Ever get a headache that seems to come out the blue? Depending on what’s going on in your life, most headaches are caused by a variety of health problems like high blood pressure, stress, anxiety, allergies, and more. When it comes to treating them, our first instinct might be to reach for that bottle of Tylenol or Ibuprofen, but there are other (more natural) ways to treat this common ailment. I will list a few of them here, but first let’s take a look at what a headache is.
What is a Headache?
Simply put a headache is a pain or discomfort in the head. They can radiate across the head from a center point or they can generate a piercing feeling from one spot. Headaches can create sharp, dull, or throbbing pains, can appear suddenly or gradually, and can last from a few minutes to a few days. Most headaches are caused by some type of inflammation, constriction, dilation, or irritation of the blood vessels in the head. Since neither your brain tissue or bones in your skull contain pain-sensitive nerve endings, the pain of an actual headache comes from the sensitive nerves that surround these blood vessels.
What Causes a Headache?
There are a variety of factors that can cause a headache. Some of them may be caused by a primary factor that are not necessarily dependent on an underlying illness such as migraines, tension headaches, and cluster headaches or headaches caused by exertion. Others may be caused by a secondary factor where they are a symptoms of an underlying condition like panic attacks, depression, stroke, dehydration, concussion, allergies, and more. These types of headaches are more serious and it is recommended to consult with a qualified physician if you have concerns about having one of these conditions.
Natural Treatments for Headaches
When I prepare natural remedies for common ailments, I always like to think about the energy of both the ailment and the potential remedy. Most headaches I’ve experienced have a constricting, hot, and pulsating energy to them so I try to remedy them with foods that have that opposite energy. Foods that are nourishing, calming, and cooling are a good starting point. Here are my top 4 foods that meet these energetic requirements:
- Oats– If you’re an avid subscriber to my blog, you’ll see me mention oats quite a few times. That’s because this powerful grain works wonders for so many ailments, including headaches. Oats contain headache-fighting compounds like magnesium and B vitamins. They also are a natural nervine, meaning that they both calm and nourish overstimulated nerves. Since the pain of most headaches stem from overstimulated or irritated nerves, oats are always a great remedy to counteract them. I usually prepare steel oats as they have more therapeutic properties than instant oatmeal.
- Bananas- Just like oats, bananas contains B vitamins (Vitamin B6) that help fight headaches. Bananas also contain a good amount of serotonin that help reduce pain and inflammation in the body.
- Watermelon- As a cooling, refreshing, and hydrating food, it’s no wonder that this one made the list. Watermelon is a wonderful food to counteracts secondary headaches caused by dehydration.
- Cayenne Pepper- This food may actually be a bit surprising because its energetics aren’t quite as calm, cool, and nourishing as the others. However, cayenne pepper contains capsaicin which is an excellent pain killer. One simple remedy is to take 1/2 tsp of cayenne and mix it with 8 oz. of hot water. Let it steep for a few minutes and then sip until your headache is relieved.
The natural treatments don’t stop here folks! In fact, I have an excellent tea blend that takes care of those pesky headaches right at my shop. What are some of your go-to remedies for headaches? Share below!
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