Home remedies for a headache

Those garish ads for over the counter pill-popping shout out that they’ll get rid of your headache “FAST!”. Sometimes, though, it is that same mad-dash frenetic pace of life that has contributed to your bad head to start with, and you may well do better with one of these traditional home remedies for a more relaxed approach:

Pop three or four slices of lemon into some hot water to make an infusion.  Or peel off some of the skin and press the lemon peel to your temples, with the outer yellow side directly onto your face so that it can release its healing oils.

Similarly citrussy, try cutting a lime in half and then gently and slowly rubbing the cut side of the fruit over your forehead.

Staying with the idea of directly applying remedies to your forehead, how about rubbing some vinegar into your temples? Yes, I concede that you may smell a little bit like the local chippy, but if it helps your headache then surely that is a small sacrifice to make?

Try chewing on a piece of fresh (peeled) ginger.

If your headache accompanies a cold, then try adding a handful of fresh rosemary to a bowl of boiling water, about a litre.  Lean your head over the bowl, put a towel over your head and the bowl to encase the steam, and breathe in its heavenly and healing aroma.

Put a few drops of lavender oil onto a tissue and breathe it in.

All manner of teas and infusions crop up again and again in these traditional headache remedies. I’ve already mentioned lemon and fresh marjoram (also known as oregano) seems to be another popular one.   But don’t ignore the benefits of a good old-fashioned cuppa.  The theory goes that tea stimulates the general circulation including the brain, and so that eases the headache. It’s the caffeine, you see – which I suppose makes sense of another suggestion I found of putting a teaspoon of lemon juice into a small cup of black coffee.

I can see it is possible that rubbing fruit on your head might not appeal, and you may not have any of the herbs etc required for many other of these remedies.  In which case, all you need is a big bowl to put your feet in.  Two-thirds fill it with quite-hot-but-obviously-not -scorching water and give yourself a foot bath. Apparently, the heat draws your blood down to your feet and so relieves the pressure in your head.  You may – like me – find that this works best whilst listening to some relaxing music or watching a favourite film.


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  1. Watch out lemons- here I come! Moody girl with a sharp knife and a headache!

  2. Ginger is great for sore throats too. Isn’t it a natural antiseptic?

    • Susan – you are absolutely right about ginger. I’ve found so many ways that it has been used as a home remedy over the years. Including fevers, nausea, stomach cramps and – as you say – sore throats.

      Most often the fresh ginger is peeled and put into hot water to make a tea. Is that how you’ve used it for a sore throat?


      PS – And thanks for liking the site!

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