10 natural remedies for headache

Seldom do we think about our lifestyle and diet when we get a headache. Instead, we turn to drugs and await the next pound in the head. All the studies to date, however, show how important lifestyle is when it comes to managing, treating, and permanently curing headaches. If you can reduce sources of inflammation (lose the extra weight, eliminate gluten, go low-carb and high good fat, and maintain healthy blood sugar balance), you can target and control headaches.


The idea that we can treat—and in some cases, totally eliminate—common neurological ailments through diet alone is empowering. Most people immediately turn to drugs when seeking a solution, oblivious to the cure that awaits them in a few lifestyle shifts that are highly practical and absolutely free.

Numerous things can trigger a headache. I cannot possibly list all of the potential offenders, but I can offer a few tips to end the suffering:

  1. Drink! The main reason in the most of the headaches is dehydration.

  2. Keep a very strict sleep-wake cycle. This is key to regulating your body’s hormones and maintaining homeostasis— the body’s preferred state of being, where its physiology is balanced.

  3. Lose the fat. The more you weigh, the more likely it is that you’ll suffer from headaches.

  4. Stay active. Remaining sedentary breeds inflammation.

  5. Watch caffeine and alcohol use. Each of these in excess can stimulate a headache.

  6. Don’t skip meals or keep erratic eating habits. As with sleep, your eating patterns control many hormonal processes that can affect your risk for a headache.

  7. Manage emotional stress, anxiety, worry, and even excitement. These emotions are among the most common triggers of headaches. Migraine sufferers are generally sensitive to stressful events, which prompt the release of certain chemicals in the brain that can provoke vascular changes and cause a migraine. Adding insult to injury, emotions such as anxiety and worry can increase muscle tension and dilate blood vessels.

  8. Go gluten-, preservative-, additive-, and processed-free. The low-glycemic, low-carb, high–healthy-fat diet will go a long way to reducing your risk for headaches. Be especially careful about aged cheese, cured meats, and sources of monosodium glutamate (MSG, commonly found in Chinese food), as these ingredients may be responsible for triggering up to 30 percent of migraines.

  9. Track the patterns in your headache experience. It helps to know when you’re at a greater risk of getting one so you can pay extra attention during those times. Women, for example, can often trace patterns around their menstrual cycle. If you can define your patterns, you can better understand your unique headache and act accordingly.

  10. At least my favourite rapid therapy: Make a room quite and dark, lay down, and massage your temple with a gentle circular movement.


Sources: Grain Brain from David Perlmutter, and my own studies, experiences.


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