September 24, 2023
Do you experience headaches frequently? Check out our article for natural and effective remedies to relieve headaches using diet and lifestyle adjustments. Our guide provides insights on what you should avoid/adopt in your diet, exercises to try, and stress management techniques. Read on to find out when to see a doctor and more.


Headaches are a common ailment that can strike you any day at any time. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), almost half of the adult population worldwide experiences a headache every year. Common causes of headaches can range from tension, lack of sleep, dehydration, or unhealthy diet, to more severe underlying medical conditions. In this article, we’ll provide you with natural and effective ways to relieve headaches to help you feel better quickly, without always relying on medication to do so.

6 Natural Ways to Relieve Headaches

Natural remedies have gained popularity for their effectiveness in treating headaches, reducing inflammation and pain levels, and managing the symptoms more holistically. Some of the most popular natural headache remedies include:

  1. Essential Oils: Peppermint, lavender, and chamomile oils have soothing and anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial for treating headaches. To use essential oils, dilute them with a carrier oil and apply them to the temples, forehead, or neck, depending on the type of headache.
  2. Acupuncture: This traditional Chinese practice involves inserting thin needles into specific pressure points on your body. Acupuncture has been proven to be effective in reducing headache frequency and severity by stimulating blood flow and releasing tension.
  3. Herbal Supplements: Natural supplements like feverfew, butterbur, and gingerroot have been found to reduce the frequency of tension headaches, migraines, and inflammation. However, before starting any supplement, talk to your doctor and make sure it’s safe for you.
  4. Essential fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation and promote good circulation. Foods rich in omega-3 include nuts, cold-water fish like salmon or sardines, and flaxseeds or chia seeds. You can also take supplements to boost your omega 3 intake.
  5. Hydration: Dehydration is a common cause of headaches, and keeping yourself hydrated can prevent and relieve a headache. Water, non-caffeinated herbal tea, and diluted fruit juices can provide hydration and essential minerals to avoid dehydration headaches.
  6. Cold and Heat Therapy: Using a cold or warm compress, depending on the type of headache you have, may help alleviate symptoms. For instance, try a cold compress for sinus-related headaches or a warm compress for tension headaches or migraines.

How Your Diet Can Affect Headaches: 3 Ways to Adjust Your Eating Habits

Food ingredients and additives can significantly trigger headaches, especially if you have a sensitivity towards them, even if you’re not aware of it. Here are some of the diet-related changes that can affect headache frequency:

  1. Avoiding Food Triggers: Common food triggers include caffeine, chocolate, cheese, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners. Try eliminating these foods from your diet and keep a food journal to identify the possible trigger foods.
  2. Adding magnesium to your diet: Magnesium plays a crucial role in headaches prevention because it relaxes blood vessels, reducing the occurrence of migraines and tension headaches. Add magnesium-rich foods to your diet, like leafy greens, nuts and seeds, whole grains, and legumes.
  3. The importance of hydration: As we mentioned earlier, dehydration can cause headaches or increase its severity. To avoid dehydration from caffeinated beverages, opt for water as your go-to drink, add slices of cucumber, lemon, or lime to add flavor without compromising hydration.

Get Moving: 2 Simple Exercises to Ease Headaches

Exercise is an effective way to promote overall physical and emotional wellness, and it helps prevent headaches. Here are two exercises that can help:

  1. Neck Stretches: Neck and shoulder tension are common contributors to headaches. Some postures that help with neck tension include gently turning your head side to side, tilting your head, and bringing your ear to your shoulder.
  2. Yoga: Practicing yoga has benefits that extend beyond headaches relief. Yoga improves blood flow, reduces stress levels, and improves flexibility, which may help alleviate tension headaches. Some beginner-friendly yoga poses include cat-cow stretch, spinal twists, and downward dog pose.

Stress Less: A Guide to Reducing Tension Headaches

Stress is linked to causing and exacerbating headaches. Learning to manage stress is essential for headache prevention. Here are some recommendations for reducing stress:

  1. Deep Breathing: Deep breathing exercises are easy to try, and they promote and regulate the oxygen levels in the brain, reducing stress levels. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth for 15 minutes daily.
  2. Meditation: Practicing mindfulness through meditation is another effective way to combat stress. Start with 10 minutes per day, and gradually increase to a time that suits you. Calming music, aromatherapy, or guided meditations are some guided stress-reducing activities that may promote relaxation and headache prevention.

The Headache-Proof Workspace: Tips for a More Ergonomic Setup

Poor posture, staring at computer screens for extended periods, and inadequate lighting can all contribute to headaches, which can be easily fixed by adopting some healthy habits:

  1. Adjust your posture: Sit straight, not slouching, to avoid neck and back tension that can lead to headaches. Ensure that your chair and desk are ergonomically positioned, and take brief breaks every 30 minutes.
  2. Minimize Bright Light: Bright light and glare from computer monitors can cause eye strain that can lead to headaches. To reduce any adverse effects, use an anti-glare screen or blue light filters to protect your eyes.

When to See a Doctor: Headache Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore

While natural remedies often help relieve headaches, it’s essential to note that some headaches may indicate underlying conditions that require medication. Consult your doctor if:

  1. Sudden Onset: Headaches that suddenly occur without a known cause
  2. Severe Pain: Headaches defined by intense and unrelenting pain, with additional symptoms, such as vomiting, dizziness, or numbness
  3. Chronic Headaches: Headaches that persist for weeks or months


Headaches are a common and persistent problem that has the potential to disrupt daily routines. Natural remedies, healthy lifestyle changes, and stress management techniques can go a long way in headache prevention. The critical takeaway is to maintain consistency with the remedies, record any changes or triggers in your headaches, and seek medical care when necessary. With some patience and determination, you can find relief from headaches without letting them control your life.

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