Having a headache is painful, distracting, and irritating, but it is one of the most common physical complaints of humankind. Headaches can be sparked by all kinds of things, from dehydration to stress to allergies. When it comes to killer migraines, the cause comes down to the individual sufferer, as different triggers bother different people. But despite how uncomfortable a headache can be, we are typically trained to believe that we can’t slow down for one. The first we do is pop a painkiller to get rid of the agony.
Unfortunately, despite millions of rupees’ worth of advertising to assure consumers that these medications are safe, they all come with some serious side effects. Did you know that acetaminophen is the number one cause of liver failure worldwide? And for each of these major three painkillers, the effective dose is uncomfortably close to the toxic dose. When you read the fine print, you’ll see that the labels all discourage regular, consistent use of the product for pain relief.
Let’s discuss how a few natural painkillers could eliminate your suffering without imposing dangerous side effects.
The first thing you should do when you feel a headache coming on is drink some water. Chronic dehydration is an extremely common cause of headaches, which means that it’s not just about how much water you drank today, but about your water consumption habits overall. Being dehydrated can also cause distraction and irritability, which tends to make your symptoms feel worse.
One of the most painful bodily conditions is inflammation, and that goes for headaches too. Ibuprofen is a powerful anti-inflammatory, which is why it can make you feel better. But nature is full of natural anti-inflammatories that you should try first. Turmeric is a great one because it has a high concentration of anti-inflammatory compounds as well as lots of powerful antioxidants.
Studies have shown that magnesium deficiency is common in people who suffer frequent migraine headaches. The evidence suggests that 600 mg of oral magnesium citrate per day can reduce the frequency of migraines as well as their intensity when they do strike.
Caffeine has long been known to have a positive effect on headaches, which is why it can be found in many over-the-counter headache medicines. Caffeine can constrict blood vessels (reducing inflammation), boost your mood, and improve alertness, all of which can be helpful in minimizing headache pain. This mild stimulant has also been found to improve the effectiveness of OTC pain meds.
Getting back to basics, sometimes a good old-fashioned cold compress can work wonders. Applying one to a painful head will decrease inflammation, constrict blood vessels, and slow nerve conduction, a trio of effects that all help to reduce pain. Cold treatment may be enough to cure your headache by itself, but it is also safe to use in conjunction with any other pain treatment.