One of the most bothersome symptoms is pain in the head, a headache. Headaches are most commonly tension headaches, where there is a pressure sensation, often due to stress and tight muscles. Migraine headaches are much different: a severe pain that throbs and is often associated with nausea, vomiting, and is worse with noise and light exposure. Migraines affect women three times more often than men and can be triggered by foods and food additives, the weather, or hormonal fluctuations. As a naturopathic doctor, I have found a range of nature-based treatments and natural remedies for headaches and migraines.

Natural Remedies for Headaches and Migraines Include:

1. The Basics

Hydrate, sleep, de-stress, chemical avoidance. Make sure you are getting enough water and sleep, fundamental points for migraine prevention. Relaxation exercises are also very important to release tension in your nerves and muscles, as well as clearing out your homes and offices of those ‘new-smelling’ products and strong-smelling cleaning agents; which can trigger headaches and migraines.

2. Liver and Digestive Cleanse

Many people with migraines also have digestive symptoms, which usually means there is inadequate breakdown or absorption of food with resulting toxicity, or there is an imbalance in the bacterial balance in the bowels. A simple intestinal and liver cleanse may really help you: fiber and water in your smoothies and juices; helpful herbal teas include dandelion root, fennel seed, and burdock root.

3. Hormone Harmony

One of the most common times to get a headache and migraine is before or right after menstruation in women. There is help. The herbs chaste tree berry and Chinese angelica (dong quai) can be very helpful at easing menstrual headaches and other hormone-related symptoms. Other supports include evening primrose oil, red raspberry leaf and black cohosh.

4. Nutrients can Help Headaches

Studies have demonstrated the benefits of coenzyme Q10, magnesium and vitamin B2 (riboflavin) in reducing migraines and headaches.

5. Herbal Help

A 2012 study published in the journal European Neurology found that inhaling lavender essential oil for 15 minutes made a significant difference for partial or full relief of migraine headaches. You can also try rubbing a drop of lavender on your temples or at the base of your head. Peppermint is another useful essential oil that can help on its own or mixed with lavender. A study from Hamburg Germany appearing in the journal Headache found that a special extract from the plant Butterbur brought relief to 91% of migraine sufferers over the course of the four month study. Other herbs traditionally used to help reduce pain of headaches include white willow bark and California poppy.

6. Other Therapies

Acupuncture, naturopathic and chiropractic care as natural remedies for headaches and migraines. Acupuncture is a popular treatment for various types of pain, including for headaches and migraines. Studies have shown that chiropractic treatment can reduce the frequency and duration of migraines. If you are suffering from chronic headaches and migraines, seeing a health practitioner can help identify the source and offer a range of treatment options.

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