What do you do when your head is pounding, but you don’t want to take medicine? Try these natural remedies for headache relief! As a sufferer of chronic headaches for more than half my life, I know how debilitating they can be. Regardless of whether you experience chronic migraines or even just the occasional sinus headache, there is only so much pain you can take before you need to find some sort of relief.
Over the counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen, aspirin, acetaminophen, and naproxen mask your pain, but if you suffer from frequent headaches, you may not want to take these medications on a regular basis, especially if you are pregnant or nursing. What natural remedies exist for headache relief? Check out a few of our favorite ideas!
Related –> 7 Home Remedies to Soothe a Sore Throat
Natural Remedies for Headache Relief
Affiliate links included below. As always, please talk to your doctor before using any herbs or supplements, especially if you have a preexisting medical condition. This is not meant to be taken as medical advice.
- Water, water, water! Many of us do not drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day, and dehydration can cause headaches. Before you try anything else, drink 16 to 32 ounces of water and relax for 20-30 minutes. In some cases, restoring your hydration is all it will take to make your headache go away.
- Visit the chiropractor. About every 2 weeks, I realize I have a constant dull pain at the nape of my neck. When I go in to see my chiropractor, inevitably the same 2 vertebrae in my neck are out of alignment. With a quick adjustment, the pain is immediately relieved and the residual pain I had in my forehead is also gone. When vertebrae are misaligned, the nerves that pass through that area of your spine are affected – misalignment in the neck can be associated with headaches and sinus trouble.
- Essential oils. There has been a huge rise recently in the use of essential oils, and for a good reason – aromatherapy can be traced back to 3500 BC! If you experience tension headaches, try rubbing peppermint oil across your forehead and on your temples. Lavender oil can be used with stress headaches, and studies have shown it is also effective at reducing the pain of a migraine. Apply lavender oil to the back of your neck, temples, and inside of the wrists, or add lavender oil to a bath or use a diffuser.
- Cut out or limit caffeine. I love coffee, and I drink more than I should. I get a headache if I don’t have caffeine, but I also know I will get one if I have too much. I have learned what the right balance is for me (although some days staying awake is more important than avoiding a headache). If you suffer migraines, caffeine may be a trigger. Pay close attention to your caffeine intake and the onset of headaches. If you believe the two could be related, try going caffeine-free for at least a week (it may take 3-4 days for the caffeine-withdrawal headaches to stop).
- Chew some gum. We’re talking minty gum, not Bubble Yum. For the same reason peppermint, essential oil may help with a headache, give mint gum a try. If you experience nausea as a result of your headaches, you may also find that the mint will help soothe your upset stomach.
- Keep a food diary. While you may not have a food allergy, you could have a food sensitivity. For a week or two, track everything you eat and drink and note the time. Then, note when a headache comes on. Common food sensitivities that may trigger headaches include MSG, sugar, dairy, gluten, and chocolate. Even if you don’t entirely cut out foods that cause headaches for you, at least you’ll know what to expect!
- Massage your sinuses. If you get sinus headaches, you know that sometimes the pressure is unbearable. Using your index fingers in a circular motion, massage your sinus cavity just inside both eyebrows near the bridge of your nose. After 20-30 seconds switch to the hollow area outside the bridge of your nose at the inside edges of your cheekbones. The massage may hurt quite a bit at first, but it will help to loosen the congestion that could be causing your pain. Check out the video below for how to massage your sinuses.
- Take your vitamins. – Studies have shown that Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and magnesium may help reduce the frequency and possibly duration of migraines. Also, increasing your levels of Vitamin D may impact how you perceive pain. Make sure to talk with your doctor regarding what dosage is safe for you if you are interested in supplementing.
While many of us suffer from regular headaches, we don’t have to! Making some lifestyle changes such as increasing water consumption, limiting trigger foods, and managing stress may help reduce or even eliminate your headaches.
27 thoughts on “8 Natural Remedies for Headache Relief”
I didn’t know that chewing gum can be a remedy for headache. Thanks for sharing all these natural remedies.
As someone who’s suffered from headaches, I agree with all your tips! The one that I use when all else fails is some peppermint oil on my temples.
These are some great tips. I suffer from constant headaches and it usually ruins my day. I hate taking medication all the time and I will definitely have to take a look into these tips.
I get headaches often because of my allergies, so this post is fantastic to me. Totally going to try some of these remedies.
Perfect timing. I have a terrible cold and sinus headache. Trying these right away. I just watched the sinus massage video. It’s so helpful!
Water and peppermint oil really helps me. I will have to try some of these too!
Thanks for sharing this idea! I love natural remedies, safer for our health
I usually just take a rest or take a nap. But if I can’t take it anymore, then I take medicine. I use essential oils too from time to time.
I will never forget the time I got a migraine when I was in my early twenties in the middle of the night and all of the stores near me were closed. It was horrible. I wish I knew about some of these that night.
Narrowing down causes is a great way to start to try to get a handle on it.
I dont drink nearly enough water. I’ll have to chug some water when i feel a headache coming on and see if that helps before i resort to ibuprofen.
Thanks for the tips.
I have been drinking a lot more water lately and my headaches have been getting better. These are great natural home remedies.
This is going to come in handy. My husband and I have both been having lots of headaches lately.
I don’t get headaches, but I do get migraines. I actually had tried two different prescriptions from my doctor, and finally with the third one I think it worked, because I only get them about once a week now. I also agree about the essential oils though. They’re great!
My sinuses always seem to cause a headache. I woke up this morning with one. I ended up taking some motrin and a decongestant. The base of my neck is hurting again today. I am scheduled to start physical therapy again soon.
These are all great tips for natural remedies for headaches. Water is the first thing I go for when I have a bad headache. I have found that putting a ice pack on my neck helps too. Thanks for sharing the tips.
These are great tips! I have always heard that hydration is key. I also just started using essential oils!
As a migraine sufferer, I can say these are good tips. I love my essential oils and mix Peppermint with Lavendar and diffuse it. I can’t cut out caffeine but find that it will help my migraines.
I suffer from bad headaches often so I am so glad that I came across this post. I always prefer to try natural remedies before reaching for medicine.
Wonderful tips. I get frequent headaches so this will come in handy. I haven’t tried essential oils yet.
Such good tips! I always try natural remedies first. Usually some water and peppermint oil does the trick.
Great post! Headaches are something I deal with on a daily basis!! I love using essential oils when i get them in the middle of the night! Chiro is undeniably the best solution!
I am so glad to learn about these natural remedies for headaches. Now that I am pregnant, I find that I am getting more headaches, but don’t want to take medicines if at all possible.
Anddddd I’m bookmarking this post! I get these annoying headaches quite a bit (it’s hormonal!) so that time of the month comes and BAM! there it is the stupid headache! Anyway, I’ll have to try some OR ALL of your remedies…thanks!
This is such wonderful information. I get chronic headaches, and I hate having to take medication. I will definitely be trying these the next time I get a headache.
Thank you so much for sharing this. I shy away from medications whenever possible, so this will definitely be a big help for me.
I really enjoyed reading your post. I thought your post was beautifully written. Thank you very much.