A headache can drain your focus and energy, the pain overwhelming everything else in your day. Though tea may not be a cure your headache, it can help alleviate the pain when used with other remedies.
Some of the teas best known for curing headaches include chamomile tea, peppermint tea, ginger tea, lavender tea, turmeric tea, clove tea, among others.
Tea can provide many additional benefits, from reducing stress levels to boosting immunity and giving your body a good dose of antioxidants. To caffeinate or not to caffeinate is a debate this article explores, as we delves into the positive effects of both forms of tea.
Read on to find out more about green tea, matcha, ginger, and chamomile tea, along with which teas may provide the best cure for your headache.
Is Green Tea Good For Headaches?
While green tea can be a good source of headache relief, it also could worsen your pain if consumed in too large of a quantity.
Green tea is popularly used during detoxes due to its high levels of antioxidants. Research has demonstrated that an antioxidant deficiency could often cause chronic migraines, and therefore raising the levels through consuming green tea could be of benefit.
However, the effectiveness comes down to the individual. Every person is different, and what works for one may not work for another.
Does Matcha Tea Help With Headaches?
While the bulk of green tea varieties infuse leaves into your hot water, matcha tea is composed of the leaves themselves, which have been turned into a fine powder, meaning that you can consume the entire leaf; matcha means “powdered tea.”
Matcha leaves are processed differently, naturally enhancing growth to provide increased flavor and texture. Because of this, the potency of matcha is often much stronger.
Though the increased concentration means that more caffeine is present (similar amounts to a cup of coffee) consuming it in combination with L-theanine is thought to produce an alert calmness rather than a caffeine buzz.
When purchasing matcha, quality is vital, and you should be well aware of the different types of matcha (such as culinary vs. ceremonial).
Are Herbal Teas Good For Headaches Or Better Than Caffeinated Teas?
It largely depends on the ingredients used within the individual brand you choose. Still, caffeinated tea such as black or green tea or matcha will generally include more significant quantities of antioxidants as they are produced from the camellia sinensis plant and include the tea leaves themselves. The drawback to this is the sometimes large quantities of caffeine that can exacerbate a headache.
Alternatively, most herbal teas lack caffeine, which means they can provide more profound relaxation, but they may not include as many health benefits as their caffeinated counterparts.
Should You Drink Caffeine When You Have A Headache?
Caffeinated teas, including black, oolong, green and other varieties, can treat headaches by increasing the effectiveness of your over-the-counter medication. Many medications, such as aspirin, combine a mixture of painkillers and caffeine. Though it can be a great tool in reducing inflammation to relieve a headache, you should be mindful when using caffeine, as it also possesses the ability to worsen your pain.
Black tea contains around half of the amount of caffeine as contained in a cup of coffee; green tea, less still.
Camellia sinensis is a small shrub whose leaves are utilized for tea production. Packed with antioxidants and amino acids, this plant comes with many benefits, from weight loss to good skin health. The tea leaf extract contains L-theanine, which is associated with easing stress and anxiety. Additionally, the presence of caffeine has been shown to enhance this benefit.
Two-thirds of the world’s tea comes from the camellia sinensis plant, all of which contain caffeine and L-theanine.
Generally speaking, the effectiveness of caffeine as a pain reliever depends on your level of sensitivity to it. A high sensitivity means caffeine should be avoided when you feel unwell as it can trigger headaches. However, if your tolerance to caffeine is high, drinking a cup of herbal tea could be just the remedy you are seeking.
Does Ginger Tea Help With Headaches?
Ginger has been utilized as a herbal remedy for centuries, with its health benefits well documented. Ginger tea can minimize inflammation and boost your immune system. One study conducted with 100 participants concluded that ginger was just as effective a cure as sumatriptan – a prescribed medication used to treat severe headaches.
Along with headache relief, ginger can remedy additional side effects such as nausea or stomach upset by soothing stomach muscles, easing cramps and stomach pains.
Is Chamomile Tea Good For Headaches?
Chamomile is an excellent soother when you have a headache. It works to reduce inflammation, and by decreasing your stress levels. This can work to help eliminate the contributors of your pain, as well as the headache itself.
Additionally, chamomile tea has been proven to increase the GABA – Gamma-aminobutyric acid – activity in your brain. Utilized for its calming effect on the brain, the presence of GABA helps to ease stress, tension, and anxiety.
However, it’s worth noting that the side effects of GABA have not been studied in depth. Though stress alleviation could help to ease your pain, it may be that the presence of GABA could itself create headaches.
The next time you feel a headache approaching try a cup of tasty tea. It may be best to try sticking with non-caffeinated herbal teas such as chamomile or ginger. Along with quashing your headache, these teas can help soothe your mind and body, alleviating the causes of your aches and pains.
While highly caffeinated teas may work wonders for some individuals (especially for caffeine withdrawal headaches), they could cause adverse effects to others.
Repeated headaches could be a symptom of underlying health concerns, and if headaches persist, it’s crucial to consult with your doctor.
Using tea to treat head pain is about finding what works for you and whether your body reacts better to a boost of calming caffeine and antioxidants or the simplistic soothing sensation of a cup of herbal tea.
Scott is the founder of TeaMinded. He enjoys tasting and discovering teas from across the globe, with green teas and ceremonial matcha from Japan being among his favorites. He’s grateful to be immersed in the tea community, always learning and sharing along the journey.