5 Migraine Remedies

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What do Julius Caesar, Napoleon and Elvis Presley have in common? They both suffered from migraines – a condition that according to the charity Migraine Action Association affects six million people in the UK alone.

A migraine may be triggered by a number of factors, including stress, food additives (such as the artificial sweetener aspartame), loud noises and flashing lights, chocolate, red wine, pickled food, cheese, the birth control pill and even sudden changes in temperature or the weather.

The frequency and length of an attack can differ greatly from one sufferer to the next, lasting anywhere between a few hours, days and, in severe cases, even weeks. Contrary to popular belief a blinding headache is only one symptom of a migraine attack, as it can also cause nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, limb numbness and speech impairment.

Worse still, not only are sufferers forced to cope with debilitating symptoms like these but they are also placed at higher risk of a migrainous stroke, which as the name suggests is a stroke that follows a severe migraine attack. Migrainous strokes account for almost one in three cases of stroke in people under the age of 45, and 25 per cent of all strokes are in fact linked to migraines.

Five ways to help banish migraines for good

As already mentioned, many foods are strongly implicated in precipitating an attack. For this reason you may find it beneficial to consult a nutritionist to help identify and correct any food sensitivities that could be triggering your attacks. In addition, the following natural measures can help prevent as well as reduce the severity of migraines:

1. A low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet: Many migraine sufferers report experiencing an attack shortly after eating too much sugary food. In addition to sweets and sugar, refined carbohydrates also cause your blood sugar levels to quickly rise. This interferes with the normal actions of various neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which are implicated in causing migraines and can prolong the length of an attack.

The good news is that by consuming more ‘healthy’ fats in your diet – such as olive oil, flaxseed oil, and oily fish like mackerel, sardines and halibut – your levels of omega 3 fatty acids that are present in these foods are given a much-needed boost. Omega 3s possess excellent anti-inflammatory properties and have been shown to be particularly effective in reducing the inflammation of the nerves and arteries in the brain, thereby greatly lessening the severity of a migraine attack.

2. Butterbur (Petasites hybridus): This is an extremely popular herbal remedy in Germany, where it is widely used as a preventative for migraines. Fortunately the rest of Europe now finally seems to be catching on to its remarkable range of actions in this area – research has shown that it not only helps prevent attacks but can also ease migraine pain.

It works by inhibiting toxic chemicals called leukotrienes, which are released during the inflammatory process. It has also been found to help regulate the degree of widening that takes place in the arteries of the brain. The recommended dosage is one 50mg standardised butterbur extract capsule taken twice a day with meals.

3. B Vitamins are also beneficial for warding off migraines: In particular, vitamins B2, B3 and B6 help prevent vasoconstriction (narrowing of the arteries) and also inhibit blood platelet clumping which can occur during an attack. To benefit take a vitamin B complex supplement once a day.

4. Magnesium: Migraines have been linked to a deficiency in this mineral. Magnesium is important because it takes part in the transmission of chemical messages from the brain to the arteries and helps control the degree of arterial dilatation (widening). Several hospitals in Canada and Germany now use magnesium supplements as a standard treatment for migraines, although it is also effective as a preventative. The dose is 200mg of magnesium citrate capsules taken twice a day.

5. Feverfew (Tanacetym parthenium): Researchers working at the Department of Neurology, University of Essen, in Germany, studied the effects of feverfew on a group of 147 migraine sufferers. At the end of the four-week study, the researchers found that the patients taking feverfew experienced a significant reduction in the frequency and severity of their migraines compared to those in the placebo group. Not only that but pain, nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light were also significantly reduced following treatment with feverfew.

Another study found that feverfew can reduce migraine frequency in up to two thirds of cases. The recommended dosage is one 125mg feverfew capsule taken once a day.


Bear in mind all the material in this email alert is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.


Sources:

Headache Quart 1997, 8(4):319-329

American Druggist 1997, 214 (7):52-53

Forsch Kompl Klass 2003, 10(1):41-44

Cephalalgia 1994,14(5):328-329

Brit. Med. J. 291:569-73, 1985

Cephalalgia 2002, 22(7):523-532

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  • hello, ive had my migraines for about 4 years can anyone give me a remedy for mine when i have mine my throat swells up i cant speak much and i feel sick the top of my eyes hurt and i start saying weird stuff that im not even making myself say i get really ill with them some one help me.

  • I am suffering from Classical migrain since last 10 yrs. In my case either left or right side of my head pains with ear,eye and neck. I have found a very useful remedy to decrease the intensity of the pain.
    REMEDY : Press below thumb on on your palm with fingers or a back side of pen or pencil. keep doing it for 2-3 mins. I get a lot of relief by doin this.

  • 25 years of migraines! Every drug under the sun, and changing my diet has not helped so I am getting migraine surgery. Look it up, and I will keep you posted. Dr. Guyuron is who came up with this and there is a 92% success rate. I am a wife, mother and I am done with these things that are taking my life away.

  • I have suffered bad headaches from the age of 10, when I became pregnant I had a very bad turn, Dr’s thought I had menigitis I was so ill. Ever since then I suffered migraines every month around my menstrual cycle. Now coming up to 50 and still they keep coming but less often, over the years I have tried most of the remedies I have read about in the posts above. I feel in this day and age we really should not have to suffer this trauma and lose days of our lives to this awful illness. I wish you all best wishes and one day a cure. I would like to now if there are any more ladies suffering from hormonal migraines and if you have found a relief for it??

  • The gravity and intensity of migraine is poorly understood. Migraine headache profoundly limits normal life of persons suffering from them. In addition migraine treatment is fraught with side effects that are poorly tolerated by some patients and contraindicated in many more. Advances in natural therapies (Biogetica) have made it possible to treat this condition in an aggressive yet sensitive manner. These safe, natural products optimize blood-circulation relieving pain and other symptoms like nausea and vomiting, which are associated with migraine. The therapy also focuses on the recurring nature of the condition and thus, gradually reduces the frequency and intensity of the attacks.

  • I suffered with migraine for years. Any excuse, heat tiredness or insufficient water taking would trigger the pain. Now I am free from the pain for last 7 years. My remedy was staying away from sugar,yeast, caffiene, wheat and diary products and taking 2 glass of warm water before anythings in the morning. But the No 1 help came form Vipassana practice. Now I can eat all the items above. My best wishes to you all.

  • There is a drug in indian medicine – Mygranal. It is goernment licienced product. It improves the body function and hence one will not get mygraine even months together. Tried by a large number of sufferers.

  • I found this book online, on Amazon or Indigo, and found that the elimination diet cured my migraines. I had them at least once a month for 10 years and now it’s been almost a year since my last one. I highly recommend this book, by David Buchholz, M. D. It will help you to clearly identify your triggers. Since I’ve identified those, I have experienced better overall health and have more energy. Nothing else worked for me. Changing your diet won’t be easy, but believe me, it’s worth it! Good luck.

  • What to do in case of a Migraine attack

    1. Apply a cold pack in the forehead region, this helps in circulation of blood back to the veins.
    2. Applying a poultice of mehendi/henna paste helps a lot in controlling migraine.
    3. Cinnamon powder when applied once in a day or taken atleast 4 times in a day with cold water helps in bringing migraine to control.
    4. Ginger intake helps in controlling Migraine and even nausea, vomiting completely. However please take caution, we do not suggest intake of Ginger to pregnant women.
    5. Cardamom powder, Ginger powder, Black pepper, Holy basil (Tulsi) leaves when mixed and taken as a concoction is an instantaneous cure to migraine.

  • I’m 27, married, and a mom of two daughters. I’ve been suffering from migraines for at least 9 years. My doctor has tried me on everything under the sun and I’m like most of you guys… I’m tired of trying meds that never work. I was recently hospitalized to get one of my migraines under control. It was horrible. What I’ve been using is Excedrin migraine. If you take it as soon as you feel the migraine come on it at least takes the edge off along with decreasing noise and taking off the lights. I also think sleeping it off is what’s best. My 8 year old has started with them as well and it sucks. Any more suggestions will be most welcome. Thanks!!

  • I only get migraines after I drink. It dosent matter if I have a few or many. They are so unbearable. I am going to try a few of the home remedies, but any additional suggestions would be GREAT! I will keep you posted on myh progress.

  • I only get migraines after drinking. It doesn’t matter if I have 1 drink or many. But the pain is very unbearable. I am going to try the remedies and keep you guys posted on how it goes. Any additional suggestions would be great!

  • Id be happy with one a month. I get about 4 a week! Im a severe sufferer! Nothing helps me! Its so unfair!

  • Going on a gluten, soy, and corn-free diet has changed my life! No more GMO-foods, only organic! And all-natural hygiene, laundry, cleaning products too, even my hairdye! I can’t even begin to tell you how my health has improved, after being unexplainibly severly ill at age 35! Different things work for different people, but I will be GMO-free forever! Good luck everyone!

  • I 34,2 kids and get terrible migrains,very hard to function but i do and cant baby myself when i get them than they get worse and i cant wait for bed time for the kids,so i could rest,ive tried several things, dr.gave me medicine but they all numb my neck its horrible,ive had a partial hystrectomy hoping it will help,nope it didnt. any suggestions e mail me alewis144@aol.com, would greatly appriciate it, thank you…

  • I had a TIA (mini stroke) when I was 19 and since then migraines have ruined my life, I’ve held onto a job for only 5 months in my life due to them and have tried countless pills prescribed by the docs. At the moment I’m taking propranolol ( beta blocker) as a preventative and maxalt on the onset of an attack and the attacks have become dramatically less common and painful. Not completely cured but beggars can’t be choosers 🙂

  • I have suffered from migraines for the last 8 years. In the last 2 months I have experienced 4 or more in a day disrupting my grad school, work and sleep. I find that the only relief I can get is from rubbing Tiger Balm on my temple and forehead. You can get it at any pharmacy store. It works for most attacks except when they are really severe.

  • I have been having migraines sinve I was 10. I dont get them so bad as in vomiting and seeing things but when bright lights go on, it strikes hard. When I close my eyes it slows a bit.I was told that if you wake up with a migraine, use a straw in a cup of water and swallow your pills or whatever but do not move your neck for 20 minutes. hope this helps!

  • My migraines have increased gradually over time . I have been suffering with migraines for almost 5 years. I used to get them once every three or four months and now get them twice a month.

    I have two young children so having a migraine can be very hard to deal with. I used to take migraleve but this doesn’t seem to work anymore. In anycase, I am looking for a natural remedy. I have found that ‘pure’ honey seems to work wonders. You must take this at the immediate sight of a headache or migraine. It will stop it in its tracks. Please try this. If you don’t have ‘pure’ honey at home, buy some. Take a teaspoon at the onset of a migraine and then follow this with another a couple of hours later if the migraine has not fully disappeared.

    This really has helped me. However you must take the honey quickly, i.e. before your attack has arrived as it is not as effective if taken too late.

  • I’ve suffered from migraines for about 20 years, and keep a blog detailing the things I’ve tried/trying etc.
    I’m having some success with a supplement called 5-HTP at the moment.

  • I have been suffering from migraines for atleast 12 years now. I went to the doctors for years who failed to help me in any way at all. I evenutally gave up and since then have been living with it. I get a severe attack atleast twice a week and when i do, the pain completely takes over my body. I become incredibily sensity to noise and light and can barely open my eyes. My head heats up considerably, and i can feel the heat steaming out of my forehead and eyes. Most of the time paracetamol doesnt even work. I find that i mostly get it when i over-sleep, miss a meal (or eat a meal late), eat dairy products or out of boredom! Its terrible when im working because my concentration level plummets. I have tried alot stuff but nothing consistently works apart from going to sleep in a darkened room. I might try the B Vitimins are suggested above. See if it makes any difference.

  • I am amazed at all the things we do to try and relieve it! Do whatever works for you. I have suffered regular migraines for 45 years and have tried most things (feverfew,magnesium, diet, various medication) but have at last learnt to take them in my stride. I take 2 pink migralieve (a 3rd an hour later if the aura hasn’t shifted) take myself to bed, darken the room and just sleep it off. I know it will go eventually and ‘going with it’ helps. I’m going to try this Butterbur though – you never know…

  • I have been sufferring from the deadly attacks of migraine since I was 5 years old. Now I am 23 but still continue to leave with it although the frequency has considerably decreased. However, once in a month is also disturbing.
    I have consulted doctors but to no avail. The last respite for me is painkillers knowing very well the harm I am doing to myself by taking them.Often vomiting and sleeping helps.
    Tension is the only source of it. However, I am still unable to understand because I suffer from the attacks on happy occasions as well.

  • I had bad migraines so bad I hid under a duvet in the dark almost in tears.
    One day I felt ill in Asda and had my BP done by their pharmacist. My ears were ringing and my face was on fire.
    He wanted to call an ambulance as it was so high. It all got sorted and I went on BP tablets and never had a migraine since,not even a headache. Appears I had high BP for all the time I had migraines. BP under control, no headaches/migraines.
    Get your BP checked or buy a small home machine and check it when you have a migraine you may be surprised.
    Jinty

  • When I have a bad migraine I have a hot bath switch the light out and lay back and put my head as far back as I can in the water. I find this, for me, helps a lot .

  • When the nursing staff at old med evac clinics had a troop with a migraine and already medicined up, they used to take a glass of orange juice and two packets of sugar mix and have them drink it, this seems to do well try it can’t hurt a little OJ and sugar most have it on hand, my girlfriend suffers from Migraines says this works.

  • I am 32 years old and have suffered with migraines since age 12… generally at least 1 migraine per week. In search for a cure, I had several CAT scans and so many prescriptions I can’t recall them all (in junior high and high school alone).
    It was not until age 22 that I experienced my most debilitating migraine for almost 2 weeks non-stop… all I could do was basically sleep and eat. My family doctor referred me to a neurologist who changed my life. After performing an MRI scan, she gave me a whole list of foods that I should refrain from consuming. At the time, I thought it was ridiculous, but over the next few months I realized she was so on-point! Since modifying my diet – no pork, no chocolate, no nuts, etc. – I now only have migraines due to extreme stress and the duration of my monthly cycle. I’ve also learned to control my stress levels MUCH better so I very seldom experience stress migraines. So if you have not, I would STRONGLY suggest that you have your family doctor refer you to a well-proven neurologist for an MRI scan.
    At this point in my life, I am searching for a natural migraine remedy to relieve and eleviate the monthly menstrual migraine that I now get.
    Thank you all for the natural remedy suggestions and your experiences with them… I will be trying some of them.

  • I have been suffering from migraines for the past 11 or more years. When I get my migraines my vision deteriorates to the left or right of my face leaving me partially blind. After this has happened and cleared, one of my limbs either arm or leg and even sometimes my teeth or lips go numb. From here onwards I get severe pain in my head identical to that of a concussion. I used to take Migraleve but they have since stopped working for me so I am now on Imigran. I have tried beta blockers, herbal remedies, watching my food, getting enough sleep but none of these things seem to be the cause of the migraine. I have even been as far as having a Echo Cardiogram to see if I had a hole in my heart which was letting unoxegenated blood go to my brain which came back negative. The best cure availavle to me at the moment is to take my tablets and get plenty of sleep – sometimes this can be up to 2 days of constant sleep!!! I sometimes vomit with my migraines too. This can be either forced or natural which helps with the pain relief but is no help with digesting the tablets…

  • I had suffered from migraines for 23 years. I have found that watching what I eat helps. I also found that eyestrain can be a leading cause of migraines. Many medicines work, if taken in time. Fish oil pills (inexpensive), when taken on a regular basis have been known to almost completely eliminate migraines. If I do get one, I induce vomiting. I know it sounds weird, but it allows me to fall asleep and the migraine to pass.

  • I HAVE BEEN SUFFERING FROM MIGRAIN SINCE I WAS 10 YRS AND NOW ITS BEEN 25 YEARS AND I STILL DO.ONLY THING IS IT HAS GOT MORE SEVERE AND FREQUENCY HAS INCREASED. FOR ME THE BEST THING TO DO IS TO VOMIT FORCIBLY ,THIS STOPS THE MIGRAIN AND ONLY THE LINGERING PAIN REMAINS FOR SOME TIME. ALSO IF YOU SUFFER FROM MIGRAIN DUE TO TEMPERATURE CHANGES AS AFTER YOU PLAY, THEN TRY TO SNIFF SOME WATER THROUGH YOUR NOSE SO YOU FEEL A KIND OF BRAIN FREEZE BEHIND YOU HEAD ,THIS WILL KEEP YOU SAFE FROM MIGRAIN .IT HAS WORKED 90% FOR ME.

  • I have always had migraines I think it runs through the family as both my parents frequently get them. All three of us are suffering as I write. Whenever I get one it starts small but the pain increases through the day. I find that a combination of cocodamol, eating a meal, taking a shower and a release of endorphins is the best quick cure for a headache.

  • I have suffered with migrain once or twice a month for over 40 years. No longer take any form of painkiller as I find the side effects bothersome + they rarely work. I find the most effective relief is to bathe my forehead with the hottest water I can bare for at least 20 minutes, I would say in seven out of ten this stops the migraine dead in its tracks

  • I’ve suffred migraines for over 20 years. I was given injections of vitamins (mostly B’s) for one year – they do not work orally. They cured the headaches for about 18 years but now they’re back. Trouble is, the injections are not federally approved, but it’s possible they’re available out there – the remedy came from California, used for chronic pain. If you have SEVERE migraines and they are ruining your life, I suggest you find a doctor that knows about these shots, they were a miracle cure. I cannot find a doctor in my area to administer them, but if I did, I’d get them again in a heartbeat.

  • I’ve suffred migraines for over 20 years. I was given injections of vitamins (mostly B’s) for one year–they do not work orally. They cured the headaches for about 18 years but now they’re back. Trouble is, the injections are not federally approved, but it’s possible they’re available out there—the remedy came from California, used for chronic pain. If you have SEVERE migraines and they are ruining your life, I suggest you find a doctor that knows about these shots, they were a miracle cure. I cannot find a doctor in my area to administer them, but if I did, I’d get them again in a heartbeat. I’m back to Imitrex–luckily, the headaches are not as severe as years ago.

  • The GelStat Migraine Sublingual Homeopathic Pain Reliever has ginger and Feverfew as its main ingredients. If anyone is interested in purchasing it, it is at drugstore.com. I have suffered from migraines for about 12 yrs. For a good portion of the time it seems to be caused from a hormone imbalance. Zomig made me psycotic so I haven’t tried any other perscriptions as I have four children to take care of. I take extra magnesium, omega three and still I went for three months with a migraine a week. I would almost do anything to get rid of them. Glad to know I am not alone.

  • I am now 21 and I have been suffering from migraines since I was 10 years old, I find that a vinegar bandage and sunglasses help along with pain killers like imigran also migraleve helps.

  • I’m suffering from a migraine right now, and am online looking for a cure! Usually two Excedrine Migraine taken at the on set gets rid of it, but I didn’t have access to those meds at school today. I’m going to try the vitamin B thing, and the low carb diet. Maybe losing weight will help also, but I’m not over-weight at all.

  • I am only 15 and I already suffer from severe migraines. Unfortunatly mine tend to last up to 5-6 days taking me out of school and work. So far I haven’t found a cure. Currently either my eyes (need reading glasses), my spine (scoliosis-unstraight spine) or my diet could be the cause (I am not overweight). I am hoping that one of these cures will work as I am running out of options.

  • Heather, I find your your comment very encouraging. I am usualy a little skeptical about trying things. After suffering from migraines for over ten years now I have gotten tired of being druged and become active in finding “a cure”. I am curently on three different meds and have tried plenty others. I will have to give this one a try for a while and see if it will work for me. thank you.

  • I have been a migraine sufferer off and on for atleast 8 years and have tried everything under the sun. This time around I have had a migraine that is continually getting worse for 10 weeks now with no down time…any suggestions? I have been to the dr’s over and over!

  • I typically had one migraine a month over the previous 7 years. I went on a simple lower carbohydrate food plan almost a year ago in an effort to lose about 10 pounds of body weight: reduced amount of pasta, bread, sugar, etc. but still enjoyed them. Since then I have lost about 15 pounds and have had only one migraine.

  • I know it sounds silly, but if you do get a migraine, to ease it – tie a scarf really really tightly around your head and shut your eyes and it really helps me to fall to sleep or relax until it goes away!!

  • Well I am new to migraines, I have been a sufferer for only 9 months, and in this time, I have been on more medication, than in my 22 years of life, all of which have not worked. I tried topamax- made me vomitt, I tried excedrin, Imitrex and now Im on percocet! Are any of the above remedies like the butterbur or feverfew available in the US, because it seems like alot of those things are mainly European

  • my migraines are not terribly severe, i only get one once every couple of months. however, i have found a sublingual homeopathic ginger concoction that works wonders for me. it is simply called GelStat Migraine Sublingual Homeopathic Pain Relieve. it isn’t expensive. i experience a slight aura before a migraine, and i take this instantly. it stops the migraine from progressing, so the earlier taken the better. for an intense migraine i will take another one 5 min. later. this curbs them all the time. i have only found this at eckerd drug stores, or online.

  • i suffer bad migraines,when i get one one side of my head swells up been to drs they put me on tablets what made me sick anyone got any ideas

  • I have been suffering from migraine for the last 12 years. Till date I have resorted to either painkiller or self healing (within 2-3 days). I would be interested if some specific dietary control or exercise is beneficial. I suffer from acute acidity and its the main trigger apart from stress, humidity.

  • I have successfully used Butterbur, sold under the name Petadolex, for years. I take two soft gels at the first hint of a migraine and one more 20 minutes later if it is lingering or really intense. The only drawback I have had is tasting it in the back of my throat minutes after taking it – but this only seems to happen when I take it on an empty stomach.

    Petadolex can be used as a daily preventative but is somewhat expensive. It seems more economical to take it as needed.

  • i get migraines few and far between. when i get them i am as irratated as can be and shortly after…about 3 hours… i puke. After that i feel fine… what makes me puke and is what i get a migraine??

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