Everyone gets a headache every now and then. Whether it is a tension headache from an overly demanding boss or a very painful rebound headache, there is only one thing most of us can think of: how to get rid of it quickly!
You might be wondering what our ancestors used before the invention of those over-the-counter pain killers. Herbs were among the most popular remedies and they worked remarkably well.
Here are the top 5 herbs that have been used for ages to stop headaches, before pharmacies, before pills, and certainly before your boss was born!
The bark from willow trees has a long history of pain relief, and not just for headaches. Extracts from white willow bark was used by the pioneers in the 1800s, but the Native people of America used it well before that. Willow bark contains a compound, salicin, which your body will convert into salicylic acid, known to you and I as aspirin.
Yep, that same spice you probably have in your kitchen cabinet is well-known for stopping headaches (and nausea, too). Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory, so it works on several different levels.
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It can be purchased in capsule form, but the quickest way to relieve headaches — and the one our ancestors used — was to put a half dozen thin slices of fresh ginger root in two cups of water and boil it as a tea. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes and drink after it has cooled a bit.
This ancient herb, best known for reducing fevers, is a terrific choice for migraines as it not only reduces pain but is known to help alleviate nausea and sensitivity to light. The leaves and flowers contain a compound that cause the blood vessels to dilate.
The name of this herb always reminds me of butter beans, but it’s actually a very old folk remedy for not only headaches and migraines, but for other types of pain. For those who suffer from regular migraines, taking butterbur regularly has been shown in some studies to reduce the number of migraines by as much as 50 percent and the severity of pain by as much as 80 percent when compared to the placebo group. 
5. Peppermint and rosemary
While you have certainly consumed both of these herbs, you probably have not considered putting them together. It’s time to change that! Rosemary mixed with peppermint (and some recipes call for a bit of lavender also) makes a terrific “brain tonic” that will relieve headache pain, ease tension (which is the cause behind most headaches), and improve blood circulation. A tea of fresh peppermint leaves with a sprig of fresh rosemary is an old folk remedy for headaches that seems to withstand the test of time.
What would you add to our list? Share your tips in the section below: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1526-4610.2005.05044.x/abstract
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