These days it seems like we have a pill for just about every possible ailment (real or not…). The headache has been around for a long time, and headache-relieving pills are nothing new. When we feel the onset of a headache–be it from stress, a head cold or hypertension–our first instinct is to pop a couple of Aspirin or any one of a hundred different over-the-counter relief pills. Our ancestors didn’t have that luxury, though. But that doesn’t mean they were any less adept at relieving headaches. Here are 5 old world herbs you can use to relieve a headache when you don’t feel like taking a pill.
Ginger is a pretty common herb that you’ve likely got hanging out in your cupboard. It’s well known for alleviating headaches, as well as nausea and a handful of other ailments. The best way to use it for headache relief is to slice off 5 or 6 slivers from a fresh hunk of root and boil them in water for a tea. Drink when it’s cooled for a bit.
Willow bark has been used for pain relief by both pioneers and Native Americans. That’s because willow contains a compound called salicin, known in some circles as aspirin.
Butterbur not only has a cool name, but it’s been used for ages as a folk remedy for headaches and various other types of pain. Butterbur is so effective that studies have shown that for people who suffer from chronic migraines, flare-ups can be reduced by as much as 50% when taking a steady supplement of butterbur.
Peppermint and Rosemary
These two spices may be the most common on the list, and there’s a very good chance you have both of them in your cabinet right now. What is uncommon is mixing the two together, which is exactly what you’ll need to do to create a headache-relieving tonic. Simply make up a tea using fresh peppermint leaves and a spring of fresh rosemary.
As the name implies, this herb not only relieves headaches, but it can also be used to reduce fever. The science behind the relief lies within the plant’s leaves and flowers, which contain a chemical that helps to dilate your blood vessels.