When a headache comes, it comes on hard and fast. The pinging and pounding can stop you from getting work done, being present for your loved ones, and even getting out of bed.
Approximately 45 million Americans suffer from chronic daily headaches. While over-the-counter medications are a perfectly acceptable (and effective) solution, chronic overuse of them can have long term effects on the health of your stomach, liver, and kidneys.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent and mitigate headaches that don’t involve popping a pill. Because we suffer from headaches just as much as you do, we reached out to the experts for their all-natural relief recommendations. Here’s what they said:
1. Combat headaches with ginger root.
Ginger root is a powerhouse herb that offers an incredible wealth of health benefits, including headache relief. Ginger’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties help to reduce the inflammation that may be triggering your headaches.
Ginger has also shown to help increase serotonin levels, which can further reduce inflammation and modulate blood vessel constriction. You can enjoy ginger in supplement form, as a tea, or cooked in with your favorite recipes.
Dr. Ellie Heintze, Naturopathic Doctor, Starting Point Acupuncture
Interested in supplementing with ginger root? KOR’s Wellness delivers your daily dose of freshly pressed organic ginger juice in one quick and delicious shot.
2. Peppermint tea can serve as a natural headache solution.
Peppermint tea has been shown to aid in muscle relaxation. You’ve probably already heard about peppermint tea’s digestive capabilities. By relaxing the gut, peppermint tea can ease the burning and tension associated with cramping and irritable bowel syndrome. In the same way, peppermint tea is also effective against migraines and headaches.
In addition to microbial and antiviral properties, which make it good for freshening breath and improving oral health, peppermint tea also contains menthol, which can be helpful in opening up the sinus pathways to relieve sinus-related headaches.
Tension headaches, also known as “stress headaches,” are experienced by a third of adults. The relaxing quality of peppermint tea can help mitigate the stress symptoms associated with this all too common type of headache.
Dr. Livingood, Doctor of Natural Medicine and chiropractic physician, Livingood Daily
3. If you find yourself waking up to a headache it may be time to evaluate your food and beverage choices.
The food we eat can both trigger and prevent headaches, especially for those who are prone to frequent headaches. Most headache sufferers can identify the foods that trigger their headaches quickly, but may have not considered what may ease or prevent their occurrence.
Calcium and vitamin D have been shown to lower the occurrence of migraines and headaches. If you feel a headache coming on consider drinking a glass of milk or eating a bowl of yogurt.
Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD, Balance One Supplements
If you’re looking to ward off headaches with a dose of vitamin D, KOR’s Intense Defense offers 235% of your daily recommendation. This shot combines tart passion fruit juice with organic habanero pepper for a sweet and spicy solution to boosting your nutrients.
4. Improve migraines and headaches with chiropractic care.
With the opioid crisis in the public view, more people are looking for alternative methods of dealing with their pain from migraine headaches.
When muscles in the neck get sore and stiff from prolonged texting, whiplash or computer work, cervicogenic headaches ensue. Restoring proper range of motion and nerve interference with chiropractic adjustments can help address the cause of many headaches without the use of drugs or surgery. A regular stretching program can also help with headaches and prevent future injuries by maintaining proper motion of all of the associated muscle regions.
Dr. Allen Conrad, Owner, Montgomery County Chiropractic Center
5. Manage adrenaline.
In many headache cases, adrenaline is to blame. It causes the muscles in the neck to tense up, leading to a range of headache types, including tension and occipital neuritis headaches (which are regularly mistaken for migraines but are actually much more common).
The best foods for combating cortisol and adrenaline (the stress hormones) include complex carbs, spinach (for magnesium), oranges (for vitamin C), and healthy fats, such as fatty fish, nuts, and avocado.
Michael E. Platt, MD, Author, “Adrenaline Dominance”
6. Stay hydrated.
Not having enough fluids in the body can cause the brain to temporarily contract and pull away from the skull, leading to a dehydration headache.
To remain healthy and functioning properly, the body requires a proper internal balance of water and electrolytes. Drinking enough fluids throughout the day and eating water-rich foods can help you reduce the pain associated with the headache within 30 minutes to three hours.
To help keep your body hydrated, it's best to spread out the amount of fluid you drink throughout the day rather than attempting to consume it all in one go.
Kevin Daly, Workplace Wellness Expert, Zevo Health
7. Practice deep breath work.
Practicing regular breath work can help minimize headaches, and it’s very simple:
First, sit in a comfortable position (upright) and take deep rhythmic inhales and exhales. Continue this for two to three minutes, then hold the breath on the last inhale for at least one minute.
Especially when you are short-winded the first two seconds will be extremely uncomfortable for you. Your thoughts will race, and you’ll think you’re going to be knocked out. That's perfectly normal! Your body will soon adapt to the new level of oxygen, and you will experience a relieving wave of calm and relaxation.
Marvin Klemp, Regeneration Expert, Vital Generation
In addition to breathwork, the things you put into your body can help relieve headache-inducing stress. With and Reishi Mushroom, KOR’s De-Stress was formulated to soothe your mind.
9. Try an herbal poultice.
For headaches, I like to fill my poultice with agrimony, an herbaceous flowering plant, known for its medicinal properties. The flowers, along with the leaves, can be purchased dried. I recommend using the entire plant, from root to flower, since each part has different medicinal properties.
There are many recipes for making and using a poultice. Make sure to cook the herbs (to activate them), wrap them in cloth, then directly apply it to the head where the headache is the worst (typically the forehead, side, or back of the head).
Agrimony is known to induce deep relaxation and sleep that is incredible for relieving migraines.
As a quick recap, if you’re looking for supplements to assist with headache relief, the experts recommend the ingredients found in these KOR Shots:
- Wellness: for the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of ginger
- Intense Defense: for a boost of headache-combatting vitamin D
- Immune+: for the stress-relieving benefits of vitamin C, cordycep mushrooms, and astragalus
You may not be able to avoid headaches entirely, but incorporating these wellness practices into your routine can help relieve and prevent them. Go ahead, and give them a try!