Below are two recipes that use natural ingredients to relieve pain caused by headaches. One is an herbal tea for those who prefer a warm, calming brew; while the other recipe is a smoothie that is perfect for treating headaches, especially in warmer weather.
There are many types of headaches which means there are a number of causes for them. Being deficient in water, magnesium, riboflavin (B-2), folate (B-9), and vitamin D, as well as having high blood pressure are just a handful of common causes for headaches. Therefore, try brewing this soothing cup of herbal tea or blending up this refreshing smoothie and relax in the sun for 5 minutes with your feet up.
Recipe 1: Herbal Tea to Relieve a Headache
Black tea works best in this recipe, although it’s also possible to substitute it for green tea since both have a small amount of caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline (although there is a higher concentration in black tea).
These three compounds work together to provide pain relief from a headache; a small amount of caffeine can constrict over-dilated blood vessels back to their regular size, while the theophylline increases the flow of blood to the capillaries to help decrease blood pressure and the theobromine is a type of stimulant that blocks headache-causing compounds in the nervous system.
Ginger is a general pain reliever that is as effective as over-the-counter pain relief, plus it is full of anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatories, and other beneficial compounds.
Feverfew can relieve a headache by preventing the blood vessels from becoming over-dilated.
Willow bark is a natural form of aspirin and just as effective. Our body uses its compounds to create anti-inflammatories to relieve pain. Peppermint can relieve tension headaches as well as general tension and muscle spasms which helps you to relax. It also has magnesium, riboflavin, and folate.
Ingredients For A Headache Relieving Herbal Tea
- 2 cups of water
- 1 black tea bag
- 2 slices of fresh ginger or ½ teaspoon of dried ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon of dried feverfew
- 1 teaspoon of dried willow bark
- 2 teaspoons of peppermint leaves
Simmer the feverfew and willow bark in a small pot of water for about 10 minutes then remove from heat, cover and allow to brew for 20 minutes. Next, reheat the tea and add the ginger and peppermint, remove from heat, cover, and brew for another 5 minutes. Finally, add the black tea bag and brew for 3 – 5 minutes. Strain and add honey or sugar as needed.
Recipe 2: Smoothie to Relieve a Headache
Most melons are about 90% water so this is an easy way to increase your water intake while tasting great and getting some trace amounts of magnesium, folate, and riboflavin.
Dock, chard, purslane, spinach, and lambsquarters can all be used interchangeably since they are all high in magnesium, but they are also high in oxalic acid and tend to have a slightly salty taste. This can be reduced by only using fresh, young leaves in smaller quantities.
Avocados are full of beneficial nutrients including magnesium, riboflavin, and folate. They also make the smoothie extra creamy and filling. Ginger is effective against any kind of pain and can be just as effective as over-the-counter pills. Ginger is perfect for tea, but I personally find it a bit overpowering in a smoothie in larger quantities.
Adding some nuts, oats, cereals and even parsley to your smoothie is an easy way to boost your vitamin B and magnesium intake. Almond milk is a great addition to a smoothie for this reason. As mentioned above, peppermint has all of the ingredients to help relieve a headache as well as tension.
Ingredients For A Headache Relieving Smoothie
- 2 cups of diced melon
- ¼ cup of either fresh dock, chard, purslane, spinach or lambsquarters
- ¼ of an avocado
- 1 – 2 slices of fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon of dried ground ginger
- ¼ cup of nuts, oats or cereal
- 1 cup of almond milk
- 1 cup of cold water
- ¼ cup of fresh, chopped parsley
- ¼ cup of fresh, chopped peppermint
Blend all of the ingredients together and enjoy.
Optional: Add crushed ice to the smoothie on hot days. Serves 2 – 3. “These two recipes can be tweaked according to your own taste and used interchangeably, depending on whether you are in the mood for a warm, relaxing tea or a fresh, delicious smoothie, so that when a headache hits, you can reach for these common medicinal herbs, plants, and weeds for some pain relief.”
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