I had a throbbing headache this afternoon, which brewed coffee instantly cured. This inspired me to share my favorite quick fixes to a headache (taking medicine is a last resort):

Menthol candy – This is my first aid. Try inhaling deeply while the candy is in your mouth to get more of the menthol. This usually does the trick unless the headache is really bad. I am never without menthol candy in my bag (since I’m also prone to motion sickness). The only problem with this is that relief is sometimes short-lived.

Brewed coffee or peppermint tea – Only a recent discovery since I’m not much of a coffee or hot tea drinker, I’ve found these two brews to be very effective. Try inhaling the vapor of the peppermint tea while it’s still very hot. My headache is usually gone within minutes of drinking. There are conflicting opinions about the effect of coffee on headache, but in my case, coffee cures it.

Head massage – Especially in the areas surrounding (but not directly) where the ache is concentrated

Sleep – If time permits; sometimes even a 15-minute nap is enough

Medicine – If all else fails or none of the above is possible or available; I take paracetamol instead of aspirin, mefenamic acid or ibuprofen

If still nothing works, and if you get headaches way too often, it’s still best to consult with a doctor.