natural teas for headaches

Herbs and spices have been used for thousands of years to alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and reduce the symptoms of physical problems. Herbs also form the basis for many modern medicines. If you have a headache or regularly get migraines, you can use herbal teas to reduce the symptoms. Herbal teas are simple to make, simply steep the ingredients in hot water and then drink them. It is a natural remedy that is easily accessible and free of harmful chemicals.

Honeysuckle tea

Honeysuckle is a beautifully fragrant plant that originally came from Japan, however, it was brought to America and Europe in the 1800s. It is a common ingredient in Chinese medicine and is often used to treat not just headaches and migraines, but also fever, sores, wounds, inflammation, and infection. The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties in the stem, flowers, and leaves make honeysuckle tea an effective traditional remedy for headaches. Research has shown that the level of pain relief that the plant provides is similar to that of aspirin.

Ginger tea

Ginger is a powerful antioxidant that is very effective at reducing inflammation, a common cause of headaches.

  • scientific study done in 2014 found that ginger powder was nearly as effective as the migraine medication Sumatriptan for treating headaches and migraines.
  • You can buy ginger tea bags. But fresh ginger grated into some hot water with a little lemon is even more delicious. Such herbal teas can be made quickly by anyone.
  • You can also use ginger essential oil to help treat headaches.
  • You can use essential oils in the bath, in an oil diffuser, or even apply a few drops of the oil to your temples.

Feverfew tea

Feverfew (sometimes known as feather few) was used as far back as 5 B.C. in Ancient Greece to treat a variety of ailments including inflammation, fever, and swelling. The plant originally came from the Balkan Mountains in Eastern Europe, but can now be found all over the world and grows easily in any garden pot. Feverfew is used as an effective treatment for headaches and migraines as well as being a traditional remedy for insect bites. To make a tea, you should dry the leaves of the plant and steep in hot water. It is worth noting however the feverfew isn’t recommended for pregnant women, people with a dairy allergy, or anyone taking blood-thinning medication.

Peppermint tea

Peppermint has been used as a traditional remedy for pain relief for thousands of years. The plant is so easy to grow that it will spread all over your garden if it is left unchecked and it will survive cold winters, growing new leaves again in the spring. Peppermint tea is particularly good for stress headaches which cause pain because blood vessels are restricted in the brain giving you that thumping feeling, often near the temples. These peppermint leaves help to open up your blood vessels and alleviate the pain that comes with a tension headache. Peppermint oil can be used to treat everyday headaches, simply by applying a few drops to the forehead.

In fact, a study published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice in 2010 found that peppermint oil not only stopped migraines but also eased nausea that often comes with a migraine. The active menthol compound in the peppermint leaves creates a cooling sensation that soothes pain naturally. If you get regular migraines, it may be worth having a cup over peppermint tea every evening after dinner.

Butterbur tea

Butterbur is a plant that is easily found in the wet, marshy areas. Its name derives from the fact that the leaves were once used in people’s kitchens to wrap butter in. Butterbur has been used for thousands of years for healing purposes. Dioscurides, the Greek physician born in 40 A.D. used it to treat his patient’s skin ulcers. Along with treating headaches, butterbur has also been used to reduce the symptoms of asthma, allergies, and gastrointestinal problems. In modern medicine, butterbur extract is used in migraine medication. A study published in 2012 in Neurology found that butterbur pills help to prevent migraines. The leaves of the butterbur plant can easily be made into a tea that is refreshing and they can be used both fresh and dried.

Lavender tea

Lavender is known for its beautiful sweet smell, it is often added to hygiene products like soaps and shower gels to give them a pleasant fragrance. The plant originally comes from the Mediterranean, however, you can find it grown now across the world. Since Ancient Greek and Roman times, lavender has been used for its antimicrobial properties to treat skin complaints and heal wounds faster. It was also used to reduce stress and headaches.

A study done in 2012 found that lavender was effective in reducing the symptoms of migraine. A few tiny lavender buds infused into a tea can help you. But it should always be used in small doses, as, if you consume too much lavender it can be toxic.

Valerian tea

 Valerian is found all over Asia and America, and you can find valerian tea in most health food stores. The use of valerian dates right back to Ancient Rome and Greece during the time of Hippocrates. During the 1500s, the herb was known as “all-heal”. It was used to treat a variety of issues including heart palpitations, anxiety, tremors, insomnia, and headaches. It is still used to treat headaches today, more than 500 years later. Valerian tea is a little bit of an acquired taste, but with a little lemon, it’s perfectly drinkable.

Clove tea

 Cloves are a spice that is native to Indonesia and has been used for thousands of years for pain relief. They are an effective remedy for headaches when infused into the tea. Cloves have natural antinociceptive properties which means that they help to reduce the perception of pain. Clove tea is also a very effective remedy for dental pain and is even added as an ingredient to herbal toothpaste. All you need to do is add a few cloves to hot water. A little orange peel and star anise will also help enhance the taste.

Coriander seed tea

 Coriander seeds have been used for both healings and as a delicious seasoning for more than 7,000 years. In traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine coriander seed is used to help relieve the pressure and pain of sinus headaches. The coriander seeds are placed in hot water and then the steam is inhaled. You can easily make coriander seed herbal teas in the same way and enjoy the benefit of both the steam and its healing properties. A scientific study published in the Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal found that regular migraine sufferers taking coriander seed as a herbal remedy had reduced frequency and duration of migraines. It also helped to reduce the degree of pain that was felt.

Natural herbal teas are a great way to reduce the symptoms of headaches and migraines. You can use these to fight headaches. If the headache still persists, then consider going to a doctor.


  • McKay, D. L. & Blumberg, J. B., 2006. A review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of peppermint tea. Phytotherapy Research, 12 June, pp. 619-633.

  • Mei, S. H. J., Haitsma, J. J., Dos Santos, C. C. & Deng, Y., 2010. Mesenchymal Stem Cells Reduce Inflammation while Enhancing Bacterial Clearance and Improving Survival in Sepsis. ATS Journals, 182(8).

  • Ravikumar, C., 2014. Review of Herbal Teas. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, 6(5), pp. 236-238.

  • Sauro, K. M. & Becker, W. J., 2009. Stress and Migraine Interaction. HEADACHE Journal of Head and Face Pain, pp. 1378-1386.

  • Southerland, A. & Sweet, B. V., 2010. Butterbur: An alternative therapy for migraine prevention. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 67(9), pp. 705-711.

Ramya Srinivasan, PDGBA, earned her Master’s degree in Business. As a result of her passion in native medicine, she got her Diploma in Traditional Siddha Medicine from Bharat Sevak Samaj registered under the Indian Planning Commission. She is certified by Stanford University School of Medicine in Introduction to Food and Health.