Got a headache?
Instead of popping those nasty pills filled with chemicals and side effects, wouldn’t you rather use a natural remedy to relieve your discomfort?
In this blog post I will outline some of the most common headaches and what I have used to get rid of them. Ready? (The descriptions of these headaches and their symptoms were obtained from the Mayo Clinic website)
The Cluster Headache
These headaches effect more men than women and occur in cyclical patterns or clusters, which gives the condition its name. Cluster headache is one of the most painful types of headache.
Cluster headache commonly awakens you in the middle of the night with intense pain in or around one eye on one side of your head.
Bouts of frequent attacks, known as cluster periods, may last from weeks to months, usually followed by remission periods when the headache attacks stop completely. During remission, no headaches occur for months and sometimes even years.
Fortunately, cluster headache is rare and not life-threatening.
- Excruciating pain, generally located in or around one eye, but may radiate to other areas of your face, head, neck and shoulders
- One-sided pain
- Excessive tearing
- Redness in your eye on the affected side
- Stuffy or runny nasal passage in your nostril on the affected side of your face
- Sweaty, pale skin (pallor) on your face
- Swelling around your eye on the affected side of your face
- Drooping eyelid
- The pain of a cluster headache is often described as sharp, penetrating or burning. People with this condition say that the pain feels like a hot poker being stuck in the eye or that the eye is being pushed out of its socket.
What I have used on my family members: Young Living’s Deep Relief, Valor and Frankincense seem to have helped relieve the discomfort associated with this particular headache. I rub them over the effected area.
The Tension Headache
A tension headache is generally a diffuse, mild to moderate pain in your head that’s often described as feeling like a tight band around your head. A tension headache (tension-type headache) is the most common type of headache, and yet its causes aren’t well understood.
Treatments for tension headaches are available. Managing a tension headache is often a balance between fostering healthy habits and finding effective nondrug treatments.
- Dull, aching head pain
- Sensation of tightness or pressure across your forehead or on the sides and back of your head
- Tenderness on your scalp, neck and shoulder muscles
What I have used: Fresh air, a long walk, a hot bath using Young Living’s Lavender mixed with epsom salts, layering Valor with Panaway and some Peppermint.
This is the headache I have struggled with over the years. I used to go through boxes of Sudafed to prevent the sinus headache from going into Migraine territory. It was the ONLY thing that worked for me.
Sinus headaches are headaches that may accompany sinusitis, a condition in which the membranes lining your sinuses become swollen and inflamed. You may feel pressure around your eyes, cheeks and forehead. Perhaps your head throbs.
Many people who assume they have sinus headaches, including many who have received a diagnosis of sinus headaches, actually have migraines or tension headaches.
When sinus headaches caused by sinusitis do occur, proper diagnosis and treatment are the keys to relief.
- Pain, pressure and fullness in your cheeks, brow or forehead
- Pain worsening when bending forward or lying down
- Yellow-green or blood-tinged nasal discharge
- Stuffy nose
- Sore throat
- Achy feeling in your upper teeth
- Decreased ability to smell or taste
** According to the Mayo Clinic website, 90% of people who seek help for Sinus headaches are actually suffering from Migraines. See that description below.
What I have used: I have found that the LLP Combination goes a long way to prevent these sinus headaches from ever starting to begin with. If you are unfamiliar with the LLP, it’s Young Living’s Lemon, Lavender and Peppermint (I used 3 drops each). If I think a headache is on the horizon, I also add 3 drops of Copaiba to that combination. As for the effectiveness, I have not purchased a box of Sudafed in over a year and a half.
I have also spoken with others who suffer with sinus headaches and they have stated that RC, Breathe Again and Deep Relief applied over the sinus area brings them comfort.
I used to get about 4 Migraine headaches a year. Then I had my first child and for some reason, it changed whatever chemical makeup was causing the migraines in my system and I rarely get them anymore. To say I am thankful for this is a huge understatement. Migraines are the worst!
Here’s what the Mayo Clinic has to say about Migraines:
A migraine headache can cause intense throbbing or a pulsing sensation in one area of the head and is commonly accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound.
Migraine attacks can cause significant pain for hours to days and be so severe that all you can think about is finding a dark, quiet place to lie down.
Some migraines are preceded or accompanied by sensory warning symptoms (aura), such as flashes of light, blind spots, or tingling in your arm or leg.
An attack can last up to 72 hours.
- Pain on one side or both sides of your head
- Pain that has a pulsating, throbbing quality
- Sensitivity to light, sounds and sometimes smells
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blurred vision
- Lightheadedness, sometimes followed by fainting
What I have used: A hot bath with an ice pack on the top of my head where the concentration of pain is helps a lot. Young Living also has a product called M-grain that many, many people swear by, including me. I basically put it all over my head and neck, but especially on the side of my head that I have the ice pack.
Other Natural and Holistic Websites have also recommended the following alternatives to drugs:
- Lavender Essential Oil
- Peppermint Essential Oil
- Basil Essential Oil
- Change of Diet: Check your sensitivity to dairy; chocolate; peanut butter; certain fruits, such as avocado, banana, and citrus; onions; meats with nitrates, such as bacon and hot dogs, MSG, sulphates (found in red wine)
- DIY Scalp massage
- The herb Feverfew
I have found that a mostly vegetarian diet and exercising outside in fresh air are really important in keeping any kind of headache at bay.
If you are experiencing frequent headaches, or headaches that last longer than a couple of days, please see your doctor, naturopath or chiropractor.
Do you have any tried and true natural remedies for headaches? Let me know!
* I am not a doctor, nor do I play on TV. I am a mom who looks for alternative ways to support her family’s health. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure disease.