6 Easy Hacks for Headache Relief (Don’t Let Your Roommate See This)

Picture this. It’s been a stressful day at work and you’ve got the throbbing headache to prove it. Thankfully, you’ve finally made it home. After pouring a glass of orange juice you summon the last of your energy to blindly shuffle down the hallway to the bathroom in search of headache relief.

With a comforting sigh you open the mirrored medicine cabinet and grab the aspirin bottle only to find that it’s a little lighter than normal. “Strange,” you think to yourself. After twisting the lid open you realize that it’s empty. Who puts an empty aspirin bottle back in the medicine cabinet? Apparently your hungover roommate…again.

But you’re clever. And to prevent such from ever happening again, you’re going to start using one of 6 natural headache remedies that your roommate wouldn’t think to touch (as long as you don’t store them in the spice drawer):

Teas for Headache Relief:

Willow Bark

Willow Bark as the name implies, comes from the bark of a willow tree and is commonly used to make medicine. There are different species of the willow tree but the “white willow” (Salix alba) is said to contain the highest potency and is the most recommended for medicinal use.

Why It’s Effective

The willow bark contains a chemical called salicin (Salix alba). This chemical is similar to aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) and its use dates back over 5,000 years. It is particularly common in Central Asia and Europe for the treatment of pains such as fever, low back pain, osteoarthritis, inflammatory conditions and headache relief. In the 1800s, salicin was used to develop aspirin and continues to be effective even in modern times.

How to Use It

Willow bark can be consumed in the form of a tea, topical tinctures or decoctions. The tea can be prepared by adding 1–2 teaspoons of willow bark to one cup of water. Boil for 10 minutes. Steep for 30 minutes, then strain and drink the tea. This remedy should not be used by anyone with aspirin allergies or children under 18.

willow bark tea recipe

Lemon Water

Lemon water is a refreshing, easy to prepare, alkalizing and restorative drink made by simply adding lemon to water.

Why It’s Effective

The vitamins and antioxidants present in lemon water offers a revitalizing boost of energy, while its alkalizing and detoxifying elements helps relieve headache and stress, keeping your body performing smoothly.

How to Use It

To prepare, squeeze half to a full lemon’s worth of juice into a cup of room temperature water. You may also dilute the lemon juice further to suit your personal taste. Lemon water can also be taken first thing in the morning before breakfast, throughout the day or during illness for a punch of vitamin C.

lemon water recipe

Passion Flower

The Passion flower (Passiflora incarnata) is a plant whose flowers, leaves, and stems are used to make natural medicine. The plant was discovered in Peru in 1569 by Spanish explorers and has been used over the centuries as a sedative for treating anxiety, insomnia, asthma, seizures and hysteria.

Why It’s Effective

Passion flower is effective at calming, inducing sleep and relieving muscle spasms. The plant contains alkaloids and flavonoids which inhibits monoamine oxidase which is responsible for its pharmacological effect.

How to Use It

Passionflower for headache relief can easily be prepared as a tea:

Steep about 1 teaspoon of dried passion flower in 1 cup of boiling water for 10 minutes: strain and cool. For anxiety and headache relief, a dose of 3 to 4 cups per day will do. For insomnia, 1 cup an hour before going to bed works fine. Do not consume passionflower tea if pregnant/nursing.

passion flower tea recipe


Butterbur (Petesites) is a shrub grown mostly in Europe and parts of Asia and North America, and commonly found in wet, marshy land. Butterbur got its name due to the use of its large leaves to wrap butter during warm weather. The leaves, root, and bulb are used to make medicines for treating pain, headache, anxiety, cough, fever, and healing wounds including gastrointestinal and urinary tract conditions.

Why It’s Effective

Butterbur extract is said to inhibit cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) activity, which is effective for pain, inflammation and headache relief. Butterbur also contains highly potent active components like isopetasin, oxopetasin and petasin, which induces muscle relaxation, especially in the blood vessel walls of the cerebrum. According to one systematic literature review, there is evidence to support the effectiveness of butterbur for the treatment of migraines.

How to Use It

Taking a butterbur capsule by mouth is very effective for treating migraine headaches. However you’ll want use butterbur that has been processed to remove pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs). Found in unprocessed butterbur, PAs and cause damage to the liver. Only butterbur labeled or certified as PA-free should be used.


Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) is a perennial plant belonging to the daisy family. It was originally a plant native to the Balkan mountains of Eastern Europe, but now grows throughout Europe, North America, and South America. Feverfew’s dried leaves, flowers and stems can be used to make supplements, including capsules, tablets, and liquid extracts and the leaves are sometimes eaten fresh.

Why It’s Effective

It was thought the parthenolide found in feverfew, which helps to relieve spasms in smooth muscle tissue, is what gives feverfew its migraine busting properties. However additional research is required to determine the actual source of this plant’s headache fighting power.

Recent research has proven that taking feverfew by mouth helps prevent and reduce the frequency of migraine headaches. According to the University of Maryland, a survey of 270 people with migraines in Great Britain found that more than 70% of them felt much better after taking an average of 2 to 3 fresh feverfew leaves daily.

How to Use It

Feverfew can be taken in freeze-fried capsule form as directed or prepared as a tea. To prepare feverfew tea, place 1 tbsp of dried feverfew leaves into a mug. Pour a cup of boiling water over the leaves and allow the tea to steep for 30min. Strain and sip for relief. The bitterness of the tea can be countered by adding honey to taste.

feverfew tea recipe


Ginger is the root of the plant Zingiber officinale, and has been widely used as a spice and herbal medicine for thousands of years. Its history dates back to over 2000 years especially in Asian, Indian and Arabic herbal traditions to aid in gastrointestinal distress, among other health problems.

Why It’s Effective

Ginger contains abundant therapeutic properties including very potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols. Gingerols help to reduce inflammation and can ease the pain of tension headaches. Ginger is also great for treating nausea, which can be a symptom of migraine headaches. In a recent study, the effectiveness of ginger powder in the treatment of common migraine attacks were found to be statistically comparable to sumatriptan.

How to Use It

To make ginger tea for headache relief, cut up the ginger root and boil it for 10 minutes. Strain, cool to warm and enjoy. Alternatively, combine one eighth of a teaspoon of ginger powder with one cup of water and consume.

ginger tea recipe

Originally published at Oloxir.

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