Headaches are not only painful but also annoying. Annoying because whilst they hurt, they are not usually significant enough of an ailment to warrant blankets, cuddles and time-outs. Most of the time, we just have to soldier on.
Thankfully though, there are ways we can ease them and ultimately help them on their way.
The tension headache is the most common type. This is the one where the pain feels like a tight band around your head. It feels like this as a result of muscles contracting in the head and neck, and can be caused by many things from stress and lack of sleep, to skipping meals and even eye strain.
Next time this happens to you, before you pop a pill, consider these 5 natural soothers:
● Water Works Wonders
Dehydration can cause, exacerbate and prolong headaches. Ensuring you drink enough water over the course of the day can prevent the headache’s arrival in the first place. Some drinks will dehydrate you too, such as soft drinks, caffeinated drinks and alcohol, so remember, all fluids are not equal and some will do more harm than good.
When you feel a headache coming on, make sure you turn to a big glass of water first.
● The Ginger Headache Ninja
Ginger contains an active ingredient called gingerol which is, in fact, a natural pain killer. It also has anti-inflammatory properties which are ideal in the fight against a headache, as it reduces the muscle inflammation and soreness that are the result of the muscle contraction.
Cut up some fresh ginger, put it into water then bring to the boil. Drink warm for best effect.
● Pep Up with Peppermint
Menthol in peppermint relieves pain. It also reduces cramping as it has antispasmodic properties. Apply one drop of peppermint essential oil topically to the forehead, temples and back of neck to get some relief. Of course you can also drink peppermint tea. A good tip to remember is to keep the mug covered when soaking the tea bag of peppermint leaves to prevent the precious peppermint oils from escaping.
It’s always good to consider a cup of peppermint tea after a big meal as tension headaches can also be caused by overeating, and peppermint aids digestion.
● Ahhh - That's Chamo-miles Better
Chamomile is great for anything that is caused by tension and stress as it relaxes the nervous system and muscles; reducing spasms and inflammation at the same time. Make some chamomile tea to bring relief. Simply put 2 teaspoons of chamomile into a cup of boiling water. Cover and let it steep for 30 minutes, strain, then drink.
● Lovely Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender oil is calming, antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory. The coumarin compounds found in lavender can dilate constricted blood vessels, relieving tension headaches. Place a drop of lavender on your temple or the base of your neck to give relief. Alternatively, you can also put 2-3 drops of the oil into a pot of boiling water and inhale the steam.
So the next time you feel like someone has moved into your head for a wild party, don’t reach for the pills. Consider these simple, natural remedies and if tonight is still not the night (dear), then you don’t need to tell anyone the headache has actually gone… do you?