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8 Natural Headache Remedies You Should Try Before Reaching For Medication


Essential oils
Various aromatic essential oils can be effective headache treatments. Diluted peppermint oil rubbed along the sinuses can provide great relief for sinus headaches. Dr. Milosavljevic also recommends frankincense, which has sedating properties that can relieve stress as well as stress headaches.

“Lavender is another scent that you can use to combat headaches, particularly migraines. Enjoy lavender in a variety of ways: infused in the bath, as an essential oil, in raw herb form in a pouch, and even through an eye pillow.”


Natural supplements
Dr. Jennifer Stagg, a biochemist turned naturopathic physician, recommends nutritional supplements that support mitochondrial function for chronic headaches. “I often recommend including magnesium, Coenzyme Q10, and omega-3 fatty acids,” she says, “For migraine sufferers, I recommend taking riboflavin (vitamin B2) and magnesium daily for prevention.”

Neurologist Dr. Damon Salzman, a headache and sleep expert who suffers from migraines, recommends taking supplements like Lifeback, which he created. It uses a combination of naturally occurring compounds like riboflavin (vitamin B2), magnesium, ginger root, and melatonin to fight migraines.


Preventative earplugs
If you know in advance you’re going to be in a loud area like a concert, it’s best to be prepared and have spare earplugs on hand as a preventative measure. If you suffer from serious chronic migraines, you may want to invest in ear plugs like those made by MigraineX, which makes preventative ear plugs specifically for travel and weather-related migraines. They even comes along with an app that measure barometric pressure changes often accompanying weather-related migraines so that the user has advance notice of a potential migraine onset.

woman exercising

For bio-mechanist Katy Bowman, MS, exercise has been effective for reducing frequency of headaches. (To get you started, here are five steps to starting an exercise routine you can stick to.) “The heel strike that occurs during walking has recently been recognized as creating a pressure wave that increases the amount of blood to the brain,” she says.

Also, if you’re walking, you’re likely taking a break from the computer, so the relaxation of the eyes and muscles in the face and neck brings about relief.