As migraine sufferers are well aware, migraines often get brushed aside as nothing more than a common complaint. Don’t you just feel sometimes that people are secretly saying, “Quit-your-whining-and-start-working?” While many people suffer with a headache at some point in their lives, even the worse headache cannot be the judge where migraines are concerned. While the pain of a headache can make day-to-day life miserable, often heading for the medicine cabinet for an aspirin can remedy the situation. The same cannot be said for migraine sufferers.
When you take over-the-counter pain meds all you’re doing is covering up your symptoms and ignoring the real issue of what triggers the migraine. Natural remedies for migraines may take a bit more thought than simply popping a pill, but don’t push them aside. They won’t wreak havoc on your body like other over-the-counter or prescription pain-killers do, and you’re less likely to become so dependent on them.
Here are a few natural remedies you can try:
1. Crush it with cayenne
Although using something spicy may not sound that helpful, cayenne is revered in the natural remedies realm for treating pain and inflammation. The secret is capsaicin. This is the key ingredient for cayenne and inhibits pain in our body. When applied topically to the nasal passages, people experience a significant decrease in the severity of their headaches.
What you need…
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
4 ounces of warm water
Dilute a ½ teaspoon of cayenne powder in 4 ounces of warm water. Soak a cotton swab in the solution and stir it around to make sure it’s covered-the powder can sometimes sink to the bottom.
2. Use an apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has a long history as a natural remedy for various ailments. Some studies have proven its effectiveness in treating certain illnesses, but if you find yourself coming down with a throbbing headache, try getting some good quality apple cider vinegar (like Braggs) and use it as a steam treatment.
What you need…
1/4 cup of apply cider vinegar
3 cups of boiling water
1 cup of fresh cool water
Pour ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar into a large bowl, and then fill the bowl halfway with boiling water. Place a towel over your head so that it drapes over the bowl, and hold your face over it. Make sure your face isn’t so close that it gets burned by the steam. Do this for 5-10 minutes, or when the water starts to cool down, breathing in and out deeply the whole time. When you’re done, use the towel to pat your face dry, and then drink a glass of cold water.
3. Stretch, relax, and breathe
We live such fast paced lives which are filled with stress. Our bodies react to this by tensing and knotting up muscles, usually in the upper back, neck, and shoulders. To help heal these migraines and headaches you may find these helpful suggestions:
Yoga: Yoga will get your mind focused, stretch out your muscles, and get you moving in ways that can help release the tension. Just doing a few moves when the pain starts can help (although often hard to make yourself when you are distraught from the pain). The best thing to do is a set aside a few minutes each day to practice regularly and prevent headaches before they happen.
Breathe: If your head is pounding, then it’s likely you are not getting the maximum amount of oxygen you need. In general, our breathing is too shallow, and when we are experiencing pain or stress, we definitely breathe too shallow. Make a conscious effort to take deep, full, breaths that start in your diaphragm and fill up your lungs. This will get plenty of fresh oxygen circulating through your blood and will also help relax your mind and body.
4. Use ginger root
Ginger root, a natural alternative that helps with nausea and inflammation. Taking some ginger can help with migraines by calming down the nausea and inflammation often leading to headaches. Simply sip a nice steaming cup of ginger root tea and relax while you wait for your headache to ease up.
What you need…
3 quarter size slices of ginger root
2 cups of water
Slice 3 slices off of a piece of raw ginger root, with each being roughly the size of a quarter. Gently simmer the pieces of ginger in 2 cups of water, covered, for 30 minutes.Carefully remove the pieces of ginger and pour into a mug. Sip slowly and breathe in the steam if you want. Relax!
As you know, throbbing pain in the head really makes it hard to function. While over-the-counter pain killers or even prescription pain medicines may temporarily relieve the discomfort, they’re not going to prevent headaches from returning full force in the future. If this is the position you find yourself in, give some thought to giving some natural remedies a try. In the long-run this is the greatest migraine preventative I have found that works.