Ditch the painkillers and try these natural remedies to banish headaches or migraines for good.
Try apple cider vinegar to help a headache
Apple cider vinegar has been used in medicine for thousands of years, so it's worth giving a go for your headaches. Pour a quarter of a cup into a basin with around three cups of boiling water, hold your face above it and cover yourself with a towel to make a soothing steam bath. Stay for five-10 minutes, and then rehydrate with a glass of water.
Acupuncture for headache relief
It may not sound that pleasant, but having needles carefully inserted under your skin can be not only strangely soothing, but may beat your headaches. It's designed to release energy or 'qi' which its practitioners believe gets blocked by the body. It's not usually painful - some people find it very relaxing - and there's scientific evidence that it can help relieve migraine symptoms and tension headaches. Find out more about acupuncture here.
Roll on peppermint oil
There's nothing more cooling than peppermint oil, and applying a dab to your temples during a headache can do wonders to calm inflamed temples.
Stretching to ease headaches
Certain headaches may be a result of a stiff neck or tension in your jaw, so it's worth trying to release these with some simple stretches. Try gently stretching your neck by moving your chin down, up and side to side, without forcing it, as well as gently rolling your head from one side to the front and then the other side. Regular gentle yoga stretches may help reduce frequent headaches too.
Apply ice to a sore head
For quick relief for tension headaches, try holding a cold glass or can of drink against your temple. This area can often feel inflamed during a bad headache or migraine, and cooling it down can often help.
Change your diet to stop headaches
There's evidence that certain food and drinks can trigger migraines, so if you have persistent pain it might be worth taking a look at your diet. Obvious triggers are caffeinated drinks and alcohol, but dairy products including milk and chocolate (sob!) as well as nuts and fermented meats have also been found to cause headaches.
Stop tension headaches with a pencil
You might look a bit crazy, but gently holding a pencil between your teeth can stop tension headaches by helping to relax your jaw muscles. Don't clench or bite, just hold it in place easily and see if that helps.
Try fever few tablets to soothe head pain
The herb fever few helps to widen the blood vessels and release tension, and can either be chewed (although it is bitter) or taken in tablet form.
Buy a houseplant to lessen headaches
While it obviously won't yield instant results, there's evidence that houseplants can reduce the severity of headaches, as well as a host of other health benefits.
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