7 Things To Do When You Have A Headache

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7 Things To Do When You Have A Headache
7 Things To Do When You Have A Headache. Graphic © herbshealthhappiness.com. Images source – Pixabay (PD).

1. Drink Water: The importance of water in the human body cannot be understated. Dehydration has been proven to be among the most common causes of tension headaches and migraines. For this reason, drinking water and ensuring that you stay sufficiently hydrated should be step one when experiencing a headache. Relief can be experienced anywhere between half an hour and three hours. [1] So stay hydrated!

2. Eat Watermelon: Watermelons are great when having a headache. Not only do they help keep you hydrated, but also serve as a rich source of both potassium and magnesium – two birds, one stone. [2] Magnesium deficiency has been associated with people who experience frequent headaches, as compared to those who do not. [3]

3. Apply Ice to Temples: Also known as a Cold Compress, applying ice may help in soothing headaches. Headache discomfort may be reduced when inflammation in the temples is reduced, and the blood vessels constrict. [4] This can also be applied to the neck and head.

4. Drink a Cup of Coffee: Caffeinated drinks, surprisingly, may help soothe a headache. Caffeine is known to increase alertness, while constricting blood vessels, leading to headache relief. [5] This, however, should be done moderately as headaches are also caused by withdrawals from caffeine.

5. Massage Peppermint Oil onto Your Temples: Peppermint essential oil has been shown to soothe tension headaches. [6] To be on the safe side, dilute it: A drop of peppermint oil can be added to 1/4 to 1 teaspoon of coconut oil to make a massage oil.

6. Eat Something Spicy: Spicy foods like Chili peppers have been shown to have pain-relieving properties that help when one has a headache. This is due to their ability to open body pathways and letting blood flow properly. [7]

7. Drink Ginger Tea: Ginger has anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory substances with many benefits. It alleviates headache-related symptoms like nausea and vomiting. Taking ginger tea may be as effective as actual medicine. [8]

Please note that this content is not medical advice and should never be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.


[1] Popkin, B. et al. 2010. Water, Hydration and Health https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954/.

[2] 5 Reasons to Feast on Watermelon — Recipes Included https://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Health-Benefits-Watermelon-Recipe-18160699.

[3] Mauskop, A et al. 2012. Why all migraine patients should be treated with magnesium https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00702-012-0790-2.

[4] Sprouse-Blum, A. et al. 2013. Randomized Controlled Trial: Targeted Neck Cooling in the Treatment of the Migraine Patient https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3727573/.

[5] Lipton, R. B. et al. 2017. Caffeine in the management of patients with headache https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5655397/.

[6] Göbel, H. et al. 2016. Peppermint oil in the acute treatment of tension-type headache https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00482-016-0109-6.

[7] Spicy foods (chili peppers, ginger) in treatment of migraine headaches by Amos Gelbard https://www.alliedacademies.org/articles/spicy-foods-chili-peppers-ginger-in-treatment-of-migraine-headaches-byamos-gelbard-6300.html.

[8] Maghbooli, M. et al. 2014. Comparison between the efficacy of ginger and sumatriptan in the ablative treatment of the common migraine https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23657930.

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7 Things To Do When You Have A Headache
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