Have you ever had a pounding headache? The feeling of a hammer gently tapping the inside of your head that slowly turns into a jackhammer pounding inside your head? It seems like everything starts to trigger the pain in your head. The slightest movement amplifies the pain, you become sensitive to light, background noise isn’t simply background anymore, and it feels like everything makes your head feel worse. You have a migraine—the king of all headaches.
A migraine is caused by constricted blood vessels and is no laughing matter. A migraine can throw a major curve ball into your day and affect your everyday activities. It can cause you to lose focus, inhibit your ability to rest and relax, decrease your productivity, and not to mention ruin your whole day. People often reach for over the counter medicine or ibuprofen to reduce their migraine. However, there are serious health concerns about what these products can do to your body. Also, since headaches can be reoccurring, a natural remedy is a healthier long-term option.
There are many options for how to get rid of a migraine, and different things work for different people. Try the following ways for how to get rid of a migraine to see what works best for you.
1. Foods that Help Migraines
Foods that can help prevent or treat migraines include the following:
Nuts, seeds and wild-caught fish, such as salmon or sardines, help control blood flow and lower inflammation.
Organic, Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
These foods are high in magnesium and other key electrolytes, which are especially important for controlling blood flow and muscular functions, along with preventing an electrolyte imbalance. They also provide antioxidants that help decrease inflammation, counteract effects of toxin exposure and balance hormones.
Some of the best sources include spinach, swiss chard, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, kefir, almonds, black beans, avocado, figs, dates, bananas and sweet potatoes.
Clean, Lean Protein Foods
These include grass-fed beef and poultry, wild-caught fish, beans and legumes.
Foods with B vitamins
Some research suggests that people with migraines could benefit from consuming more B vitamins, especially vitamin B2 (riboflavin). Sources of riboflavin include organ meats and other meat, certain dairy products, vegetables like green leafy veggies, beans and legumes, and nuts and seeds.
2. Foods to Avoid that Make Migraines Worse
Some researchers believe that up to 40 percent of migraines could be avoided if people improved their diets and avoided triggers. A poor diet, high in things like processed grains and sodium, is one of the biggest triggers for migraine symptoms. Foods that can make migraine headache pain worse include:
- Added sugar
- Refined grain products
- Conventional dairy products
- Aged cheeses
- Pickled or cured fish
- Breads or pastries made with gluten and yeast
- Red wine and other types of alcohol (especially when consumed in large amounts)
- Chocolate (contains a chemical called phenylethylamine that sometimes causes blood flow changes that trigger headaches)
- Caffeinated drinks (for some people, about one cup of coffee or tea daily can help headaches, but withdrawal or drinking more are usually problematic)
- Eggs (especially if someone has an unknown allergy)
- Artificial food additives and artificial sweeteners, including aspartame
- Flavor enhancers and preservatives in packaged foods, including MSG
- High amounts of sodium, especially when coupled with low intake of other electrolytes
- Very cold foods
- Nitrates found in processed meats like hot dogs, cold cuts, salami, bacon and ham
- Fried foods and fast foods, especially those made with MSG (such as Chinese food)
- For some people, certain types of beans and legumes (including lima beans and snow peas, which contain natural amine chemicals)
Other dietary tips for how to get rid of a migraine include avoiding extreme dieting or skipping meals, preventing dehydration, avoiding drinking too much caffeinethroughout the day, and maintaining normal blood sugar levels by eating something balanced every few hours (especially if you’re diabetic).
3. Essential Oils for Treating Headache Pain
Essential oils have a variety of uses, and you can add essential oils to the list for how to get rid of a migraine. They’re natural painkillers, help lower stress or anxiety, reduce inflammation, improve blood flow, help balance hormones, and lower muscular tension.
Essential oils can be applied to the painful side of the head, neck and elsewhere to soothe muscular tension and stress. You can also numb any pain directly by applying several drops of an oil to a heated towel (or simply use a heating pad or ice pack applied to the head and neck for about 15 minutes at a time).
Essential oils for headaches include:
Peppermint: Reduces pain and inflammation. Works by having a natural cooling effect on the skin, inhibiting muscle contractions and stimulating blood flow around the head when applied topically.
Lavender: Soothes stress and anxiety. Can improve sleep quality, decrease muscular tension, and has natural antidepressant and sedative qualities.
Eucalyptus: Improves blood flow, is uplifting, helps cleanse the body of toxins and harmful substances, and reduces high blood pressure and pain.
Frankincense: Lowers inflammation and has numerous benefits for improving overall immune function, anxiety and hormonal balance.
Rosemary: Reduces pain through regulating blood flow, helps decrease withdrawal symptoms of caffeine or medications, aids digestion, and soothes an upset stomach.
4. Natural Remedy Technique
The best part about the Himalayan salt remedy is that it is easy and fast acting. All you need to do is take some Himalayan salt crystals and grind them into a fine powder. Next, mix the powder with lemon juice and drink it! This simply remedy should help relieve your migraine almost instantly. The higher the concentration of salt to lemon juice the better or faster the remedy works. For starters I would start with one tablespoon of Himalayan salt (when crushed into powder not in crystal form) and four ounces of lemon juice. If you find that the remedy is too strong you can either add additional ounces of lemon juice or water (which will dilute the mixture some, but will minimize the taste for you). Try not to exceed eight ounces of fluid per tablespoon of Himalayan salt.