There will probably be none among us who have not experienced headache in their lifetime at least once. Headaches of different sorts are considered as the most common ailments that people experience across the globe. Even though headaches are not life threatening, it can be a debilitating experience preventing us from performing the daily activities properly. The throbbing pain and discomfort caused by severe headaches are most of the times unbearable and hence, frequent headaches make life miserable.
Headaches can vary from mild to severe depending on the intensity of pain and discomfort and can be caused by migraines, hormonal imbalances, nervous system disorders, poor digestion, stress and anxiety, constipation, allergies and kidney-related issues. Tension headache is the most popular kind of headache. It is necessary to treat the underlying issues to become free from recurrent headaches.
Most of us are in the habit of swallowing over the counter pills to get instant relief from headaches. But herbs are the best and safest alternative medication to cure headaches of all kinds. Both general tension headaches and migraine headaches can be effectively kept at bay by certain valuable herbs.
8 Herbal Remedies For Headaches
Peppermint, which is touted as one of nature’s great relaxers, has been used as an effective pain reliever since the time of the ancient Greeks. Menthol is the chief active compound in peppermint. Rubbing peppermint oil onto the temple and forehead can give relief from throbbing headaches.
Drinking a cup of peppermint tea is really helpful in soothing muscles. Peppermint functions as an effective pain buster thanks to the palliative, antibacterial, antispasmodic, decongestant, and cooling properties contained in menthol. Peppermint extract can be consumed in the form of teas, tinctures and capsules.
Feverfew is a very useful herb that is packed with a range of remarkable properties that alleviate headaches and migraines. Experience shows that daily consumption of 1-2 fresh leaves of feverfew helps in significantly preventing and reducing the severity of headaches and migraines. Feverfew performs better in treating migraines than regular headaches. The herb contains an array of compounds known as sesquiterpene lactones, which control the discharge of compounds that cause inflammation, and avert the release of neurotransmitter serotonin.
The herb also effectively stops blood vessels from contracting, which is the reason for most of headaches. This popular remedy for migraine headache is also helpful in treating arthritis and stomach upsets. This herb is available in fresh, freeze-dried and dried forms. People who suffer from blood disorders should steer clear from using feverfew, since the herb might thin the blood. Pregnant and nursing women are also advised not to consume it.
Skullcap is an important herb that has been traditionally used to treat headaches, especially the sinus related ones. It works by alleviating inflammation that can aggravate a sinus headache. It helps in relaxing facial and neck muscles. The herb is also packed with antifungal and antiviral elements. Sedative and anti-spasmodic properties contained in this herb relieve the person from stress and anxiety-related headaches.
In, known by the scientific name Verbena officinalis is a favorite herbal remedy for headache for ancient Romans, Celtic cultures and American Indians from centuries. This therapeutic herb is loaded with sedative and relaxant properties and hence serves as a brilliant pick for stress-induced and tension-related headaches. The herb is also excellent in giving relief from nervous system fatigue.
White Willow Bark
White willow bark is a very popular headache herbal remedy. This analgesic herb has to be taken in combination with some other headache relieving herb to treat the underlying cause. The main active element in the herb is salicin. Willow bark is more suitable in treating mild to moderate headaches. The anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving components in the herb considerably reduce pain and act as aspirin.
A tea made of powdered willow bark can be consumed to get instant relief from sinus-related headaches. The antibacterial, antioxidant and immune-enhancing potentials of the herb make it a beneficial aromatic plant to treat fever and fever-relate headaches.
Cayenne pepper has been traditionally used by many cultures around the world as a miracle herb to cure headaches. This hot and spicy herb is known to heal pain, swelling, digestive tract disorders, headaches, stinging throat, etc. The active ingredient in cayenne is capsaicin, which lessens the particular neurotransmitter that facilitates the spread of pain urges.
The herb is also known for its ability to perk up immunity. People who suffer from stomach disorders are advised to steer clear from consuming it. It cures headaches and other pains by promoting blood circulation in a faster pace. Healthy and vigorous blood surge throughout the body aids in cell repair. Topical application of cayenne is preferred in treating headaches rather than oral consumption. Rubbing a balm containing cayenne extract will give instant relief from throbbing headaches.
Mullein, known by the scientific name verbascum thapsus, is loaded with anti-viral properties. Besides neck and back induced headaches, this herb is also beneficial in treating anxiety-related and digestive based headaches. The antihistamine properties of the herb make it an excellent therapeutic medicine in treating headaches attributable to allergies.
It is preferable to consume it in the dried or capsule form rather than in the fresh leaf form. This gentle herb is effective in treating sinus-related headaches and works by lessening dampness and sinus drainage. Analgesic compounds contained in the herb make it an effective pain reliever.
This commonly found herb in the kitchen shelves is an effective headache killer. Ginger contains anti-inflammatory properties and has long been known to relieve and prevent headaches. Ginger works as a pain buster more effectively if taken in combination with feverfew. Experience shows that ginger tablets taken at the onset of migraine, helps in reducing its severity. Drinking ginger tea at the first signs of a throbbing headache is beneficial in preventing its progression. Applying a paste of dried ginger powder on the temple and forehead can be of great help in getting soothing relief from headaches.
Besides these herbal remedies, headaches can be prevented by adopting certain lifestyle and diet changes. Engaging in relaxation techniques, yoga, physical activities etc, help a lot in relieving tension and stress and the related headaches. Switching to a nutritional diet consisting more of fresh fruits and vegetables and drinking lots of water are also beneficial in avoiding headaches.