Five Natural Remedies For Headaches
- Supplement with the mineral magnesium. Magnesium helps calm nerves and dilate the small vessels, which tend to get overexcited & restricted during headaches & migraines. Some studies have found that migraine sufferers tend to be deficient in magnesium, and many report that taking between 400-600 mg of magnesium daily reduces headaches caused by pregnancy, PMS, stress & sickness. Generally, the average multivitamin won’t be enough & I personally prefer a powdered supplement, which is readily absorbed. When buying a supplement, look for amino acid chelated magnesium or magnesium citrate. Many brands contain magnesium oxide, which is not absorbed as well. If you’re not keen on supplements you can also increase your magnesium by eating dark leafy green vegetables, nuts & seeds. A green smoothie packed with spinach will definitely help give you a magnesium boost – but will not be as strong as a supplement. My favorite magnesium powder is Natural Calm by Natural Vitality (original) – it tastes great and has a great citrusy taste.
- Avoid trigger foods – wheat, dairy, corn, alcohol & citrus fruits are among the foods most commonly known to trigger headaches & migraines. Other substances that are important to avoid include…
- Soium nitrate – a preservative found in hotdogs, deli & lunch meats.
- The food additive monosodium glutamate (MSG), which is used in most take-away foods, & other processed foods (ready meals etc). Note that MSG is sometimes listed as hydrolyzed protein instead, which is a sneaky trick used to increase sales
- Artificial sweeteners -especially those containing aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet etc.). Artificial sweeteners are a huge topic and should in my opinion be completely avoided. Aside from being associated with causing bad headaches, they are also known to increase hunger & cravings for sweets. The only low calorie sweetener I use & recommend to others is 100% pure stevia, which is made from a plant and has been used for centuries in South America. Many stevia brands on the market now contain sugar alcohols as well, which give them a bitter taste. Personally I like these stevia drops from NuNaturals.
- Drinking more water can reduce the severity of headaches. Research has in factshown that drinking around 2 litres or 8 x 8 oz glasses of water every day eased the pain & improved quality of life in people who regularly suffered headaches.
- Following essential oils are known to help ease headaches. Just mix 8-10 drops in 1 oz (30 ml) carrier oil, such as jojoba or almond, and massage the oil onto your forehead, neck & temples.
- Peppermint has relaxing effects and is known to relax the pericranial muscles – thereby easing tension headaches.
- Eucalyptus is another common remedy for headaches and is especially good for headaches associated with sinus headaches and is great when combined with peppermint (often do 4 drops of each in 1 oz jojoba oil).
- Lavender has sedative properties and is commonly used to promote sleep, which makes it ideal for night time headaches.
- Take a bath with Epsom salt. Epsom baths are known to ease pain & relieve inflammation and is therefore often used in the treatment of sore muscles, bronchial asthma & migraine headaches.
Photo Credit: Smarnad/www.freedigitalphotos.net