How to Stop a Headache Immediately at Home: Natural Remedies to Relieve Headaches

I have had a debilitating migraine these past couple of days (the cause of which is anyone’s guess) which inspired me to make this post. (Alternatively titled: all of the things I would consider taking for migraines if I weren’t pregnant/breastfeeding)

I should (for legal reasons) preface this by saying you should listen to your doctor before some blog post on the internet. However, some people don’t have access to medical care or insurance. Some people don’t have money for over the counter medication. That medication can be really hard on your liver. Medicating symptoms without understanding and treating the underlying problem can cause the real problem to fester. You might also just have an aversion to pharmaceutical companies.

Whatever your reasoning, there are many natural remedies that can help alleviate headache pain.

The First Thing You Should Try: Drinking Water

One of the most common causes of headaches is dehydration. When you don’t drink enough water, your body becomes dehydrated, which can trigger headaches. So, the first thing you should try is drinking a bottle or two of water. Even if your migraine isn’t due to hydration, it will make sure that all of your body’s systems are working optimally.

For Tension Headaches: Magnesium

If you’re prone to tension headaches, migraines, and/or insomnia, magnesium is an excellent supplement to have on hand. Magnesium is essential mineral for your nervous system and helping your body cope with stress. My integrative medicine doctor actually recommended this powdered magnesium to drink before bed in order to help with sleeping. It’s also great if you get a lot of muscle aches and pains; sometimes that can be due to a magnesium deficiency. You can also make a magnesium salve that you can apply to your temples or muscles when needed.

Also according to Healthline, a 2021 study found magnesium was effective for headaches with no adverse side effects.

Also for Tension Headaches: Skullcap

Skullcap is often used for anxiety and insomnia. Clinical studies have shown that Skullcap actually increases GABA in the brain, [1] (the same amino acid that is increased by benzodiazepines like Xanax.) GABA also has muscle relaxing properties (considering it plays a role in muscle tone [2]) so it can be used to treat tension headaches. (And it doesn’t alter your state of consciousness as much as something like Kava!)

If You’re Sleep Deprived: Take a Nap

Another common cause of headaches is lack of sleep. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body becomes fatigued, which can trigger headaches. (If I don’t get enough sleep, I will, without fail, get a headache.) Sometimes a nap might be enough to help ease your migraine.

How to Use Peppermint Oil for Headaches

This is a common answer but also one of the best answers. Peppermint essential oil is my go-to for migraines! I just add a drop or two to my bottle of water and it takes care of my headache 30-40% of the time. (A pretty good success rate considering Tylenol won’t even do it for me) Alternatively, you can apply it to your temples. (Well, dilute it first, ofc. Otherwise, they make this handy-dandy roll on peppermint essential oil that’s already diluted for you.)

If you don’t have enough money for fancy-pants-essential-oils, you can also just brew yourself a cup of peppermint tea. (I’m always brewing my family cups of tea to help with different ailments XD) This is the stuff I usually use— it’s organic, and comes in a cool canister that you can put trinkets in when you’re all done with it. (sunglasses emoji) It is looseleaf though, so you’ll need a tea infuser.

Ginger (Also for Tension Headaches)

Ginger is alsoa great remedy to try if you have headaches that are related to inflammation. Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory and can help to reduce inflammation in the body. You can drink ginger tea or take ginger supplements to help relieve headaches. You can also add fresh ginger to your meals or chew on a piece of ginger root.

There’s also crystallized ginger (which many people already have in their kitchen cupboards) AND gin-gins. They’re a popular individually wrapped ginger candy that you can keep on hand. They’re also handy for stomachaches, incidentally.

Try Feverfew for Headaches

I see feverfew tea recommended in many blog posts, but I would just use a tincture, but you can do either… I mean who wants to make a pot of tea when when your head is pounding? Not I. Better to have a tincture that you can just add a dropper-ful to your water.

White Willow Bark for Headaches

Fun fact #1: Willow bark contains the compound salicin which is used in making aspirin.

Fun fact #2: Because beavers eat willow bark, beaver castor actually has pain relieving properties.

Instead of drinking beaver castor (which you allegedly can do???), you can go straight to the source and take drink some white willow bark tea. It’s the closest thing to aspirin without it actually being processed by a pharmaceutical company. (Alternatively, you can just get a willow bark tincture, which is again way easier than messing around with making tea when your head hurts too bad to even stand up.)

This migraine tincture

If you don’t have a migraine currently, it’s good idea to get this tincture started right now since it won’t be ready for about a month. When it is ready, however, anecdotal evidence suggests that it works extremely well and very quickly. Really, just one of the above ingredients would suffice, but if you really want to utterly obliterate your headache, this would be the way to do it.

Essential Oils

Non-alternative medicine types are *probably* going to laugh at the idea that essential oils can help any health condition. (Which is kind of dumb, considering 1/3 pharmaceutical medications are derived from plant constituents and many plants have also been found to be effective in clinical trials (aka SCIENCE)

But I digress.

Here are some of the other essential oils that have been known to help with migraines.

Frankincense Oil

Frankincense oil is the quickest remedy to get rid of migraines. Just dab a little bit on your finger and then apply it to the roof of your mouth.

This worked INSTANTANEOUSLY for me when I tried it the first time, however it hasn’t had the same effect every time. I assume this probably really depends on what kind of headache you have.

It’s great if you don’t mind the REALLY hefty price tag. If not, there are totally cheaper options.

Lavender Oil: The Last Resort

I see lavender oil listed everywhere. Apparently it’s supposed to help relieve tension and consequently headaches. I have tried lavender oil though and it wasn’t all that effective for me.

It’s worth a shot though if you’ve tried everything else.

Binaural Beats

I’m not sure why binaural beats work, but they do. Here is one for getting rid of headaches. This isn’t an herbal remedy per se, but an effective and natural one nonetheless. Best of all, it’s something you can play at your desk while at work.


In conclusion, there are several natural ways to alleviate headaches without relying on medication. Hopefully, by incorporating a combination of these things, you can reduce the frequency and intensity of headaches.

Know someone who suffers from debilitating migraines? Please considering sharing this article with them!


[1] Research on effects of Skullcap on amino acid GABA

[2] More scientific research done on effects of Skullcap

[2] More research done on effects of Skullcap:

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