Unfortunately, headaches and just general inflammation are a common issue in our world today. Headaches are a sign that something is wrong within your body. Headaches are not supposed to be normal.
Pain of any sort is a sign that there is inflammation happening within your body. We are going to cover three of the top (nearly free, but completely natural) ways to lower inflammation, which should help with headache relief.
There’s a good chance that you’ve heard of this first option, but not the last two options.
This post was written by Jabrielle Troup, co-founder at Wholesomebodyhealth.com. Jabrielle is an incredible holistic health coach, certified personal trainer, and has a bachelor’s degree in health promotion and psychology. You can read her full bio + get Wholesome Body Health’s FREE 2-week health transformation guide at the end of this post!
Ginger for Quick Headache Relief
This is the only option mentioned in this article that will cost money…albeit it’s extremely cheap.
Ginger has actually been researched to relieve migraines as much as one of the commonly prescribed migraine medications (sumatriptin). We’ll explore this research in The Science section below.
- Lowers inflammation
- Lessens pain
- Relieves Headaches
- Relieves Nausea
- Relieves Gas
- Relieves Bloating
- Boosts Immune System
The benefits of ginger are vast! However, if you are pregnant, nursing, have diabetes, a bleeding disorder, or a heart condition should consult their doctor before using. Ginger is considered “likely safe” for most individuals, however, 52 drugs have known interactions with ginger.
The Science Behind Ginger for Quick Headache Relief
In this double-blind randomized clinical trial that was published in 2014, 100 participants were studied for 1 month. Some were randomly selected to receive ginger powder while the others were selected to receive the prescription drug (sumatriptin).
The results were outstanding!
In the study, the results were similar for each of the two methods used in relieving migraines and preventing them. However, there were more adverse effects in the participants that took sumatriptin. So, there were far fewer side effects for the participants that took the ginger powder. (1)
Wouldn’t you rather take something that is natural and much cheaper than a prescription or even an over the counter or medication that also has much fewer adverse side effects?
I sure would!
In that 2014 study, participants consumed 250 mg of ground ginger. There are some issues with figuring out exactly how much ginger one should take. We’ll cover that below.
In another study that was published in 1990, a patient that consumed 500-600 mg of ginger powder at the first sign of a migraine was able to stop the migraines each time. (2)
Pitfalls of Figuring Out How Much Ginger to Use for Natural Headache Relief
According to studies, the amount of dried ginger needed to get 250mg is stated to vary between ⅛-½ teaspoon. That is quite a varied amount!
The amount of ginger needed depends on the brand used and it also depends on whether or not you pack or loosely measure the dried ginger.
One migraine expert tested whether or not you should tightly pack or loosely measure the dried ginger. He found that a ⅛ teaspoon fluffy scoop of dried ginger equals 290 mg of ginger which should be enough, in theory, to help you with your headaches and/or migraines based on the 2014 study that was mentioned above.
However, he also tried packing the dried ginger into the ⅛ teaspoon measuring spoon. He found that equaled about 500 mg of ginger which was the same amount listed in the 1990 study.
The brand that he used to test was Simply Organic Ginger which is a naturally looser packaged dried ginger. The dried ginger varies among brands based on their packaging methods and processes that are used to grate and dry the ginger. (3)
Ginger Amounts Needed to Stop Headaches/Migraines
- 250 mg of ginger powder
- 1/8 tsp. of dried ginger powder (Simply Organic)
- 1/4 tsp. of freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 tsp. of freshly grated ginger steeped in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes
- 1 tsp. of fresh ginger (not grated) steeped in hot water for 10 to 15 minutes
- 1 cup of ginger tea from 1 prepackaged ginger tea bag
The above amounts recommended were compiled by the same migraine expert mentioned above.
Practical Tips for Including Ginger into Your Daily Routine
- Consume ⅛ teaspoon of dried ginger every day in a cup of water. If you suffer from incessant headaches or migraines, consuming this amount up to 3-4 times a day has been used with success in preventing them.
- Put ⅛ teaspoon of dried ginger in a glass of water as soon as you feel a headache or migraine coming on. In theory, it should stop it in its tracks. Or feel free to try any of the other methods suggested above in the correct amounts (freshly grated ginger, ginger tea, fresh ginger, etc).
- If you work outside of the home, perhaps carry some ginger powder or dried ginger powder and a measuring spoon in your day bag, so you are always prepared to treat your oncoming headache/migraine. Add the ⅛ teaspoon of ginger to a few ounces of water.
Please be very wary of any ginger supplements. They often do not contain the amounts listed and the quality is sometimes terrible.
Pure Encapsulations is a brand that is used by physicians and other health practitioners. It’s a well tested and trusted brand. Another reputable brand that sells ginger in capsule form is Jarrow Formulas.
Wim Hof Method for Headache Relief
When I mention this method to people, they often scoff and have a lot of doubt that this method could provide any relief of headaches or any other kind of inflammation.
Benefits of the Wim Hof Method
The Wim Hof Method to help to reduce or prevent your headaches or migraines is FREE and simple to try! The Wim Hof Method has been shown in research to help lower inflammation in huge ways.
There are also many anecdotal stories of people that have improved their health as a result of using this method. Many professional athletes use this method to help them recover post-exercise.
Those with autoimmune illnesses have also claimed relief of their symptoms. Of course, with any anecdotal story, you can take it with a grain of salt or not.
Remember that your headaches or migraines are a sign that there is inflammation occurring in your body. We need to lower that inflammation in order to help your head woes.
An added benefit to using this technique is that it will also help to lower your stress level, which is often the cause of your headaches/migraines in the first place.
In full disclosure, on their website, you can purchase a 10-week guided course that is a few hundred dollars that will help you through this process if you desire more instruction. I have no affiliation with their company though.
You can try the Wim Hof method for free at home though if you have no desire or you do not have the funds to purchase the course mentioned above. I do think that the course is wonderfully designed and is led by Wim Hof himself.
How to Use This Method At Home for Free
There are three main pillars of the Wim Hof Method. The three main pillars include breathing, cold exposure, and commitment.
To start, Wim Hof does offer a free 3-part video mini-course on his website that you can do at home. You can also find free beginner videos on YouTube of Wim Hof leading you through the breathing technique.
I personally enjoy pulling up YouTube and following along with Wim Hof on there. However, I would highly recommend checking out the mini-course above so that you can see for yourself how he recommends doing the cold exposure therapy and how to stay committed so that you actually see results.
If you practice this method on a daily basis then, in theory, you will consistently lower your stress, help to boost your immune system, and lower inflammation which will all help to ward off any oncoming head pain.
Even if you just practice the breathing techniques on a daily basis (without doing the cold exposure) then there is a chance that you will still see some positive results.
If you would like to learn more about cold exposure therapy and for tips on how to incorporate it into your life then check out this article. There is a way to gradually increase your cold exposure in order to better tolerate it.
The Science Behind the Wim Hof Method
In one 10-day study, participants were randomly divided into two groups – an intervention group and a control group. The intervention group was taught techniques that the Wim Hof Method promotes – mediation, breathing techniques (cyclic hyperventilation followed by breath-holding), and cold exposure therapy (immersion in cold water).
Both groups were injected with E. coli which is a bacterium known for causing gastrointestinal illness.
The intervention group had lower levels of inflammation (through increases in epinephrine), as well as an elevation in proinflammatory mediators. As a result, this intervention group had much less gastrointestinal distress compared to the control group. (4)
Grounding or Earthing for Natural Headache Relief
Here is another technique that not many people discuss or know about. It might sound woo-woo or strange to some people, but again, like the Wim Hof Method, there is plenty of research to support the health benefits.
I urge you to keep reading on to learn more! It’s so worth it! This may be my favorite tip for lowering acute and chronic inflammation.
Benefits of Grounding for Natural Headache Relief
Did you know that grounding has been shown to lower inflammation quite significantly?
It has also been shown to increase the immune system due to the neutrophil (the main type of white blood cell) activity that occurs (see the studies below).
Additionally, it has been shown to help the cardiovascular system by causing the blood viscosity (the thickness) to break up and flow more freely and naturally. That occurs in less than an hour of being grounded (see the studies below).
How can it help your headaches or migraines? Well, since grounding lowers inflammation and if you are committed to being grounded each day then you will lower the chances of getting that head pain in the first place.
How does Grounding Improve Health?
Grounding is one of those things that is hard for some people to wrap their heads around.
Here is the simplest explanation:
We are electrical beings. Everything in our world is electrical in fact. Everything has an electrical current running through it.
Remember science class in school? The electron transport chain? Remember that living things are made up of positive and negative electrons? I hope all of that rings a bell!
Well, each of our cells has an electrical charge. When there is an imbalance and there are too many positive electrons (the harmful ones), but not enough negative electrons (the good ones) then inflammation occurs.
As we know now, inflammation is the cause of ALL disease and disfunction!
Where do the negative electrons in grounding come from?
They come from the sun’s rays and from lightning striking the earth.
They provide the electrical charge to the earth’s surface, which is why grounding is so beneficial for us.
Our bodies SOAK up the negative electrons which creates a harmonious and healing environment in our bodies.
The invention of rubber and plastic soled shoes in the 1960s has caused people around the world to become ungrounded and shielded from the negative electrons.
Our ancestors that lived a long time ago were either barefoot or wore animal skin shoes. Their beds were grounded on the earth’s surface and they laid upon animal furs.
They did not deal with the number of health issues that we do today!
How Do I Ground for Inflammation Relief?
Grounding is as simple as placing your bare feet on the ground. It’s simple and free, however, there are some grounding products that you can purchase if you have long-standing inflammation and are not able to ground as long as you need to in order for the proper healing to occur (the additional grounding resources are mentioned below).
Proper Grounding Surfaces for Earthing:
Improper Grounding Surfaces for Earthing:
- Laminate Flooring
Additional Grounding Resources
Conductive grounding products can be purchased for relatively cheap through Ultimate Longevity. Someone might want to consider these products if they have chronic inflammation or simply cannot get enough grounding during the day.
I have no affiliation with the company. I simply trust them more than other grounding companies because the founder of the company, Clint Ober, is the pioneer in this grounding research. He’s been spearheading the grounding movement and research since the 1990s.
They sell grounding mats that you can put your feet on while you work at the computer or watch TV, grounding sheets and pillowcases that you can put on your bed, and much more. You simply plug the products into a grounded outlet and then use them.
If I had to pick only one of the products that they sell then I would pick the grounding sheet for beds because when you sleep, your body is in repair and recovery mode. Plus, you are getting undisturbed grounding for 6-8 hours each night. When you are asleep, you are MOST in need of negative electrons so that your body can help to lower inflammation while you sleep.
You might want to check out a documentary on YouTube called The Earthing Movie to learn more about this incredible movement.
There are also some grounding shoes that you can buy that will allow you to be grounded while outside when you cannot be barefoot.
One grounding footwear company that I like (and am affiliated with) is called Earth Runners. Check them out! There are others out there too. Feel free to do your research.
The Science Behind Grounding for Inflammation
Let’s briefly cover some of the top research studies that have been completed on grounding. They are incredible and sound too good to be true. But keep reading…
In research that was published in 2015, results on the effects of grounding were analyzed and the results revealed were outstanding and unbelievable. It showed that grounding has an antioxidant capability. The research also showed through medical infrared imaging that inflammation was decreased significantly. In the research article, you can clearly see the decrease in inflammation in the images.
Also, the research showed the speed at which acute and chronic wounds were healed.
The research article summarized that grounding helps to normalize sleeping patterns partially because it helps to neutralize cortisol levels. Improper cortisol levels are often what causes sleep issues. Unbalanced cortisol levels have also been associated with overstressed adrenal glands and therefore an imbalance in thyroid hormones. Why not try grounding to see if it helps with any of the above issues that you may be dealing with?! (5)
In a clinical trial published in 2013, ten participants were grounded via conductive patches on the palms of their hands and soles of their feet for 2 hours. Wires connected the patches to a stainless steel rod that was stuck in the ground outside. The results showed that the participants’ blood viscosity was lessened…meaning that the red blood cells were able to travel along the vasculature more freely. Increased blood viscosity is what causes most, if not all, cardiovascular conditions. So, these results are huge! (6)
Final Thoughts on Headache Relief Remedies
- For a super quick fix for heading off oncoming headaches or migraines, try ⅛ teaspoon of dried ground ginger (or 250 mg of ginger) mixed with a few ounces of water.
- Right after you take the ginger, try the Wim Hof breathing technique. If you can, do the breathing technique outside on the ground so that you can be grounded and are breathing in fresh outdoor air rather than the typical toxic indoor air.
I recognize that the above recommendations are a very alternative way of doing things…I’m not telling you to put a lot of different things into your body (which is the opposite of what is normally recommended!). I urge you to listen to what the scientific literature is showing and try to make sense of it for yourself.
As a whole, we really just need to get back to the basics of what has been shown to work for our bodies on the most fundamental and natural level possible. Breathing, grounding, natural remedies, meditation, proper bodily movement, sleep priority, intuitive eating, and so on.
If more of us rely and focus on those things then we will all be so much better off in the future.
-About the Author-
Jabrielle Troup, CoFounder at Wholesomebodyhealth.com
Jabrielle is a holistic health coach, a certified personal trainer, has a bachelor’s degree in health promotion and psychology. Since high school, she’s been on her own personal journey to heal chronic inflammation that started at an early age. Detox has been a big part of her recovery and she has a passion for sharing detox strategies with others that are dealing with chronic conditions. When she’s not helping others, she enjoys adventuring and exploring in the mountains with her son and husband.
You can check out a great, free guide on how to transform your health in two weeks from Wholesome Body Health by clicking here.
Do you suffer with frequent headaches? Have you tried any of the natural headache relief remedies above? Do you have any other quick headache relief tricks you’d love to share with others? Please share or comment below!
- Related Posts:
- The COMPLETE GUIDE to GROUNDING Yourself (For Anxiety & Stress)
- The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to MINDFULNESS MEDITATION
- The ANCIENT MEDITATION for Reaching Higher States of Consciousness
References for Headache Relief Remedies:
- Mehdi Maghbooli, Farhad Golipour, Alireza Moghimi Esfandabadi, Mehran Yousefi. Comparison between the efficacy of ginger and sumatriptan in the ablative treatment of the common migraine. March 2014. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23657930/
- T Mustafa, K C Srivastava. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) in migraine headache. July 1990. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2214812/
- Jeremy Orozco. How to Stop Migraines with Ginger
- Matthijs Kox, Lucas T van Eijk, Jelle Zwaag, Joanne van den Wildenberg, Fred C G J Sweep, Johannes G van der Hoeven, Peter Pickkers. Voluntary activation of the sympathetic nervous system and attenuation of the innate immune response in humans. May 2014. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24799686/
- James L Oschman, Gaétan Chevalier, and Richard Brown. The effects of grounding (earthing) on inflammation, the immune response, wound healing, and prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. March 2015. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4378297/
- Gaétan Chevalier, Stephen T Sinatra, James L Oschman, Richard M Delany. Earthing (grounding) the human body reduces blood viscosity-a major factor in cardiovascular disease. February 2013. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22757749/
Medical Disclaimer: This Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
As with any dietary supplements, please consult your healthcare practitioner before taking while pregnant or nursing.