Suffer With Mild Or Tension Headaches? All-Natural Helpers

For migraine sufferers: You may find a trick or two in this list that could provide some relief but this is a much more complicated ailment and requires the expertise and direction of your doctor.

ExamplesIf you haven’t looked into feverfew yet, check it out. The idea is to grow a plant indoors and eat a few fresh leaves each day…this is a preventative measure only and not a migraine cure. Be aware that it could conflict with medications so speak to your doctor about it first. Also note that this is not recommended for pregnant women.

For the rest of us, here’s a collection I’ve compiled from my notes and clippings that lists items you can try for relief from mild or tension headaches.



Brew a fresh cup when you feel one coming on…

  • Lemon balm
  • Chamomile
  • Ginger
  • Peppermint

Compresses (can be hot or cold):

Pour 3 cups boiling water over 1 TBS of herbs, steep for 20 minutes then strain. Soak cloth in mixture, wring out and place on forehead or where it aches.

  • Lavender (can also do a 50/50 mix with Lemon Balm)
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Chamomile Infusion: Fill a glass mason jar with 1/2 cup each of fresh or dried chamomile flowers and lavender buds. Cover with boiling water and steep for 25 minutes. Strain then use.
  • Rose Vinegar Splash: Made with white wine vinegar, rose petals and whole cloves. Hot vinegar is poured over petals and cloves and left for 10 days, strain before using. See page for details (scroll down to bottom).
  • Apple cider vinegar (soak cloth, wring out then cover the forehead)
  • Sage: Boil fresh sage leaves for 5 minutes, strain.


You can make your own bath salts with essential oils and dried herbs, keep them sealed in a glass jar until needed.

  • Lavender
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Ginger foot bath (1 tsp ginger per gallon of hot water). Apply a cool cloth on back of neck while your feet are soaking.

Temple Dabbers:

  • Floral water (see this page for directions)
  • Ground cinnamon or ginger & water paste (do twice daily)
  • Apple cider vinegar

Microwaveable Heat Bags (Or Chill):

See this page for how to make them (simple cotton bags filled with uncooked rice, wheat, etc.) and add dried herbs such as marjoram, rose petals, cloves and rosemary. These can be zapped in the microwave to heat or keep them in the freezer so they’re chilled and ready to use as needed.


Apply about 4 drops of one of the essential oils below to a scrap of fabric or cotton ball, put it underneath your nose then breathe in deeply…

  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Peppermint
  • Sweet marjoram
  • Lavender

Sniffing Sachets or Jars

*First published March 4, 2008 and moved to this page for better organization


1/4 cup dried lavender
1/4 cup cloves

Pouch: Made from fabric such as muslin, cotton


  • Mix together then fill a fabric sachet or small drawstring pouch.
  • When you feel one coming on, open it up and breathe in the fragrance to help soothe away the pain (breathe in around 5 or 6 times). Press the sachet to your forehead and temples. Repeat 30 minutes later if it hasn’t disappeared.
  • Keep sealed in a ziploc bag or airtight container and away from heat or light to preserve aroma strength and freshness.

Tip: You could also choose to skip the fabric pouch and store the ingredients in a small jar with a tight seal. Shake the jar then open it and sniff deeply a few times.

You could also try a a steam, massage your temples during the steaming.

Always choose organically grown herbs (chemical free) when using as a health aide, you should have no problem find them in a bulk health food store.

*Note: These are simply notes I have collected, they are not professional medical advice.

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    • Violetta Paris


    You have given some great ideas but one that I use regularly is Tiger balm. It’s very cooling and does help.

    You are doing a great job with this site, there’s so much information, I’m glad I found you.

    Many thanks,

    • Dania

    Hi there, I must say these are not medical advice but I am quite sure that might help more than taking a bunch of pills every day.

    I am soooo happy to have found the site. 1- Because I really believe that natural things (teas, herbs, fruits) will help anybody feel better. 2- Because I suffer from migraine, so it encourages me to keep drinking the tea I make at home; Especially ” Rosemary,ginger and lemon tea”.

    You are doing a great job!
    Thanks a lot!!!!

    • Dania

    Hi there,

    Eventhough these are not medical advice I think you are doing a great job!


    • Michelle

    I love your site! My husband and I make soaps and candles and are going to start making lip balm. I too suffer from headaches and find lavender and basil a relief. Thank you for all of your great ideas!

    • Althea

    Just found this site.. Loving it. As for headaches I frequent a variety.. I look forward to trying these methods, but here is one that works for me a lot. Sometimes it only works for 10 minutes and the pain returns but I’m glad for even a moment of relief when other remedies aren’t available right then.

    On your left hand just above the joint between your thumb and pointer finger, pinch firmly into the muscle tissue. It is a pressure point,but not compared to the headache. If it’s not sore where you’re pinching you aren’t on it. Try closer into the joint. Hold for only a few minutes. If it doesn’t work in less than five, then sadly it may not work for you.(Or in my case, that particular headache)

    I didn’t believe it would work, but I’m glad I tried anyway.. its a handy method in a pinch. 😉 Oh and for whatever reason it tends to work faster for me when sitting down.

    • Katie

    I suffer from chronic migraines, avg 18 days a month with a migraine. I have tried all of the above, recently tried acupuncture and got it done to 12 days.

    This last week I tried COD LiVER OIL and daily probiotics…I have been without headache all week! I am so excited that I feel I have to share!

    Be well.

    • Marla

    Great great website!!! Really happy that I found it. It’s not “over the top” with your recipes/suggestions. One question —- can you please advise on where people like myself can purchase these dried herb and oils. Is Whole a Foods a store that would carry or would a Health food store be more likely to stick the ingredients that you recommend?


    • Maria

    I am allergic to strong oders and perfumes. One time a lady at GNC sold me something with lavender in it for headaches to rub on my forehead but it was too strong and made my headache worse. Would you recommend the essential oils that you mix and put in capsules?

    • Cheeky

    Old farmer’s trick: Hydraton. Same for indigestion. And if you think you drink enough water, try setting a timer and drinking 8 ounces every other waking hour. No sipping. A water slammer. Stand at the water cooler/sink until you get it down. No fudging. 2 glasses of water will stop indigestion in its tracks. People will say that all you’re doing is diluting the acid but THAT’S WATER’S PRIMARY JOB! Balance acid in the gut and in the blood. It’s gotta be done.

    It can take up to 2 full years to get properly hydrated so the body can get itself out of “emergency” mode and stop picking and choosing which organs get water and which don’t BUT, if you drink a glass every other hour, you’ll FEEL better within a day as the body can get some water to the organs it’s been sacrificing just to maintain brain function and keep you upright SO YOU CAN FIND WATER. If you get too dehydrated, your body will put you on the floor to lower your blood pressure and save your heart and brain function. ALL of the multitude of discomforts and health issues that are caused by dehydration aren’t merely annoyances, they’re the active, real-time damage being done to your body. Plain water, folks! Get it in ya!

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