Treatments for migraine, cluster headache and tension headaches

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Headaches are one of the most common health problems which can affect every single person at some point of his/her life. There are 3 main categories in which headaches can be classified and they are: cluster headaches, migraine headache and tension headaches. There are many causes which can lead to headaches such as neck strain, eye strain, overuse of pain killers, oversleeping, lack of water in the body, excessive drinking, excessive smoking, genetic causes, abnormal neuron activity, constriction of blood vessels and physiological changes in the head and many others. People in many cases use prescription pain killers or over – the – counter medicines to get a relief from these headaches. But also there are many natural cures which can help you to get a relief from the headache in very easy and quick way. We know that dehydration is the most common causes of headache. In this case, when you drink a cool glass of water, then it can help you to cure your headache within minutes. It is recommended to drink about 8 – 10 glasses of water throughout      the day because it will keep your body well hydrated. Along with the water, there are many home remedies which you can use as your natural treatment for the headache.

Home remedies for headaches

Ice pack: The cold from the ice helps to reduce the inflammation which can lead to headaches [1]. Also it has a numbing effect on the pain. You should apply an ice pack to the back of your neck [2]. This will give you a relief from the migraine headache. Also you can place a washcloth dipped in ice – cold water over your head for 5 minutes. You should repeat this natural treatment several times. Also you can use a bag of frozen vegetables as a cold compress. You will feel relief within half an hour.

Nuts: When you have a headache, then you can take some almonds [3]. Almonds are very effective natural cure for relieving the everyday tension – type headaches. It has a component known as salicin which is a pain reliever.

Cloves: This natural cure can ease the tension because it has pain – relieving and cooling properties. You should crush a few cloves gently and then you should put them in a clean handkerchief or a sachet. You should inhale the smell of the crushed cloves whenever you have a headache until you get a relief from the pain. Also you can put 2 drops of clove oil in a tablespoon of carrier oil. You should massage your forehead and temples with this oil. Also you can mix together 2 teaspoons of coconut oil, 2 drops of clove oil and one teaspoon of sea salt. You should rub this natural cure gently on your forehead.

Lavender oil: When you smell the soothing scent on the lavender essential oil, then this can give you a relief from the tension headaches. Also there are some studies in which is said that this natural cure can improve migraine symptoms [4]. You should put a few drops of lavender essential oil on a tissue and then you should inhale it. Also you can add 2 drops of lavender oil to 2 cups of boiling water and you should inhale the steam. Also there is another option which you can make from this home remedy and that is to mix 2 or 3 drops of lavender essential oil in one tablespoon of carrier oil such as olive oil or almond oil and you should massage your forehead with this natural cure. You should not take lavender oil orally.

Apples: Apple and apple cider vinegar have properties which can balance the acid and alkaline levels in your body which will give you a relief from the headaches [5]. You should eat an apple with some salt. Also you can add 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a full glass of water and then you should drink this natural cure.

headache, headachesNatural treatments for headaches

Basil: This natural cure works as a muscle relaxant which is making it a very effective natural treatment for mild headaches which are caused by tense muscles [6]. Also it has analgesic and calming effects. You should put 3 or 4 fresh basil leaves in one cup of boiling water and you should let it simmer for a few minutes. If you want, you can add a little honey and then you should sip this tea slowly. There is second option in which you should boil one teaspoon of basil leaves or a few drops of basil oil to a pot of boiling water and you should carefully lean over the pot to take in this steam. Also you can chew some fresh basil leaves or you can massage your forehead with basil oil mixed with base oil.

Acupressure: The Joining the Valley (L14) acupressure point is considered as very effective natural treatment for getting a relief from the headaches [7]. You should press and massage the fleshy area between your thumb and index finger, at the highest spot of your muscle when both the thumb and index finger are brought close together. You should do this natural treatment one or 2 minutes and then you should repeat it on the other hand. If you are pregnant and you have headache, then you should not press this acupressure point.

Rosemary: Rosemary oil has rosmarinic acid which has soothing and anti – inflammatory properties that will help you to treat the headache [8]. You should mix a few drops of rosemary oil mixed in a tablespoon of carrier oil. Massage your forehead and temples with this natural cure. Also you can make herbal tea by boiling one teaspoon of crushed sage leaves and one teaspoon of crushed rosemary leaves in one cup of water. You should cover it while boiling and you should let it steep for ten minutes. You should let this tea to cool to room temperature and then you should drink it. You can drink this tea 2 to 3 times per day. If you do not have the both mentioned herbs in your home, then you should make the tea with either of the 2 herbs alone. People who suffer from high blood pressure or epilepsy should not use rosemary oil as their natural treatment.

Peppermint oil: This oil has menthol which helps open up clogged blood vessels that can be a reason for headaches [9]. Also it has soothing and calming effects. You should mix 3 drops of peppermint essential oil in one tablespoon olive oil, almond oil or just water. You should massage your temples and forehead with it. Also you can put crushed fresh peppermint leaves on your forehead. There is another option which you can do and that is to prepare a steam treatment by adding a few drops of peppermint essential oil to a small pot of boiling water. You should inhale the steam for a few minutes.

Mint juice: Mint has menthone and menthol which are the primary components of mint and they are very effective in alleviating headaches. You should extract mint juice from a handful of mint leaves and you should apply this extract on your forehead and temples to treat your headaches. Also you can place mint tea compresses on the forehead to get a relief from the discomfort. Along with the mint juice, the coriander juice is very effective natural treatment for headaches.

Ginger: This natural cure can help you to reduce the inflammation of the blood vessels in your head and also it will give you a relief from the headache [10]. You should mix equal parts of lemon juice and ginger juice. You should consume this natural cure once or twice per day. Another option is to apply a paste of one teaspoon of dry ginger powder (which is also known as sonth) and 2 tablespoons of water on your forehead for a few minutes. Also you can boil raw ginger or ginger powder in water and you should inhale the vapor. You should chew one or 2 pieces of crystallized ginger candy.

Cayenne: Cayenne is used as natural treatment for pain and inflammation. It has ingredient known as capsaicin which inhibits something in our bodies which is one of the main elements in pain perception and it is called Substance P. This substance is part of what makes us feel pain and the capsaicin depletes it. There were many studies in which is said that when people who have applied it topically to the nasal passages, then they have a significant decrease in the severity of their headaches and this is all possible thanks to capsaicin. You should dilute a ½ teaspoon of cayenne powder in four ounces of warm water. You should soak a cotton ball in this natural cure and stir it around to make sure that it is covered. In some cases the cayenne pepper can sink to the bottom. You should apply the moist swab gently to the inside of each nostril until you start to feel the heat. At first, this can be unpleasant but this burning sensation means that this home remedy works for you. When it subsides, then your headache will hopefully be wiped out or at least you will feel better than before.

References:

[1] Ucler S, Coskun O, Inan LE, Kanatli Y. Cold therapy in migraine patients: Open-label, non-controlled, pilot study. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2006;3(4):489-93.

[2] Sprouse-Blum AS, Gabriel AK, Brown JP, Yee MHC. Randomized controlled trial: Targeted neck cooling in the treatment of the migraine patient. Hawai’i Journal of Medicine & Public Health. 2013;72(7):237-41.

[3] Nazari F, Eghbali M. Migraine and its relationship with dietary habits in women. Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research. 2012;17(2Suppl1):S65-S71.

[4] Sasannejad P, Saeedi M, Shoeibi A, et al. Lavender essential oil in the treatment of migraine headache: a placebo-controlled clinical trial. European Neurology. 2012;67(5):288-91.

[5] Schwalfenberg GK. The alkaline diet: Is there evidence that an alkaline pH diet benefits health? Journal of Environmental and Public Health. 2012;2012:727630.

[6] Jamshidi N, Cohen MM. The clinical efficacy and safety of tulsi in humans: A systematic review of the literature. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2017;2017:9217567.

[7] Hsieh LL, Liou HH, Lee LH, et al. Effect of acupressure and trigger points in treating headache: a randomized controlled trial. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 2010;38(1):1-14.

[8] Habtemariam S. The therapeutic potential of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) diterpenes for Alzheimer’s disease. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2016;2016:2680409.

[9] Gobel H, Schmidt G, Dworschak M, et al. Essential plant oils and headache mechanisms. Phytomedicine. 1995;2(2):93-102.

[10] Maghbooli M, Golipour F, Moghimi Esfandabadi A, Yousefi M. Comparison between the efficacy of ginger and sumatriptan in the ablative treatment of the common migraine. Phytotherapy Research. 2014;28(3):412-5.

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