Headaches are something that we all experience at some point in our lives, and they can have a big impact.
They can leave you feeling tired, restless and irritable, impact your performance at work and make doing everyday tasks a real chore.
While most headaches tend to fade after a few hours, persistent ones can be a pain to shake off. However, just because you have a headache, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to reach for the painkillers straight away. There are plenty of natural remedies you can try to ease the symptoms of a headache, so you can get back to enjoying your day. So, sit back, relax and read our top tips on how to get rid of a headache without medication…
Several major studies have found that dehydration is a common cause of headaches and migraines. It can also cause other symptoms, including tiredness, aching muscles, impaired concentration and irritability. So, the next time you feel a headache coming on, try sipping water, especially if you haven’t been drinking it throughout the day. Research has found that drinking cool water can relieve the symptoms of headache within 30 minutes, although if you are more dehydrated, it may take a couple of hours to ease the pain.
WATCH WHAT YOU EAT
A rich and varied diet comprising plenty of fresh fruit and veg, lean proteins and healthy fats is one of the best ways to keep headaches at bay and help you recover quicker if you develop one. Getting a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals will help support your key body systems and ensure everything functions as it should. Conversely, vitamin and mineral deficiencies can be a root cause of regular headaches, so make sure you get a good balance daily.
Some of the key nutrients to look out for include:
Magnesium supports several functions in the body, including blood sugar control and nerve transmission. Studies have found that Magnesium deficiency is common in people who suffer from migraines and regular headaches. Greens, nuts, seeds and wholegrains are all excellent natural sources of Magnesium.
Some B Vitamins, particularly B-6 and B-12, have been found to help prevent headaches and ease their symptoms. You can get natural B Vitamin supplements to top up any shortfall from your diet, but if you’re looking to get them from your food, milk, cheese and eggs, lean meat and oily fish are excellent sources. You’ll find B Vitamins in dark green vegetables such as spinach and kale if you’re vegan.
Vitamin E can help ease headache pain and relieve the symptoms of menstrual migraines. This can be useful for women experiencing migraines during their menstrual cycle, as Vitamin E can also help maintain better hormonal balance. Good natural sources of Vitamin E include vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and dark greens.
LIMIT YOUR ALCOHOL INTAKE
Alcohol can increase the symptoms and frequency of headaches in a couple of ways. As well as being a depressant, it’s a vasodilator, which means it widens blood vessels and increases blood flow. This is why people drinking often experience a red flush on their cheeks and forehead, but the increased blood flow can also cause tension headaches. And after you’ve been drinking, alcohol can cause your body to become dehydrated, which, as we said earlier, is one of the most common causes of headache.
Unlike the old wives’ tale, ‘hair of the dog’ doesn’t really work, nor does loading up on a fry-up. Getting yourself rehydrated and eating a healthy breakfast or a fresh fruit smoothie after a big night out is the best way of getting back to normal.
GET THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF SLEEP
While sleep deprivation can be detrimental to your overall well-being in many ways, it can be a big cause of headaches. However, getting too much shut-eye can leave you feeling sluggish and more prone to headaches, so getting the balance right is vital. Getting eight hours of regular, uninterrupted sleep will help your body relax and repair itself from the day’s stresses and strains and leave you fresh and revitalised when you wake up.
Essential oils bring many benefits for enhancing your health and wellbeing and relieving headaches is one of them. They can help you relax, unwind and relieve tension, but when applied topically, they can also help you breathe more easily, soothe your face and neck muscles and relieve stress and tension. Applying Peppermint Essential Oil to your temples can reduce the symptoms of tension headaches while inhaling the fragrant aroma of Lavender Essential Oil can also ease headaches. They can also help you feel more relaxed and less anxious or irritable, which is a bonus. Just remember to read the instructions. Some pure essential oils are extremely strong and shouldn’t be applied directly to the skin, so use a carrier oil to dilute them is essential.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a naturally occurring substance that your body uses to turn food into energy. It’s also a powerful antioxidant. Studies have shown that CoQ10 supplements can help reduce the frequency and severity of headaches and migraines and ease migraine-related symptoms such as tiredness and nausea.
As we’ve shown above, you can try several natural things to get rid of a headache without medication. Some work better than others. Most headaches are perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. Still, if you suffer from regular or persistent headaches, it’s always worth seeking the advice of a doctor just to rule out any underlying health issues. Provided you’re in good overall health, you should be able to start shaking headaches naturally so that you can get on with living life to the full.
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