One of the most common uses for herbal teas is a remedy for simple aches and pains. A common malady treated with tea is headache since tea has many qualities that can help alleviate headaches. While headaches might not seem like a serious illness, they can be debilitating if they happen often. The right tea can help you feel better and be back in action in no time.
Several herbal teas are good for treating headaches such as chamomile, peppermint, ginger, and others. Caffeinated teas are also useful for treating headaches. The caffeine contained in black and green tea is known to help alleviate the pain associated with headaches.
If you want to use tea to treat a headache, there are plenty of options for you to choose from. Keep reading to learn which teas are best for treating headaches and how you should prepare them for best results.
How Does Herbal Tea Help with Headaches?
The herbal teas used for treating headaches tend to attack headache pain and its triggers on several levels. Here are some of the general ways that herbal teas are used for treating headaches:
- Reducing inflammation: Inflammation of the small capillaries and circulatory system can be one of the triggers of migraine headaches. Many herbal teas work to reduce inflammation across the body, which can help prevent headaches. Herbal tea also reduces the nerve agitation caused by inflammation that results in physical pain.
- Increasing relaxation: Many headaches are triggered by stress and tension. Herbal teas are perfect for relaxing, preventing you from developing a headache. Tea can also help you recover from a headache if you feel it coming on.
- Alleviating pain: Some herbal teas such as willow bark have pain killing properties. This medicinal property allows herbal tea to actually cure a headache, not just prevent one from occurring. Willow bark contains the same active ingredient as aspirin.
- Hydration: Since teas are mostly water and dehydration is a major contributor to mild headaches, drinking a cup or two of tea can help instantly alleviate a headache caused by dehydration.
Best Herbal Teas for Headaches
Herbal teas are commonly used for the treatment of headaches. Headaches can also be treated with aspirin, ibuprofen, or NSAIDs, but these medications may have unpleasant side effects such as stomach upset and liver damage.
In comparison, herbal teas tend to be safer for long-term use, but they can still be very effective in treating the pain and discomfort associated with headaches.
Here are some of the best types of herbal tea for treating a headache:
- Chamomile: Chamomile tea is a light, refreshing tea brewed from chamomile flowers. This herbal remedy can reduce inflammation and lessen anxiety, two triggers known to make headaches worse.
- Peppermint: Peppermint tea is effective in treating tension-based headaches. The menthol in peppermint tea improves mood and relaxes muscles. This includes the muscles of the face, head, neck, and shoulders responsible for causing tension headaches.
- Ginger: Along with being useful for treating headaches by reducing inflammation, ginger tea can also help treat the associated nausea that some people experience from the pain of a headache. Nausea can cause the person suffering a headache to vomit, making a person’s headache worse.
- Lavender: Like chamomile, lavender is an effective herbal tea for inducing relaxation and preventing a headache to begin with. Lavender is often mixed into blends with black tea, where it can work together with caffeine as a headache deterrent.
- Turmeric: Turmeric tea is most often taken for its anti-inflammatory properties, making it a good herbal supplement for preventing inflammation-related headaches like migraines. Turmeric can even be mixed into a delicious golden milk tea for a creamier, soothing drink.
- Willow bark tea: Willow bark contains a chemical called salicin, which is very similar to commercial aspirin. This chemical helps alleviate pain and was commonly used as a painkiller before modern medicine.
There are several different herbal teas that can be used for treating headaches, so you’re free to choose the one with the flavor you prefer. If you find that one of these herbal teas isn’t working well in preventing or treating your headaches, keep experimenting and you’re likely to find an effective solution in another blend.
Green and Black Tea
If you’re not into herbal teas, you can still use regular tea to help treat a headache. Both green tea and black tea can be used to treat headaches because they both contain caffeine and several other chemicals that help alleviate the symptoms of headache.
These are some of the main ingredients in green and black tea that are responsible for helping to treat and prevent headaches:
- Caffeine: Caffeine is the primary ingredient in green and black tea that can help treat headaches. Caffeine restricts blood vessels in the head which can swell and put pressure on surrounding nerves, causing the pain associated with a headache.
- L-Theanine: The other major chemical ingredient in tea that can help alleviate headaches is L-theanine. This chemical helps relax the mind and prevent stress. Drinking tea regularly can help prevent stress-related headaches from cropping up by keeping you relaxed.
These naturally occurring chemicals make tea a great choice when you feel a headache coming on, but they also make daily tea consumption a smart option for keeping headaches away in the first place.
Can Drinking Tea Prevent a Headache?
Tea is an effective holistic treatment for headaches whether you drink caffeinated tea or herbal teas, but it’s just as good at preventing a headache from forming.
Some teas can be useful for halting a headache in progress. However, it’s smart to drink tea regularly before experiencing any pain. Regular tea consumption can reduce stress, increase hydration, and reduce the inflammation associated with triggering headaches.
If you take tea as a preventative measure and stay well hydrated, you might not have to worry about being plagued by headaches at all.
A Cup of Calming Tea is Soothing for Headaches
No matter which variety of tea above you ultimately choose as a headache remedy, there are plenty of options to choose from in terms of flavor and what other potential benefits they may possess.
While tea might not be as effective at treating a headache in progress as some other medications, regular tea consumption can go a long way towards helping you avoid them.