What Was the Best Known Remedy for Headaches in Ancient Greece?

Headaches have been a common ailment throughout human history, and ancient civilizations like Greece developed their own remedies to alleviate this discomfort. One of the best-known remedies for headaches in ancient Greece was the use of herbs and natural ingredients. Let’s delve into the fascinating world of ancient Greek medicine and explore some of the most popular headache remedies they employed.

The Role of Herbs in Ancient Greek Medicine

Ancient Greeks believed in the power of nature and its ability to heal various ailments, including headaches. They extensively used herbs and plants known for their medicinal properties. These herbs were often combined with other natural ingredients to form potent remedies.

1. Mint

Mint was highly regarded for its calming properties.

It was believed to help relax tense muscles, ease headaches, and relieve pain. Ancient Greeks would often crush mint leaves and apply them directly to the forehead or temples as a poultice.

2. Lavender

Lavender was another popular herb used in ancient Greece to alleviate headaches.

Its soothing aroma was thought to have a calming effect on both the mind and body, helping to ease tension headaches. The dried flowers were often made into a tea or used in aromatic oils for massage.

3. Willow Bark

The bark of willow trees contains salicin, a compound that is similar to aspirin in its pain-relieving properties. Ancient Greeks would chew on willow bark or boil it in water to create a medicinal drink that could help alleviate headache symptoms.

Other Natural Remedies for Headaches

Apart from herbs, ancient Greeks also used various other natural substances and techniques to relieve headaches. Cold Compresses

Cold compresses were a common remedy for headaches among the ancient Greeks.

They believed that applying something cold to the affected area could help reduce inflammation and numb the pain. Cold water-soaked cloths or ice packs were often used for this purpose. Aromatherapy

Ancient Greeks understood the power of scents and their effect on the body and mind.

Aromatherapy was commonly practiced to relieve headaches. Essential oils from herbs like rosemary, eucalyptus, and chamomile were often used in massages or added to baths for their therapeutic properties.


Ancient Greeks had a rich knowledge of natural remedies for headaches, utilizing herbs, plants, and other natural substances to alleviate discomfort. Their understanding of the healing properties of these ingredients laid the foundation for modern medicine’s use of natural remedies.

Next time you experience a headache, why not try incorporating some ancient Greek wisdom into your remedy? Whether it’s sipping a cup of lavender tea or massaging your temples with mint oil, these ancient techniques may just provide you with some much-needed relief.