stomach upset, abdominal pain, vomiting etc.

Mixed Headache Syndrome – A combination of tension and migraine headaches. Symptoms are blurred vision, dizziness, weakness in the limbs and fatigue. Duration can vary from individual to individual.

Cluster Headaches – A rare type. However, the pain will be severe and the symptoms will be throbbing or constant pain. The patient will suffer from headache three times a day consistently for 15 days to three months. If suitable treatment is not given, the conditions will relapse after months or years.

Sinus Headaches – You will find constant pain in forehead, bridge of nose and cheekbones. The causes will be due to stress. The symptoms are fever, swelling in face parts and nasal discharge.

Acute Headaches – Children are affected more by these headaches that will appear suddenly, but the pain will reduce after some time. The causes are usually stress, fatigue, trauma and hormonal changes such as menstruation. Other causes can be sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses), otitis (inflammation or ear infection) and pharyngitis (infection or inflammation of the throat).

Hormone Headaches – Normally associated with women during times of pregnancy, menstruation and menopause. The causes can also be birth pills, which causes changes in the body and trigger headaches in women.

Chronic Progressive Headaches – The other names given are inflammatory or traction headaches, they can get worse. A rare type, similar to cluster headaches, it accounts for five percent of the total headaches found in adults and less than two percent in kids. The causes can be due to disorder in the skull or brain or an underlying medical condition.

In this article, we are dealing with normal headaches that can frequently occur  to any individual.

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The causes of headache are varied, and they can be simple or serious. The tissues of brain do not have pain receptors and the causes are said to be disturbance of areas sensitive to pain around the brain. The areas are mostly constricted in nine areas of the neck and head such as the cranium, nerves, arteries and veins, muscles, ears, eyes, sinuses and mucous membranes. The causes are common colds, dental or sinus issues, viral infections, stress, changes in sleep patterns, fatigue, eye strain, pollution, noise level, weather changes, sleep deprivation and the effects can be more in case of allergies and recreational drugs.

Headaches can also result from a blow to the head or it can be a serious underlying medical condition.

The normal causes of headaches, as found by doctors, have been found to be skipping meals that lead to low levels of nutrients in the body. Another reason is dehydration, and best way to cure a headache is to drink two cool glasses of water and take rest.

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Home Remedies For Headaches

1.Ginger & Lemon

The ginger and lemon mixture can reduce inflammation of the blood vessels in the head. Result – relief from headache.

Step 1

Take a lemon and three teaspoons of ginger. Crush the lemon to make juice. For ginger, you can chop them into tiny pieces and then boil in water.

Step 2

You can combine both the juice and make a mixture. Ensure the juice is made warm before you make the combination.

Step 3

Consume the mixture slowly, sip by sip. Do not gulp down the mixture juice.


You can make a paste of one teaspoon of ginger with equal amount of water and place it on the forehead for ten minutes. The same mixture can be boiled and you can inhale the vapor.


Natural home remedies for headache

How Does It Work?

Although ginger contains many active medical ingredients, the two components responsible for reducing a headache are gingerol & shogaol. The two possess the ability to reduce inflammation, which can give relief in case of headache. The additional advantage is regulation of blood circulation in the blood vessels of the brain having the same medicinal positive effect.

Not Good For, If:

  • You have low blood pressure, you can experience dizziness as a side effect.
  • You have a bleeding disorder problem. Ginger also contains salicylates, which can act as a blood thinner. So, individuals with this disorder should not take ginger.
  • Taking ginger dishes in high amount (food) leads to gastrointestinal problems.
  • You are suffering from symptoms of nausea, vomiting and heartburn (because of gastroesophageal reflux disorders). Lemon juice is acidic and it might cause illness. If you are suffering from ulcer and in medication, the acidic content in lemon juice can cause irritation and prevent the disorder from getting cured in the least possible time.


2. Peppermint Leaves

Mint juice has been, from ancient times, used in effective treatment for a headache.

Step 1

Take a handful of mint leaves from the kitchen. After cutting the leaves  into small pieces, boil them in a bowl with two cups of water.

Step 2

The juice can be then rubbed on the forehead as well as the temple to get relief.

Step 3

Do not throw the used mint leaves. The second time, boil the mixture and cover the face with a towel to inhale the vapor.


remedies for headache

How Does It Work?

The primary components of peppermint leaves are menthol that can speed up the blood circulation in blocked vessels around the brain.

Not Good For, If:

  • You have asthma – menthol can aggravate the conditions leading to breathing difficulty.
  • You are pregnant – Taking mint tea or menthol supplements during pregnancy can cause miscarriage. Avoid even supplements if you are breast-feeding a baby.


3. Basil

A simple product in the kitchen, it can be effectively used to cure minor headaches caused by strain and stress. Other benefits are its analgesic and calming effects.

Step 1

Take five basil leaves and the required quantity of water for making a small drink.

Step 2

Pour the mixture in a bowl and heat it. You can add a teaspoon of honey to the boiling water. Let the mixture simmer for five minutes.

Step 3

Make the mixture warm and sip it slowly.


how to get rid of headache

How Does It Work?

Basil contain a chemical called as ‘eugenol’ (along with carvacrol, thymol and 4-allylphenol having strong anti-oxidant properties). This method can be regarded as one of the best home remedy to be used against headache.

Not Good For, If:

  • You are pregnant, basil and its supplements should be avoided.
  • Basil is taken in oil form, it can prove carcinogenic in some individuals. In its natural form, basil is considered a natural herb.


4. Almonds

When you get mild headaches, before popping a pill, you will take five or six almonds and munch them if you have read this article.


Treatment for headache

How Does It Work?

In case of tension headache, almonds can be an alternative as it has the main medicinal product salicin. Salicin is considered an anti-inflammatory agent; large amount of magnesium in almonds can make the muscles relax and reduce the excitability of nerves. The other medical component is known as tryptophans found in almonds. Tryptophans get converted into serotonin in the body and it is effective in reducing the effects of migraine.

Not Good, If:

  1. You are including too many almonds in your snack. High level of magnesium in almonds can interact with antacids, laxatives and antipsychotic drugs.
  2. You are affected with diarrhea. Almonds contain a large amount of fiber, and the condition might get worse.
  3. You are suffering from migraine. Almonds might trigger more pain.


5. Lavender Oil

Do you know that simply inhaling the perfume of lavender oil can assist in relieving of tension headaches? This oil has also been found useful in reducing symptoms of headaches linked with migraine.

Step 1

Take three drops of lavender oil and one bowl of water.

Step 2

Boil the water for ten minutes; put the three drops of lavender oil in water and inhale the mixture.

Alternate method

You can also add two drops of lavender oil and the same amount of olive oil, make a mixture and rub it on your forehead.


headache remedy

How Does It Work?

The high percentage of esters (linalyl acetate) present in lavender essential oil is known to possess sedative and anti-inflammatory properties. This method is best suited for the evening hours.

The other components to make a mark are coumarin compounds. They can assist in dilating or opening up of blood vessels thus reducing the symptoms of headache.


6. Eucalyptus oil/Roman Chamomile Essential Oil

You can use, in similar ways to lavender oil, Eucalyptus oil and Chamomile Oils.


headache treatment

How Does It Work?

Eucalyptus globulus and Eucalyptus radiate contain the medicinal compound known as the oxide 1,8-Cineole which can act both as an expectorant and possess anti-inflammatory properties which can reduce symptoms of headache. This process is useful for sinus headaches.

Like lavender, roman chamomile essential oil contains in abundance, esters (isobutyl angelate) having sedative and anti-inflammatory properties.



7. Cinnamon

 One of the miracle spices known for decreasing pain due to headache.

Step 1

You can take four cinnamon sticks, grind them into fine powder.

Step 2

Let minimum water be added to make a fine paste.

Step 3

The fine paste should be applied on to the forehead and temples.

Step 4

You can take rest for some time and wipe the paste off with warm water.


kitchen remedy for headache

How Does It Work?

The important medicinal component is cinnamaldehyde, along with other beneficial compounds such as eugenol, linalool, methyl chavicol. They act together in opening up the areas where there is compression of blood vessels in the head etc.

If you are having cinnamon tea, let it be known that this spice contains manganese, iron, calcium and iron that can effectively cure not only headache but also other problems.

Not Good, If:

You are allergic to cinnamon. Irritation symptoms can happen. So, it is wise to test on a small part of the arm or leg before applying on the face.



8. Cayenne 

It was used by medical practitioners to regulate the blood pressure upon ingestion.

Step 1 

Take half teaspoon of pepper powder, five ounces of boiling water and three cotton swabs. 

Step 2 

Put the pepper powder in the boiling water and let it stay for five minutes. 

Step 3 

Dip the cotton swab in the water and hold it to your nostril. 

You might feel a burning sensation in the initial stages, but it will ebb in passage of time.

 remedies for reducing discomfort of headache

How Does It Work? 

The reducing of symptoms lies in the medicinal component, known as capsaicin. For a human being to feel pain, Substance P (neurotransmitter) should reach the brain and capsaicin suppresses this component.


Not Good, If:

You are taking the pepper orally, refrain from taking medication such as aspirin, drugs for asthma and blood thinning medications.




9. Butterbur 

Belonging to the daisy family, this herb was used since long by Native Americans for remedies against headaches and other body inflammations. 

Step 1

You can find the extracts of this herb in the form of powders and oils.

Step 2

You can massage the forehead with the oil and before partaking of the powder, consult with a physician.


herb remedy for headache

How Does It Work?

This herb contains chemicals which perform two functions – one is reducing the inflammation, the main cause of headaches, and the second one was to regulate normal blood flow to the brain. The two chemicals are called as isopetasin and petasin.


Not Good, If:

  • You take oral medication. It can cause liver damage.
  • You are sensitive to ragweed, marigolds, daisies and others belonging to the Asteraceae/Compositae family.


10. Rosemary

This oil is mostly used in aromatherapy. Used in topical ways to enhance blood circulation and muscle pain, it is natural that this oil can also be used for headache.

Step 1

Take four drops of rosemary oil and massage your forehead.

Step 2

The other simple method would be take one tablespoon of crushed rosemary leaves, and boil them in a cup of water.

Step 3

Prepare them in the same process as tea, and have the mixture twice or thrice a day.


top treatment for headache symptoms

How Does It Work?

The important medicinal component is rosmarinic acid, known for its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties and assist in reducing symptoms of headache.

You can also get headache if you have excess of the stress hormone cortisol in the blood. Rosemary oil reduces the concentration of this hormone in the blood. Some of the main chemical components are camphene, 1,8-cineole, limonene and bornyl acetate. But the component which performs the role of a pain killer is carvacrol, which acts as the inhibitor much as anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen0.


Not Good, If:

  • You are suffering from high blood pressure or epilepsy.
  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding a baby. Do not ingest the oil in any form by mouth.
  • You are allergic to aspirin. It will cause allergies.



11. Cloves

This kitchen ingredient can be used for reducing signs and symptoms of headache.

Step 1

You can crush a few cloves and then put them in a clean handkerchief.

Step 2

Inhale the characteristic smell of cloves to get relief from headache.

Step 3

You can also mix cloves with salt and then apply on the forehead.


home remedy for decreasing symptoms of headache

How Does It Work?

The reducing of symptoms of discomfort lies in the medicinal component, eugenol. The other flavonoids and eugenol combine together to give an anti-inflammatory effect.


12. Bananas 

Partaking of this fruit can be listed as one of the home remedies for headache caused by hangover.

You can eat raw bananas the very morning after a party.


top fruit home remedy for headache

How Does It Work?

The human body loses lots of fructose and potassium due to the diuretic activity and banana has plenty of these minerals. Also it contains magnesium which assists in relaxation of blood vessels.

You can also put the banana peel on the forehead for giving relaxation to the blood vessels in case of headache.

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Alternate Methods

1 . Massage

This method you can use when you are faced with a mild headache. If you are in office and have to complete the deadline and you get a mild headache that hinders your concentration, try this method.

Step 1

For temporary relief, you can rub the temples on your forehead with your thumb.  The massage can depend on the type of headache you are affected with.

Step 2

Or, ask a near relative (if in home) or close friend to massage the back side of the neck, head, back or shoulders with their fingers.

How Does It Work?

When you press the temple or the areas where there is pain, you are in fact improving circulation of blood and the slow, gentle action decreases tension of muscles. Massage makes the body release endorphins that can reduce the effect of stress hormone, cortisol. Endorphins are the good chemicals produced in the body and on release, there are also other chemicals released subsequently, such as dopamine, serotonin and adrenaline. The entire chemicals combine to give a boosted feeling.

A simple human touch can work wonders. In ancient history, saints and holy men had cured an ailing person just by physical touch. By massage, electrical signals are transmitted all over the body, which combined with touch can assist in stimulation of blood circulation in the affected area, eliminate toxins and enhance the immunity of the body.

Not Good, If:

  1. You are pregnant. Seek a professional therapist to conduct massages on pregnant women.
  2. You have a history of blood sugar. After a massage, blood sugar may drop in some individuals.
  3. You have a history of heart or kidney failure.
  4. You have a sensitive skin.
  5. You are undergoing a chemotherapy treatment for cancer. Massage can damage the tissue as it might have become brittle from radiation or chemotherapy treatment.
  6. You have a condition of osteoporosis or have undergone a surgery.


2. Stretching Exercise

In recent times, the lives of middle-aged individuals are filled with stress due to fast paced life. The mind and body are subjected to overwork. In course of time, the muscles get tensed along with the mind and you suffer from pain.

A headache can occur due to muscle tension near the neck area. You can do the neck exercises to get relief.

Step 1

You can try the three easy exercises such as motioning the chin forward, upward and towards each shoulder.

Step 2

The other exercise is the isometric neck exercise where you press one palm into the forehead and the other at the rear. These exercises can give you temporary relief from headache. For permanent relief,  you should follow a healthy lifestyle.

If you want to have relief from simple ailments, physical activity is essential. You can do body exercises for forty minutes and twenty minutes, breathing exercises to stimulate and maintain the health of the entire body.


How Does It Work?

When you get a headache, the signals of pain are sent/transmitted to the muscles in the neck. The neck portion becomes hard and suffers from pain. Exercise enhances the activation of nerves. Always remember, there will be different exercises for various headaches.

During neck exercise, the tightened muscles become loose which stimulate circulation of bloodEndorphins, the feel-good hormones are also released which stop the pain signals from reaching the brain.

Not Good, If:

  1. You have severe pain or undergone a surgery in the neck region.
  2. You are working in an office. It is advisable to go to a separate room and try the exercise.


3. Breathing

You hardly think about breathing except when you are sitting in a suffocated room with no windows. You get little air, but do you know that breathing is difficult when you have a headache. The breaths you take can be shallow.  For better results, visualize a positive image such as you have already got relief from headache.

Step 1

Inhale deeply for a time of ten seconds. Hold the breath for five seconds.

Step 2

When you exhale, the duration taken should be double the time of inhalation.

Do this exercise five times. For the next time, give a duration of two minutes break.

It can also be done via the yoga method. You have to close one nostril – inhale in one and then exhale in another.

How Does It Work?

Lack of proper oxygen to the cell tissues might also contribute to more headaches. So do not take breaths that are too shallow. Inhale deeply from the tummy, let the air fill your lungs. When you want to respire, give a deep breath. The plenty of oxygen circulating in the blood might stimulate the muscles, tissues around the pain area, and you can get relief.

Not Good, If:

  1. You just had food (breakfast, lunch or dinner). The situation might worsen and you will suffer from stomach pain.
  2. You do this exercise and then go for food (breakfast, lunch or dinner). It will take at least half an hour for the muscles of stomach to relax.

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Doctors advise on keeping a diary, if the symptoms are more severe or if you have migraine. The details can give your physician a perfect account of your body problems. A proper diagnosis along with relevant treatment, can reduce symptoms in the future.

Kindly note that there are triggers for headache you can control and some you cannot. The best example of triggers would be the weather or the environment. There are some individuals who are allergic to pollen and they get headache.

Some of the common triggers that you can control are

Stress: If allowed to build to high proportions, this negative aspect can lead to extreme pressure in the brain. Find a way to deal with stress. It could be yoga, exercise, breathing in times of stress.

Drinking alcohol (especially red wine) and smoking

Exposure to heavy light or more music

Sleeping too much or lack of sleep

Perform high intensity exercise without rest

Changes in hormones (especially during menopause in women)

Lack of nutritious diet or dehydration or improper food. Improper food could mean you had food allergic to your body such as fruits, nuts, chocolate or cheeses. Maintain a diary on your dietary patterns.

Lack of rest to the eyes

If you are addicted to caffeine in the morning, skipping the practice for a day can cause a withdrawal headache.

Lack of exercise. In due course of time, the muscles in the body get weak and circulation of blood is affected. Performing exercises according to your age can help you ward off headache. Check with your doctor before staring any program.

You can also follow these easy techniques:

Maintaining good sitting posture in the workplace. Ensure that stiffness does not occur in the neck. You can also give rest to the eyes once in a while if your work is related to computer.

Select the perfect pillows. Changes in pillows can lead to tension in the neck and you can suffer from temporary headache.

For having good health, it is necessary to adhere to a fixed schedule, have food at regular hours or other day-to-day activities such as sleep, and other routines.

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You have had a strenuous weekend and you end up in a friend’s party. You drank and had a hangover the next day. Remember, there are similar types of headache you get during food poisoning, extreme work load or minor infections etc. But the symptom can decrease in a day or two.

This ailment can also be the symptom of an underlying serious condition such as encephalitis, meningitis or stroke. It is mandatory to call the emergency control room or hospital in case you have a severe headache followed by:

  • Fainting or loss of consciousness
  • Face difficulty in understanding speech
  • High symptoms of fever (more than 39 degree to 40 degree Celsius)
  • Stiffness in the neck region
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Experience symptoms of weakness, paralysis or numbness

You can also pay a visit if:

  • The headaches recur more frequently
  • You suffer from extreme pain
  • Show no signs of improvement even after home remedies or taking Over-the-counter medications
  • Face challenges in performing your day-to-day activities (work or sleep)
  • You get a headache when coughing, during exercise or sexual activity.

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Natural Remedy Vs Pharmacy

The type of treatment and prescribed medicine will vary depending on the headache.

One of the most prescribed medicine for migraine was sumatriptan. For minor headaches, aspirin was used although it is not administered to children.

The other notable medicines are menthol crystals from Natures Garden and Peppermint Sticks Menthol Crystals and the 4-headquickstrip.

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