What triggers headaches? There are debilitating migraine headaches that often leave people dizzy and nauseous to the point where you need to stop everything and lie down in bed with the lights turned off. Then, there are occasional headaches that cause the head to throb and leave you uncomfortable, in pain and short-tempered. It also makes it hard to concentrate, or feel motivated to get things done.
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What Causes Headaches?
Headaches are stand-alone illnesses, caused by the overactivity of parts of the head that are sensitive to pain, including blood vessels, muscles and nerves in the head or neck. At times, it’s hard to know exactly what triggers a headache. Is it too little water in the day? Too many blinking fluorescent lights? Coffee? Allergies? Stress?
An over-the-counter common pain reliever, like ibuprofen, aspirin or acetaminophen, is not something that you want to put into your body in the hopes of mitigating the pain — it could result in worse headaches the next time or harmful side effects, such as stomach problems.
Can breathing in natural essential oils do the trick to stop a headache or prevent the onset of one? You may be surprised! There are plenty of natural headache remedies out there.
5 Natural Solutions to Stop a Headache
Here are five natural remedies for headache pain to try that may relieve this common annoyance:
1. Peppermint Oil
For quick drug-free relief, a little peppermint oil can be applied to the back of the neck, forehead and temples at the initial throb of a headache or migraine. The menthol in peppermint oil is widely known to relax muscles and reduce pain, also known as aromatherapy.
An application of peppermint essential oil to the temples is said to be just as effective as ingesting 1,000 mg of acetaminophen, but without the side effects (it was the leading cause of liver failure in the U.S. between 1998 and 2003). The aroma of cool peppermint will reduce the pain of a headache to allow you to get back to work and stop focusing on the pain.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
The acidity and minerals in apple cider vinegar (ACV) have known benefits to alleviate headaches. Minerals, like calcium, potassium and iron are found in unfiltered, raw apple cider vinegar. As it also helps digestion, it can prevent the beginning of a headache caused by digestion problems.
Apple cider vinegar regulates blood sugar spikes, which lowers the chances of some headaches. It can also relieve a sinus headache (and even relieve a sore throat). Apple cider vinegar can be mixed with water, apple juice and honey in a large glass.
3. Drink More Water
Inadequate hydration can result in headaches. Drinking several glasses of clear water throughout the day helps the body stay hydrated and relieve headache pain because of the good minerals found in drinking water. Drinking the wrong liquids during the day, such as sugar-sweetened beverages, highly caffeinated liquids and sodas, commonly causes dehydration. These drinks make the body even thirstier and crave water instead.
One important mineral for the body is magnesium that helps the body control blood sugar. Magnesium supplements are a safe, effective natural remedy for headaches. People who are deficient in magnesium often get frequent migraine headaches. To prevent developing a migraine headache, a high quality daily magnesium supplement can be effective.
5. Vitamin B
B-complex vitamins are micronutrients that help convert food into energy. Several studies have pointed to vitamin B supplements as being protective against headaches, such as vitamin B12, as they can reduce symptoms of headaches and naturally treat symptoms.