A headache can make the best day feel miserable. I started experiencing headaches as a child; I had a never-ending headache that would vary in intensity. Some days it would be mild, some days it would be a full on migraine that made it impossible to function. My mom brought me to every type of specialist imaginable from neurologists, to chiropractors and everything in between.
As I've gotten older, my headaches have improved a bit, but I still suffer from the occasional migraine and tension headaches. When they occur, I try to treat them naturally before reaching for the pain medication.
Here are my 5 tips for treating headaches naturally:
Peppermint oil: This is especially amazing if your headaches are related to muscular tension. Simply apply diluted peppermint oil to the trouble areas. For me, it's my neck and jaw that trigger headaches so I apply peppermint oil to relieve inflammation and relax in the cool tingly feel of the oil. I’ve found that this can kill a migraine before it starts.
Chiropractic Care: often our bodies are out of whack and skeletal misalignments can cause a great deal of pain and impact on our overall well being. This can be the hidden cause behind headaches, especially in children. Seeing a chiropractor for a series of adjustments (people are usually not cured in one trip) can be incredibly impactful on headaches.
Placing feet in cold water: this was recommended to me by my great-aunt from Kentucky. In the early 1900s, she’d get what she called "sick headaches." Treatment options were limited back then, but she said she'd put her feet in a tub of cold water for relief. Science has confirmed this can be helpful because it pulls blood flow away from your head, towards your feet, bringing pain relief.
Caffeine: When I was pregnant, I asked a midwife what to do about headaches because I could no longer take the migraine medication that I had been using. Her response was simple: “Caffeine and acetaminophen.” Caffeine itself acts as a vasoconstrictor, which narrows the blood vessels and can provide pain relief. Some people, however, experience headaches because of caffeine so it’s important to spend time understanding your personal triggers.
Lavender Oil: There are times in life when peppermint oil is not suitable such as the end of pregnancy or while breastfeeding. During these times, I reach for lavender oil. Though I don’t feel the tingling relief sensation of peppermint oil, the lavender oil acts similarly and can be helpful to headaches, especially when applied to the upper lip and inhaled.
is a writer & tired homeschooling mom of five.