Home remedies for headaches?

What is one to do when there is no aspirin in the housze, yet has a blazing headache? I know there are homeopathic remedies out there… what is your opinion on them? (and what are they?)

F_X

Well, I have no data to back me up here, but this is IMHO, so here goes: A friend of mine used to say there are two reasons why aspirin works: one scientists haven’t figured out yet, and the other is that you drink a glass of water with it, and most headaches are the first sign of dehydration…

Warm to hot shower, over the back of the head and neck.
Warm to hot water, place both hands in it and ‘rub’ the sides of your fingers (if you were a guy, almost like masturbating).

Long hot shower.
Cup of coffee or a cola.
Heating pad on the head.
I have always heard that putting your hands in warm water and rubbing the webbing between your thumb and forefinger works. Doesn’t do anything to me but make me feel silly though.

Scientists don’t know how aspirin works?

I’m a migraine sufferer, and I take lots of meds for it, but I’ve found that a combination of eucalyptus and spearmint or peppermint oils in a diffuser helps. Not sure what this would do for a plain headache, but I find the aroma very soothing.

Sex. I know it’s supposed to be the cliched excuse not to have sex, but nothing gets rid of my headaches faster than a ride on the big pink nightstick. My husband is fond of this method too.

A double-strength cup of coffee. I believe the caffeine affects blood flow, thereby helping the headache. It works, but you may not sleep so well.

Good Luck!

Feverfew is the classic herbal remedy for migranes, it’s also good for regular headaches. You can get feverfew once-a-day tablets from healthfood stores or grow it yourself and eat one leaf once a day in a sandwich (it doesn’t taste great). It is a preventative herbal remedy and needs to be taken for a few weeks daily before any effect is noticed, and some people report side effects and/or withdrawal symptoms from using it, so please get advice from an expert before considering this.

The ‘hands in hot water’ technique is great for migranes: immerse your hands and forearms into the hottest water you can bear and leave them there to stew. IIRC, the idea is that this increases blood flow to your forearms rapidly which decreases the amount of blood dialating the blood vessels in your brain (which is what’s causing the migrane). An ice pack on your head or one of those eyemasks you keep in the fridge also works wonders, or sticking your head under a cold shower.

Again, that’s all for migranes. Caffeine can put a halt to a headache quickly or prevent it developing further; however this can sometimes be a sign of caffeine addiction (certainly the case with me) plus can further dehydrate you which isn’t much help if it’s dehydration causing the headache in the first place. The fleshy area of your hand just above the webbing between your thumb and forefinger is a pressure point used in Acupressure to treat migrane sufferers; other acupressure points for headaches are two indentations at the base of the skull either side of the neck. Massage each pressure point with firm, small, circular movements. Go careful with Acupressure and using herbs at home without research or expert advice - both feverfew and acupressure can come with side effects so it’s always best to seek advice first.

My doctor gave me something for migraines. It was a vascular dialator, a pain reliever and a relaxer. Didn’t do a damn thing two motrin and a burbon coke didn’t do better. When I told him that, he said “yeah, that’s basically what you got perscribed.” Don’t overdo the toddy, 'cause the hangover headache can’t be fixed with more burbon.

Also, hot rag (as hot as you can stand it) over the eyes and nose. Especially if its sinuses.

Other suggestions that work - hot shower, hot bath, massage, water, food (hunger headaches), rest. Depends on whats causing the headache.

My “HMO remedy” for migraines. (My evil HMO has cut my ration of Zomig to three half-pills a month.)

One dose caffeine.
One dose sugar.
Ice pack on the head.
Hot water bottle or similar heat source on the stomach and feet.
A dark room and two hours’ or less sleep.

It seems to work for me, although it goes without saying YMMV. My ex-wife, who also suffered from migraines, couldn’t stand having an ice-pack on her head.

Thanks, I think I’m feeling better now. It’s amazing what some sleep can do for you.

Caught@Work, thanks for that visual. Coupled with your screen name, it’s a bit… jarring.

Tortuga, thanks for the suggestion. Maybe next time I have a headache, I’ll go hunt down some really cute friends of mine… nah, maybe not.

Potter, thanks for all the information. I know from past experience that herbal remedies and such should be undertaken with the advice of a doctor, and you’ve helped me gain more knowledge about it.

A massage… hmm. Guess I’ll have to find someone to massage me, if nothing else works.

Thanks to all that said caffeine and sugar… I don’t have an addiction to those as of yet, but if I develop constant headaches, I just may. Ice cubes and hot water bottles may be something that don’t presage an addiction. But then again, I’ll try them next time it won’t go away.

But I also was researching this stuff on Google, and these sites came up. You think they’re any good?

[Ayurveda Herbal Remedies](www.ayurveda-herbal-remedy.com/ home-remedies/headache.html)
[Homeopathy Home](www.homeopathyhome.com/services/rshop/ vshoppe/remguide/chemotherapy.shtml)
Hinthounds Multiple Home Remedy Page

The last site says:

I haven’t experienced migraines yet, but is this a good remedy? (I like to be prepared)

F_X

It’s impossible to say. There are many many triggers for migraines, and lots of different remedies. I hope you’ll never have to find out - migraines suck. I barely notice regular headaches, but it’s impossible to ignore migraines. I get pretty severe ones at times, and even my run-of-the-mill ones don’t always respond well to triptans (a relatively new class of migraine abortives) or Vicodin (which knocks many people out). Hell, sometimes a trip to the ER and a couple shots of dilaudid just makes them tolerable.

I asked a friend of mine about the aspirin thing, and this is what he had to say:

Does anyone know whether this si true? Not that I don’t believe him, but would be nice to have some independent verification. :slight_smile:

F_X

Flamsterette, I don’t have any helpful info for you, but i will say that I always thought it’s odd that aspirin works when taken internally, and also works when applied topically. (As in those aspirin powders…they work WONDERS if you have dental issues or a sore throat.) If it were strictly a thinning of the blood that made aspirin work, I don’t see how applying it directly to the area that hurts would work instantly…but it does.

As far as headaches go…I rarely get them, but when I do, it’s usually a stress headache or a caffeine headache. (For instance, I got splitting headaches every afternoon for the first two weeks I was in college. Nothing would cure them.)

I’m a believer in drowning headaches with a bite of carbs, ibuprofen, caffeine, a hot shower, a glass of water, and a little 15 minute nap. I don’t know, and will never know, which one of these remedies is the one that kills the damn thing…but then again, as long as it’s gone, I don’t really care.

:smiley:

Being a migraine/headache sufferer most of my adult life, I would heartily recommend a hot, hot, hot bath. As hot as you can stand it.

I come out looking like a lobster, but the pain in my head is relieved.

Thanks, Audrey and Shirley. I’ve never heard of aspirin powders before, but they sound unusual. (at least, to me)

F_X

Well, this isn’t likely to be much help as you’re more likely to have aspirin around than these, but the herbal remedy I tend to use for headaches is to rub lavender and peppermint oil into my forehead and scalp. I also drink plenty of water and put something cold on my forehead. Rubbin the sides of my head just above the eyes also seems to help a bit, as does applying equal pressure on both sides of the head near the top, roughly in line with the center of your neck. Lying on your bed moaning in agony and feeling sorry for yourself also seems to have psychological benefit, although perhaps it doesn’t really do much for the headache.

Then, when none of that works, I take a paracetemol, then another if the headache hasn’t died down within half an hour. :slight_smile:

The problem is that while all the little remedies work marvelously for small tension headaches and the like, they don’t do a great deal for really massive ones.

I’ll second the suggestion of caffeine. Caffeine is a gift from the gods. :slight_smile:

Liquid vitamin B complex is the best thing I’ve ever purchased. The brand I usually use is sold under the name of Sublingual B, but GNC stores also have their own brand. It’s a bit expensive, and tastes incredibly foul, but is absolutely wonderful.

Whenever I start to get a headache, I’ll take four or five eyedroppers-ful . . . more if the headache is already full-blown. While technically and overdose, it does no harm, except for a temporary flushing of the skin.

When my grandfather told me about this, I was highly skeptical, until I had a crying-puking-wishing-I-was-dead migraine, and he brought some over for me. While it didn’t take the migraine away, it certainly took the edge off. He is also a migraine sufferer, and he tole me that if I feel one coming on, I can either stop it, or at least lessen its severity by taking the liquid B. I haven’t had a migraine since then, but I can’t definately attribute it to the B complex, since migraines were somewhat of a rarity with me in the first place.

For a regular headache, honest to God, it relieves it in a few moments. I wouldn’t believe it, if I hadn’t tried it, but it is amazing.

Give it a try. I always keep a supply in the fridge. As I said, the taste is terrible, but I’d rather deal with it than a headache.