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Home Remedies For Headache By Dr. Siddharth Gupta

By Dr Siddharth Gupta +2 more

Introduction: 

Have you experienced pain in or around your head? A pain that feels like a tight band, or a throbbing pain; if yes, don’t worry. We all experience headaches at various times in our lives. Headaches are the most common form of pain and can make you miss a day at work or school.1  


A headache can have many causes, and it is important to understand the cause to treat it. Headaches are usually not related to any serious illness. However, if you experience headaches along with other symptoms, it may be an indication of a serious condition.2 In such cases, it is important that you reach out to your healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis.  

However, for less severe headaches, you can use some home remedies. Continue reading to know more about the possible home remedies!  

Did you know?

  • Two out of three people will have at least one tension headache in their lifetime. source: betterhealth.vic.gov.au
  • Stress can cause or worsen a headache by tightening the muscles, lowering pain tolerance, and reducing the levels of endorphins, the body’s natural pain-relieving chemicals. source: betterhealth.vic.gov.au
  • Fluctuations in blood sugar levels, caffeine withdrawal, food additives like MSG, and naturally occurring chemicals in foods can all cause diet-related headaches. source: betterhealth.vic.gov.au

What Causes Headache: 

When the pain receptors in your head or neck are stimulated, you might experience a headache. Many factors can stimulate the pain receptors, such as  

  • Injury  
  • Tension and stress 
  • Hormonal changes  
  • Eye and dental problems 
  • Dehydration  
  • Hangover  
  • Fatigue  
  • High blood pressure  
  • Poor body posture  
  • Sinus problems 
  • Certain foods 
  • Brain and nerve disorders2 

Also Read: Natural Home Remedies For Good Sleep

Symptoms of Headache: 

Pain in any part of your head can present in different ways depending upon the type of headache.  

Type of headache  Symptoms 
Tension  Pain feels like a tight band around your head 
Cluster  Pain strikes in a group.  
Migraine  Throbbing pain associated with Nausea and vomiting Visual disturbances  Numbness   

If you suffer from a persistent or recurring headache, do consult a physician as it can be an early warning sign of more complicated and serious health issues such as stroke, infection, or high blood pressure, especially if it is associated with breathing difficulties, stiffness in the neck or skin rashes.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj, M.B.B.S., M.D. in Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology

Table 1: Symptoms of different types of headaches2 

Also Read: Home Remedies For Flu By Dr. Rajeev Singh

Home Remedies for Headache: 

Here are some remedies for headache you can try at home.  

1. Butterbur  

Butterbur has a long history of use in fever, wound healing, and muscle spasms. Butterbur root might also be recommended for headaches and migraines. However, butterbur may be associated with side effects like gas and other stomach problems. Also, the use of butterbur should be strictly avoided during pregnancy.3 You may take butterbur powder with a glass of water to reduce the intensity of your headache.  

2. Caffeine  

Caffeine, in the form of coffee, tea and guarana berries, may be used to relieve migraines and headaches. The analgesic (pain relieving) properties of caffeine have been observed in lab studies. However, caffeine should be used cautiously as it can  induce headaches in some people as indicated by a study.3  You may use guarana powder to make tea by boiling some powder in a cup of water. Then, you can sip on this tea to relieve headaches.     

3. Chamomile  

Chamomile has a history of being used for relieving headaches. However, there is insufficient scientific evidence supporting its use. You can take chamomile in the form of tea. Boil some chamomile in water. You can also add honey for taste. You may also inhale chamomile oil using a vaporizer to get relief.3  

4. Peppermint 

Studies supporting the use of peppermint in headaches are insufficient. Inhaling the aroma of peppermint or peppermint oil may help with headaches according to some studies.3 According to other studies, peppermint tea might help. To make peppermint tea, boil few peppermint leaves in water and let it steep in for a while. You can strain this mixture into a cup and add honey for taste. Your peppermint tea is ready to drink. Sipping this peppermint tea may help decrease your headache.    

5. Lifestyle changes  

Making some lifestyle changes can help you manage headaches better. You can start with these practices to help you get rid of headaches.  

  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration 

Dehydration is one of the causes of headaches. Drinking plenty of water may help you avoid dehydration that might cause headache. 

  • Get your eyes tested 

Strain on your eyes or some eye condition can also lead to headaches. Therefore, it is important to get your eyes tested. You should also limit your screen time to avoid unwanted  strain.  

  • Eat a healthy diet 

Eating a healthy diet is the key to maintaining overall health. It may also help manage headaches.  

  • Exercise regularly 

Exercise is another way to stay fit and active. It may also help you reduce stress and help manage headaches caused by stress. 2 

Also Read: Evening Primrose Oil Benefits: A Research-Based Guide to Health Improvements

6. Avoid triggers 

Foods, drinks or drugs that may bring out a headache are triggers. You can avoid these triggers to help you get rid of headaches. However, you will need to keep track of your headaches to identify the triggers that might be causing your headaches.2   

7. Try relaxation techniques 

Stress is an important factor responsible for headaches. You can try some relaxation techniques to reduce stress and the headaches associated with it. There are many relaxation techniques, for example, yoga, meditation or massage. You can also try to relax in a warm bath.2 Choose a technique that works best for you.  

8. Sleep is your friend  

Exhaustion and long working hours are major causes for headaches. To make the best use of short breaksand improve your efficiency, you can try lying down in a quiet and dark room and catch up on some sleep.2,4  Sleep is a good way to relax, regain strength and feel refreshed when you wake up.  

Though studies show the benefits of the given herbs and home remedies for headaches, these are insufficient. Therefore, there is a need for large-scale human studies to establish the true extent of the benefits of these home remedies on human health. Thus, these should only be taken cautiously and never as a substitute for medical treatment.  

Patients should be educated to become more aware of their headache symptoms and triggers. Interventions should be clearly explained to patients.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD(Pediatrics)

Also Read: Home Remedies For Back Pain By Dr. Siddharth Gupta

When to Seek Medical Help:  

You need to seek medical help from a healthcare professional if you experience any of these symptoms along with your headache.  

  • Continuous vomiting  
  • A severe or sudden headache  
  • Neck stiffness, vomiting and light hurts your eyes 
  • Drowsiness or confusion 
  • Unexplained loss in memory 
  • Loss of consciousness  
  • Slurred speech  
  • Difficulty swallowing  
  • Fit or seizure  
  • Rash or fever2 

Contact your healthcare provider if you are getting headaches regularly.2  

You must not rely on home remedies alone to treat headaches. Instead, you should consult a qualified doctor for advice on your condition if the symptoms do not improve with home remedies.   

The role of over-the-counter analgesics in medication overuse headaches must be explained to patients. Patients with all types of primary headaches have the potential to overuse analgesics. They should be counseled on the potential for frequent use of these medications to worsen the intensity and frequency of headaches.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD(Pediatrics)

Also Read: Essential Oils for Headaches: A Research-Based Guide to Natural Relief

Conclusion: 

Headaches are a common occurrence and usually don’t signify anything serious unless accompanied with other symptoms. However, it can make life difficult by negatively affecting your ability to focus on work or any other tasks. You can use some home remedies to relieve headaches. Natural remedies like tea, coffee, chamomile and butterbur can be used to relieve headaches. However, you are advised not to solely depend on home remedies for headache treatment and consult your healthcare professional. It is important to find the cause of your headache to treat it properly. 

I remember a case where one middle age patient ignored his headache and was getting selfmedicated for alleviating the symptom ,he eventually suffered from stroke due to undiagnosed hypertension (which was the cause of his headache).Whenever someone is having headache especially in people above middle age they should visit their physician and get themselves checked so that some undue severe complication can be prevented.

Dr. Nikhil Yadav, MBBS MD,CCEBDM

Also Read: Best Home Remedies For Hypertension By Dr. Rajeev Singh 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

What are the home remedies for headache? 

Some natural remedies for headaches include coffee, tea, chamomile, and butterbur. You can also do a few relaxation techniques, such as yoga or meditation. Avoiding the triggers that might be causing the headache is another way to manage it. 2,3 If the home remedies don’t help, you can talk to your healthcare provider. Don’t rely on home remedies alone for headache treatment.  

What is the best remedy for headache? 

The best remedy for headaches depends on the cause of your headache. A headache caused by stress is best treated by stress management. Lifestyle changes might also help, such as proper diet and exercise. You can take help from your healthcare provider to understand the cause of your headache.4,5   

Can I use coffee to cure a headache? 

Evidence suggests that caffeine might help manage headaches and migraines. However, caffeine could also induce headaches in some people. Therefore, you need to exercise caution.3 The best cure will depend on the cause of headache. A doctor may help you with the diagnosis.  

Can I prevent headaches? 

Making lifestyle changes like proper diet, drinking plenty of water, and regular exercise may help with the long-term management of headaches. Avoiding triggers that might cause a headache is another way to prevent it. Some common triggers for headaches are: 
> Alcohol  
> Stress  
> Caffeine  
> Too much or lack of sleep 
> Hormonal changes in women 
> Bright light  
> Poor working conditions4  

References: 

1. MedlinePlus. Headache [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jul 13]. Available from: https://medlineplus.gov/headache.html 

2. Headache [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jul 13]. Available from: https://www.healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/F_I/Headache 

3. Levin M. Herbal treatment of headache. Headache [Internet]. 2012 [cited 2022 Jul 13];52 Suppl 2:76–80. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23030536/ 

4. Healthdirect. Headaches – types, causes, migraines, treatment, prevention. [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jul 13]. Available from: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/headaches 

5. Better Health Channel. Headache [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jul 13]. Available from: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/headache#treatment-for-headaches 

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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