Natural Migraine Remedies: A Comprehensive Guide
Your migraine medication costs are rising.
You experience side effects from migraine drugs.
You and others like you are seeking an alternative, natural, and healthy treatment for your migraines.
People have been using natural remedies for centuries. Ancient Chinese and Egyptian cultures used natural remedies to treat a wide variety of ailments. Many are still used today for health issues and migraines. These are some of the most popular natural migraine remedies recommended by several leading experts in natural health and wellness.
In an effort to provide the most current and effective information on natural migraine remedies, Axon Optics talked to several professionals in various disciplines, including Rebecca Lee, a registered nurse, Ana Reisdorf, nutritionist, Dave Frahm, naturopath.
This post will include home some ideas of home remedies to promote natural healing of migraine including consumption of a balanced diet, avoiding certain foods that may be triggers for you, healing with aromatherapy and acupressure, massaging with essential oils, a regular sleep routine, relaxation techniques, and a stress-free attitude.
And Then We Got Pregnant
And I just remember vomiting. Not from morning sickness, but from migraine pain. I felt completely helpless. There was no western medicine I was comfortable taking. And I was afraid of a holistic approach after the experience with the Naturopath. But, at my wits end, I am so glad I took the advice given by a friend.
The first step to freeing myself from migraines for good:
Natural Cure For Migraine #: Vitamins And Supplements
As we alluded to above, magnesium is a power player in terms of migraine prevention. This is because having low magnesium levels can trigger the onset of a migraine attack. Thankfully, this risk factor can be eliminated by simply taking a magnesium supplement. Studies show that taking magnesium supplements can help reduce several common types of migraine, including migraine with aura and hormonal migraines. Magnesium has few side effects but it can cause some digestive distress, so its wise to start with a small dose and then slowly increase until you get to the recommended dose of 600mg per day.
Other supplemental remedies for migraine include B vitamins, Coenzyme Q10 , and fish oil. The B vitamins play an important role in regulating neurotransmitters in the brain, and since migraine is a neurological condition, this complex of vitamins can be helpful in reducing symptoms. Specifically, studies show that B2, B6, B9 , and B12 may provide some natural migraine relief.
The body naturally produces CoQ10, a substance with antioxidant properties that helps metabolize food. In one small study, researchers found that people taking 100mg of CoQ10 supplements per day saw reduced migraine severity, frequency, and duration.
To purchase WellBe-approved supplements get access to our Non-toxic Product Database.
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Why Black Cohosh Is A Great Natural Remedy For Your Menstrual Migraines
Black cohosh has an ancient history of use among Native American women for menstruation and menopausal health issues. Western research has yet to conclude if black cohosh is effective in the use of treating symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness. But there is evidence that black cohosh is effective in treating issues related to Premenstrual Syndrome .
It is the root of Black Cohosh that is used medicinally and it has been reported to regulate estrogen. At times, estrogen can overstimulate the tissue of the uterus, leading to pain and swelling. Black Cohosh counteracts this overstimulation by acting as an anti-inflammatory and an antispasmodic reducing pain, swelling, and cramping.
Because of its ability to even out estrogen levels, it can mitigate the drop in estrogen that triggers period migraines.
The Best Ways To Find Natural Migraine Relief
As always, we prefer to treat the root cause as opposed to popping pills that just treat the symptoms and may create other health issues of their own. And when treating the root cause isnt possible because it is not yet known or there are several root causes and you need relief fast as is sometimes the case with migraines were always looking for the most natural, least invasive path to feeling better. To that end, we rounded up the most effective ways to find natural migraine relief, all of which come with few side effects, and many of which can have an overall positive impact on your well-being.
The top six ways to find natural migraine relief :
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Natural Remedies For Migraine
A migraine can be induced by a variety of triggers, which youll want to avoid. Several foods are known as migraine triggers, such as chocolate, red wine, aged cheese, and nitrates found in processed meats. For many people, stress is also a big trigger. Changes in your sleeping routine, not sleeping well, sleeping too little, or sleeping too much may also bring on a migraine. To get to know your own triggers, it can help to track what you eat, how well you sleep, and what your stress levels are. These insights give you a better understanding of the way your body reacts, and they also teach you what to do and what to avoid to reduce the chance of getting a migraine attack.
Butterbur Is Sometimes Used For Migraine Prevention
Extracts from the leaves and roots of the butterbur plant have been used for the treatment of migraine.
A review of evidence on natural remedies published in March 2016 in Headache concluded butterbur was effective in helping prevent migraine. The analysis included a trial in which the supplement reduced the frequency of migraine by 48 percent, compared with 26 percent in the control group.
On the basis of those studies, the American Headache Society, the Canadian Headache Society, and the American Academy of Neurology all recommended butterbur for use in preventing migraine.
The American Academy of Neurology later retracted its recommendation because of concerns about liver toxicity.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, butterbur products that contain chemicals called pyrrolizidine alkaloids may damage the liver, lungs, and blood circulation, and possibly cause cancer. Consumers should therefore consider using only products that are certified PA-free.
Butterbur is usually taken orally and, according to an article in StatPearls, the recommended dose is between 50 and 150 mg. Since butterbur can interact with certain drugs, its advised that you talk with your doctor before taking it or any other herbal supplement.
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Whats All That Got To Do With Anthropology Though
I dont know if youve noticed, but we havent really talked explicitly about the social aspect of the biopsychosocial model yet. Interestingly, were not alone in not talking about it. After I first started having serious success with Curable a few weeks into using it , I very tentatively began approaching the various medical specialists Id been seeing about my pain, to talk about my growing scientific understanding. I was so nervous talking about it, thinking that they were going to think I was kooky, or had been duped by some kind of cult.
As Deborah Lupton points out in Medicine as Culture, its critical that the relationship between doctor and patient is based on a shared understanding about health. All too often, patients bring ideas about health and medicine to their doctor that the doctor believes to be incongruent with medical science, and this lack of shared understanding can lead to distrust on both sides. I didnt want to be that patient. I needed these people on my side. But my migraines were improving, and I really wanted their endorsement of my decision to pursue this mode of healing.
I started by telling my neurologist. To my immense relief, he was hugely supportive. Oh, that app sounds very interesting, Ill have to recommend it to my daughter! he said. Oh, does your daughter have chronic migraine, too? I asked. No, she has chronic anxiety, he replied. Its all the same thing, though.
How Period Migraines Are Traditionally Treated
Once a month, I could look forward to losing an afternoon or even a full day to my period migraine. And even though my doctor told me that being on the Pill would lessen the severity of the migraines, that wasnt the case. In fact, sometimes they would worsen while I was using the Pill.
It would have been great if my doctor had told me that each womans body is different and that the levels of estrogen within birth control pills vary. So while a woman like me might find that being on the Pill made my menstrual migraines worse, another woman might find that they helped her migraines diminish.
The lesson: listen to and know your own body and what works for you.
A visit to a traditional western doctor about your menstrual migraines may result in one of these three approaches:
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How To Cure Migraine Headaches
If you are in a position to do so, then go to sleep as soon as the migraine headache starts. In most cases migraines are caused by hyperactivity of blood vessels in the brain.Sleeping reduces the pressure on the blood vessels and eases headache. Choose a dark room for sleeping. It gives you relaxation.
Massaging is very effective in stopping the throbbing in your temples. Start massaging from your face and slowly progress to the forehead. Apply gentle pressure while moving the fingertips in brisk circular motions.
Work your hand down to the nape of the neck and also massage the back. Use an aroma essential oil like peppermint oil for best results. It has been medically proven that massaging the hands and feet also provide relief from migraine headaches.
Consuming fish oil is recommended to cure migraine headaches. They contain omega 3 fatty acids which help in reducing inflammation in the brain tissues.This leads to constriction of blood vessels and less blood flow. So the pain also reduces.
People suffering from chronic migraine attacks must keep a headband handy at all times. Tie this headband at the joint of the forehead and scalp tightly as soon as the pain begins to get quick relief.
Essential Oils For Treating Headache Pain
Essential oils have a variety of uses, and you can add essential oils to the list for how to get rid of a migraine. Theyre natural painkillers, help lower stress or anxiety, reduce inflammation, improve blood flow, help balance hormones, and lower muscular tension.
Essential oils can be applied to the painful side of the head, neck and elsewhere to soothe muscular tension and stress. You can also numb any pain directly by applying several drops of an oil to a heated towel .
Essential oils for headaches include:
Peppermint: Reduces pain and inflammation. Works by having a natural cooling effect on the skin, inhibiting muscle contractions and stimulating blood flow around the head when applied topically.
Lavender: Soothes stress and anxiety. Can improve sleep quality, decrease muscular tension, and has natural antidepressant and sedative qualities.
Eucalyptus: Improves blood flow, is uplifting, helps cleanse the body of toxins and harmful substances, and reduces high blood pressure and pain.
Rosemary: Reduces pain through regulating blood flow, helps decrease withdrawal symptoms of caffeine or medications, aids digestion, and soothes an upset stomach.
Get Enough Sleep
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Chlorophyll Helps Bring Oxygen To The Brain
The issue with many types of headaches or migraines is that there is a lack of oxygen flow. Therefore, by consuming more chlorophyll, this can actually help PREVENT headaches, dizziness, and migraines. Taking chlorophyll on the regular greatly reduced the number of migraines I was experiencing. The triggers were all but gone. All that remained were the monthly cycle related migraines, and food triggers.
So on I went to step three:
How I Cured My Migraines
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I started getting migraines in High School. I’m almost 40 now so I’ve lived with this for over 20 years. For most of the time, the migraines were sporadic. I would get a 2-3 during a month and then nothing for a few months. The frequency of the migraines increased with time until 2011.
I was getting 1-2 migraines a week during this year of hell. I also began experiencing a different kind of headache that was even more frequent. I had these almost every day. These headaches were actually more severe than the migraines. I used to describe them as feeling like I was being poisoned. The contents of my body such as saliva and stomach contents felt toxic and in need of removal. So, when I had one of these “other” headaches, I would go through this routine where after I had been sick for a while I would get nauseous. I would then force myself to drink an excessive amount of warm water. I would slosh it around in my stomach to make sure to mix with whatever was down there. I would make myself vomit. I would repeat this until the deepest contents of my stomach were banished forthwith. I usually wouldn’t feel better until I expelled the liver bile. I would do this until I cleaned myself out or until my gag reflex was worn out.
My migraines and severe headaches were all relatively severe. Lights and sound were not something I could tolerate. It was a pitch black room, alternative ice packs and vomiting for me.
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Use Meds In Moderation
Pharmacy shelves are stocked with pain relievers for all kinds of headaches. To get the most benefit with the least risk, follow the directions on the label and these guidelines:
- Choose liquid over pills. Your body absorbs it faster.
- Avoid ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs if you have heart failure or kidney failure.
- Do not give aspirin to a child under age 18.
- Take painkillers as soon as you start to hurt. Youâll probably beat it with a smaller dose than if you wait.
- If you get sick to your stomach when you get a headache, ask your doctor what might help.
- Ask your doctor what to take to avoid a rebound headache, which is pain that sets in after a few days of pain relievers.
And be sure to talk to your doctor about what headache symptoms you should not treat at home.
The Doctors Weighed In On My Migraines
The neurologist said my brain was beautiful. Nothing wrong. No tumor. No MS. Thank goodness.
But there was still stuff going on My regular doctor shrugged it off somewhat. He didnt feel the overwhelming need to get to the bottom of my migraines and their cause the way I did. He just prescribed some drugs, and sent me on my way.
Treximet for the migraines, and I think Reglan for nausea. And Xanax for the anxiety that wouldnt let me sleep.
ExceptTREXIMET® is not used to treat other types of headaches such as hemiplegic or basilar migraines. And hemiplegic is the type I had. So, what was the doctor thinking there??
And Xanax is so easy to become dependent on. Even without an addictive personality, physical dependence happens quickly with Xanax. And I didnt want to go there. Withdrawal is hell. Read any of the message boards about Benzo withdrawal and youll see its not something anyone would ever want to go through.
So I cautiously took the tiny dose of Xanax, only 3 or 4 nights that first week, skipping nights. It was amazing. I fell asleep like nothing had ever been wrong. And getting some rest did help. I could tell the stress had been building and causing my other symptoms to be worse.
A couple of times, the visual aura came back, along with the tingling, and I did take the Treximet as prescribed, but I couldnt tell if it worked or if the visual aura would have gone away anyway I still felt the exhaustion after those episodes.
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Until One Day When Everything Became Terrifying
My family was temporarily living in Pensacola, Florida, while my husband completed some training en route to our new home in Maryland.
I had taken my kids to a book store maybe 20 minutes from the condo where we were staying, to enjoy a story hour. After the story, the kids looked at books, and I chatted with another mom.
While we talked, the spots appeared in my peripheral vision. Annoying, inconvenient, but I was sure theyd go away. They always did. Id just wait it out before driving back to the condo with the kids.
But then, my left arm tingled, as if it were falling asleep. I rubbed it to wake it up.
It got worse, not better.
The tingling spread. My left leg began to tingle and feel numb, all the way down to my toes. Then, I felt it in my the left side of my bottom. I stood up and walked around, trying to wake up my sleeping body parts.
The tingling only got worse.
I went to the restroom, both kids in tow, and when I came out, the left side of my face was tingling too.
Even into the left side of my throat, my tongue, my scalpuntil the entire left half of my body felt foreign, numb, asleep, and finally paralyzed.
As things progressed and I became more and more frightened, I had enlisted the help of an employee in the shop. I told her what was going on, and she helped me keep an eye on the kids.
I texted my friend Joni, who is a nurse, and she said I needed to get to the hospital to be sure I wasnt having a stroke.