Although many are guilty of harboring bottles of Advil, Tylenol, and Aleve in their medicine cabinets, most of us also know that while these drugs may cure our aches and pains quickly, they’re not so good for our bodies long-term. From one faithful Tylenol consumer to another, the next time you feel a headache, or even worse, a migraine, coming on, try these simple and natural remedies instead.

  1. Thyme or Rosemary Oil
    • Try dabbing a few drops of either thyme or rosemary oil onto your temples and forehead. Rub them into your skin and let it soak in for several minutes. Take this time to sit quietly and relax—let these natural oils work their magic.
    • These oils contain some of the same properties as anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen.
  2. Magnesium
    • Those of us who suffer from frequent headaches or migraines are often deficient in magnesium.
    • Regularly taking 400 milligrams a day of chelated magnesium, magnesium oxide, or slow-release magnesium can act as a preventative measure to fight off frequent headaches.
    • Large quantities of magnesium are also found in dark chocolate, mackerel, dried figs, and pumpkin seeds. Eat up!
  3. Vitamin B2
    • Taking 400 milligrams of B2, a.k.a. riboflavin is also known to reduce headaches and migraines.
    • Certain hard cheeses, some fish, almonds and sesame seeds are all high in Vitamin B2, too!
  4. Butterbur Extract
    • Physicians have found that taking butterbur extract will significantly reduce headaches and migraines.
    • The recommended dosage is 75 milligrams twice a day for one month, then 50 milligrams twice a day.
  5. Ginger
    • Ginger is a bit of a superhero when it comes to combatting migraines and headaches. It can be used in tea, candy, or paste to help soothe these pains.
    • DIY: create a homemade tea by gently simmering three quarter-sized slices of gingerroot in 2 cups of water for 30 minutes.
      • If you’re not a fan of the taste of the ginger tea, you can also boil the raw ginger in water and inhale the vapor for a similar effect.
      • Another option is creating a paste out of one teaspoon of dry ginger powder and two tablespoons of water. Apply on the forehead for a few minutes, and let it soak into the skin.
    • You can also try chewing one or two pieces of ginger candy.
  6. Chamomile Tea
    • The relaxing agents of chamomile tea are also known to ease the pain of headaches and migraines.
    • Steep one teabag for 10 minutes, and try sipping in a quiet spot.
  7. Peppermint and Lavender Oil
    • The soothing aroma of these oils is known to increase relaxation, and is recommended by many natural healers.
    • Try drawing a bath, shower, or footbath and adding a few drops of peppermint and/or lavender oil to help combat your headache.
  8. Mint Juice
    • The primary chemical components of mint are known to effectively alleviate headaches and migraines.
    • DIY: Extract the juice from a handful of mint leaves and applying it to your forehead and temples. Let it soak for several minutes while you relax in a quiet and comfortable spot.
  9. Basil
    • Basil is also known to ease the pains related to muscle tension involve in a headache.
    • DIY: make basil tea by steeping three or four basil leaves in a cup of boiling water for five minutes. Again, sip your tea in quiet spot to most to help soothe your headache.
    • Similarly to ginger, if you don’t like the taste of your basil tea, try boiling one tablespoon of basil leaves or a few drops of basil oil in a pot of boiling water. Breathe in the steam from the pot for alleviation.
  10. Ice
    • As most people know, ice can often act as a numbing agent, as well as an inflammation reducer. Its powers are no different where headaches and migraines are concerned.
    • Try applying a handful of ice wrapped in a towel, or an icepack, to the back of your neck for headache relief.
    • You can also make a cold compress with ice water and a washcloth. Rest it over your forehead until room temperature, and repeat.

Thanks to Reader’s Digest and Top 10 Home Remedies for informing the content of this article.