The majority of headaches are caused by tension and stress, but they can also be caused by caffeine withdrawal, dehydration or insufficient sleep. Some people experience them as a result of withdrawal from prescription medicines or recreational drugs. Treating severe headaches often involves pain relievers, but this can cause stomach irritation or other side effects. For those seeking natural relief from headache pain, there are several foods that have been shown to reduce symptoms.
- Peppermint. Peppermint has been used for centuries to alleviate stomach problems and soothe headaches. It is a natural muscle relaxant, which can help relieve pressure on nerves that cause pain in the brain and head. Start with just a few drops in water or tea to see if it helps you feel better. If you don’t like the taste, try peppermint essential oil capsules instead.
- Herbal Tea. Chamomile tea is helpful when trying to relieve migraine pain or treat the pain associated with a headache. Peppermint tea also can help relieve headaches by relaxing your muscles and allowing your blood vessels to dilate properly so that your head doesn’t have to work as hard to push blood through them. If you love an iced tea in the summer, try adding peppermint leaves or rose hips for extra flavor and health benefits!
- Turmeric. Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory that has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine. It reduces inflammation throughout the body and can help reduce headaches in some people. To get the full benefits of turmeric, use it fresh rather than powdered. Add it to your morning scrambled eggs, stir it into soups or smoothies, or even add a pinch to your favorite sweet tea recipe.
- Chocolate. Dark chocolate contains anandamide, which is a neurotransmitter that reduces pain. Chocolate can be beneficial by reducing pain and feelings of depression.