20 Helpful Remedies to Relieve Headache Pain & Tension

On this article we are going to discuss some helpful remedies to relieve headache pain and tension. Headaches are always not looked into as something serious, they are brushed off just as a common complaint. Many people suffer from headaches at a point in their lifetime or occur frequently during the month or year. Some headaches can be very bad; the pain that you feel can ruin your day.

You might not know what the other person is feeling or the extent or type of headache they might have. In most cases when we have a headache we usually run over the counter to get painkillers. This is a tricky situation as at the end of the day we might not be solving the headache.

Rushing over the counter to get painkillers in most cases we do not solve what triggers the headache. What we are solving is repressing the symptoms and ignoring the main cause of the headache or what triggers it. Taking natural remedies for headaches is one thing we should consider for headache remedies, instead of rushing to the counter from time to time to buy those painkillers, which at the end of the day might cause some harm to your body, though do not brush them off. Using of natural remedies to relieve headache pain and tension is the best way as you will become less addictive of them or dependent as might be for painkillers.

1. Nuts

Having a headache? Instead of taking pills every time you have a headache, why not take some almonds. Almonds can be very good natural remedy and a better choice to other medicine for treating everyday tension type of headaches. They act as pain reliever as they contain incredible component called salicin. Salicin is a component that is well known by many over the counter as pain killer.

When you start feeling the pain or ache, try eating a handful or two of these wholesome nuts.

2. Relive it with cayenne

Are you sure of this? That’s too spicy? Using something spicy may not look as if it will be helpful in relieving your headache. For many years cayenne has been well-regarded in the world of natural remedies to treat pain and inflammation. Its main strength to treat headaches lies within an element that it contains which is called capsaicin.

Many studies have been carried out and have shown, when applied to the nasal passages, one experiences a considerable decrease in severity of their headaches. This is because one of the main elements, thought to cause pain called Substance P is depleted by capsaicin. Substance P is part of what makes us feel pain. Thanks to cayenne as it contains capsaicin.

What you will require…
– Cotton swabs.
– A half teaspoon of cayenne powder.
– Four ounces of warm water.

– Get four ounces of warm water in a glass.
– Add half teaspoon of cayenne powder to the warm water.
– Then, soak a cotton swab in the solution and stir it, make sure it’s covered. Sometimes the powder might be tricky and sink.
– Take the mist swab and apply it gently inside each of the nostrils. Wait until you feel the heat. This might be very uncomfortable for the first time, but believe me it will work. If you feel the burning sensation it’s a sign the solution was perfect.  Your headache will reduce with time or feel much better after using the solution.

3. Use Feverfew Plant

Feverfew is a popular herbal remedy used by those who experience migraine. Feverfew is a perennial plant belonging to the daisy family and has been used in herbal remedies for centuries.
It is mostly used as a preventative treatment for migraine. Those experiencing migraine headaches can be calmed by the use of the feverfew plant. It occurs that, when you have a migraine, your blood vessels change, and studies have shown that during this period, the vessels in your head expand and press on nerves resulting to pain.

Feverfew has been identified to relax the tension or contract the vessels, therefore easing the painful pressure on the nerves.

Feverfew also reduces inflammation and pain with a substance called parthenolide, that has similar results to taking daily aspirin, though without any side effects.

How to take feverfew as a headache remedy.

Growing your own feverfew.

One can grow feverfew plants. The leaves will be used to treat migraine.
Pick the leaves and then eat them in whichever way you find best. You can also chop them and include them in a sandwich or salad. You can eat one large or 3 small leaves daily.

Freeze dried capsules.

Taking of freeze dried capsules is highly recommended as the teas and fresh leaves have a bitter taste and at times may irritate your mouth.

The capsules can be purchased from chemists and health stores.


It can be made into tea leaves though it might taste bitter and irritate your mouth.

Prepared tablets

You can also find feverfew tablets in chemists and health stores.

Note: Feverfew plant should not be taken during pregnancy as it might cause contractions. Also as with aspirin, it should not be taken during breast feeding.

4. Relax, Breathe and Stretch

We live in a world that is very fast. Everything we do or whatever we want to achieve we must keep running up and down. We find ourselves busy and a little stressed in most cases. At times we sit the whole day glued to our computers. Our minds and bodies react to this by crating tension and making the muscles in the upper back, shoulders and neck to ache. There are natural remedies which have been identified to ease the pain or the tension type of headaches. Try out the below ways.

Breathe Properly:

Did you know there is a way you need to breathe? If you do not breathe properly you might be interfering with your body and its functions in many different ways. You might be interfering with your sleep, digestion, mood, heart, muscles, brain, nervous system and even the development of some parts of your body.

Having a regular and normal breathing will offer you a lot of benefits; more energy, greater harmony, improved health,  less anxiety, better relationships, less fear, and a more happier life.

In most cases we think we are breathing correctly, though there is a lot of room for improvement. We might be breathing too shallow, not taking enough oxygen that is required by the body or we might also be over breathing or holding our breath.

Having irregular breathing patterns is very stressful for the body. This may lead to shortage of oxygen and energy in the body.

Bad breathing patterns can give rise to many unforeseen negative effects on our health and well-being. Make a conscious effort to take deep and full breaths that start in your diaphragm and fill up your lungs. By doing this you will get sufficient fresh oxygen circulating through your blood stream. This will help relax your mind and body.

Drop your shoulders

We rarely notice it; when walking or seated we usually carry our shoulders high. In most cases, this results in soreness, tiredness and at times headaches. We regularly strain our muscles without knowing. The early we notice and correct our way of life the better. When walking, remind yourself to drop the shoulders and be more comfortable. Always make yourself aware of how you carry your shoulders.

Go for Yoga

The purpose of Yoga is to get your mind focused, create strength, and stretch out your muscles to provide harmony in both the mind and body. Yoga can help you reduce tension. When you drop the tension the tension headache also reduces.  You can always do this when the pain starts and you will feel better. Do yoga a few minutes each day to prevent headaches and relax your mind.

5. Take or Apply an apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has many benefits and has long been known as a natural remedy for pain. Many people have identified Apple cider vinegar to cure or reduce pain. Its benefits range from; curing hiccups, relieving headaches, alleviating cold symptoms among other functions. Other people have found apple cider vinegar to help with health concerns which includes diabetes, high cholesterol, heart problems, cancer, as well as weight issues.

Some studies have shown its effectiveness in treating certain illnesses, though the truth lies within the people who have benefited from Apple cider vinegar for centuries.

Experiencing a headache and searching for homemade headache remedies? Get yourself some Apple cider vinegar. Daily intake of apple cider vinegar helps to maintain the body’s acid alkaline balance.
Taking two teaspoons in a glass of water, three times daily is often enough to put off a headache or migraine.

What you will require…
– One cup of fresh cool water
-1/4 cup of Apple cider vinegar
– 3 cups of boiling water


Take a large bowl and pour ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar into it.
Half fill the bowl with boiling water. Then, place a towel over your head in such a way that it drapes over the bowl. This will trap the steam, as you hold your face over it, breathing in and out deeply. Wait until the water starts to cool or do it for 5-10 minutes.

6. Treat headaches with cold or hot compression

There are many ways that have been tried to reduce or heal headaches. What might work for you might not work to another person.

Ice and heat can be used to reduce the pain of headaches. Those who have migraine headache usually prefer cold packs and those with tension-type or muscle contraction headaches may have a preference for warm packs. The same case applies to showers.

Evidence has shown both hot and cold compress treatments can be used as a remedy to headaches. This is all to do with the muscles and blood vessels. The headaches might be caused by expanded blood vessel pressing on nerves. Applying anything cold to the area can narrow those vessels and relieve some of the pressure causing the agonizing ache.

When using warm packs, caution should be exercised to ensure that they are not too hot. This is to reduce inducing muscle spasm and burns.

Cold packs can be applied on forehead and temples while the warm packs on neck and posterior part of head. Lie down and place the cold or hot compress on your forehead and relax
If one does not work out try the other.

7. Be on the move

Having a headache makes you inactive and do not want to do anything, though you can get up and move outside to a place that has fresh air. Moving to an area with fresh air can help loosen up tight muscles causing a headache. The good fresh air or change of environment offers you something to focus on, away from the pain. Also, having regular exercises releases endorphins that can calm the painful sensation caused by a headache.

To have the most out of your activity, always keep in mind the following:

Exercise regularly; – do not exercise when you feel like having a headache. Regular exercise makes your body to function properly and prevent many things before they occur.

Do things at a steady pace, – if taking an exercise warm up at a steady pace and cool yourself systematically. Jumping into strenuous activity and then abruptly stopping is likely to cause a headache.
Exercise outside: this will make your body and mind feel good as you will be taking in fresh oxygen.

8. Drink fish oil

Study has shown drinking of fish oil for headaches can help reduce migraines and head pain. This is mainly because it has omega-3 fatty acids which are known to promote good health.
Fish oil is widely used for the treatment of migraine headaches. The omega-3 fatty acids can also be found in seeds, nuts, and vegetable oils.

According to studies carried out, fish oil helps reduce inflammation, lowers blood pressure, reduces blood clotting and steadies the heart rhythm. With these actions, more so in the reduction of inflammation or swelling, it is important in reducing head pain and other migraine symptoms.

What you will require
– One glass of orange juice
– One tablespoon of fish oil or fish oil oral supplements


Take one glass of orange juice and mix it with one tablespoon of fish oil. Drink the mixture.
Follow instructions on the bottle is taking, fish oil capsules

9. Make use of your imagination

Study has shown our mind or imagination can do wonders. It can reduce headaches, might they be mild or severe. Mental imagery helps reduce headache by relaxing and loosening up the knots that may be causing the headache.

Imagery exercises allow you to relax and make positive changes by visualizing changes, accomplishments or healing. The Imagery exercises usually guide you to a place of inner stillness and relaxation.

By using Imagery exercises, it enables you to do away with unwanted thoughts which might cause tension and stress.

The best way to getting rid of the pain is to look for a quiet place, close your eyes and use your mind to fill your head with something other than pain. Think of an imagined surrounding, focus your attention on one item in your imagined surroundings and sooner or later the pain will be gone.

10. Reduce or Avoid Monosodium glutamate (MSG)

Monosodium glutamate is a flavor enhancer mostly added to canned vegetables, processed meats Chinese food as well as soups.

MSG has been classified as a food ingredient that’s safe by Food and Drug Administration but it remains controversial.

It has been used as a food additive for many years. Though there are reports that it causes reactions which are known as MSG symptom complex, these include: Headache, Facial pressure or tightness, Flushing, Chest pain, Numbness, Weakness, Nausea among others. Though, no definitive evidence of a link between MSG and these symptoms has been identified.

A lot of people who experience headaches have found that foods containing MSG triggers migraines or other types of headaches, perhaps as a fact that it excites our neurons. Nowadays, FDA requires companies to list MSG on the labels if they are using it.

Researchers have acknowledged that a small percentage of people may have short-term reactions to MSG. The symptoms are usually mild and do not require treatment. Best way to prevent a reaction is to avoid foods containing Monosodium glutamate.

11. Posture Improvement

Tension-type headaches can be improved by improving your posture. The small way on how to spend your day sitting or walking can make a big difference. A lot of us usually spend the whole day working in an office or at home sitting down working online with no movement for many hours. Our posture at the seat is also wanting. Mostly we slump, slouch, and hunch forward on our seat which strains our muscles bringing very bad headaches.

If we are sitting down most of our working hours, try using a comfortable chair. Learn or remind yourself to sit up tall and relaxed with your shoulders back and your chest open. Your head should also not stick too far forward.

12. Drink enough water

In most cases we drink very little water per day. This alone is a cause of headache. Taking a lot of alcohol, sugary drinks, Coffee, can dehydrate you. This later leads to pounding headache and hangovers.
If you start feeling a headache, drink a lot of water. Gradually the pain will start to ease up.

13. Gingerroot

Ginger is has been used as a cooking spice for many years. It’s also a natural remedy for nausea, upset stomach, diarrhea, and aid to digestion.

Ginger is also known to for the treatment of migraine headaches and at the same time offering migraine sufferers relief of their stomach upset. Try using natural headache remedies for instant relief, instead of reaching out for painkillers over the counter.

Ginger will help reduce the pain the same way pain killers would. The root is known to block prostaglandins that arouses muscle contraction, affects the release of some hormones and controls inflammation.

Simple remedies to try at home to relieve the headache:

1.    Crush fresh ginger, and then boil it in water. Filter and drink the warm water. After sometime the pain will reduce
2.     If you do not want to drink ginger juice, try inhaling its vapors. Get a piece of ginger, crush it, boil it in water and then inhale the vapors to get instant relieve.
3.    The other method used is to apply the paste of ginger on your forehead. Take dry ginger powder. Add a little warm water and apply this paste over your forehead to get instant relief from your headache.

14. Use peppermint oil

Peppermint oil can be used for treating headaches. It is one beautiful natural remedy for headaches.  The oil can be applied to various places; people who use it have found it to work faster in relieving the pain.
Peppermint oil is an example of essential oils, which are extracted from plants. Peppermint essential oil has been found to treat headaches.

What you require:
•    1 tablespoon of water or carrier oil
•    3 drops of peppermint essential oil
•    Bowl or cup that you will use to mix them
•    Cotton ball or cloth that you will use to apply

1.    Put the water and peppermint essential oils in a container or cup
2.    Mix them
3.    Then dip a cotton ball into the mixture or cloth and rub it across the top of your forehead right next your hairline.
4.    Repeat this 2 to three times. And you will feel better in a short period of time

15. Use Butterbur to treat migraines

Butterbur is an herb in which the root, leaf and bulb can be used to make medicine.
Butterbur can be used to relieve pain, stomach ulcers, upset stomach, headaches and other diseases. It is also used to stimulate ones appetite.
Butterbur has been used as an herbal treatment for migraines, asthma, allergies, the plague, ulcers, wounds, and skin infections for many years.

The substances which are found in Butterbur work to reduce spasms and reduce inflammation. These substances are petasin and isopetasin. .

16. Consume less chocolate

Eating less chocolate reduces the chances of the headache being triggered.

17. Rosemary

The rosmarinic acid that is found in rosemary oil has some soothing and anti-inflammatory properties that help treat a headache.


Mix a tablespoon of carrier oil and a few drops of rosemary oil
Massage or Apply your forehead and temples with the mixture
You can also make herbal tea by boiling one teaspoon of crushed rosemary leaves and one teaspoon of crushed sage leaves in a cup of water. Allow the tea to cool at room temperature before drinking. Take the herbal tea 2 to 3 times a day

18. Cloves

The cloves can be used to ease tension headaches as it has some cooling and pain relieving properties.

Option 1:  Take a few cloves and gently crush them, put them on a clean handkerchief or sachet. Inhale the smell of the crushed cloves until you get some relief from the ache.

Option 2: Put two drops of clove oil in a tablespoon of carrier oil. Massage your forehead and temples with it.

19. Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is one of the useful home remedy for headaches and migraine pain. Smelling the soothing scent of lavender essential oil can be of great help in relieving tension headaches.
Study has also shown that it can be used to help improve migraine symptoms.

1.    Take a handkerchief, put a few drops of lavender essential oil on it and inhale. You can also put two drops of lavender oil to two cups of boiling water and inhale the steam.
2.    The other way is you can to mix 2 or 3 drops of lavender essential oil with 1 tablespoon of carrier oil such as almond oil or olive oil, and then massage your forehead with it.

20. Basil

It works as a muscle relaxant. It is useful in the treatment of mild headaches that are caused by tense muscles.
1.    Put 3 or 4 fresh basil leaves in a cup of boiling water. Let it simmer for a few minutes. Or you can also add a little honey, and then sip the tea slowly.
2.    Boil one tablespoon of basil leaves or put a few drops of basil oil in boiling water and lean over the pot to inhale in the steam.
3.    You can also chew some fresh basil leaves to relieve the pain.

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