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Last updated: Jun 03, 2024

10 best herbal teas for headaches

Herbal teas for headaches are caffeine-free, warm beverages made from various dried herbs, flowers, and spices.

They are a natural and effective way to alleviate headaches, as they contain soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. Some popular herbal teas for headaches include chamomile, ginger, feverfew, and willow bark. Chamomile tea, for instance, helps relax muscles and reduce stress, which can trigger headaches.

Ginger tea, on the other hand, has potent anti-inflammatory properties that can help ease headache pain. By incorporating these herbal teas into their daily routine, individuals can find relief from headaches and improve their overall quality of life. For example, a stressed-out student who frequently suffers from tension headaches can drink chamomile tea before bed to relax and reduce the likelihood of headaches.

Similarly, a construction worker who experiences migraines due to inflammation can consume ginger tea during breaks to alleviate pain and continue with their workday comfortably.

A summary of the 10 best herbal teas for headaches is provided in the following cheatsheet.

herbal teas for headaches cheatsheet.jpg

The following article describes in detail the most important teas for headaches, including medicinal properties, parts of herbs to use, and recipes for preparations.

1. Black cohosh tea

Black cohosh tea helps with headaches because it contains phytoestrogens, which are plant-based compounds that can mimic the effects of estrogen in the body.

Fluctuations in estrogen levels are known to trigger headaches and migraines in some individuals, particularly women. By regulating estrogen levels, black cohosh tea can help alleviate headache symptoms. Additionally, black cohosh has anti-inflammatory properties, which can further reduce headache pain and inflammation in the blood vessels surrounding the brain.

Drinking black cohosh tea may provide natural relief for those who experience headaches related to hormonal changes or inflammation.

headache herbs

The list below shows the primary active constituents in black cohosh tea that aid with headaches.

The list below shows the primary parts of black cohosh tea used to make teas for headaches.

The following recipe gives a procedure to make a basic black cohosh tea for headaches.

  1. Measure out 1-2 teaspoons of dried black cohosh root.
  2. Place the herb in a tea infuser or teapot with a strainer.
  3. Pour 8 ounces of boiling water over the black cohosh.
  4. Allow the tea to steep for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Remove the infuser or strain the tea before drinking.

2. Yanhusuo tea

Yanhusuo tea helps with headaches because it contains alkaloids, particularly sanquanxie, which has been found to effectively inhibit the contraction of blood vessels in the brain.

This action helps to improve blood flow, reduce inflammation, and relieve pressure in the head, thereby alleviating headache symptoms.

Additionally, yanhusuo tea has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for its calming and sedative properties, which can help to reduce tension and anxiety, further contributing to headache relief.

headache herbs

The list below shows the primary active constituents in yanhusuo tea that aid with headaches.

The list below shows the primary parts of yanhusuo tea used to make teas for headaches.

The following recipe gives a procedure to make a basic yanhusuo tea for headaches.

  1. Measure out 2-3 grams of dried Yanhusuo root and rinse it under cold water.
  2. Place the rinsed Yanhusuo root in a pot and add 300 milliliters of water.
  3. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer, allowing the tea to steep for 30 minutes.
  4. Strain the tea into a cup, discarding the solids.
  5. Sip the tea slowly, allowing it to relieve headache symptoms.

3. Feverfew tea

Feverfew tea helps with headaches because it contains parthenolide, a compound that is believed to inhibit the release of prostaglandins, chemicals that cause inflammation and pain in blood vessels surrounding the brain.

Additionally, feverfew may also reduce the sensitivity of nerve endings in the head, further alleviating the symptoms of headaches. Furthermore, feverfew tea has been shown to have muscle relaxant properties, which can help relieve tension headaches caused by muscle contractions in the head and neck.

Drinking feverfew tea regularly may also help prevent the onset of headaches by maintaining the body's natural balance and reducing inflammation.

headache herbs

The list below shows the primary active constituents in feverfew tea that aid with headaches.

The list below shows the primary parts of feverfew tea used to make teas for headaches.

The following recipe gives a procedure to make a basic feverfew tea for headaches.

  1. Boil 1 cup of water and let it cool down for a minute or two, then pour it over 1-2 teaspoons of dried feverfew leaves.
  2. Steep the mixture for 5-10 minutes, depending on how strong you want the tea to be.
  3. Strain the tea to remove the leaves and discard them.
  4. Add honey or lemon to taste, if desired.
  5. Consume the tea while it's still warm, up to three times a day as needed for headache relief.

4. Maidenhair tree tea

Maidenhair tree tea helps with headaches because it contains naturally occurring compounds that have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

One of the key active components in maidenhair tree is ginkgolide A, which has been shown to inhibit platelet-activating factor (PAF), a substance that can cause inflammation and pain. Additionally, maidenhair tree tea is rich in antioxidants, which can help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. Drinking maidenhair tree tea may help improve circulation, reduce muscle tension, and alleviate headaches caused by stress or tension.

Its soothing and calming effects may also help promote relaxation and reduce the frequency and severity of headaches.

headache herbs

The list below shows the primary active constituents in maidenhair tree tea that aid with headaches.

The list below shows the primary parts of maidenhair tree tea used to make teas for headaches.

The following recipe gives a procedure to make a basic maidenhair tree tea for headaches.

  1. In a pot, combine one cup of water and two teaspoons of dried maidenhair tree leaves.
  2. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Remove the pot from heat and strain the tea to remove the leaves.
  4. Allow the tea to cool down to a drinkable temperature.
  5. Sip the tea slowly, tasting the herbal flavors as you find relief from your headache.

5. Licorice tea

Licorice tea helps with headaches because it contains a compound called glycyrrhizin, which has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

These properties can help to reduce the swelling and inflammation that can cause headaches, as well as to alleviate the pain associated with them. Additionally, licorice tea can help to balance hormones and reduce stress, both of which can contribute to the development of headaches.

The soothing and calming effects of the tea can also help to promote relaxation and reduce tension, which can further help to alleviate headaches.

headache herbs

The list below shows the primary active constituents in licorice tea that aid with headaches.

The list below shows the primary parts of licorice tea used to make teas for headaches.

The following recipe gives a procedure to make a basic licorice tea for headaches.

  1. In a pot, boil 1 cup of water for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of dried licorice root to the boiling water.
  3. Reduce heat and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Strain the tea into a cup, discarding the solids.
  5. Sip the tea slowly, allowing it to relieve headache symptoms.

6. Witch hazel tea

Witch hazel tea helps with headaches because it contains properties that can reduce inflammation and constrict blood vessels, which can help alleviate the pain associated with headaches.

The tannins found in witch hazel have astringent properties that can help to reduce swelling and inflammation in the blood vessels, thereby reducing the pressure that can cause headaches. Additionally, witch hazel contains antioxidants and flavonoids that can help to relax the blood vessels and improve circulation, which can further help to reduce the frequency and severity of headaches.

Drinking witch hazel tea can provide a natural and effective way to manage headaches and promote overall health and well-being.

headache herbs

The list below shows the primary active constituents in witch hazel tea that aid with headaches.

The list below shows the primary parts of witch hazel tea used to make teas for headaches.

The following recipe gives a procedure to make a basic witch hazel tea for headaches.

  1. In a saucepan, combine 1 tablespoon of crushed witch hazel leaves and 2 cups of water, then bring the mixture to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat, let it simmer for 10 minutes to allow the water to extract the medicinal compounds from the leaves.
  3. Strain the tea to remove the solid particles, then let it cool down to a drinkable temperature.
  4. Stir in 1 teaspoon of honey for added flavor and potential anti-inflammatory effects (optional).
  5. Drink the tea slowly, sipping it over a period of 20-30 minutes to help alleviate headache symptoms.

7. St john's wort tea

St. John's Wort tea helps with headaches because it contains several key compounds, including hypericin and hyperforin, that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

These compounds work to reduce inflammation and relax muscles, which can help to alleviate the tension and pressure that often cause headaches. Additionally, St. John's Wort is believed to have a positive effect on neurotransmitter levels in the brain, particularly serotonin and dopamine, which can help to regulate mood and reduce the perception of pain.

Drinking St. John's Wort tea may also help to promote relaxation and reduce stress, which can further help to prevent headaches from occurring.

headache herbs

The list below shows the primary active constituents in st john's wort tea that aid with headaches.

The list below shows the primary parts of st john's wort tea used to make teas for headaches.

The following recipe gives a procedure to make a basic st john's wort tea for headaches.

  1. Measure out 2 teaspoons of dried St. John's Wort flowering tops and place them in a tea infuser or teapot.
  2. Heat 1 cup of water to boiling, then pour it over the St. John's Wort.
  3. Allow the tea to steep for 10-15 minutes to extract the medicinal compounds.
  4. Remove the tea infuser or strain the tea to remove the plant material.
  5. Drink the tea while it is still warm, up to three times a day as needed for headache relief.

8. English lavender tea

English lavender tea helps with headaches because it contains certain compounds, such as linalyl acetate and linalool, which have been shown to have relaxing and analgesic properties.

These compounds may help to reduce muscle tension and inflammation, which are common causes of headaches. Additionally, the soothing and calming effects of lavender can help to reduce stress and anxiety, which can also contribute to headaches. Drinking lavender tea may also help to promote better sleep, which can be beneficial for those who experience headaches due to lack of sleep or poor sleep quality.

Overall, the combination of these effects makes English lavender tea a natural and effective remedy for headaches.

headache herbs

The list below shows the primary active constituents in english lavender tea that aid with headaches.

The list below shows the primary parts of english lavender tea used to make teas for headaches.

The following recipe gives a procedure to make a basic english lavender tea for headaches.

  1. Boil 8 ounces of water to a rolling boil (212°F) for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add 1-2 teaspoons of dried English lavender flowers to a tea infuser or teapot.
  3. Pour the hot water over the lavender flowers and steep for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Remove the tea infuser or strain the tea into a cup.
  5. Add honey or lemon to taste (optional) and enjoy.

9. Motherwort tea

Motherwort tea helps with headaches because it contains natural compounds that have a calming effect on the nervous system, which can help to reduce tension and alleviate headaches.

The tea is also known to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce inflammation in the blood vessels surrounding the brain and thus help to relieve headache pain. Additionally, motherwort tea is a natural sedative, which can help to promote relaxation and reduce the stress and anxiety that can often trigger headaches. Drinking motherwort tea can also help to improve blood circulation, which can further help to alleviate headache symptoms.

Overall, motherwort tea is a natural and effective remedy for headaches, providing relief without the need for harsh chemicals or medications.

headache herbs

The list below shows the primary active constituents in motherwort tea that aid with headaches.

The list below shows the primary parts of motherwort tea used to make teas for headaches.

The following recipe gives a procedure to make a basic motherwort tea for headaches.

  1. Boil 2 cups of water in a kettle for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Add 2 teaspoons of dried motherwort herb to a teapot.
  3. Pour the boiling water over the herbs and let it steep for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Strain the tea into a cup, discarding the herbs.
  5. Sip the tea slowly, allowing it to relieve your headache.

10. Flax tea

Flax tea helps with headaches because it contains omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation in the body, including the brain.

Additionally, flax tea is a good source of magnesium, a mineral that can help relax blood vessels and reduce tension, which is a common cause of headaches. Furthermore, flax tea is caffeine-free, making it a great alternative to traditional caffeinated beverages that can sometimes trigger headaches.

Drinking flax tea regularly may help prevent headaches by keeping the body hydrated and providing it with essential nutrients.

headache herbs

The list below shows the primary active constituents in flax tea that aid with headaches.

The list below shows the primary parts of flax tea used to make teas for headaches.

The following recipe gives a procedure to make a basic flax tea for headaches.

  1. Measure out 1 tablespoon of dried flaxseed and 1 teaspoon of dried herbal blend (such as chamomile, lavender, and rosemary) into a tea infuser or reusable tea bag.
  2. Boil 8 ounces of water and let it cool for 1 minute.
  3. Place the tea infuser with the flaxseed and herbs into a cup, then pour the hot water over it.
  4. Let the tea steep for 5-7 minutes.
  5. Remove the tea infuser and enjoy the warm herbal flax tea for headache relief.

How to best treat headaches with herbal teas?

The best way to treat headaches with herbal teas is by choosing teas with proven therapeutic properties.

Peppermint tea, for instance, helps relax constricted blood vessels, while ginger tea is known for its anti-inflammatory effects that can alleviate headache pain. Feverfew tea is another excellent choice, as it contains parthenolide, a compound that inhibits the expansion of blood vessels in the brain, thereby reducing headache symptoms. For best results, drink these teas regularly and always opt for organic, high-quality teas.

However, if headaches persist, consult a healthcare professional.

What ailments similar to headaches are treated with herbal teas?

Ailments similar to headaches that are treated with herbal teas include migraines, tension headaches, and stress-related headaches.

Certain herbal teas, such as chamomile, feverfew, and ginger, have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the severity and frequency of these headaches. Peppermint tea can also help relieve tension headaches by relaxing the muscles in the head and neck. Additionally, passionflower tea has been shown to help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation, which can prevent headaches caused by stress.

However, it's important to consult with a healthcare provider before using herbal teas to treat any medical condition.