How To Decipher a Headache and Treat It Naturally


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.


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 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.


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.


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.


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

Linked to:

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


  1. Valerie says

    I have had good success with apple cider vinegar in water ( 1 Tbsp to 8 oz) for sinus headaches. Took about a day and several glasses to completely get rid of a severe one, but one glass will take care of one almost immediately if I catch it right away.

  2. Tami Matz says

    Hello Jill,

    Have you tried making your own menthol rub based on the ingredients in Dr. Christopher’s menthol rub? I thought of this and wondered if you’ve done it.

    Thank you.

    • says

      I have read that it’s difficult to work with the menthol crystals, so I have not attempted it. I would love to though, because his recipe is so effective! Maybe one of these days. 🙂

  3. pat says

    I had to LOL at the “bash your head” medical treatment! Hmmm…wonder if the AMA would approve?!

    All jokes aside, a dear friend and Sister in Christ, Donna, went home to be with the Lord on Feb 5 past; she had been experiencing major headaches for some time. She sought medical intervention. They could not find the reason. On Feb. 5, she experienced a massive heart attack and left this planet Earth.

    She is better off, no doubt in our minds. But we who loved her can’t help but wonder what would have happened if properly diagnosed..properly treated.

    Thank you for an excellent piece of important information that applies to ALL of us at some time or another. Blessings to you, and all that is yours,

    • says

      I am so sorry to hear of your loss, Pat. What a difficult thing to face. May God comfort you!
      Glad I could bring a little laughter with my head bashing experience! I laughed later too when I thought of it! 🙂

  4. says

    I do suffer from migraines frequently. Thank you for pointing out the liver connection.
    I started to get help for some of my headaches when I pinned down some of my triggers to a migraine. Keeping a simple health journal helped me realize some of them. Knowing the cause is the first step to proper treatment.

    *Barometer related migraines are hard to treat except by waiting out the pressure change.
    *Skipping a meal is a trigger for me; I keep a small bag of almonds, pumpkin seeds, or other healthy nuts with me at all times in case I get caught somewhere during a meal-time.
    *Hormone triggered migraines can sometimes be helped by a magnesium (epson salt) bath. Dissolve 2-3 cups in a bath of warm water. Soak in it for 20-30 minutes.
    *Chemical smells – perfumes, room fresheners, plug-ins, incense, candles, cleaning supplies can cause headaches as well. Avoiding these is the best fix, but I keep some peppermint essential oil with me to apply to a hankie when I am caught in an unavoidable situation. Placing it on my lap or near my face can overcome some chemical smells. A diffuser necklace can do the same.

    Thanks for your post!

  5. says

    I am prone to headaches if I get low on sleep, dehydrated, or sometimes from traveling and having bad posture. I’ve found that making sure I don’t get low on magnesium helps me, along with chiropractic care, minding my posture, and getting enough water & rest. Of course all of those things can be a challenge with motherhood! 😉

  6. Melissa says

    Hi Jill,

    I had suffered from migraines frequently for a few years, and I appreciate you going into the liver connection which I was not too familiar about. Your article does a great job covering dietary triggers, but in lots of people (like myself) another very likely trigger is actually light — fluorescent lighting, bright light, computers, etc… So people may want to experiment with controlling those triggers as well. Here’s an article that gets in to some of those triggers and the ways to control them: 🙂

  7. says

    Excellent article. I found that frequent headaches can be caused by simply sitting too long. I used to get bad headaches at work until I switched to a standing desk, and I have had fewer headaches. Thanks for writing!

  8. says

    I have been doing SO much research as I (and now my daughter) get really bad migraines and I have recently been diagnosed with sinusitis. Found doing a headwrap does relieve some of the pressure build in migraines so excited to add in some of these tips and see if they help
    Emma Sm recently posted…Neroli oil aroma helps with anxietyMy Profile

  9. Frank Mason says

    My mom died because of a brain tumor. At first, she is experiencing severe headache from time to time. We went to a doctor to ask whats happening to her but they said its only a migraine, so he gave a medicine to cure the pain. She was bedridden at that time. 1 month later when were busy on something i heard my mom shout because of her head and that point we ran to the nearest hospital but sadly her journey is over. Yes, she died when that thing happens to her. We don’t know if who’s fault is that because the doctor in that hospital told us she has a brain tumor and all this time we only know that its a simple migraine. It’s been 11 years now but i still remember what happened to her. I am experiencing migraine now and i am afraid maybe one of these days it can happen to me also. But i saw this that maybe marijuana can cure a migraine, i don’t know if this thing works so i want an opinion here. If somebody uses it already? Can you help me with this?

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