Looking for a naturopathic approach to treating your child’s headache? First make sure to rule out the common causes of headaches, and take a trip to their doctor if necessary. Next, figure out your child’s headache triggers. Finally, check out some excellent natural remedies for headaches. Combined this approach can be very effective for treating common headaches in kids.
Common causes of headaches in kids
Common causes of headache are dehydration, illness, especially fever and stomach bugs, allergies, and stress. Kids may often experience headaches related to constipation. The cause of a headache should be evaluated by a trained professional. If your child frequently experiences headaches, is having their very first headache, or is under 5 years old, you should see your child’s physician. Headaches related to head trauma, neck pain or stiffness, or with rapid onset and worsening warrant a trip to your pediatrician or the ER. As always, the information contained in this post is not intended to take the place of care from your pediatrician.
Some great natural headache remedies are homeopathics and topical essential oils, but before we get into that let’s address the basics.
First: Keep a diary
Keeping a daily headache diary can be a great way to figure out possible triggers. Write down (or have your child write down) each time they get a headache. Write a log of all the foods they have eaten, amount of water or fluids consumed, supplements or medications taken, and anything else that may have affected the headache. Triggers can include foods (like those listed under ‘Migraines’), artificial colorings, flavorings, carrageenan, or preservatives. Other triggers can be things like social stress (e.g., the night before a big test), too much TV/screen time, lack of exercise, poor posture, and many others.
Foundations of Health
Food and water are a great place to start.
- Hydration: Many of us are so busy that we forget to drink water, and kids are especially prone to forgetting to take a break and drink. How much water do kids need? A good general rule for hydration is half their weight (pounds) in ounces of water.
- Food: Teenagers and picky kids commonly skip breakfast, and all kids may be susceptible to headache from low blood sugar.
Two homeopathic remedies that commonly are effective in treating headache are Natrum-muriaticum 6c and Belladonna 6c. If you have on hand, give 5-6 pellets, under the tongue. Wait 15 minutes and re-dose if no relief, switch to the other remedy.
How to choose a homeopathic remedy for your child’s headache:
- Belladonna 6c is indicated when the headache is accompanied by signs of illness like high fever and congestion. Always follow guidance from your doctor to address fevers over 104F.
- Nat-mur 6c is indicated when headaches are brought on from sun exposure, or along with menses, and with migraine.
- Chamomila 6c is indicated if the child is exceptionally fussy
- Sulphur 6c is indicated if your child is sensitive the heat or sun
Essential oils like peppermint and lavender can be great for headaches related to stress. These should always be applied with a carrier oil such as olive or coconut oil for dilution and never given internally. Dilute one to two drops of essential oil in 2 tablespoons of carrier oil and gently massage into temples or at base of neck. When purchasing essential oils, look for organic oils that are unadulterated. Remember that inappropriate use of essential oils can lead to seizures in kids, so use carefully.
Children and teens with migraines may complain of light sensitivity, nausea, and dizziness. Once you have consulted a doctor for proper diagnosis, you could try the following dietary changes. B vitamins may help with symptom control and are found in foods like leafy greens and bananas. Avoidance of likely trigger foods including aged cheeses, nuts, vinegar, soy, citrus, and chocolate may help to avoid onset.