What are headaches?

Headaches are often described as a dull to severe pain in the head, often near the forehead. They can affect anyone, regardless of race or gender. 

What causes headaches?

Headaches can be caused by just about anything. Some of the more common reasons people get headaches are: overuse of decongestants, excessive alcohol consumption (hangovers), stress, anxiety, bad posture, clenching your jaw, smoking cigarettes, consuming certain foods, high altitudes, caffeine addiction, sinus problems, light sensitivity, or infections. Of course, the list of triggers is nearly endless, so make sure you talk to your doctor if you have extremely bad headaches. 

What are the different types of headaches?

Headaches come in a variety of forms, some more serious than others. 

• Cluster Headaches: These headaches are often describes as excruciating by their patients. They can last anywhere from 15 minutes to 3 hours and are sometimes referred to as a "suicide headache" because of the amount of pain they cause. These headaches recur regularly, sometimes even multiple times daily.

• Migraines: Migraines are extremely painful headaches that are much more common in women than in men. Scientists suspect that genes play a role in migraines. Triggers might include hormonal imbalances, weather changes, seasonal allergies, stress, sleeping patterns, and eating patterns. 

• Caffeine Headaches: For the millions of people who are addicted to caffeine, not getting their fix can result in headaches, vomiting, fatigue, and irritability.

• Rebound Headaches and Hangovers: These headaches occur after overuse of certain medications or over-consumption of alcohol. These usually go away within 12 hours. If not, see a doctor.

• Tension Headaches: These headaches feel like a constant throb or pressure. They are often brought on by stress, bad posture, or anxiety.

• Sinus Headaches: These headaches are often accompanied by sinus pressure, nasal congestion, and watery eyes.

• Chronic Daily Headaches: If you are experiencing headaches for at least half the days in the month (15 days out of 30 days), you're considered to have chronic daily headaches. These can be caused by a variety of triggers. Talk to your doctor if you think you have chronic daily headaches.

Menstrual Headaches: For some women, the sudden drop in estrogen can sometimes trigger headaches or migraines. 

• Emergency Headaches: If you have a headache that comes on quickly and is extremely painful, you should go to the emergency center of your local hospital. Some other worrisome symptoms include vision problems, speech change, stiffness in the neck, loss of sensation, or muscle weakness on only one side of the body. 

Is it possible for someone to have multiple types of headaches?

Some people experience many different types of headaches. A common combination is migraines and menstrual headaches. These start off as a menstrual headache which then turns into a full-blown migraine. 

How can I prevent headaches?

For some, preventing headaches is as easy as avoiding triggers (like certain foods or allergies). For others, it is not as simple. Check out our list on how to help prevent headaches.

• Quit Caffeine: "Caffeine addiction is arguably the most widespread drug addiction in America, and perhaps the world."* Millions of people around the world are addicted to caffeine. The only way to stop the addiction is to quit cold turkey. 

• Stay Hydrated: One of the most common reasons for headaches is dehydration. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day.

Reduce Stress: Stress is another common reason for a headache to occur. If you are feeling stressed, take a few minutes to calm down. Take a walk, take a bath, or talk with some friends. 

• Exercise More: Exercise releases endorphins which help improve your mood and reduce stress and anxiety. 

• Get Enough Rest: People who get less than six hours of sleep tend to get more headaches than those who get enough sleep.

• Eat Healthy: Make sure you are incorporating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and omega-3 fatty acids into your diet. Nutrient deficiency can lead to headaches.

• Try Aromatherapy: Soft scents can help relieve and prevent headaches. Some scents have been scientifically proven to reduce the effects of headaches and migraines. Try lavender, butterbur, feverfew, cinnamon, or eucalyptus.

• Avoid Triggers: Different people have different triggers. For many people, drugs are a huge trigger so try to avoid alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine.

• Avoid Junk Food: Limit your intake of junk food. Junk food often contains high amounts of sugar, sodium, and saturated fats which can lead to more frequent headaches.


Several natural herbs and remedies are often used to alleviate headaches and provide relief from headache symptoms. It's important to note that the effectiveness of these remedies can vary from person to person, and not all headaches have the same underlying cause. Therefore, it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the cause of your headaches and to discuss the use of herbal remedies alongside any necessary medical treatments. Here are some herbs and natural remedies that are commonly used for headaches:

Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium): Feverfew is an herb that has been traditionally used for migraine relief. It is believed to reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks. It can be consumed in various forms, including capsules, teas, or tinctures.

Peppermint (Mentha piperita): Peppermint oil, when applied topically to the temples and forehead, can provide a cooling sensation and may help alleviate tension headaches. Peppermint tea can also be soothing.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale): Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and may help relieve headaches, particularly those associated with nausea. You can make ginger tea or consume ginger in various forms.

Butterbur (Petasites hybridus): Butterbur is another herb that has been studied for its potential to reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks. It is available in supplement form.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia): Lavender essential oil is known for its calming and relaxing properties. A few drops of diluted lavender oil applied to the temples or used in aromatherapy may help reduce headache symptoms.

Willow Bark: Willow bark contains a compound called salicin, which is similar to aspirin. It has been used for centuries as a natural pain reliever and may help with headache relief. However, it should be used with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare professional due to potential side effects.

Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla): Chamomile tea has calming and anti-inflammatory properties and may help relieve tension headaches.

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis): Valerian root is known for its sedative and muscle-relaxing properties. It may help alleviate tension and stress-related headaches.

Cayenne Pepper (Capsicum annuum): Cayenne contains capsaicin, which may help reduce pain and inflammation when applied topically. However, it should be used with caution and diluted to prevent skin irritation.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis): Rosemary oil or tea may have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties and could provide relief from headaches when used in aromatherapy or as a tea.

Always exercise caution when using herbal remedies and consult with a healthcare professional if you are pregnant, nursing, or taking medications, as some herbs can interact with medications or have contraindications for certain conditions. Additionally, staying hydrated, managing stress, and maintaining a balanced diet can also contribute to headache prevention.