I’ve had an unusual amount of headaches lately. Instead of reaching each time for a couple of ibuprofen, which can cause ulcers and increase bleeding in the stomach if taken on a regular basis, I’ve been looking into some natural remedies for headache relief.
Aromatherapy for Headaches
Peppermint oil: Rubbing a few drops of peppermint oil on your temples has been shown to relieve tension headaches. Peppermint oil creates a cooling sensation when it comes in contact with skin, and it helps to relax the muscles in your head and neck. The scent of peppermint oil also has the power to calm nerves and clear your nasal passages, which may help if your headache is caused by stress or sinus pressure.
Eucalyptus oil: Applying eucalyptus oil to your forehead can also help relieve headaches in the same manner as peppermint oil. Like peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil can soothe, relax muscles and clear nasal passages. Place a few drops of eucalyptus oil into a bowl of steaming water and inhale deeply.
Lavender: The scent of lavender has a powerful effect on the nervous system, relieving problems such as insomnia, anxiety, and stress, which can all contribute to headaches. Anecdotal evidence suggests that lavender can help relieve the pain of even the worst headaches, including migraines. Place a few drops of lavender essential oil on your pillow, create a lavender sachet or brew a cup of lavender tea to utilize this natural headache reliever.
All of these essential oils can be used in either a hot or cold compress for headaches. Simply add a few drops of whichever oils you desire to the cloth and place the compress on your forehead when a headache starts to form. (For a headache-relieving product that combines the power of peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil and lavender, check out Badger Headache Soother Mind Balm.)
Herbal Relief for Headaches
Feverfew: Migraines are the most serious form of headaches. The incapacitating pain of a migraine headache is often accompanied by sensitivity to light, vision problems, nausea and vomiting. Feverfew is a well-known herb in the world of migraine treatment. While this herb may be useful for those in the throes of a migraine, its real value lies in preventing migraines (when taken on a daily basis). Studies show that feverfew stops the clumping of platelets in the blood and reduces blood vessel constriction and dilation, which can cause migraines.
Feverfew can prevent migraines if taken daily. Photo By Isfugl/Courtesy Flickr.
White willow bark: Willow bark contains salicin, the key ingredient in aspirin, which makes it a natural pain reliever. Willow bark doesn’t work as fast as ibuprofen or Advil, but it’s also less likely to cause the gastrointestinal bleeding that these nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are famous for.
What natural remedies do you use to relieve headaches?
Thank you, Susan Melgren, on Mother Earth Living, for your reader contribution.