home remedies

20 Ways to Stop Headaches Naturally

600 500 Kristi Corder

The World Health Organization states that headaches are very common. They go on to say that nearly everyone has a headache occasionally and 1 in 20 will have a headache every (or nearly every) day. What you need to know is that while they are very common, they are not normal.

Headaches are your body’s way of telling you it cannot overcome the daily stressors that you place upon it. Whether a headache shows up from eyestrain, hormones, food intolerances, or anything else, you should never ignore the warning signs OR cover them up by reaching for prescription or over-the-counter medications. All medications have side effects, and you wouldn’t want to trade one condition for another.

Instead, try a few home remedies or natural approaches to reduce, or even eliminate, headaches for good. Here’s a good list of 20 ways to stop headaches naturally.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for more information.

1. Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care to stop headaches naturally

Chiropractors look to the spine for the cause of disease, including “minor” aches and pains like headaches. While we do not treat the headache or pain, we do check your spine for something we call vertebral subluxations that may be hindering the body’s ability to communicate properly with the brain. With a gentle chiropractic adjustment, we can remove the interference in the communication pathways which will set the body back into motion towards health. Want to know more about chiropractic? Read my post What is Chiropractic?

2. Homeopathy

Homeopathy for headaches

Homeopathy is a system of medicine that utilizes a principle of “like cures like” to treat illness and disease. It doesn’t just treat the illness but takes into account the entire person and their overall health picture. It is safe, gentle, and very effective in not only treating headaches on an acute basis, but it can dig deep and really uproot chronic headaches for good. Here are a few homeopathic medicines that may help with headaches:

  • Sepia – useful if headaches are related to female hormones
  • Sanguinaria – a headache coming from the sinuses
  • Gelsemium – headache brought on by colds or the flu
  • Mag phos – can be employed for tension headaches
  • Nux vomica – great for headaches after overindulgence

Want to learn more about homeopathy? Check out my virtual study groups or click to get my 37 Must-Have Homeopathic Medicines for Families cheat sheet.

3. Craniosacral Therapy

Craniosacral Therapy to stop headaches naturally

Craniosacral therapy is a gentle, hands-on form of bodywork that focuses on releasing tension and dysfunction in the tissues surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Our brain and spinal cord are the most important organs in our body, and any undue stress and strain placed upon them can lead to illness and disease. This method of therapy is typically used by some chiropractors, massage therapists, osteopaths, and occupational therapists and consists of light touch to release the restrictions around the central nervous system.

4. Nutrient-dense snacks

Nutrient dense snacks can help stop headaches naturally

Nutrition is extremely important for our everyday body functions. Improper nutrition or skipping meals can cause our body to scream at us that it is lacking in vitamins and minerals. Headaches can be one of those ways our body is trying to tell us it needs to be fed. One easy way to stop headaches naturally is to grab a handful of carrots, an apple, or some trail mix to give your body a boost.

5. Hydration

Staying hydrated can stop headaches naturally

Headaches may be a sign that you are dehydrated. Our body is comprised of mostly water, and many people don’t do a good job of keeping it hydrated. And just like with foods, water provides our bodies with some basic minerals we need for our body to function normally. There’s no set amount of water that is beneficial for everyone, after all, we are all different. But if you suffer from chronic headaches, make it a point to track your water intake for a week and then increase it by an additional cup daily. You just might notice the headaches start to disappear.

6. Exercise

Stretching

Not only can exercise relieve stress, but it can calm the muscle tightness that is associated with certain types of headaches. It doesn’t have to be strenuous exercise. Gentle exercises such as walking, stretching, deep breathing, or yoga can be very beneficial. Also, exercise releases endorphins which are our “feel good” hormones. These endorphins actually block pain in our body and naturally aid in healing.

7. Massage

Massage

We are a society heavily dependent on technology. And because of daily computer and handheld device use, we are becoming a society where most people have forward head posture. What this means is that when you view someone from the side, their head is not directly lined up with their shoulders. When this happens, the muscles of the head, neck, and upper back become overstretched and overworked. The normal body response to prevent further injury to these tissues is to tighten up or spasm those muscles. With this tightening can come headaches.

Similar to craniosacral therapy, massage therapy is a hands-on form of bodywork that focuses on releasing tension from the muscles and fascia of the body. It also stimulates lymphatic flow which helps to reduce toxin build-up in our body which can be another cause of headaches. Massage therapy uses a somewhat deeper pressure to relieve tension from the areas involved than does craniosacral therapy.

8. Acupuncture/Acupressure

Acupressure can help stop headaches naturally
Disclosure: This product was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Everything in our body is comprised of energy. A headache can be a sign that there is an abnormal energy pattern occurring within the body. Acupuncture uses needles placed on points along energy channels, or pathways, in the body to help restore the body to balance. Acupressure has the same premise but doesn’t involve using needles. Aculief is a wearable acupressure device that is inexpensive and easy to grab and use when a headache is imminent.

9. Herbs

Herbs drying

There are quite a few herbs that can be used to combat headaches. Both chamomile and passionflower are great for relaxing muscles and promoting sleep. Butterbur can be used to reduce inflammation in the body. And feverfew can help get rid of pain, nausea, and sensitivities that accompany headaches. Herbs can be steeped in water and consumed as a tea, or they can be taken in supplement forms like capsules or tinctures.

10. Vitamins/Supplementation

Vitamins and supplements

Vitamins and supplements are things I list here to use if you truly have a severe deficiency. Otherwise, true supplementation can be addressed by using high quality, nutrient-dense foods. B-complex vitamins and magnesium seem to be the most beneficial vitamins and supplements for combating headaches. B-complex vitamins boost the production of neurotransmitters and can be lacking in those that suffer from chronic migraines. Magnesium controls the normal function of blood pressure, muscles, nerves, and heart all of which can cause headaches in abnormal states.

11. Essential Oils

Essential oils can help stop headaches naturally

Aromatherapy has long been used to treat headaches. Only in the last few years have essential oils become more mainstream thanks to many network marketing companies and the power of word of mouth. Aromatherapy uses oils extracted from all types of medicinal plants for topical and inhalation methods of healing. Lavender essential oil helps relieve tension and stress as well as promotes relaxation. Both peppermint and spearmint essential oils decrease pain and tension and stimulate blood flow. Eucalyptus essential oil can decrease both pain and swelling associated with headaches. While some oils can cause reactions on the skin of some people, you should start with adding a few drops of the oil to coconut oil before applying topically. Use a few drops of the essential oil of your choosing in a diffuser for inhalation.

12. Ice

ice pack

Ice is anti-inflammatory and can decrease the firing of nerve signals. It can also break muscle spasms. While many people will reach for a heating pad when dealing with a headache, some find that an ice pack or cold compress has a better effect. Some headaches respond best when you alternate ice and heat.

13. Heat

heating pad

Heating pads and warm compresses can stimulate blood flow, increase oxygen, and relax muscles when someone is suffering from a headache. Place the pad or compress on the back of the neck or on the shoulders to help get relief of muscle spasms when you have a tension-type headache. Placing a warm compress over the sinuses when you are suffering from a sinus headache will help thin the mucus and relieve the pressure. For even better results, alternate with a cold compress.

14. Sleep/Rest

rest can help stop headaches naturally

Sleep is healing and restorative. To prevent headaches from becoming chronic, be sure you are getting adequate sleep without the distractions of electronics. If you suffer from a headache during the day, you might find relief by going into a dark and silent room so you can concentrate on relaxing tense muscles and decreasing stress from your body.

15. Breathing techniques

Deep breathing can stop headaches naturally

Deep breathing improves circulation, stimulates nerve function, increases oxygen flow to the brain, and causes relaxation throughout the body. To perform deep breathing, you want to see your abdomen expand, not your chest. Concentrate on the pit of your stomach and breathe in through your nose for about 5 seconds, hold for another 5 seconds, and breathe out for 5 seconds. Repeat 5 times. Just getting into this relaxed state may be enough to put a stop to an acute headache.

16. Get outdoors

get outdoors

Fresh air is sometimes all it takes to make a headache go away. Take a few minutes and go outside. Couple it with deep breathing and you’ll be feeling better in no time. If you want to learn how trees can be beneficial to your health, my friend Verla shares plenty of information over at her site Trees Mend Us.

17. Trigger elimination

Remove triggers like alcohol to stop headaches naturally

Whether your headaches are triggered by foods, alcohol, caffeine, or anything else, you have a leg up on everyone else. Many people don’t actually know why they are having headaches. They just assume that it’s stress or hormone-related without actually knowing. Remove the triggers for the time being and then consult with a health care practitioner who can help you focus on healing your body. By doing this, you’ll be less likely to experience headaches when your usual triggers are encountered or added back into your life.

18. Bath

Baths can stop headaches naturally

Baths can be a very relaxing way to stop a headache. Warm water increases blood flow and oxygen circulation throughout the body. Add in some Epsom salt to aid in detoxification or essential oils to help relieve built-up muscular tension.

19. CBD

CBD can help stop headaches naturally

While still controversial, many people have found great benefit in using CBD for headaches, especially migraines. CBD stands for cannabidiol and is a naturally occurring compound found in hemp plants. CBD from hemp plants acts just like our own natural body cannabinoids. It inhibits pain signals and decreases the inflammatory response.

20. Reduce stress

Stress relief

Stress can come in three forms: physical, chemical, or emotional. These stressors put our body into a fight-or-flight response. This response can increase blood pressure, tension, and inflammation and can decrease oxygen thus leading to headaches. Employ any of the methods mentioned in numbers 1-19 above to help reduce stress and stop headaches in their tracks.


Know that you are not alone in dealing with headaches. But also know that there are safe and side-effect free, natural remedies to stop and even eliminate headaches for good. Next time you experience a headache or migraine, opt for one of these natural methods first.

Do you have other natural methods you use to stop a headache? Leave a reply in the comments at the bottom of the page.

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Natural Remedies to Treat Fever Blisters

600 500 Kristi Corder

Fever blisters are a pain. Literally! Caused by the herpes simplex one virus (HSV1), fever blisters (also known as cold sores) are painful from beginning to end. They start with tingly red bumps on the lip followed by days or sometimes weeks of painful blisters and end with a crust or scab that splits open every time you open your mouth. They may be small but tend to pack a mighty punch.

According to the Mayo Clinic, they’ll go away on their own within 2-3 weeks. But who wants the embarrassment for that long? If you want to know how to lessen the severity, increase healing time, and uproot the sores for good, you’ve come to the right place!

My struggle with fever blisters

I’ve had fever blisters for as long as I can remember. Getting them while I was in high school was the worst. I played French Horn in the band. If you’ve ever played a brass instrument, you can imagine the pain I experienced.

I was also a cheerleader, so I was out in front of hundreds of students, faculty, parents, and members of the community on a regular basis. I’ll never forget my friends (one of whom is now my husband) chanting along to one of our cheers yelling

GO!! BIG LIP, LET’S GO!!

Oh the embarrassment! They’ve been a constant battle my whole life.

I recently visited Disneyland with my family. We were there for 3 days straight. And wouldn’t you know it, I woke up two days after our vacation with fever blisters not only on the top of my mouth but the bottom too.

At least this episode hasn’t been as bad as my last. That time I had the flu with a fairly high fever, and the day after my illness subsided I woke up to a swollen upper lip. By the end of the day, I had fever blisters completely surrounding my mouth.

I can almost guarantee fever blisters will pop up after one of these 3 situations:

  1. too much sun exposure
  2. an illness with a fever
  3. highly stressful situations

I also tend to get them when I’ve been around or am going to be around my dad (weird…I know!). He’s also plagued with these horrible things and it’s a running joke that we’ll both end up with fever blisters just from talking on the phone with each other.

So what are the best natural remedies to treat fever blisters?

As you can see, I’ve had some serious experience in this area. And let me tell you, I’ve tried it all! Well, almost.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for more information.

Home remedies to treat fever blisters

1. Ice cubes

There have been many times that as soon as I feel the onset of a fever blister, I’ve reached for the ice cubes. Knowing basic first aid, ice reduces swelling and edema, so this option only makes sense. If you’ve got an area of skin that’s is bright red, swollen, and burns, you reach for something cold to soothe it and reduce the swelling. So grab a towel and a couple of ice cubes and massage your lip with the ice until it goes numb. Do this a few times the first day and you’ll see the swelling go down, the itchiness and burning subside, and the blister crust over by the second day.

2. Hydrogen peroxide

This little remedy just makes everything feel better. Hydrogen peroxide helps soothe and cool the area while also keeping it disinfected. Pour some over the blister and let it bubble and dry or dab it on with a q-tip or cotton ball a few times each day.

3. Witch hazel

Similar to hydrogen peroxide, witch hazel is very cooling and soothing to the skin. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and does a great job at decreasing pain. Apply with a q-tip or cotton ball a few times per day.

4. Aloe Vera

My grandmother was full of great tips when it came to my recurring fever blisters. She grew these fabulous aloe vera plants in her sunroom at her home. Any time I showed up with a fever blister, she’d snap a leaf right off the plant, squeeze the juice out, apply it directly on my blister, and then send me home with a leaf to use later. The juice from the aloe vera plant is very soothing and contains antibacterial and antiviral properties that speed healing.

5. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has great healing properties. It is antimicrobial and helps fight infections. You can drink it diluted in water with a splash of lemon and honey or you can apply it topically to the blisters a few times each day.

Oils and salves to treat fever blisters

1. Tea tree oil

I’m a sucker for tea tree oil. I love the smell of it. This is another remedy my grandmother would suggest for my recurrent fever blisters. It has great antiviral, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties that can help quickly heal the affected areas. Place a drop on a q-tip or cotton ball and gently dab some of the oil on the fever blister a few times the first couple of days. Be aware this method may sting if you have open sores. You could also dilute the oil in a carrier oil before applying. Should you choose to use some of the homeopathic remedies listed further down in this article, do not use tea tree oil at the same time as it can antidote the remedy.

2. Peppermint essential oil

Peppermint essential oil has been shown to have a direct virucidal effect on the HSV1 virus when used topically. Apply topically by using a q-tip or cotton ball dipped in a diluted mixture of peppermint essential oil and carrier oil. Apply the oil a few times each day. Should you choose to use some of the homeopathic remedies listed further down in this article, do not use peppermint essential oil at the same time as it can antidote the remedy.

3. Coconut oil

Coconut oil is good for so many skin issues, and it’s no different in this instance. It has antiviral and antibacterial properties to aid in healing and also keeps the area soft and pliable so that cracking and bleeding is minimized once the blister has crusted over. Put a little oil on a q-tip and gently apply it to the blister and surrounding areas frequently each day.

4. Vitamin E oil

Vitamin E oil is an anti-oxidant that can help reduce scarring, relieve pain, and keep the skin soft. Apply topically using a q-tip or cotton ball a few times per day.

5. Grass fed beef tallow

A friend of mine is into rendering her own beef tallow. I was lucky enough to be on the receiving end of a small jar of the tallow for Christmas one year. According to Mommypotamus, beef tallow contains loads of fat-soluble vitamins and has anti-inflammatory properties which can aid in the healing process. It also helps keep skin soft which is important to prevent the skin from cracking and bleeding when the blister crusts over. Apply a small pea-sized amount of the tallow directly on the blister and the surrounding areas a few times each day.

Nutritional supplements to treat fever blisters

1. Vitamin C

Load up on vitamin C as soon as you feel the first signs of a fever blister. Research has shown that vitamin C plays a key role in boosting our immune system and fighting off infections. You can do this by choosing a high-quality nutritional supplement or by eating foods high in the vitamin (leafy greens, tomatoes, berries, etc.).

2. L-lysine

Another remedy my grandmother swore by is l-lysine. It has been known to speed the healing from herpes simplex infection as well as decrease the likelihood of recurrence. Not only can you increase your intake of this supplement at the time of the outbreak, but you can also create a paste to apply topically to aid in healing.

3. Propolis

Propolis is made by honey bees. It’s the sticky substance that holds the hive together. Like honey, propolis is antimicrobial, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and boosts the immune system. You can find propolis in supplement form or you can chew on pieces of raw propolis to get the same benefits. If you have an allergy to bees, this is one remedy that you should not try.

4. Echinacea

Echinacea boosts the immune system and helps fight infection. You’ll need all the help you can get when battling this virus, so find a high quality supplement and take as directed.

Homeopathic medicines to treat fever blisters

Homeopathic medicines not only work with your body to speed up the healing process but also to uproot the condition over time. More information on how homeopathy works can be found in my interview with Joette Calabrese. If your fever blisters are a chronic occurrence, I would highly recommend you work with a homeopath who will help you to choose the correct remedy for your specific condition.

1. Antimonium crud

Of all the remedies listed in this article, Antimonium crud is absolutely my favorite. In her article Cold Sores or Cooties, this is Joette’s chosen remedy for fever blisters. When using it for my fever blisters, I have not only seen them crust over in less than 24 hours, but I’ve also seen both a decrease in outbreaks as well as a decrease in pain associated with the blisters when they form.

2. Natrum muriaticum

Referring back to Joette’s article again, you’ll see that she also recommends Natrum muriaticum if the fever blisters occur after being exposed to the sun. If you are also prone to dryness and cracking in the corners of the lips, you may also benefit from using this remedy.

3. Rhus toxicodendron

Homeopathic Rhus tox is prepared from poison ivy. If you’ve ever experienced a poison ivy rash, you’ll see it it looks just like fever blister eruptions. Since like cures like in homeopathy, it makes sense that this remedy may assist the body in healing. Rhus tox is indicated when fever blisters occur around the mouth and chin. It’s especially helpful when the eruptions are red, burning, and swollen.

4. Arsenicum album

Arsenicum album would be useful for those who experience intense itching with their eruptions. If you shutter at the thought of using ice as I suggest at the beginning of this article, Arsenicum album may be the best remedy for you.

5. Sulphur

In opposition to Arsenicum, someone who may find success using homeopathic Sulphur would have fever blisters with itching and burning that are improved with ice application. The eruptions may get worse with warmth.

6. Sepia

If you are a female, and the fever blisters tend to form around the time of menses, pregnancy, or menopause, look no further than Sepia. This is a common remedy used for any illness or condition that is associated with hormonal changes. According to homeopath Sue Meyer, Sepia should be considered when all of the other remedies seem to fail.

7. Calendula

I agree with Boericke when he says “It’s a most remarkable healing agent, applied locally.” I personally like to use Calendula in a cream form because it’s easy to apply topically to my fever blisters. Not only does it help speed the healing, but it keeps the area soft to prevent drying and cracking.

8. Combo remedies

If you have a hard time narrowing down the remedy that you feel matches your symptoms the best, a combo remedy can be a great choice. Two combo remedies that I have not personally used are Hyland’s Cold Sores & Fever Blisters and Dr. King’s Cold Sores & Herpes. Both are great companies with great products. I’ve used other combo remedies from both companies with much success and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend either of these products to my family and friends.

Want to learn more about homeopathy? Check out my virtual study groups or click to get my 37 Must-Have Homeopathic Medicines for Families cheat sheet.


Natural remedies to heal fever blisters are generally readily found and are quick and easy to use. If you suffer from fever blisters, ditch the medications and opt for one or more of these natural methods of treatment. And don’t forget to keep your immune system boosted by eating healthy foods, getting regular chiropractic care, and avoiding triggers to lessen the likelihood of recurrence.

What are your tried and true methods of treating fever blisters and cold sores? Are any of my suggestions new to you? Leave a reply in the comments at the bottom of the page.

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