Headaches, How to Tackle them with Natural Remedies
Although common, headaches can definitely be a pain and can get in the way of your daily life.
Although normal headaches might not stop you from actually living your day to day life, they can range in severity, and even minor ones can be annoying.
There are so many different types of headaches as well, including the common tension headaches, cluster headaches and more severe migraines. There are many different reasons that you might develop a headache. If they are becoming intolerable, or you are experiencing any other symptoms with them, it is important that you visit your doctor to rule out any other underlying health problems that can be causing them.
Although there are a lot of over the counter medications that are available, aimed to target specific types of headaches, there are also a lot of natural remedies that you can try and are often more effective than some of the medication you can buy.
Drink plenty of water:
More often than not, our headaches are caused by inadequate hydration. Research has backed this up as well, with studies indicating that chronic dehydration is often the cause of both tension headaches and migraines.
Drinking water is proven to relieve headaches, in as little as 30 minutes, although it can take a few hours to feel the full effect of this hydration. On top of this, there are other great benefits for your health, including improving your concentration and reducing irritability, all which often come alongside having a headache.
Prevent further dehydration headaches by drinking plenty of water throughout the day, and eating food that is high in water as well.
Avoid drinking alcohol:
When you have a headache often the last thing you will want to do is to drink some alcohol, but it really should come as no surprise that studies have indicated that drinking alcohol can actually trigger migraines in about one-third of people who suffer from regular headaches. Studies indicate that it has also been shown to cause tension and cluster headaches in a number of people as well.
So, why does alcohol do this? It is a vasodilator, which means that it widens blood vessels and allows the blood to flow more freely, which can cause headaches to develop. More commonly as well, alcohol makes you dehydrated because it acts as a diuretic, which causes the body to lose fluid and electrolytes through more frequent urination.
Make sure that you are getting enough sleep:
Just like dehydration, another hugely common cause for headaches is sleep deprivation. This can be incredibly detrimental to your overall health, so it is important to ensure that you are getting adequate sleep.
One study showed that those who regularly got inadequate sleep, or a poor quality of sleep got more frequent and more severe headaches, compared to those who did.
On the flip side though, don’t sleep for hours and hours, as getting too much sleep has also been shown to trigger headaches. Experts recommend getting between seven to nine hours sleep each night for it to be of the best benefit to our health.
Avoid foods that are particularly high in histamines:
This chemical is found naturally in our body, and plays a vital role in the immune, digestive and nervous system; but it can also be found in high levels in certain foods, such as aged cheeses, fermented food, beers, wine, smoked fish and cured meat.
Studies have suggested that having too much histamine in our bodies can actually cause migraines in those who are sensitive to it. On top of this, some people are also unable to excrete histamine properly because they have an impaired function of the enzyme that is responsible for breaking it down.
Cutting these foods from your diet could be a useful strategy for those who get frequent headaches.
Drink caffeinated tea and coffee:
We are always told about the negative effects that caffeine can have on our health, but actually sipping on tea and coffee, or any beverage that contains caffeine could actually provide relief when you are suffering from a headache.
Caffeine can help to improve your mood, increase your alertness, and constrict the blood vessels, which can all have a positive effect on reducing headaches.
On top of this, if you do choose to take any over the counter medications, it can also help to increase the effectiveness of them. Be mindful of your intake though, as too much caffeine can have negative health implications, and caffeine withdrawal has also been shown to cause headaches.
Try practising some yoga:
Yoga is a really great way of helping to relieve stress, increase flexibility, decrease pain, and generally improve your overall quality of life. Research has suggested as well that taking up yoga could actually help to reduce the intensity and frequency of headaches as well.
Studies have found that people who practised yoga for three months had a significant reduction in headache frequency, severity and associated symptoms, compared with those who did not practise yoga.
Sip on some ginger tea:
Ginger is a great natural remedy and is packed full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Sipping on ginger tea could also help to relieve headaches and migraines as well.
Studies have suggested that it is actually as effective as the sumatriptan, which is what is commonly given to those who suffer from debilitating migraines.
Ginger can also help to relieve nausea and vomiting, which are all common symptoms that are associated with more severe headaches.
If you do not like the taste of ginger, you can try taking a ginger capsule, which is just as effective.