There comes a point when the world of deadlines, irksome bosses, late nights, skimpy sleep schedules and traffic jams takes a toll on us. It is then when our quintessential cup of coffee surrenders to splitting headaches. So, what do you do when your bad day culminates to a severe migraine? Anyone who’s experienced the splitting pain of a bad headache or migraine attack knows how difficult it can be to work, drive, or even carry on a conversation while your head is pounding. When a migraine strikes, you’ll do almost anything to make it go away. If you get migraines, you know the symptoms can be challenging to cope with – you may experience pounding pain, nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound. Migraines aren’t typical headaches.
If you get frequent headaches or migraine attacks, you may wonder whether there’s any way to prevent them – or what might help relieve your pain and other symptoms when you get one. The good news is that there are natural/home remedies that may help prevent migraines, or at least help reduce their severity and duration. We have compiled 9 best remedies, here you go…
Use essential oils: Essential oils are highly concentrated liquids that contain aromatic compounds from a variety of plants. They have many therapeutic benefits and are most often used topically. Essential oils are often used as natural remedies or as an antimicrobial in homemade cleaning products. Peppermint and lavender essential oils are especially helpful when you have a headache. With its refreshing scent, peppermint helps open up clogged blood vessels which cause headache. Lavender is an essential oil often recommended as a remedy for stress, anxiety, and headaches. Lavender oil can be either inhaled or applied topically. It is highly effective at reducing migraine pain and associated symptoms when applied to the upper lip and inhaled.
Stay hydrated: Not drinking enough water is a well-known migraine and headache trigger, and it only takes minor dehydration to bring on a headache. Since even mild to moderate dehydration can be a trigger for a migraine attack or headache, get in the habit of having water available to drink at all times, particularly during exercise. Drinking water throughout the day and maintaining a healthful diet is usually enough to stay sufficiently hydrated.
Take some magnesium: Magnesium has been shown to be a safe, effective remedy for headaches. Deficiency of magnesium, which is an essential mineral, may trigger migraine aura or a menstrual-migraine headache. Magnesium can be taken as a natural supplement to prevent migraine attacks. Many healthy foods provide magnesium, including bananas, flaxseeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, cashews, dark chocolate and leafy greens such as spinach.
Go for ginger: It is touted as an elixir for headaches; ginger is a home remedy for instant relief. It is known to ease nausea caused by many conditions, including migraines. It helps reduce inflammation of the blood vessels in the head, hence easing the pain. And since it stimulates digestion, it also helps quell the nausea which occurs during migraines. Wondering how to use this miracle ingredient as a home remedy for headache? Steep ginger root for tea, or mix equal parts of ginger juice and lemon juice and drink up. You can consume this once or twice a day. You can also apply a paste of ginger powder and 2 tablespoons water on your forehead for a few minutes to provide quicker relief.
Apply an ice pack to your head and neck: Cold compresses on the head and neck are a common home remedy to ease the pain of a migraine attack. Applying an ice pack to the back of your neck can give relief from a migraine, since the cold from the ice helps reduce inflammation that contributes to headaches. Plus, it has a numbing effect on the pain. You can make your own cold compress by placing a damp towel in the freezer for about 10 minutes. An ice pack would also work.
Practice yoga: Practicing yoga is an excellent way to relieve stress, increase flexibility, decrease pain and improve your overall quality of life. It also relieves the frequency, duration, and intensity of migraines. One research study has shown that yoga can be effective for headaches. The yoga practice included breathing techniques (pranayama) and yoga postures (asana). Even simple stretching can also be helpful for headaches.
Give yourself a massage: Massage eases muscle tension, and sometimes helps to reduce headache pain. Gently massage your temples, scalp, neck, and shoulders with your fingertips, or gently stretch your neck. Massage, either self-massage or working with a massage therapist, can resolve chronic neck and shoulder tension that can cause headaches. A weekly massage may reduce migraine frequency and improve sleep quality.
Caffeinate (but not too much): In small amounts, caffeine can decrease migraine-related pain in the early stages of an attack or enhance the pain-reducing effects of OTC medication. A small amount (at least 100 milligrams, or the amount in a little more than your average cup of coffee) has been shown to help migraines, especially in conjunction with over-the-counter pain relief medications. But don’t overdo it: Drinking too much caffeine too frequently can lead to withdrawal headaches.
Shut out the world: Last but not least, when your migraine comes with sensitivity to light, sound, and smells, sometimes the best approach is to shut out the world. Put on a sleep mask, grab your ear plugs, close the blinds and get in bed – perhaps with one or more of the other natural remedies. Removing yourself from triggers may help you get some rest, so you can start to feel better.
This content was originally published here.