Headaches are commonly classified as throbbing, constant, sharp, or dull. But whatever kind it is, try the tips below before you reach for the medicine chest. They’re safe, natural, and effective!

• Drink enough water throughout the day to avoid headaches due to dehydration.

• Include foods with magnesium as it is an important mineral necessary for countless functions in the body, including blood sugar control and nerve transmission.

• Eat regular meals, rich in fruits, nuts and whole grains.

• Consume food rich in B-12 complex and vitamin E—or use supplements.

• Don’t smoke & reduce or stop alcohol.

• Get adequate sleep—try for 8 hours a night.

• Drink herbal tea—ginger and chamomile have been found to be most beneficial.

• Drink caffeinated tea or coffee: The very properties that put caffeine on the doctor’s no-no list, make it a strong head-ache buster. It improves the mood, increases alertness, and constricts blood vessels, all of which can have a positive effect on headache symptoms.

• Avoid strong odors like those from perfumes and cleaning products; chemicals in them can trigger headaches in some people.

• Check for food intolerance; keep a food diary and by a process of elimination, identify trigger foods.

• Hot or cold compress: Try an ice pack to the back the cold from the ice helps reduce inflammation that contributes to headaches. Alternatively, or simultaneously if your symptoms are really bad, soak your feet in hot water.

• Place a washcloth dipped alternately in ice-cold and hot water over your head for 5 minutes. Repeat a few times. For a severe headache, add a bit of hot mustard powder to a bowl of water.

• Include cloves in your diet: Their cooling and pain-relieving properties help ease throbbing headaches. Crush a few cloves, put them in a sachet or a clean handkerchief, and inhale for relief from the pain. You can also gently massage your forehead and temples with a couple of drops of clove oil plus sea salt.

• Simmer 3 - 4 basil leaves in a cup of boiling water add a little honey and sip slowly. Need a quicker fix? Try chewing fresh basil leaves, or inhale the steam after boiling basil in a pot of water.

Remember: If a headache persists for more than 2 days, or you suffer from repeated headaches, you must consult a doctor.

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