Ever since I was a teen, I have been grappling with migraines. Some so intense that it would leave me out of action for at least 3-4 days.While the antibiotics provided the momentary relief, when the effect of the drugs were reducing, the searing pain would be back with a vengeance.
The episode of migraines disappeared for a while and I had almost forgotten what it was like to get a headache, but the joy was short-lived. The headaches are back, but just that this time I chose to steer towards home remedies for headaches rather than popping a pill.
Most of the times, you will notice a pattern that triggers the bouts of headaches. For instance I know my headaches start when I am stressed, sleep deprived or panicking about a situation. Yes, there is loads to be stressed about when you are a mom to hyper twin boys! Over the past few years, some remedies have worked and some haven’t. I have listed remedies that work wonders for me when I sense the onset of a migraine.
Home remedies for headaches
1. A massage
I love massages, especially head massages! When I sense a headache, I warm some pure coconut oil and add 2-3 drops of pure peppermint essential oil to it. I mix it well and start massaging from the roots to the tips. It tingles the senses and the peppermint oil works wonders to curb the intensity of the headache. Note that it does not STOP it, but just reduces the intensity. I like to use the same oil to massage on the temples and the nape of my neck. The peppermint oil warms the areas you massage it in and provide immense relief. If you can get someone to massage the shoulders with this oil, it will provide tremendous relief.
2. Drink Tea
I am not a chai drinker at all. I don’t need that cup of coffee or tea to kick start the day, but yes, once the boys are off to school and the better half is at work, I like to settle down with a cup of fresh tea sans the milk to clear the senses. There are loads of ingredients in the Indian kitchen that you can add to the teas to help you get rid of the headache. I add some crushed ginger to the boiled water and then place the tea bags in it. Ginger helps to relieve the inflammation of the muscles and thus providing relief from a headache. Another variation is to boil basil leaves (tulsi) for about 2 minutes and consume the water.
3. Use a compress
I do have a few compresses at home that help me with the headaches. But if you don’t have one, you can make your own compress is to fold a piece of cotton cloth and keep it in the freezer for about 10 minutes and apply it on the affected areas. If you want to save the to and fro trips to the refrigerator, then put some ice cubes in a bowl of water and dip the cloth and wring out the excess water and apply it on your head. Apply this on the nape of your neck and shoulders too, I have found this technique giving me immense relief.
4. Go for a walk
I know that this isn’t exactly a home remedy, but catching a few breaths in the fresh air will help tremendously. A lot of times I feel suffocated with being inside the home, and if I sense a headache, I take the kids down to park and walk around recharging myself and breathing in lots of fresh air. I like to couple it with a few simple stretches and I actually feel the tension knots easing up and my body relaxing.
5. Eat Almonds
What? Almonds? *roll the eyes*, that was exactly what my first reaction was when I was told that almonds are an awesome way to control the headaches. You know what, it actually is. The flip side is that it is not a medicine that you need to pop into your mouth when you sense the onset of a headache. You need to eat at least two raw almonds a day to keep the headaches at bay. Almonds contain salicin that is known to be a great pain reliever.
There are loads of other ways that you can get rid of the nagging headache too. Indulge in meditation or practise some yoga, eat well and be happy! Of course, one of the main ways would be to ensure that you get adequate sleep. A good 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep works wonders for me!
Did I mention that I am working on making my own headache balm? Well, now I did! So keep a look out for some more updates.
Disclaimer: Please do note that if you are allergic to any of the ingredients mentioned, I suggest that you do not try these recommendations.
Some pics have been sourced from the internet.
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The boys, coffee, books, music and ME TIME are my modes of relaxation!