Try these 10 natural remedies for headaches, skip those pills!

Try these 10 natural remedies for headaches, skip those pills!

A headache can really ruin your day. Here are some natural remedies to deal with it.

Written by Anusuya Suresh |Updated : March 26, 2015 3:59 PM IST

Our body has a wonderful protective mechanism that lets us immediately know we are stretching things beyond safe limits. Anytime you miss a meal, don t drink enough water, get too wound up or go without a certain minimum amount of sleep, the first signal your body sends you is a headache a signal you just cannot ignore. This being the case, it makes greater sense to tackle the underlying problem than to pop a painkiller that quells the pain. Here are a few natural remedies you could try to relieve the cause of your headache.

Drink water

When the body is dehydrated, several metabolic processes are affected and the dryness within the system can trigger a headache. When you begin to feel a headache coming on, drink a lot of water; if possible, drink warm water. Besides providing hydration, this step also helps regulate bowel movements and in people who suffer from constipation, drinking warm water can help in elimination of the toxins that are responsible for the headache. Read more about how water is the fuel that keeps our body fit.

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Use ghee

Ghee or clarified butter is a wonderful remedy for headaches. Use a little ghee everyday with hot rice and you will find your bowel movements getting increasingly regular. If constipation is the underlying cause of your headache, the daily use of a little ghee can help you avoid chronic headache. Another way to use ghee is to instill a few drops of ghee into both nostrils and lie down for a while when you feel the headache coming on. There is a type of ghee called Brahmi Ghee ghee fortified with the medicinal herb Brahmi that works very well on migraine headaches. Here is why you should take your headache a lot more seriously.

Massage with essential oils

Essential oils such as lavender, peppermint and eucalyptus have the ability to cause a deep relaxation and this makes them an effective remedy for tension headaches. Take a few drops of any one of these oils onto your fingers and gently rub it into the skin over your temples, forehead and even the back of the neck. Lie down in a quiet, cool and dark room with your eyes gently closed and as you breathe in the vapour of these medicinal oils, you are sure to find your headache reducing in intensity.

If the headache seems to be concentrated in the forehead region, place both your index fingers on either side of the nose bridge between the eyebrows. Press down and move your fingers in circular movements across the eyebrows. This will help to release the tension in the muscles in the front part of the skull.

If you have a tension headache that seems to be squeezing your head, try giving yourself a quick massage on the scalp with some essential oil such as peppermint or lavender oil. The friction and the action of the oil causes blood to circulate more to the scalp and this helps to reduce the spasm of the muscles on the skull, providing relief from the headache. (Read: Why you should take headaches more seriously)

Steam inhalation

Some headaches are a result of congestion in the nasal cavity and the sinuses; in such cases, a few minutes of inhaling steam will help to clear up the congestion and your headache will vanish without a trace. To make the experience even more relaxing, add in a few drops of any of the essential oils mentioned above into the water in your inhaler or neti pot.

Carry a handkerchief or a tissue on which you have dabbed on a few drops of the essential oil. From time to time, take a deep whiff of this and you will find it easier to keep the congestion as well as the headache at bay. Read more about the benefits of steam inhalation.


Sandalwood has wonderful cooling properties. When you have a headache, prepare a little sandalwood paste using water and rub it into your forehead. Leave it on until it dries and after a few minutes, wash away with plain water.


As the name indicates, this therapy involves a stream of liquid dropping all over your head to bring about an immense feeling of relaxation that causes headache to melt away. Many Ayurvedic practitioners offer Shirodhara therapy in which you have to lie on a table with your eyes covered with gauze as a lukewarmmedicated oil mixture gradually drips from a swinging pot positioned above your head. Undergoing this therapy once every few months is also said to be good for overall relaxation and relief from deep-seated stress.

It is good to use natural remedies for headache; but even better is to avoid exposure to the situations that trigger the headache. So make sure you eat on time, include a lot of fiber in your diet, drink enough water, get enough rest and stay calm so you don t have to bear the discomfort of the headache. Treat your body well after all, it s one of the few things you just cannot afford to neglect. Here are 13 foods that can give you a headache.


Along with its digestive properties, ginger is also useful against headache. Harness the pain-killing power of the volatile oil present in ginger just crush a little fresh ginger, boil with water, filter and drink the warm liquid and you will notice a marked reduction in the intensity of your headache. In all probability, this remedy works in keeping with the concept in Ayurveda that headache is triggered by some impairment of the digestive ability of the body. (Read: 10 health benefits of ginger)

Stretching exercises

Headaches are characterized by a feeling of tenseness in the neck, shoulder and scalp. A few simple exercises to stretch these areas can help reduce the intensity of the headaches. Move your chin upwards and downwards, towards left and right alternately and bend the neck sideways towards each shoulder by turns. You can also try to slowly rotate the neck in clockwise and anti-clockwise directions to help the shoulder and neck muscles relax. This relaxation of the tense muscles will reduce the pain of the headache. (Read: Stretching exercises to improve flexibility)

Green tea

With its rich content of antioxidants, green tea is an excellent remedy for headaches. Brew a little green tea and squeeze in the juice of half and lemon and drink warm. (Read: 10 ways green tea keeps you healthy and fit!)

An occasional headache that comes on because of having missed a meal or having missed your habitual cup of coffee in the morning is nothing much to worry about. But if you find yourself suffering from frequent headaches and reaching out for those painkillers more often than once a week, it could be an indication of a deeper ailment. A headache is more like a symptom of some underlying problem than a disorder itself and therefore, it is vital you find out what the matter is.

According to Ayurveda, it could indicate a nervous system that is highly sensitive or a digestive system that is functioning below par. If these natural remedies do not provide much help, visit an Ayurvedic physician to find out what exactly you need to do to heal yourself. (Read: Headaches why you should take them more seriously)

Adopt a healthy lifestyle:

One of the major reasons for a headache are lifestyle factors, and the best way to keep a headache at bay is to simply live better. Making simple changes like eating regularly, not skipping meals, sleeping on time (for eight hours in a day), getting enough exercise and kicking the butt can go a long way in beating a headache.

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