As you might suspect, I keep up with quite a few forums on Homesteading and Prepping. Yesterday the topic came up, “How do I get rid of headaches and migraines, naturally?” Some of these answers might not surprise you, but I bet the last one will.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical professional, nor an herbalist. Please don’t take this information as gospel. Feel free to research more on your own and ask specialists what they think.
Scented Oils: Whether home made or store bought, oils can be inhaled via a diffuser, or applied topically. So don’t EAT it, please. If you don’t have a diffuser, add a few drops to a pot of boiling water and try breathing that in. (Carefully!)
- Lavender: Helps with headaches and migraines. Breathe in the vapors, or apply topically.
- Basil: Completely edible, basil oil applied topically is a muscle relaxer, stress sometimes being what’s causing your headaches.
- Peppermint: Best inhaled, this eye opener increases blood flow, which can help mental clarity, headaches, even nausea. It’s also been said to boost energy levels.
Avoid Certain Foods:
- MSG (often in bacon or hotdogs, as well as Chinese food)
- Tyramine (found in red wine and pickled foods)
- Dairy, chocolate, bananas, onions, citrus fruits, even peanut butter can all bring on headaches for people. When it comes to diet, it’s best to listen to your own body.
Conversely, omega-3s, which can be taken in pill form, are also found in flax seed. Omega-3’s help with a number of things, including stress, depression and headaches. Avocados have omega-3s but if they’re a food that causes problems for you, try one of the other methods. CoQ10, magnesium and riboflavin are said to help prevent migraines in the first place.
Recently I’ve learned that wild lettuce, often used in a tea form, can be taken for insomnia, anxiety, and pain. Not sure if that includes headaches or not, but figured I would list it, anyhow.
Massage. If you’re blessed enough to have a masseuse on hand, try having them massage not only your shoulders and neck but your scalp and temples too. No one around? This is something you can even do yourself. You know, when you’re lying in a dark room wishing vile things on people who don’t currently have your migraine.
Feverfew and butterbur, both of which I recommend purchasing at a health food store unless you know what you’re doing, are commonly used to treat migraines. They, along with the magnesium and other supplements, should probably be run by your doctor or pharmacist in case of possible drug interactions.
An ice pack on the back of your neck, or more specifically in the occipital area of your skull, is what’s worked best for me, historically. If it’s going to work, it tends work fairly fast. It’s also probably pretty safe.
Ready for the surprising one? Getting your ear pierced! But not just any piercing. This one goes through the cartilage in the center of your ear and is called a daith. Working similarly to acupuncture (which hey you can try that, too, if there’s one near you) the existence of this piercing has been shown to significantly reduce frequency of migraines. Tempted to go get this, myself! Please note that this is NOT recommended by physicians and all evidence supporting it is anecdotal. No scientific studies have yet tested if this makes headaches better or worse. Maybe it’s the placebo effect, but at least it looks cool!