Headaches are kind of a pain (see what I did there?). I get a few every month and, at the risk of over-sharing, they seem to closely follow my “cycle” if you know what I mean.
When a headache strikes, most of us don’t have the luxury of dropping everything and holing up in a dark room with a cool cloth. But sometimes, for whatever reason, we want to avoid over-the-counter pills. Maybe, like me, you just try to avoid pharmaceuticals if there’s a non-medicinal alternative that’s just as easy and just as fast. Maybe you’re allergic. Maybe you don’t have access to medicine.
Whatever your reason for seeking alternate solutions, here are five that have been successful for me in getting rid of a headache.
Note: I am not a doctor, nor have any of these statements been evaluated by a doctor. These are just the remedies that have been successful for me.
1. drink a coke
Drinking a Coke gives you a blast of caffeine and sugar. Sometimes a headache can be caused by a lack of caffeine (lack might be the wrong word, but if your body is used to getting caffeine but doesn’t, it certainly thinks it’s lacking), which is why over-the-counter headache medicines contain it. Sometimes your body can use a little sugar, too, which makes Coke a one-two punch.
2. peppermint essential oil
I hope to at some point write a post detailing all the ways in which my family and I use and benefit from essential oils. It would be a long post. One of my favorites is using peppermint oil to relieve a headache. I rub a small amount of the oil on my forehead and temples (for more details on how this oil should be applied, this is a great resource). One application usually takes care of the headache, but if necessary I reapply a few times.
I keep a small bottle of peppermint oil in my desk at school and allow students to apply it if they need to. Our school district has one nurse and she isn’t always at our school, which means she isn’t always available to dispense meds to students who need them. With peppermint oil, I can help students get relief immediately.
3. eat a chocolate bar
The reasoning behind this is similar to the explanation for drinking a Coke. Chocolate has a small amount of caffeine and that, combined with the sugar, can be just what your body needs to kick a headache. Plus, eating a Hershey bar for medicinal reasons? Score.
4. drink water
Headaches can often be caused by dehydration. Naturally, the solution to that would be to hydrate. If you have the ability to drink quite a lot of water- we’re talking at least one bottle, possibly two- in the span of an hour or less, go for it. Water is obviously as natural a cure as you can find. If you frequently experience headaches that are remedied by drinking water, though, you might want to think about just drinking more water.
5. take a nap
This one probably falls into the category of “yeah, I wish”. But if the stars somehow align and you can eek out twenty minutes to close your eyes and get a little sleep, it might be just the thing you need. It’s not surprising that sleep deprivation can make your head hurt. Sometimes your brain needs a reset; a power nap can do just that.
What is your favorite non-medicinal way to get rid of a headache?
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