Much as we love the holiday season, it can be stressful! Tension headaches and hangovers are just a couple of the things that leave your head throbbing. Luckily, we found a few simple remedies that can prevent common head pain triggers. Celebrate the holiday season ache-free with these natural fixes for a stubborn holiday headache.
Drink this to soothe a throbbing head.
One surprising holiday headache trigger: shorter days. Fewer daylight hours cause levels of the “sunshine vitamin” D to drop, triggering chronic headaches for 68 percent of us, Finnish scientists say. One fix: Sip a latte! The vitamin D in milk reverses deficiencies of the vitamin, while caffeine constricts inflamed blood vessels to prevent pain. Just stir one part warmed milk (or a vitamin D-fortified dairy alternative) into one part dark roast coffee and enjoy. Or supplement with 2,000 IU of vitamin D-3 daily.
Take 60 seconds to tame a tension headache.
Getting a jump on holiday shopping online is smart, but constantly staring at a screen can lead to eye strain — one of the top hidden causes of tension headaches, reveals Duke University investigator James Stringham, Ph.D. To sidestep trouble, try this: Once an hour, trace your focus around the perimeter of your room, where the walls meet the ceiling. “By looking into the distance, you are effectively relaxing the muscles in your eyes and providing them with a chance to recover,” explains Dr. Stringham. And that blocks headaches from starting. The best part: It takes just 60 seconds to do!
Try an ancient hangover remedy.
We love toasting friends, but not the next-day throbbing. To ward off pain, take 200 to 500 mg. of Panax ginseng before bed (One to try: Now Foods, Panax Ginseng Extract — Buy from iHerb, $21). The medicinal root, which has been used for centuries in China, energizes the liver to help it break down and excrete alcohol. It works so well, research in Food & Function suggests it cuts the risk of waking up with a headache by as much as 51 percent.
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This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.