5 Natural Headache Remedies
20th May 2019 / Health
5 Natural Headache Remedies
Headaches are one of the most common conditions that millions of people deal with worldwide on a daily basis. As commonplace as they are, their effects can be debilitating and can cause major disruptions to daily life. It can be so easy to mask the pain of a headache with over the counter painkillers like paracetamol or aspirin, but identifying and solving the root cause of the headache or tension will work out much better for you in the long run.
A headache is often your body’s way of telling you that it’s not happy and not functioning as it should. This could be due to a deficiency of a particular mineral or vitamin, the need for more sleep or water, or a reaction to a particular food or ingredient. There are many different causes and types of headaches and the cause of your headache can often be identified by what triggers your headache.
Do you feel one coming on when you feel stressed?
Does staring at your laptop screen for hours on end cause pain behind your eyes?
If you think you can identify the trigger of your headache, try and eliminate or change the stimulus. For example, take regular breaks from working in front of screens and have regular eyesight check ups. In the meantime, and for those of you who can’t quite identify one root cause just yet, why not try some of our team’s top picks for a natural way to cure your headache.
1. Drink Water
You may have noticed a recurring theme in our blog posts here… but that’s because we know just how important proper hydration is for your body. Our bodies are made up of 70% water (on average) and when our water stores get depleted our bodily functions can be seriously affected. Chronic dehydration IE not drinking enough water over a certain length of time is a documented cause of tension headaches (the most common type of headache).
Several studies have shown that drinking water can provide headache relief in as little as half an hour, so drinking a full glass of water should definitely be your first point of call when you feel a headache coming on. A great way to ensure you keep hydrated throughout the day would be to keep a regularly-topped up water bottle in your close vicinity during the day. This way, you can slowly start to train yourself to take regular sips throughout the day and keep your hydration levels maintained.
If you aren’t a big water fan there are other ways to get your water in… You could try adding some sugar-free squash to your water to “trick” your taste buds or try eating high water content foods such as cucumber or watermelon to keep your water stores plenished.
2. Take a Magnesium Supplement
Also known as “the relaxation mineral”, magnesium is an essential mineral involved in over 300 enzyme reactions in the body. It is involved in the energy-yielding metabolism of food, the regulation of proper muscle function and it is even involved in the promotion of sleep. Several research studies have also confirmed a link between magnesium deficiency and the occurrence of regular headaches, so by adding a magnesium supplement into your diet you could work to reduce the frequency of your headaches.
The proposed mechanism of action behind magnesium’s role in easing headaches is the ability of magnesium to inhibit certain brain signals (cortical spreading depression) that have been associated with the onset of severe headaches and migraines.
Our Food Based Magnesium boost is a safe, effective and very convenient way of getting more magnesium into your diet. Each capsule contains 100mg of Food Based elemental magnesium which is gentler on the stomach, compared to synthetic and compound forms of the mineral. We recommend starting with 1 capsule a day and seeing if there is any resulting effect on your headaches. Additionally, you could also try increasing your dietary intake of magnesium. Magnesium-rich food sources include beans, leafy greens and nuts. The combination of these two methods is sure to safely increase your magnesium levels.
3. Make Sure You're Getting Enough Sleep
A little bit like our “Drink Water” tip here.... we suggest this point a lot, but there’s definite method in our madness. Sleep is a vital part of your daily routine and should not be dismissed as a passive or unimportant daily activity. Moreover, we should not take our sleeping hours for granted. Quality sleep is as essential for our bodies as food and water and with a lack of sleep the brain’s ability to concentrate, focus and react to different stimuli is severely affected.
So, how does this relate to headaches?
As outlined above, sleep deprivation can be detrimental to your health in many ways and your sleep health is always a good place to start when looking for lifestyle changes and natural remedies to improve your general health. There are also some published scientific studies investigating the link between headache frequency and duration of sleep. One such study found that sufferers who got less than 6 hours of sleep tended to experience more severe and frequent headaches.
But, be warned, trying to fit in a solid 10 hours every night may not be the answer as too much sleep has also been found to be a trigger for headaches. Therefore some trial and error might be in order to find out exactly how many hours of sleep best fits you - but this will generally be between 7-9 hours per night. If you feel like you need some help drifting off, have a read of our dedicated blog post: “Easy shortcuts for a better night’s sleep”.
4. Try Taking a B Complex Vitamin
There are 8 different, essential B vitamins that all play a slightly different role in our bodies. The main function grouping these vitamins together is the key role they play in our body’s energy-yielding metabolism process. Many of the B vitamins (namely vitamins B6, B9 and B12) are also involved in the synthesis of various neurotransmitters. Some studies have shown that migraine sufferers tend to be deficient in certain neurotransmitters, specifically serotonin which needs vitamins B9 and B12 for its production.
Vitamin B2, or Riboflavin, is also an established treatment for migraine headaches and is often prescribed daily by doctors as a headache preventative. Similarly, vitamin B3 (Niacin) has also been identified as a potential therapy for headaches and migraines. Vitamin B3 affects both the constriction and dilation of blood vessels in the brain, with this fluctuating blood vessel size also being related to the onset of migraines.
A great way to eliminate B vitamin deficiency as a potential cause of your headaches would be to introduce a B complex supplement into your health regime. Our Food Based B Vitamin provides all 8 essential B vitamins in their naturally methylated form making them more readily absorbed by the body.
5. Supplement with CoEnzyme Q10
CoEnzyme Q10 is a fat-soluble molecule found naturally in all animals, and is found in particularly high concentrations in the cell mitochondria - the energy powerhouses of the cell. It is essential for the cell’s energy-producing metabolism process and is vital for the body to convert the food we eat into usable energy. Studies have also shown that taking some extra CoQ10 (specifically in supplement form) has the potential to naturally and effectively treat headaches. One study conducted on 80 people found that daily supplementation of 100mg of CoQ10 was successful at reducing migraine frequency, severity and length.
We can get Coenzyme Q10 through certain foods in our diet such as organ meat, fatty fish and legumes but we would need to be eating a lot of these products in order to see a noticeable benefit. Supplementation is therefore the easiest and most convenient way to get a decent dose of CoEnzyme Q10 into your body. Our Food Based Energy + CoEnzyme Q10 provides 80mg of Food Based CoEnzyme Q10 to provide a sustained energy boost throughout the day. Our Energy + CoQ10 supplement also has added Siberian ginseng and adaptogenic Cordyceps mushroom to provide further vitalising support for all your energy needs.
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