4 natural remedies for your child’s headache

As someone that has suffered from headaches for years, I can understand the difficulty of functioning and going about daily tasks with a headache.  So here you go – my 4 top natural remedies for relieving your child’s headache.

Tip 1: Hydration
Dehydration is the number 1 cause of headache in children.

The general rule of thumb for how much children should be drinking is; for each 1kg of weight (kg) = 100mL up to 10kg. For 11-20kg it is an extra 50mL per kilo. For 20+kg add another 20mL per kilo.
Example:
10kg child = 1,000mL = 1L fluid
20kg child = 1,500mL = 1.5L fluid
27kg child = 1,640mL = 1.64L fluid
30kg child = 1,700mL = 1.7L fluid
31kg child = 1,720mL =1.72L fluid

What should your child be drinking? Just good old H2O is perfect! But when dehydrated it is important to replenish the minerals to get them back in balance and alleviate the headache. Fluids kids love:

  • Coconut water – full of electrolytes that will help to rehydrate cells. I love drinking fresh cold coconut water but my young patients prefer having it like jelly, ice blocks, or in smoothies – its good to be creative!
  • Herbal tea’s – there are so many different ones available. Chamomile tea is calming and relieves tummy pains and spasms. Ginger tea helps with nausea and inflammation associated with headaches. Peppermint tea is cooling – relaxes the mind and calms the stomach.
  • Bone broth – easy, tasty and full of nutrients. You can make it yourself or we are lucky enough to live in an age that many health food stores have it available pre-made!!! Drink it like tea.

Tip 2: Magnesium
Unfortunately, there is a magnesium deficiency epidemic. As such we can easily assume that most people are lacking this mineral in the amount needed. It has some awesome benefits but it’s also required for so many of our body processes. Excellent for relaxation and calming the mind! Food sources are easy to include, consider;

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Tahini
  • Dark chocolate
  • Spinach
  • Hazelnuts
  • Almonds
  • Buckwheat
  • Barley
  • Figs

Tip 3: Essential oils

Essential oils have incredible healing properties and can be an absolute godsend when alleviating headaches in your child.

  • Lavender is my go-to for headache relief. It has powerful therapeutic effects of calming and relaxing on the mind and body. Lavender has been shown to reduce inflammation, alleviate pain, improve mood, assist with sleep and calm anxiety.
  • Another fantastic one is Peppermint essential oil – helps with headaches, reduces nausea & stomach pains, and relaxes tense muscles that are often contributors to headache. Rosemary & thyme essential oils have also been shown to have similar action as ibuprofen – as they act as COX-II inhibitor.

Essential oils are very safe & effective in kids. How to use them? Good quality lavender can be used directly on the skin but some like peppermint, rosemary, and thyme should be diluted in a carrier oil such as coconut oil! When I dilute mine in a carrier oil – it is approximately 1 drop per 1 tablespoon of carrier oil.

A great favorite of mine is to put 5-10 drops in a diffuser and let is fill the room or house.

Tip 4: Relax!
Kids can and should learn techniques to reduce stress, including meditation and mindfulness. These are extremely important lessons you can practice with your children. Not only can these techniques relieve headaches but also they can improve focus and attention, ease anxiety, enhance sleep and support overall wellbeing. Learning to relax the mind and body BEFORE your child has a headache will assist your child in finding a mindful state when pain does arise.

Meditation and mindfulness is something you can do as a family, as part of a bedtime routine and can easily instill a feeling a calming unity.

Here is a couple of my favorite go-to resources for children to learn how to relax!

  • Apps – Calm and Headspace, both of which can be used for kids and parents alike.
  • Book – Peaceful Piggy Meditation by Kerry Lee MacLean – a good one for primary school age readers, which talks about the importance of mediation.
  • CD/MP3 – Still quiet place: Mindfulness for young children and Still quiet place: Mindfulness for Teens by Dr. Amy Saltzman. These are age-appropriate guided mindfulness exercises.

When to notify your doctor:

  • Headache has occurred with a head injury
  • Chronically waking with a headache
  • Has an associated fever
  • Develops pain or stiffness in the back of the neck.
  • Is acting confused, not making eye contact, severe mood changes, or very sleepy.
  • Is vomiting and can’t keep fluids down.
  • Headache that lasts longer than a few days

 

Chronic headaches are an indication of an underlying imbalance that CAN BE RELIEVED if we can identify the root cause. The root cause can be allergies, nutritional deficiency, digestive dysbiosis, poor gut health, infection, mitochondrial dysfunction or as simple as they may need to wear glasses. This detective work can take time but it will be well worth it when your child is no longer suffering from chronic headaches.

If this is something your child needs support with, don’t let them solider on, book in for a consultation. Or please do share this with a parent you know has a child suffering from headaches.