Did you know that there are about 150 different types of headaches that exist? Today’s walk through Mother Earth’s Medicine Cabinet will take us down the headache relief section. There is no specific cure for headaches but there is a plethora of plants, herbs, and spices that help relieve the aches and pains caused by them.
There are three very common headaches that people experience. First, I will go over the top three common headaches and then I will discuss what the medicine cabinet has that will provide relief from the pain and ease the symptoms.
1. Tension Headaches
Tension headaches are also known as stress and anxiety headaches—and with good reason, too. These headaches are brought on by too much stress, as well as muscle tension in the neck and shoulders. Tension headaches produce mild to moderate pain in the sides and back of the head. A tension headache is usually accompanied by tension along the neck and shoulders.
Migraines can cause some of the most terrible pounding and throbbing headaches there are. This type of headache can last a few hours or a few days, depending on how severe it is. Other symptoms of a migraine are sensitivity to light, sensitivity to sound, pain behind the eyes, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes dizziness.
3. Sinus Headaches
A sinus headache is usually caused by a buildup of mucous and congestion in the nasal passages that causes the walls of the sinus cavities to become inflamed. They’re common during allergy season, when dealing with a cold or the flu, and anytime there is some sort of irritation of that area. The pain is usually in the cheekbones and sinus cavities, as well as the forehead and nose.
Tension Headache Relief
- Lavender Oil: Lavender essential oil has a naturally soothing scent that relieves tension and produces a relaxed feeling which helps to calm the nerves. You can use an oil infuser and curl up with a good book while breathing in the sweet scent. I like to do a steam treatment by adding a few drops of oil into boiling water and carefully inhaling the steam. You can also combine the lavender oil with a carrier oil and massage it into your temples, forehead, and neck for relief.
- Basil: Basil is a natural muscle relaxer and also contains anti-inflammatory properties. A tea can be made using three or four fresh basil leaves, boiling water, and honey to sweeten the deal. I suggest slowly sipping the tea while inhaling the steam. If you don’t appreciate the taste you can use some basil essential oil for a steam treatment.
- Ginger: The anti-inflammatory properties found in ginger can reduce the inflammation of the blood vessels – that’s exactly what you want to help provide relief. Make a nice ginger, lemon, and honey tea and enjoy. Eating a little bit of crystallized ginger candy can help as well.
Migraine Headache Relief
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar (also commonly known as ACV) has numerous health benefits. To use it for a migraine, just add a tablespoon of ACV to a tablespoon of honey, mix it up in a glass of water and drink up. The anti-inflammatory properties play a huge role in the pain relief provided by ACV.
- Lavender & Mint Essential Oils: This combination of essential oils will help calm your nerves and relax you, along with providing anti-inflammatory properties that will ease your pain. You can combine both of these oils with a carrier oil and massage the combination into your temples, forehead, and neck. You can also use it in a steam treatment.
- Peppermint: The anti-inflammatory properties ease the pain and also calm and soothe the nerves. Peppermint not only contains anti-inflammatory properties but it also produces antispasmodic properties, as well as calming effects. Drink a cup of this sweetened tea or use the essential oil for a head massage and aromatherapy.
- Cayenne Pepper: Cayenne peppers have the ability to stimulate the circulation of blood in our body, as well as the ability to improve blood flow. These peppers contain a compound called capsaicin which acts as a natural painkiller. You can make a tea using one-half to one full teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder in a glass of warm water. This isn’t the tastiest relief, but it does work! Drink the tea when needed. If you can’t bring yourself to drink the tea you can make a paste to apply to your head.
Sinus Headache Relief
One of the most important things when dealing with a sinus headache is clearing the congestion from the nasal cavities, which makes the steam treatment the best option, in my opinion.
- Peppermint Essential Oil
- Tea Tree Oil
- Eucalyptus Essential Oil
All of the above-listed oils are fantastic to use for clearing out your sinuses. I prefer to make a combination tea of cinnamon, ginger, lemon, and honey to help relieve the pain but also to help fight any sinus infection that might be present.
General Headache Relief Tips
- Relax in a dimly lit or dark room. Limiting light exposure can help ease the pain.
- Use an ice pack. Place it on your forehead and neck and it will help reduce tension and calm the body.
- A hot shower can help relieve all of the headaches on this list and is especially good for sinus headaches.
- Massage and aromatherapy can also help in a big way.
- Fresh air helps with circulation and blood flow. A nice peaceful walk can really help!
I have experienced headaches since I was a teenager, especially tension headaches and migraines. I always hated the way aspirin and other over-the-counter medications made my stomach feel so I was happy to find so many natural remedies. The above remedies have proved to work for me and I hope that if you suffer from headaches as well, that you find some relief within this page. Happy Healing!