The World Health Organization says that almost half of the adult population has had a headache at least once within the last year. It is a common disorder that, depending on its cause, can take many forms.
What most of us do is that we reach out for painkillers. While these OTC medicines offer immediate relief from headaches, they may cause certain side effects. These may include drowsiness, fatigue, chest pain, or nausea.
That’s why more and more people around the world are choosing natural supplements for relieving headaches.
This article talks about the main reasons why you may be getting recurring headaches and which natural supplements you should opt for to prevent and cure head pain.
Why Do You Get Headaches?
Before we talk about some of the most effective natural supplements for headaches, it is essential to know the reason why you may be getting this common complaint.
Did you know that there are close to 150 different types of headaches? Some of the most common types of headaches include:
Migraines: These are common in people with epilepsy and depression and often cause intense throbbing pain. A migraine may also lead to numbness, muscle weakness, or difficulty in speaking.
Sinus headache: Mainly caused due to inflammation of the sinus glands, this type of headache may lead to a reduced sense of smell, a blocked nose, and even facial pressure.
Tension-type headache: This is characterized by a dull pain in the head accompanied by a feeling of pressure behind the eye or tenderness in the face and neck. It is caused primarily due to chronic stress and anxiety.
Conditions such as blood pressure and cholesterol are also said to contribute to headaches. Besides, chemicals found in everyday use items such as shampoos, household cleaning products, and even makeup can cause and worsen headaches.
Why Do You Need Natural Supplements for Headaches?
Did you know there is another kind of headache known as medication overuse headache? This is caused by medicines that are taken to cure headaches, especially when there is long-term dependence on these medicines for say even two-three days a week.
Enter natural supplements for relieving headaches.
According to this Current Neurology and Neuroscience Report, there is a steady rise in what are called nutraceuticals for the prevention and management of headaches. This is mainly due to these supplements being safe and extremely effective in helping people find relief from head pain.
These are nothing but supplements of vitamins, minerals, herbs, enzymes, and amino acids taken to reduce the frequency and severity of headaches.
While most people get adequate doses of these nutrients from their diets, some people may be diagnosed with certain deficiencies. This may be because of reasons such as:
- Consuming an inadequate diet.
- Suffering from certain conditions or diseases that interfere with the ability of your body to absorb these nutrients.
These supplements are known to improve your long-term health by curing and preventing certain chronic conditions. Unlike chemical-based medicines that offer a quick but short-lived solution, they work on the root cause of the headache.
Which Are Some of the Best Natural Supplements for Relieving Headaches?
Here are some supplements worth trying to get relief from head pain:
Ginger root has been used as a remedy for headaches for centuries. The main compounds in ginger are gingerols and shogaols. Both these are known to have a pain-relieving effect on our bodies.
Not only do they just relieve head pain, but they also reduce other symptoms of headache such as nausea and tenderness in the facial area.
According to the Canadian Family Physician, riboflavin, commonly known as vitamin B2, is one of the most-effective alternatives to traditional medicines for relieving headaches.
It helps resolve mitochondrial dysfunction, which is a contributing cause of some types of headaches. When supplemented, riboflavin boosts your metabolism and increases energy in your body, leading to a reduction in the frequency of headaches.
As verified in the Nutrients Journal, a deficiency of magnesium is connected to a recurrence of mild and moderate tension-type headaches and migraines. It also has a positive impact on menstruation-related headaches in women. It is said to block brain signals that lead to aural changes in migraine. It also helps in reducing other discomforting migraine symptoms such as changes in vision and disorientation.
Chronic stress is one of the main reasons why we get headaches. It not just leads to head pain but may also worsen an existing headache. This mainly happens when due to stress, we tighten our neck and shoulder muscles. Lack of sleep, changes in appetite, and fluctuating blood sugar levels, due to stress and anxiety also exacerbate headaches.
According to Sage Journals, Ashwagandha has been used for centuries as an adaptogen. Its primary bioactive compounds include withanolides, withaferin A, and sitoindosides, among others. These act as antidepressants and counter the negative effects of stress on the body.
A deficiency of vitamin D or the ‘sunshine vitamin’ is associated with headaches. Too little of this vitamin leads to inflammation that increases the sensitivity of the neurons in the brain. This may lead to interference with the absorption of magnesium in the body along with an increase in the formation of nitric oxide leading to headaches.
One of the most commonly used supplements, feverfew is often referred to as the ‘medieval aspirin’ for its ability to prevent and cure headaches. It is abundant in volatile oils, parthenolide, and flavonoids that inhibit the serotonin receptors in the brain. These compounds also reduce spasms in the muscles and help in relieving painful symptoms of headaches.
All these natural supplements for headaches are highly bioavailable. This means that they are absorbed better and faster in the body offering quicker relief. These supplements are more beneficial when bought from a reputed brand. For instance, Rasayanam’s Ashwagandha Ksm 66 is amongst the best supplements available today. It is highly refined and concentrated and contains the purest and most potent forms of Ashwagandha to offer long-term relief from head pain. We recommend consulting your healthcare provider before taking any supplements.