16 Folk Remedies for Headaches

Old-Fashioned Headache Tips

December 24, 2020
Headache Cartoon
Wikimedia Commons

Here are 16 “sure-fire” folk remedies for headaches. Back then, they didn’t have that warning, “Don’t try these at home”! (But we do now, so proceed with caution!)

It may stretch the imagination but these are real folk remedies for headaches back in the day. As an aside, we’ve heard that humor is a great way to relieve stress so maybe these weird ways to cure a headache will tickle your funny bone, if nothing else! 

  1. Place leeches on your forehead.
  2. Rub cow dung and molasses on your temples.
  3. Tie a buzzard’s head around your neck.
  4. Use powdered moss as snuff.
  5. Have someone else rub your head; the headache will be transferred to that person, but it will be less severe.
  6. Have a relative read chapters of the Bible to you.
  7. Stand on your head or spin around until you are dizzy.
  8. Soak your feet in hot water to draw blood from your head.
  9. Run around the house three times.
  10. Ask a seventh child to blow in your ear.
  11. Put a buckwheat cake on your head.
  12. Rub your head with a piece of stone containing iron ore.
  13. Wrap damp cloths around your head and burn scented wood.
  14. Plait a handful of hair very tightly on top of your head.
  15. Lean your head against a tree and have someone else drive a nail into the opposite side of the tree.
  16. Tie a leather thong tightly around your head. (If this fails, you may tell your friends, “The thong is over, but the malady lingers on,” which will give them headaches.)

Learn More

Seeking more old-fashioned advice? Check out 100 Ways to Avoid Dying and How to Appear to Know More Than You Really Do!


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Reader Comments

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This one works.

Number 5. Not the transfer part. But science has proven that touch from another person stimulates the production of endorphins, your bodies natural painkillers. It even works a little to rub your own head, gently of course. Good luck...


Wow... some of these look like they would make it worst.

Headache remedies

The French never-fail remedy was the guillotine.

Mom told us to press a penny

Mom told us to press a penny to our forehead and concentrate the pain to the penny. :-)

When I was a child my

When I was a child my step-father would tie a strip of cloth around my head as tight as it would go when I had a migraine. Started getting them at 9 years old. It worked. Doesn't work now that I am older and the pain is more severe. Strange, huh?

the cow dung worked well but

the cow dung worked well but a prefer the leather thong