How To Decipher a Headache and Treat It Naturally

headache

I have a long history with headaches.  I had them a lot as a teenager, into my college years, and on into adulthood.  I had horrendous ones in each pregnancy during the first trimester. For most of my headaches I simply took a pain reliever {such as Tylenol} because I knew of nothing else to do and the pain was unbearable, leaving me unable to function normally.

It wasn’t until I studied why we have headaches and how it’s best to deal with the root cause, that I was finally able to treat 99% of my headaches completely naturally.  I also rarely have headaches now that I know how to prevent them.  Let me share a few reasons we have headaches.

How To Decipher a Headache and Treat it Naturally

Liver Damage

For me, most of my headaches came from a damaged liver due to unnecessary prescriptions I took as a teenager {before I knew better}.  As I discussed last week, Tylenol-like products are not good for the liver, and I was foolishly taking Tylenol for my headaches, which further damaged my liver.  And what does a damaged liver cause?  Right.  More headaches.  I was on a vicious merry-go-round with this issue and didn’t realize I was making the root cause even worse.  When Bulk Herb Store came out with a mixture of herbs for cleansing and detoxing the liver, I purchased the mix and made my own tincture.  This started my journey of healing my liver and ridding myself of the headaches caused by it.  My headaches reduced dramatically after taking this tincture for a month or so.  You can read how to make the tincture here.  Even if your headaches are not caused by a damaged liver, it’s a good idea for all of us to cleanse our liver once a year to make sure it’s in top shape.  The liver is a vital organ that we have to keep healthy!  If you are not a DIY person, you can check out a product like Liverglow from Mountain Meadow Herbs.

Dehydration

Headaches from dehydration can occur all over the head, or the back, front, or sides of the head.  Our brains are made up of a large percentage of water.  {I’ve read between 73% and 99%, so somewhere in the middle is probably right. :) }  Lack of water causes our brains to slightly shrink and trigger pain receptors in the head. {Source}  If you have a headache and realize you haven’t been drinking enough water that day, reduce physical activity and drink lots of water.  We need several glasses of water a day to keep our bodies functioning healthy.  I have experienced many headaches go away by simply taking it easy and drinking liquids.

Sinus

Sinus headaches are often caused by an infection or blockage of some sort.  It can be identified by constant pain in the forehead, cheekbones, or bridge of the nose.  The pain normally intensifies with sudden movement or straining. {Source}  I had a terrible clogged sinus headache a few months back.  I decided to be clumsy that day, and cracked my forehead on the corner of a wall.  I hit it hard enough to hear the crack and leave a nice looking lump between my eyes, and boy did it hurt!  The nice thing was that it immediately opened up my sinuses and took the headache away.  Here’s to exchanging one pain for the other! :)  I do have to say that the lump on my forehead gave me much less pain than that terrible sinus headache. ;)  I don’t recommend this method though; I just thought I’d share that it does work to bash your forehead on something sharp to relieve sinus congestion. ;)

So what can you do for sinus headaches besides bashing your forehead?  I have found that rubbing Dr. Christopher’s Sen Sei Menthol Rub in the sinus areas works really well in opening things up.  Rub a small amount {it’s very potent} wherever the headache is, or along the forehead, nose bridge, cheekbones, and even under the nose so that you are breathing it in.  I actually have used this for all types of headaches.

Mullein-Leaf-Cut-Organic

You can also make a mullein steam by bringing a quart of water to a boil.  Add 1 cup of mullein leaf, remove from heat and cover with a lid for a few minutes.  There’s no need to strain since you are not drinking this. Add 3 drops of eucalyptus oil to make this even more effective! Hold your head over the pot and cover your head with a towel or blanket to create a tent of sorts.  Breathe in the steam deeply into your nose and mouth.  Be careful because it is hot.  Repeat as needed to clear sinuses and congestion.

Tension

A tension headache is the most common type of headache for most people.  It can be caused by dehydration {as we’ve already mentioned}, but it can also be caused by lack of sleep, skipping meals, eye strain, and stress, to name a few.  Tension headaches can include pain in the neck, shoulders, and anywhere on the whole head.  If I have a bad tension headache, I do the following:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Use Dr. Christopher’s rub that I mentioned above
  • Use Reflexology by finding sore spots on my hands and feet and rubbing them off and on until the soreness goes away.  This could even mean rubbing the spot off and on throughout the day for days or a week or so.  Sore spots in our reflexes tell us that something is not functioning right in the body and rubbing the spots send healing to the needed area.
  • I sip on cayenne water.  Read instructions here.
  • I sleep and rest if I can

You may think that it would be a lot easier to just pop a pain reliever in the mouth, but those pain relievers are not good for you and they only cover up the symptoms and do not deal with the root cause.  They can even make the cause and your overall health worse.  It only takes a few more minutes and a little more effort to treat a headache naturally, but it will be for the betterment of your health. :)

Another option is natural chiropractic adjustments.  I knew of a lady that had to take pain relievers every day for her headaches.  She had a few adjustments {I highly recommend a natural chiropractor and not the traditional pop-and-crack adjustment}, and her headaches completely went away!  She was so out of line that it caused pinched nerves to give her daily headaches.

I very rarely have to take pain relievers for headaches since using these natural treatments to get to the root cause.

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Do you suffer from headaches?  How do you treat them?

Linked to:

A Mama’s Story    What Joy Is Mine    The Modest Mom

My Favorite Home Remedy for Migraines/Headaches

I’ve had problems with headaches and migraines off and on for years, (which I now believe is due to taking too many antibiotics) and most times I’ve had to take a pain reliever to get any kind of relief.  My headaches can turn into migraines, which include light sensitivity, loss of appetite, nausea, and even vomiting – and I have to do something quick for them when they get bad (because I hate to throw up! :))- which normally means taking pain relievers (which only damages my liver further).

I have discovered my favorite remedy for my migraines and headaches!

Since using this new remedy, I have not had to use any pain relievers to get rid of my headaches, no matter how bad they are!

My Favorite Home Remedy for Migraines/Headaches

What is this remedy? ~ Cayenne!
Cayenne-Pepper-LB  
Cayenne pepper increases blood circulation and immediately equalizes blood pressure, which relieves pressure in the head.  In the past, nothing has helped my bad migraines except unhealthy pain relievers…. until cayenne! I am so thankful for this herb!!!
What I do is very simple:
Place 1/2 tsp. of cayenne pepper in 8 oz. of water (hot or cold – if you use hot water, it will “steep” the cayenne and make the drink even hotter).
Sip the cayenne mixture until headache is gone.
*I also have a glass of cold water to sip along with the cayenne water to cool my tongue. :)*
In my experience, the headache has begun to disappear with the first sip.  With my worst migraine, it took about 5 sips to improve.  I continue to drink the cayenne water slowly until the mixture is gone.  You can repeat this later if the headache comes back (though mine never has).
Can you use any cayenne from the store for this remedy?  Cayenne bought from a grocery store shelf will not be as fresh, though it may work fine.  If you try store-bought cayenne and don’t have good results, try buying a fresh good-quality cayenne.  My favorite is from the Bulk Herb Store!

 The Bulk Herb Store is a company I know I can trust to sell me only the freshest, best quality herbs!  I love this store!

I would love to hear how this remedy works for you!


This post is linked to:
Growing Home    Far Above Rubies   Time-Warp Wife
Raising Mighty Arrows    Little Natural Cottage    Our Simple Country Life