When a headache strikes, check your kitchen for these helpful home remedies.
Home Remedies from the Freezer
Ice. A washcloth dipped in ice-cold water and placed over the pain site is an easy way to relieve a headache. An ice compress works well, too. Place a handful of crushed ice cubes into a zipper-type plastic bag and cover it with a dry washcloth. (A bag of frozen vegetables is a good substitute.) Apply where needed. Whatever method you use, try to apply the cold compress as soon as possible after the headache develops. Relief typically starts within 20 minutes of use.
Home Remedies from the Refrigerator
If you suffer from nausea along with
your headaches, try drinking peach juice.
Peach juice. Drinking peach juice or apricot nectar can help alleviate the nausea that sometimes accompanies a bad headache.
Home Remedies from the Sink
Hot water. If snow is falling and the last thing you want on your head is an ice pack, turn to heat for soothing relief. Dip a washcloth into hot but not scalding water. Squeeze out and apply over your eyes or on the pain site. Leave the compress on for 30 minutes, rewarming as necessary.
Home Remedies from the Spice Rack
Peppermint. A dab of peppermint oil rubbed on the temples can ease a tension headache. Don't try this with children or if you have sensitive skin as the oil can have a burning effect.
Cloves and other spices. Here's a remedy that includes the whole kitchen sink...or should we say the whole spice rack? A blend of scented herbs eases away tension headaches. Look into your spice rack. Do you have dried marjoram, rosemary, and mint? They work well together. And if you have dried lavender and rose petals, they make wonderful additions to the mix. Put 4 tablespoons of each (or whichever you have) into a cloth sachet bag. Add 1 tablespoon cloves. Close up the sachet bag, and whenever you have a headache or feel one coming on, hold the bag to your nose and inhale deeply until you feel it subsiding. (If you don't have a sachet bag, a clean handkerchief works fine.) You can also apply this bundle of herbs to your head when you rest.
Rosemary. Rosemary is a well-recognized folk cure for easing pain in the United States, China, and Europe. One of its constituents, rosmarinic acid, is an anti-inflammatory similar to aspirin and ibuprofen. Since rosmarinic acid is also an important constituent in sage, the two herbs are often combined to make a pain-relieving tea. Place 1 teaspoon crushed rosemary leaves and 1 teaspoon crushed sage leaves in a cup. Fill with boiling water. Cover to prevent the volatile oils from escaping, and steep until the tea reaches room temperature. Take 1/2-cup doses two to three times a day. You don't have to mix the two herbs to benefit from rosmarinic acid, however. If you only have one, make a tea of it alone.
Remember, severe and frequent headaches warrant a trip to the doctor's office. But for occasional headaches, remember these home remedies to find fast relief.