We have all experienced that familiar aching sensation in the temples or a building of pressure inside the head that signals a headache. Headaches are often mild – they come on quickly and fade over time – but they can also be quite severe, especially if you have a nutritional deficiency or they could be a sign of an underlying health problem.
Fortunately, there are a number of natural remedies out there that can help to relieve symptoms and prevent headaches from recurring. Keep reading to learn how to get rid of headaches without using pain relievers or prescription drugs.
What Are the Most Common Headache Types?
When you experience a throbbing, pulsing pain in the head, you probably chalk it up as a headache. What you may not realize, however, is that there are many different types of headaches. Here is a quick overview of four common types of headache:
- Cluster Headache – These headaches are characterized by a severe burning and piercing pain, typically around or behind one eye. Cluster headaches may be paired with swelling, flushing, or redness on the affected side of the body as well as nasal congestion and tearing. These headaches are named for the fact that they occur in a series with each headache lasting 15 minutes to three hours, occurring one to four times per day.
- Migraine – A migraine is characterized by an intense pulsing deep in the head that can last for days at a time and may affect your daily life. Migraines are usually one-sided and may be accompanied by sensitivity to light or sound as well as nausea and vomiting.
- Tension Headache – This type of headache presents with a dull, aching sensation all over the head as well as tenderness in the neck, forehead, scalp, and shoulders. Tension headaches are often triggered by stress.
- Secondary Headache – As the name suggests, a secondary headache is one that develops as a result of something else happening in your body. Secondary headaches can be related to allergies, hormones, caffeine use, exertion, hypertension, and overuse of certain medications.
Each of these four types of headache is different, though they may present with similar symptoms. If you are concerned about having frequent headaches, talk to your doctor because it could be a sign of an underlying health problem that may require treatment.
Natural Home Remedies that Help with Headaches
Before you reach for a bottle of pain reliever, consider whether home remedies for headache might be a better option. Though over-the-counter pain medications are generally regarded as safe, they do come with a risk for side effects, and they could interact with other medications you are taking. Natural remedies for headaches, on the other hand, have a low risk of side effects and they are not made with harsh chemicals and other unidentifiable ingredients.
So, what are some home remedies you should try? Here are a few:
- B-Complex Vitamins – This group of vitamins is involved in the formation of neurotransmitters which are often deficient in people who suffer frequent headaches and migraines. Taking a daily supplement may help with headaches.
- Herbs – Several herbs have been shown to relieve headache including feverfew and butterbur. Feverfew leaves reduce the frequency of migraines and relieve headache symptoms while butterbur helps mitigate common triggers for headaches and migraines.
- Magnesium – This mineral may help reduce the frequency of migraine attacks and can help mitigate symptoms such as visual and sensory changes that often accompany migraines.
- Gluten-Free Diet – In addition to addressing nutritional deficiencies, making certain dietary changes such as going gluten-free may help reduce the severity or frequency of headaches.
- Essential Oils – Some of the best essential oils for headache relief are lavender and peppermint – just place a few drops on your hands then rub them onto your forehead, temples, and the back of your neck.
Though there are many remedies that can help you learn how to get rid of headaches, there is one in particular that we want to focus on – magnesium.
Headaches and Magnesium
Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a role in more than 300 biochemical functions in the body. Low levels of magnesium have been correlated with a number of problems including loss of appetite, nausea, muscle cramps, muscle contractions, and migraines or headaches. In fact, a U.S. study suggests that 75% of people who are deficient in magnesium experience frequent headaches or migraines.
How exactly does magnesium help with headaches, though?
First and foremost, low magnesium levels have been associated with an increased risk for migraines and headaches. More than that, however, magnesium supports healthy nerve function and blocks pain-transmitting chemicals in the brain. It also prevents a neurological process known as cortical spreading depression which is responsible for the sensory and visual changes associated with migraines.
To use magnesium as a natural remedy for a headache, you can take magnesium supplements or increase your daily intake of dietary magnesium. For more immediate pain relief, however, magnesium oil may be a more effective treatment. Magnesium oil spray can be applied directly to the forehead and temples for fast pain relief, or you can take pure magnesium oil and apply it by hand. To give it a try, consider the Seven Minerals Gift Set Head Harmony with magnesium oil spray and a Sleep Well blend.
Whether you’re suffering from a minor headache or recurrent migraines, think twice before you turn to prescription medications. Magnesium is a safe and effective natural remedy for headaches and one that you should definitely consider trying.