11 Teas for Headaches to Naturally Manage Pain

September 2022

Some teas for headaches, like chamomile tea or peppermint tea, contain substances with calming, analgesic or anti-inflammatory properties. Teas are a great way to treat headaches or migraines at home, especially if they are caused by stress, anxiety or from consuming stimulating drinks, like coffee or black tea.

In addition to teas, there are other ways to manage headache symptoms, like maintaining a balanced diet, massaging the scalp and ensuring a good night’s rest.  

Using teas as a home remedy should not substitute medical treatment prescribed by your doctor. They should only be used as a complement to manage headaches. Headaches that are very intense or frequent should be evaluated by a neurologist, so that an underlying cause can be identified and the best treatment plan can be implemented. 

1. Chamomile tea

Chamomile tea is rich in apigenin, which is a substance that acts on receptors in the brain and causes a relaxing and calming effect. It is a good option for treating tension headaches, anxiety and insomnia.

This tea also contains analgesic and anti-inflammatory products, which help to relieve pain associated with headaches. Learn about the other health benefits of chamomile tea and how to prepare it. 

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon of fresh or dried chamomile flowers 
  • 1 cup of hot water

How to prepare

Add the chamomile flowers to the hot water, cover and allow to soak for 5 to 10 minutes. Then strain the tea, allow to cool and drink. You can drink this tea 2 to 3 times per day, as soon as the headache starts. 

Chamomile tea is safe for use by pregnant women and children. 

2. Lemon balm tea 

Lemon balm tea can be beneficial to relieve headaches, especially those caused by stress. It contains rosmarinic acid, as well as analgesic, relaxing and anti-inflammatory properties, making it a great option for relieving muscle tension and dilating the blood vessels. Both of these actions can help to manage headaches. 

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons of lemon balm leaves 
  • 1 cup of hot water 

How to prepare

Add the lemon balm leaves to the hot water, cover and allow to soak for a few minutes. Then strain the tea, allow to cool and drink. You can drink this tea 3 to 4 times per day.

Lemon balm should not be consumed by people taking sleep aids, as they can contribute to sedative effects from the medication and cause excessive drowsiness. It can also interfere with the action of thyroid medications, therefore this tea should only be taken with a doctor’s guidance. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult your doctor before consuming this tea. 

Read more about what lemon balm can be used for and potential side effects with use. 

3. Boldo tea

This tea is rich in boldin, rosmarinic acid and forskolin. It contains detoxing properties, which help to clean the liver and manage headaches that are particularly caused by indigestion or hangovers. 

Boldo tea has a calming and relaxing effect, and is a great home remedy for treating headaches. Check out the other health benefits of boldo tea and how to prepare it. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of water 
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh boldo leaves 

How to prepare

Boil the water, and then remove from the strove. Add the boldo leaves,  cover and allow to cool. Then stain and sweeten as desired. This tea can be consumed twice a day to relieve headache symptoms. 

Boldo tea should not be used by people with liver diseases, like hepatitis of liver cancer, nor by people with a history of biliary duct inflammation. It should also be avoided by children, pregnant women or breastfeeding women. 

4. Oregano tea

Oregano tea contains calming and anti-inflammatory properties due to the presence of carvacrol in its composition. This substance helps to treat headaches. 

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of fresh or dried oregano leaves or flowers 
  • 1 cup of hot water 

How to prepare

Add the oregano to the hot water, cover and allow to soak for 5 to 10 minutes. Then strain the tea, allow to cool and drink. You can drink this tea 2 to 3 times per day.

Although there are generally no contraindications for drinking oregano tea, it is important not to exceed 3 cups per day. 

5. Peppermint tea 

Peppermint tea helps to relieve headaches, as it is rich in substances like menthol and menthone. These contain anti-inflammatory, analgesic and soothing properties than can help relieve intense headaches. 

In addition to tea, massaging peppermint essential oil on the temples can help relieve tension and migraines. See the other health benefits of peppermint tea and how it can be used. 

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons of freshly chopped peppermint 
  • 150 ml (5 oz) of hot water

How to prepare

Add the peppermint leaves to the hot water, cover and allow to soak for a few minutes. Once cool, you can strain the tea, and drink. You can drink this tea 2 to 4 times per day.

Peppermint tea is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women. It should also be avoided people with a history of stomach inflammation, gallstones or serious liver disease. This herb should not be given to children less than 2 years of age. 

6. Lavender tea 

Lavender tea is a home remedy that is great for managing headaches caused by tension or stress. It contains soothing, relaxing and analgesic properties. 

Ingredients

  • 30 g of chopped lavender flowers
  • 1 L of water

How to prepare

Boil the water, then place the flowers in the water. Remove from heat, cover and allow to cool. Then strain and drink. 

Lavender tea should not be consumed by pregnant women, children or people with gastric ulcers. 

7. Valerian tea 

Valerian contains sesquiterpene compounds, like valerenic and isovaleric acid relieve headaches. These compounds increase activity of the GABA neurotransmitter in the brain, which has a sedative and calming effect.

Ingredients

  • 1 to 3 g dried valerian root 
  • 1 cup of water 

How to prepare

Boil the water and add the valerian root. Allow to boil for an additional 10 minutes, then remove from heat and wait until it cools. Strain and drink the tea, up to 3 cups per day. 

Despite the benefits of valerian, pregnant and breastfeeding women should not consume it, nor should children under 12 years old. 

8. Ginger tea

Ginger tea contains gingerol, choaol and zingerone, which are substances with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These can reduce inflammation that contributes to pain, making ginger tea a great home remedy for headaches. 

This tea also contains antiemetic properties that can help relieve nausea or vomiting associated with intense headaches and migraines. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cm of ginger root, chopped or grated 
  • 1 liter of hot water

How to prepare

Add the ginger to a pot with the water, and allow to boil for 5 to 10 minutes. Then cool, strain and drink up to 4 cups per day. 

Ginger tea should be avoided by people who use anticoagulants (like warfarin or acetylsalicylic acid) or have coagulation problems, as it can increase the risk for bleeding or hemorrhaging. 

Women who are pregnant should not consume more than 1 g of ginger per day, nor take the tea for more than 3 consecutive days. This tea should not be consumed by pregnant women who are close to their due date or who have had a history of miscarriages.

Ginger tea is often used as complement to a weight loss program. Learn about how to use ginger tea for weight loss and how to prepare it.  

9. White willow tea

White willow tea, which is prepared with the medicinal plant Salix alba, is rich in salicin. This substance is similar to the main ingredient in aspirin, and contains analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that can help to relieve headaches. 

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon of white willow bark, chopped 
  • 1 cup of water 

How to prepare

Boil the water and add the white willow bark. Allow to boil for an additional 10 minutes, then strain and wait for it to cool. You can drink up to 2 cups per day. 

This tea should not be consumed by children, pregnant women, breastfeeding women, or by people with an allergy to aspirin or who are using anticoagulants. This tea is also not recommended for use by people with a history of gastrointestinal problems, like ulcers, gastritis, GERD, colitis or diverticulitis. 

10. Turmeric tea

Turmeric tea is rich in curcumin, which is a substance with potent anti-inflammatory properties. It is a great home remedy for treating headaches. Check out the other health benefits of turmeric and how to use it. 

Ingredients

  • 1 shallow teaspoon of turmeric powder (about 200mg) 
  • 1 cup of water 

How to prepare

Boil the water and add the turmeric powder. Allow to boil for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, then strain and wait for it to cool. You can drink up to 2 cups per day. 

You can also take turmeric in capsule form. You can have two 250 mg capsules of turmeric every 12 hours, to a total of 1 g per day. 

Turmeric tea or capsules should not be used by people who take anticoagulants like warfarin, clopidogrel or acetylsalicylic acid, as it can increase risk for bleeding or hemorrhaging. 

11. Feverfew tea

Feverfew tea, which is prepared with the medicinal plant Tanacetum parthenium, is rich in substances like flavonoids, sesquiterpenes and volatile oils. It has potent analgesic and anti-inflammatory action that can help relieve intense headaches or migraines. 

Ingredients

  • 15 g of the above-root parts of the plant 
  • 600 mL (20 oz) of water

How to prepare

Boil the water and remove from heat. Place the plant in the water, cover and allow to soak for 10 minutes. You can drink a cup of this tea 3 times per day. 

This tea should not be consumed by breastfeeding women, pregnant women, or people taking anticoagulants. 

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Edited by Tua Saude editing team in September 2022. Clinical review completed by Manuel Reis - Registered Nurse in September 2022.

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Clinical review:
Manuel Reis
Registered Nurse
Manuel graduated in 2013 and is licensed to practice under the Ordem dos Enfermeiros de Portugal, with license #79026. He specializes in Advanced Clinical Phytotherapy.