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Natural Ways to Cure a Headache

June 4th, 2013 Healthy Living

Headaches, whether they're migraines or mild head pains, can bring your day to a grinding halt. While over-the-counter painkillers work for many, they can have damaging side effects and don't always cut it. Here are some natural ways to relieve your pain. 

Tylenol, while effective, can damage your liver if you take too much or drink alcohol while on it. Regularly using Advil deteriorates your stomach lining and can elevate your blood pressure. It's also detrimental to anyone with certain pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes. Aleve can, in some cases, cause kidney problems in the user. 

Different kinds of tea
Various herbs are used in both modern and rural cultures to cure headaches. The best and easiest way to ingest these herbs is through tea, which you can make yourself or purchase at a local health food store. Look for teas that include sage, licorice and ginger. You can make tea yourself by steeping peppermint leaves, sage, rosemary or violet petals in hot water. Feel free to experiment with mixing the herbs to better suit your tastes. Add natural lemon juice to your tea or to your water for more of a relieving effect. If you suspect that your headache was brought on by heat, put the tea in the fridge for 20 minutes or add ice. 

Temperature-related cures
Natural News recommends taking a 20-minute shower and drastically altering the temperature every two minutes to improve blood flow. Mild headaches can sometimes be cured simply by placing a cool, damp cloth over your forehead. 

Most headaches are brought on by your surroundings. Being around smoke, pollution, florescent lights and noise can contribute to your condition, in addition to ingesting caffeine or artificial ingredients. If possible, eliminate these factors as soon as you can. Set yourself up in a dim space (if you have a severe migraine, make it as dark as possible) with either minimal or soothing sounds. Smell peppermint or lavender oils or keep a sachet with these herbs nearby. You can also use sandalwood, rosemary or eucalyptus for aromatherapy. 

Eating too many animal byproducts or highly processed foods can cause headaches as well. You can prevent headaches by making a point of eating foods closer to the source. If you're a regular caffeine drinker, you may experience frequent dehydration or withdrawals, both of which can lead to headaches. Replace coffee with tea and always drink plenty of water. 

Headaches are frequently caused by stress, emotions or lack of sleep. To avoid all of the above, get around eight hours of sleep every night. Don't take on more tasks than you can handle and strive to meditate for 20 minutes every day to reduce stress. If you already have a headache, sometimes the only way to get rid of it is to sleep it off after trying one or more of these home remedies. 

Balms provide instant relief and are often applied directly to the area that's in pain. They work by providing a cooling or warming sensation and often incorporate aromatherapy. You can rub lavender or peppermint oil under your nose to get the scent without having to consistently smell a vile. Balms with mint, eucalyptus, cloves and cajuput oil are available at most grocers. Just rub the balm directly onto temples or where the pain is most noticeable. You can also rub lemon rinds onto your forehead to alleviate pain. 

Headaches might be indicative of a worse problem, such as high blood pressure, a vitamin deficiency or an allergy to a food or medication. If you're experiencing regular headaches or headaches that don't go away with treatment, see your primary care physician as soon as you can.