As reported by the World Health Organization, from half to three-quarters of adults worldwide experience at least one headache annually, with 30 percent of them experiencing migraines. Headache is debilitating and agonizing, leaving the sufferer unable to leave the bed and perform day-to-day activities.
When it comes to headaches, the pain can be attributed to many different factors, including allergies, stress, alcohol, lack of sleep, drugs, poor diet, and nutritional deficiencies. Unfortunately, many people reach for painkillers instead of looking for the underlying cause and fixing it at the first place.
Painkillers provide relief in most cases, but the problem is that they come with many side effects on the long run, such as digestive distress, ulcers, asthma, and even heart failure.
5 All-Natural Ways to Beat Headaches
1. Get Hydrated
According to a study done by the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, dehydration is often the cause of headaches. Besides drinking an insufficient amount of water, people also consume caffeine, alcohol, and fuzzy drinks which come with dehydration properties. Therefore, the next time you experience a headache, reach for a tall glass of water first.
To avoid getting dehydrated, drink enough water so that you never get the chance to get thirsty. In addition, consume fruits and veggies which are high in water content, such strawberries, cauliflower, spinach, and cucumber.
2. Supplement with Magnesium
Magnesium is vital mineral used by the body for over 300 biochemical processes, such as helping bones remain strong, regulating blood glucose levels, boosting immunity, supporting the production of protein and energy, etc. Unfortunately, it is estimated that nearly 80 percent of people are deficient in this mineral.
Those who suffer from migraines are usually low in magnesium, but taking magnesium supplements is much safer than taking a painkiller. Only 200-600 mg magnesium daily help prevent visual and sensory changes which are typical for a headache.
3. Try Essential Oils
Essential oils are the most concentrated form of a plant, as they are made by extracting the organic compounds from the plant itself. They have been widely used for medicinal purposes for a very long time now, especially two of them, which are said to do wonders for headaches.
Peppermint oil increases the blood flow when applied to the forehead, which in turn soothes muscle contractions and relieves a headache. Lavender oil is also shown to effectively treat migraines. According to a 2012 study, 92 out of 129 headache attacks were eliminated when the participant inhaled lavender oil.
4. Give Up Gluten
Recently, many of the negative health aspects of gluten have been publicly revealed, which led to the appearance of many products that are free of protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. This is of utmost importance for people suffering from Celiac disease, due to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness finding that those with undiagnosed celiac disease and migraine headaches reduced their symptoms after giving up gluten.
Even though media indicates that those with celiac disease are the only ones who should eliminate gluten, the truth is that people with gluten sensitivity should stay away from it, too. To see whether this applies to you, avoid gluten for three weeks and then reintroduce it into your diet to see what happens.
5. Move and Stretch
Stretching is the simplest and cheapest way to relieve a headache! According to a 2012 study one by Finland`s Department of Physical Medicine, women who participated in a stretching program noted a 69 percent decrease in both frequency and severity of their headaches.
Aim at taking a break every half an hour to hour and do some stretching, particularly if you work at a desk. It is also recommended to practice yoga, which is one of the best ways to loosen muscles, increase circulation, and relieve tension.