Beyond the Common Aspirin
Millions suffer from migraines that seemingly strike out of nowhere for no apparent reason. And while an aspirin or two may help alleviate the common headache, migraine sufferers may need something different.
Migraines may have a variety of causes, and what works to relieve pain for one person may not work for someone else.
Thousands have found relief using common prescription medications, but many of these may come with side effects. And while research is ongoing, several herbs and other natural remedies have also been shown to help.
Below, we’ve listed a few of the most common natural remedies that many find helpful for combatting migraines. Be aware however that many of these may also have side effects. And if you decide to try one, be sure to consult your healthcare professional first.
Menthol is an organic compound typically derived from the herbs peppermint, eucalyptus and pennyroyal. These oils’ pain-relieving, calming and anti-inflammatory qualities make menthol useful for many who suffer from migraines.
- A 1994 study in Cephalalgia showed that a combination of peppermint oil and ethanol applied to the forehead and temples reduced sensitivity to headache.
As reported by MigraineAgain.com, “A 2012 study conducted by Iranian and German scientists and published in the medical journal European Neurology concluded that ‘Inhalation of lavender essential oil may be an effective and safe treatment modality in acute management of migraine headaches.’”
Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) is an herb in the daisy family containing anti-inflammatory properties. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that “A survey of 270 people with migraines in Great Britain found that more than 70% of them felt much better after taking an average of 2 – 3 fresh feverfew leaves daily.”
- The active compound in feverfew leaves is a chemical called parthenolide, which is responsible for the plant’s anti-inflammatory effects.
Omega-3 essential fatty acid protects brain cells and reduces inflammation, so it may also help reduce migraine pain, as well as their frequency and duration. In fact, a three-month Swedish study showed:
- a 28% reduction in the number of migraine attacks
- a 32% reduction in their intensity
Omega-3 is found in foods like wild Alaskan salmon, halibut, herring (not pickled herring), mackerel, Pacific oysters, rainbow trout, sardines, tuna, walnuts, chia seeds and flaxseeds.
Word of Advice
If you are considering using an herbal remedy to treat migraine, discuss it with your doctor first, and be sure to let them know about any other medications you are using.
Have you ever suffered from migraine headaches? If so, how did you treat them? We’d love to hear from you. Just leave a comment below.
LiveStrong: What Is the Use of Menthol?
Prevention: 9 Highly Effective Migraine Treatments
Migraines: Peppermint oil
PubMed.gov: Effect of peppermint and eucalyptus oil preparations on neurophysiological and experimental algesimetric headache parameters
Migraine Again: Is Lavender Essential Oil the New Migraine Essential?
PubMed.gov: Lavender essential oil in the treatment of migraine headache: a placebo-controlled clinical trial
WebMD: Vitamins and Supplements
FoodNavigator.com: Omega to Soothe Migraines
Have you ever suffered from migraines?