There are many types of headaches. Tension headaches cause mild to moderate pain and tend to affect both sides of the head. Migraines cause moderate to severe pain, often on only one side. These are just two of the many types of headaches you can experience.
Regardless of the type of headache you have, drinking a warm cup of tea may provide some relief from the throbbing, distracting pain in your head. Find reprieve with these 6 herbal teas for headaches.
Should I avoid caffeinated teas?Possibly. When drinking tea with a headache, you may want to avoid caffeinated options and stick with an herbal tea, like the ones listed below. While caffeine can provide pain relief to some, it can trigger or worsen headaches in others. If you don’t know how your headaches respond to caffeine, stick with herbal teas.
Ginger is one of the most frequently used culinary spices that offers a range of health benefits. It contains powerful antioxidants that help to reduce inflammation, which can cause headaches.
Where to buy: Buy some ready-to-brew ginger tea bags here.
Safety: Ginger tea is generally safe, even for pregnant women. Still, it’s best to talk to your doctor first if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding just to be safe. You should also talk to your doctor before consuming ginger tea if you have a gallbladder condition or take blood thinners.
According to the National Institutes of Health, there’s some evidence that topically applying peppermint oil to the forehead can ease tension headaches. Interested in trying topical peppermint oil for migraines? Learn how.
Medicinal peppermint oil is usually much stronger than peppermint tea. Does it still have the same benefits? Some animal studies suggest yes, peppermint tea may also have pain-relieving effects.
Where to buy: Buy peppermint tea bags here.
Safety: Peppermint tea is generally safe for most people and isn’t associated with any side effects.
Willow bark has been used for thousands of years to treat pain and inflammation. Willow bark — which is bark from a variety of willow trees — contains an active ingredient called salicin. Salicin is chemically similar to aspirin. Learn more about the benefits of “nature’s aspirin.”
Where to buy: You can buy willow bark tea bags here.
Safety: Willow bark is so similar to aspirin that you shouldn’t consume it if you can’t take aspirin. Children, breastfeeding or pregnant women, and people taking blood thinners should also avoid willow bark.
Clove is a valuable spice, native to Indonesia and grown around the world. It’s been used for centuries to treat various types of pain, including headaches. This is likely due to its antinociceptive properties. Antinociceptives help to block or reduce the perception of pain.
Where to buy: You can find both whole or ground cloves in most grocery stores. For maximum benefit, buy whole cloves and grind them at home. Steep 1 teaspoon of ground cloves in one up of boiling water for 10 minutes. Strain and enjoy.
Safety: Cloves contain chemicals that may slow your ability to heal, so talk to your doctor if you take blood thinners or have recently had surgery before consuming clove tea.
Feverfew is an herb with a long history of medicinal use. Many studies have evaluated the use of feverfew in migraine treatment. In addition to treating general headache pain, feverfew may even help to prevent migraines.
Where to buy: You can buy feverfew teabags online.
Safety: Feverfew tea can sometimes cause mouth irritation. Try using more water and fewer leaves if this happens. Don’t drink feverfew tea while pregnant because it may induce labor.
Where to buy: You can find chamomile tea bags at most grocery stores.
Safety: Consuming chamomile can cause an allergic reaction if you’re also allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, or daisies. You should talk to your doctor before drinking chamomile tea if you take blood thinners or antirejection medication for an organ transplant.
Headaches can be a real pain, especially if they don’t respond to common treatments. The next time you feel one coming on, try brewing one of these herbal teas for relief.
Just the act of taking a moment to stop and rest with these soothing teas might be enough to stop a headache from developing. If you don’t regularly drink tea, most of these herbs are also available as dietary supplements. However, you should speak with your doctor before adding any new herbal supplements.
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