How to Treat Headaches Without Medication

21 February, 2019
Something as simple as relaxing for a few minutes with your eyes closed, going for a walk or taking a shower may be enough to relieve headaches without medication. Learn more in this article!

Migraines and serious headaches are very common in the modern world. Stress, obligations, lack of sleep and muscle cramps are the main triggers of this problem that affects millions of people all over the world. In this article, we’ll tell you how you can treat headaches without medication.

Ways to treat headaches at home

We can’t live by taking painkillers all the time, even if they’re sold over the counter. Unfortunately, however, we’re becoming more and more dependent on them and we need ever higher doses to feel the effect.

The good news is that there are alternative remedies that can be very helpful to treat headaches.

See also:

Relieve Headaches without Pills with these 6 Tips

1. Go for a walk

A couple going for a walk

Even if it seems to be something quite unappealing (after all, when we have a migraine all we want to do is sleep or be in silence and darkness), going for a walk in the park and breathing in fresh air can help relieve the symptoms.

  • This remedy is foolproof when we’re overwhelmed by stress or routine. Just by being in contact with nature for a few minutes, you’ll feel the difference.

2. Take a shower

When you get home, you can take advantage of a relaxing hot bath or shower.

Given that sometimes headaches are the result of stress or tension, they can disappear thanks to the relaxing effect of water.

You can add a few drops of essential oils (for example, lavender or mint) to increase the beneficial effects.

3. Apply a cold compress

Woman with a compress on her forehead

If you don’t have ice available, you can wet a towel or cloth and place it on your forehead until it dries and reaches room temperature.

The refreshing effect will relax the muscles and relieve the pain. It will be even better if you can take advantage of the chance to lie down a little and close your eyes.

4. Take a nap

Are you overwhelmed by work and your head is splitting with pain? Rest a little, even if it’s just reclining the chair at your desk.

If you can, take a half an hour nap. Migraines reduce considerably when we sleep.

Even if you can’t give yourself the luxury of a nap, at least close your eyes and relax your shoulders, back and neck while you clear your mind of worries and obligations.

5. Give yourself a massage

Massage to treat headaches

Although we recommend going to see a massage therapist to give you a massage in the affected areas (when headaches are caused by muscle cramps), you can treat the symptoms by applying gentle pressure on the forehead, crown, base of cranium and sinuses.

The movements should be circular, constant and last for at least 15 seconds in each area.

6. Eat healthy

Frequent headaches can be caused by many factors. One of them is having an unbalanced diet. So, if you suffer from migraines frequently, try changing your diet.

Choose a light lunch consisting of fruit and vegetables, avoid coffee (drink herbal infusions instead) and stop eating fast food.

For breakfast or a snack, green smoothies are delicious and healthy.

7. Take a break from the computer or phone

Woman with a headache in front of her computer

When we spend a lot of time sitting in front of the screen, it’s not surprising that we get headaches.

This is why – if you work in an office on the computer or phone – it’s a good idea to take a break from these devices for at least a few minutes several times a day.

  • Close your eyes or look out of the window to relax the ocular nerves and retinas.

Read also:

How Your Cell Phone Usage is Affecting Your Health

8. Drink a lot of water

There is a close relationship between dehydration and headaches. When the body doesn’t have enough liquid, the blood flow reduces and so the oxygen supply to the brain also goes down.

  • As soon as the symptoms begin, drink a glass of cold water.
  • Try to drink 2 liters of water a day to prevent this problem.

Home remedies to treat headaches

As well as these recommendations and changing our habits, there are natural recipes that may help to treat headaches. These include:

1. Cloves


You can use cloves in a variety of ways to relieve the symptoms caused by tension headaches.

  • For example, you can crush two or three cloves and put them in a little cloth bag or in a thin cloth. Gently inhale the smell through your nose.
  • You can also use clove oil on a cotton wool ball or cloth and carry out the same procedure.

2. Ginger

This powerful root has many benefits. For example, it reduces inflammation of the blood vessels and improves the symptoms of colds (which also cause headaches).

  • You can add grated or ground ginger to foods or teas to enjoy its properties.
  • Some natural food shops sell ginger sweets. Chewing them may help treat headaches.

3. Cinnamon

Ground cinnamon

Cinnamon is a very useful spice, not only in gastronomy but also for medicinal uses, given that it has the ability to treat common colds and relieve migraines.

  • To consume it several times a day, sprinkle cinnamon powder in your teas and desserts.

4. Apples

This delicious and nutritious fruit has many properties to balance acid and alkaline levels in the body and treat headaches.

  • We recommend you eat a raw apple with its peel when symptoms begin.
  • Carper, J. (2012). Los alimentos medicina milagrosa. Editorial AMAT.
  • Gil-Antuñano, N. P., Zenarruzabeitia, Z. M., & Camacho, A. M. R. (2009). Alimentación, Nutrición e hidratación en el deporte. Consejo Superior de Deportes.
  • Quesada-Vázquez, A. J., Contreras-Maure, L. J., Álvarez-Aliaga, A., & Traba-Tamayo, E. R. (2009). Prevalencia de cefaleas primarias en una población rural cubana. Rev Neurol49(131), 5.