Lavender oil can be either inhaled or applied topically. Two to four drops for every two to three cups of boiling water are recommended when inhaling lavender oil vapors as a headache treatment. Unlike many medicinal oils, this home remedy can also be safely applied externally without the need to dilute it. Lavender oil should not be taken orally.
6. Cayenne Pepper
Did you know that cayenne pepper can be used in migraine remedies? Actually, cayenne contains capsaicin, a potent pain reliever. In fact, this phytochemical blocks pain signals to the brain.
“Topical capsaicin acts in the skin to attenuate cutaneous hypersensitivity and reduce pain by a process best described as ‘defunctionalization’ of nociceptor fibres. This defunctionalization is due to a number of effects that include temporary loss of membrane potential, inability to transport neurotrophic factors leading to altered phenotype, and reversible retraction of epidermal and dermal nerve fiber terminals,” writes the British Journal of Anaesthesia (9)
- Mix one-half to one teaspoon of cayenne pepper in a cup of warm water.
- Optionally, add some lemon juice and honey to improve the taste as well as health benefits.
- Drink this as needed.
In addition, cayenne promotes blood flow to provide oxygen and nutrients throughout the circulatory system. One study found that capsaicin, when applied to the inside of the nostrils, can rapidly alleviate migraines. If you opt for trying this, be aware that cayenne can cause a burning sensation, so apply it with a carrier oil in very small amounts. (10)
Nuts can be a trigger for migraines in some people but can alleviate it in others. The salicin in almonds stimulates the production of melatonin, a brain hormone involved in sleep patterns. Melatonin reduces pain reception and can prevent migraines in those who regularly suffer them. In fact, salicin is also an agent in popular over the counter killers.
For everyday tension-type headaches, almonds can be a natural remedy and a healthier alternative to other medicine. Try eating a handful or two of these wholesome nuts when you feel the ache start to set in.
8. Feverfew Tea
This herb is an effective pain reliever thanks to a substance called parthenolide, a muscle relaxer, and antispasmodic compound. A British study found feverfew effective in preventing chronic migraines and reducing pain intensity when they do occur. (11)
- 1 ounce fresh or dried feverfew flowers
- 1 pint of boiling water
- Add 1 ounce of fresh or dried feverfew flowers to 1 pint of boiling one.
- Steep for 10 minutes, and then strain.
- Drink half a cup twice a day as needed.
9. Take a Bath
A virtual panacea, a warm bath is the simplest of migraine home remedies. First, the warm water is soothing and comforting. A quiet, dark bathroom adds to the feeling of relaxation. Next, Epsom salts replenish depleted minerals, especially magnesium, a deficiency of which can cause headaches and muscle tension. Lastly, the addition of essential oils reduces stress and calms down pain receptors.