Woman's World

Fast cures for winter headaches!

Cold temperatur­es, lack of sunlight and dry indoor air make headaches nearly twice as likely to strike in February. And when your head is throbbing, you want relief— now! Here, the studyprove­n strategies powerful enough to tamp down even the worst brain p

- —Brenda Kearns

Tension headache? Sip ginger tea The next time you feel a vice-like squeeze at your temples, whip up some ginger tea. Danish researcher­s say this spicy brew erases tension headaches for 63% of subjects in 20 minutes—as quickly and effectivel­y as prescripti­on pain meds! That’s because compounds in ginger ( gingerols and shogaols) block the production of paintrigge­ring hormones called prostaglan­dins. Migraine? Chill your neck For fast relief from a pounding or stabbing pain that worsens with movement, wrap an ice pack around the front and sides of your neck. In a study at the University of Hawaii, this simple fix made pain scores plummet for 77% of women in 30 minutes or less. The secret: Cooling down your vagus nerve (which runs up along either side of your neck) turns off pain signals. Chronic headaches? Try a peppermint rub If you spend more days with headaches than without, you could be battling

rebound pain, which occurs for folks who essentiall­y get addicted to pain meds. The way out of the cycle? Massage peppermint oil (5 drops in 1 tsp. of a carrier oil) into your temples to prompt the release of painkillin­g endorphins that nix pain in five minutes and cut future risk by 80%! Sinus headache? Relax with damp heat Australian researcher­s say warming your cheeks and forehead—by standing in a steamy shower or holding a hot, wet washcloth to your face— can shut down even a bad sinus headache in 15 minutes. Explains Jordan Josephson, M.D., author of Sinus

Relief Now, damp heat calms overactive pain nerves, improves drainage and flushes out sinus inflammati­on.

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