How To Treat Cluster Headaches Without Painkillers

Cluster headache is a type of headache wherein one experiences several painful headaches in a pattern. These headaches cause intense pain and affect one side of the head or behind the eye. In this article, we will write about treating cluster headaches without medications.

Usually men between the age of 20 to 50 are more likely to experience cluster headaches, however, anyone can get it. The common risk factors for this condition are smoking, drinking alcohol and stress.

What Is The Main Cause Of Cluster Headaches?

Though the exact reason is unknown, the patterns of cluster headaches suggest that the hypothalamus of the brain is activated or stimulated during the cluster attack. Several imaging studies have also given evidence for the same.

Cluster headaches are characterized by a burning, stabbing pain and the symptoms include eyelid dropping, excessive tears, pupil constriction, bloodshot eyes, facial swelling, and nasal congestion.

Cluster headaches aren't dangerous but, they can be treated at home with some home remedies. Check them out!

1. Capsaicin Nasal Spray
Hot chilli peppers contain a compound called capsaicin which can reduce the pain of cluster headaches, according to a research. So, a capsaicin nasal spray is also thought to work by desensitizing the trigeminal nerve and depleting levels of a chemical involved in the cluster pain.

2. Magnesium-rich Foods
If you experience frequent cluster headaches, then you should know that your magnesium levels are low. Incorporate magnesium-rich foods in your diet as much as possible such as almonds, figs and avocados. You could also take magnesium supplements as well.

3. Melatonin
The hormone melatonin regulates your sleep patterns. It has been found that if your body has low melatonin levels, you will get cluster headaches. A review published in the journal Headache explains that melatonin supplements are more effective in treating cluster headaches. Take melatonin supplements every day two hours before you go to sleep.
However, speak to your physician before taking melatonin supplements.

4. Ginger Tea
Ginger contains a bioactive ingredient called gingerol which is known to have therapeutic properties. This compound makes ginger a highly potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent which can help treat cluster headache attacks. Drinking ginger tea will help in relieving the symptoms of cluster headaches. So, drink it twice a day.

5. Vitamin B2
Another B vitamin, which is vitamin B2, can help decrease the severity and frequency of cluster headaches. A study published in the European Journal of Neurology in 2004 found that participants who were given 400 mg of vitamin B2 capsules per day had less cluster headache attacks. So, fill your plate up with vitamin B2 rich foods as the deficiency of the vitamin can cause nerve damage and inflammation, leading to cluster headaches.

6. Deep Breathing Exercises
Deep breathing allows the body to take in more oxygen to the brain which helps relieve the pain during cluster headache attacks. When you have a cluster headache, perform deep breathing exercises like box breathing and pursed lip breathing.

7. Essential Oils
Essential oils from certain plants have aromatic compounds that have been shown to bring relief to cluster headaches. Essential oils contain therapeutic properties which work by soothing the nerves and calming the body. Peppermint and lavender essential oils, in particular, relieve cluster headache pain naturally.

8. Kudzu Extract
Kudzu extract is a botanical supplement that comes from the vine kudzu, which is known to be effective for cluster headaches. A study in 2009 reported that people who used kudzu extract for treating cluster headaches helped in decreasing the frequency, duration and intensity of headache attacks.