There are many home remedies for headaches. In this sound clip, a listener to our radio show tells of a traditional West Indies headache remedy: the white pith from the inside of an orange peel. Click on the blue arrow to listen. The pith may have a slightly bitter flavor, so you might want to sweeten the hot infusion to taste. You wouldn’t want to eat a great deal of pith, as it could cause intestinal problems.

Some people rub Vicks VapoRub on the temples to ease headache pain. It may be the menthol in the Vicks VapoRub that is helpful.

Others have reported that a spicy meal like gumbo or hot and sour Chinese soup can stop a migraine if it is eaten early enough, as the headache is beginning. That is usually when home remedies or medicines work best against a migraine. It doesn’t make sense to wait to see if it will go away on its own.

Eating ice cream or drinking an icy beverage to induce brain freeze works for many folks if they do it, again, right at the beginning of the headache.

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  1. KJM

    Every winter I ate one or two large navel oranges a day; I always ate the white lining of the skin (pith) as it was sweet. I never had a cold or flu when I did this. But as I didn’t have headaches to start with I can’t say anything about pain relief.

  2. For those of us who can not hear...

    Could you please type out the method that is being recommended? Is it just important to eat the pith, or do you rub it on your temples? Thank you so much for this kind advice.
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: The pith is stirred into hot water, allowed to steep and then consumed as a beverage.

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