The Natural Way to Get Rid of Headaches (2:29)
Step 1: Keep a Headache Journal
It can be tricky to try to correlate a headache with a trigger. Was it something you ate? Were you under a lot of stress? Do they happen at the same time of day? Do they only happen during the workweek but not on days off? This is where a headache journal can be really helpful. Keep a log book with you. When you have a headache, write down what time the headache occurred, where you were at the time, how bad it was on a scale of one to 10, and what you had to eat or drink the three to four hours before the headache started. This can help you pick up on patterns that might help you prevent future headaches.
Step 2: Wean Off of Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers
If you have chronic headaches, you probably also have a go-to pain reliever that has helped you to handle the pain. But constant, long-term use of these readily available pain relievers can sometimes worsen and even cause headaches. The key is to slowly cut down, rather than stopping cold turkey. Try cutting your dose in half every week until you’re off the pain meds. If you find that too challenging, you can drop the dose every two weeks to give your body time to adjust. If your doctor has given you a prescription medication to help prevent headaches, make sure you talk with her before decreasing your dose.
Step 3: Keep a Headache Support Kit
You might be wondering what you should be taking instead of the painkillers you’ve just left behind. This is where your headache support kit comes in. Keep the following headache fighters stocked as a better way to keep your headaches under control.
- Magnesium. You can take magnesium citrate in pill form before you go to bed, or ensure that you’re getting plenty in your daily diet. Foods high in magnesium include almonds, spinach and soy milk. Studies in those with migraines suggest that 300-400 mg per day can be helpful.
- Hot tea. Aim for one or two cups of ginger tea every day and a cup of chamomile before you go to bed. You can also use ginger if you feel the headache coming on, as a 2014 study found that it was as effective as a common migraine medication if taken within two hours of the onset of a headache.
- Peppermint oil. You can rub one to two drops of this essential oil onto the temples and back of the neck when you feel as though you have a headache coming on. Note: Some people can be sensitive to pure essential oil. You can make your own peppermint headache massage oil by putting 10 to 20 drops of peppermint essential oil in 2 ounces of olive oil. Then simply massage a small amount on the temples and back of neck.
This plan was created for Dr. Oz's Truth Tube. See how Brandy got a handle on her headaches and get more expert Truth Tube plans here.