Headaches: Natural Prevention & Treatment
I have suffered from headaches since early childhood. I can still remember being in the car with a headache so bad that I had to ask our friend to pull over and let me out of the car because I was physically nauseated from the pain. Then, in my junior year of high school I was standing in the lunch line and started losing my vision. It was a bit terrifying, to say the least. I actually thought I was going blind but soon learned it was the aura before the onset of the very first of many debilitating migraine headaches that plagued me from that day forward. The doctors at the time tried everything they could think of: EKG’s and brain scans to rule out any abnormalities; beta blockers to try to prevent them; restrictive diets; etc. I ended up being allergic to the beta blocker which resulted in daily excruciating headaches. How I which I knew then what I know now.
My heart goes out to every patient that comes into the office suffering from headaches and migraines. I literally feel their pain.
What causes headaches?
Headaches result for many different reasons: lack of sleep; sinuses and allergies; stress; dehydration; muscle and joint pain; etc. I was astounded to learn that 73% of Americans suffer from headaches, and that some of them suffer from them daily.
If you are like I was and are a headache or migraine sufferer, don’t lose hope. There are natural remedies that have been proven to help.
Natural Relief For Headaches
First and foremost, it is important to work with Melissa at CNHC to find out exactly what is going on in your body. Once we’ve established a “game plan” and are in the process of getting things in line in your body, you can also try some of the following natural remedies:
- You may simply be lacking this important mineral in your body. It is vital for your working body, and when it comes to headaches, Magnesium helps relieve the muscle spasms associated with headaches. It’s especially important that migraine sufferers are getting enough Magnesium—at least 400 milligrams both morning and at bedtime.
- A lot of people don’t want to hear this word, but exercise is one of the easiest ways to combat headaches and to keep from getting one. Exercise improves blood circulation and increases the oxygen in your blood. It also reduces stress, depression and anxiety and stimulates the brain’s mood enhancers and natural painkillers also known as endorphins.
- Addition of Vital Vitamins and Nutrients to Help Prevent Migraines. In addition to avoiding triggers associated with migraines, whether those are foods, stress, sensory stimuli, etc., try incorporating some or all of the following to help combat migraines: Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B2, Folic Acid, Vitamin D and Feverfew. Feverfew can be taken daily if you constantly get migraines or headaches. It works by releasing inflammatory substances known as prostaglandins and serotonin that help relieve the onset of migraines and helps prevent blood vessel spasms that bring on headaches.
The above will help prevent headaches and migraines, but what do you do when you get one? Below are some natural remedies you can try for the pain:
Essential Oils For Headache and Migraine Relief
For a Headaches:
Headache Cold Compress (Makes 1 Compress)
- 1 cup cold water
- 5 drops peppermint essential oil
Mix the water with the peppermint oil in a small glass or metal bowl. Place a washcloth on the surface of the water and let it become saturated. Remove the cloth and wring it out until it no longer drips. Lie down and place the cool washcloth on your forehead. Leave it there until it arms to room temperature. Repeat as needed to reduce headache pain.
For a Migraine:
Migraine Warm Compress (Makes 1 Compress)
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 5 drops ginger essential oil
- 5 drops lavender essential oil
Mix the water, ginger and lavender in a small glass or metal bowl. Place a washcloth on the surface of the water and let it become saturated. Remove from the water and wring out the excess water. Place warm compress on your forehead and remove when it cools to the point that it no longer feels warm. Repeat as needed for pain. (Note: Warmth helps to regulate body temperature and dilate the blood vessels.)
Cayenne Cream for Migraine (Makes 1 Treatment)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 5 drops cayenne essential oil
Written By: Tammy Dyer
Patient Advocate, Covenant Natural Health Care, LLC