The most common type of headache is a tension headache which causes a constant ache and tightness around head and behind the eyes, and neck. Tension headache usually last for a few hours and are commonly due to stress, fatigue, or poor posture, which may cause tension in the neck and scalp. The causes of headaches vary, and constant recurrence may indicate an underlying condition. Other causes include certain foods, poor eyesight, constipation, hunger or dehydration, high blood pressure, low blood sugar, insomnia, exposure to cold temperatures, and changes in the menstrual cycle. Headaches also occur with illnesses such as the flu and can be a symptom of meningitis.
- Pain in any region of the head.
- Can range from a mild ache to a deep throbbing.
- Throbbing and pulsating pain may be worse on one side of the head.
- Feeling of tightness and constriction in the head.
- Pain may be accompained by other symptoms such as nausea and visual disturbances.
- Sensitivity to loud noises and bright lights.
- Irritability and tiredness.
Home Remedies for Headache
- Ginger: Make a paste out of 1 teaspoon ginger powder (or 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg powder) and sufficient water, and apply this paste to forehead. Leave it on for about half an hour and then wash it off. (Note: Ginger paste can sometimes create a burning sensation on the skin. It is not dangerous, but if you begin to feel an burning sensation, wash the ginger off with warm water).
- Eucalyptus: Take eucalyptus steam. Put 10 drops of eucalyptus oil in boiled water, cover your head with a towel, and inhale the steam.
- Steam inhalation: Boiling fresh ginger or dried ginger powder in water and then inhaling the steam is also effective.
For tension headache:
- Massage you temples with a couple of drops of lavender essential oil. Lavender eases physical and mental stress.
For chronic headache:
- Hot foot bath: Hot foot baths are also beneficial. Keep legs in a tub or bucket filled with hot water at a temperature of 40˚C to 45˚C for fifteen minutes every night before retiring. This treatment should be continued for two or three weeks.
- Apple: Eat a ripe apple (remove the upper rind and the inner hard portion) with a little salt every morning on an empty stomach. Take this continuously for about a week.
For sinus headache:
- Cinnamon: Make a paste out of 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and sufficient water, and apply locally.
- Nasal drop: Mix 1 teaspoon warm water and at least 1/8 teaspoon salt to make a concentrated solution. Put 3-4 drops of this salt water in each nostril. This helps to drain and unclog the sinuses and relieve the headache.
- Spicy food: Eat spicy foods such as horseradish and hot peppers which increases the flow of blood and loosen the secretions of mucus in the sinuses.
For headache due to hyperacidity:
- Aloe vera: Take 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel, up to 3 times a day.
- Sandalwood: Apply a paste of sandalwood to forehead.
- Ghee: Put few drops of warm ghee in each nostril.
Do’s for Headache
- Rest in a quiet room, in darkness or with dimmed lights. Make sure of getting enough sleep at night.
- Massage the muscles at the back of neck and shoulder in a gentle circular motion with sesame oil. Then take a hot shower.
- Try using heat to soothe the pain: fill a hot-water bottle, wrap it in a towel, and rest your head on it.
- Try aerobic exercise, yoga, or deep breathing or relaxation exercises.
- If working at a desk or computer workstation, get up and walk around regularly to reduce tension in your neck and shoulders.
- Have your eyesight checked.
- Build up physical resistance through proper nutrition, exercise and positive thinking to prevent headache.
Don’ts for Headache
- Avoid drinking alcohol and caffeine in excess, and smoking.
- Avoid red meat, nuts, and chocolate.
- Avoid Spices, condiments, sour buttermilk, and oily foodstuffs.
- Headache has not cleared up within a day or two or is becoming more severe.
- Feeling that your headache is not a simple tension headache.
- Recurrent headaches or need to use analgesics regularly.
See doctor immediately if:
- Stiff neck, sensitivity to light, fever, vomiting, or rash.
- Drowsiness and blurred vision.
- Limb weakness.