Migraines are not ordinary headaches. Common experiences associated with it includes pounding or dull pain, nausea, extreme sensitivity to light, and sound. If you experience a migraine, you’ll do all you can to make it go away.
Natural remedies are ways you can use to combat migraines without the use of medications. These home treatments may help you reduce its duration or severity, and even prevent its occurrence.
Please note: if the migraine is severe, then you may need over-the-counter medications to treat it. Your doctor can help with this.
Do not eat too much of hot dogs – eat healthy: The diet you take plays a role in preventing or triggering migraine. Many beverages and foods are renowned triggers or migraine. These include:
- Bacon, sausage, deli meats and hot dogs plus other foods that contain a high amount of nitrates.
- Alcohol (red wine especially)
- Foods laced with monosodium glutamate (MSG). Monosodium glutamate is a flavor enhancer
- Ice cold foods and drinks
- Pickled and processed foods
- Cultured dairy products including yoghurt, sour cream and butter milk.
Migraine may be eased by a small amount of caffeine. This is not applicable in all cases. It varies according to individual. Caffeine is also used in some migraine medications. However, it should not be taken in excess as it may in turn cause the migraine.
Use lavender oil: Migraine pain may be eased by inhaling essential lavender oil.A 2012 study showed that people who inhaled lavender oil during a migraine episode were relieved much faster than those who inhaled a placebo. As a matter of fact, their relief came 15 minutes earlier than the placebo group. You could also inhale the lavender directly or apply its diluted form to the temples.
Acupressure: This involves the application of pressure to specific parts of the body. The pressure is applied using the fingers and hands. A 2014 systematic review has it that acupressure is a safe and effective form of therapy for people who are suffering from chronic headaches and other conditions.Studies have also shown that acupressure may relieve nausea associated with migraine.
The feverfew remedy:Feverfew is an herb, flowery in nature with the semblance of a daisy. Actually, it is a folk remedy for migraine. Not much evidence exists to prove the efficacy of feverfew in migraine relief. However, there are claims from many quarters that it does help in migraine relief without any side effects.
The use of peppermint oil: A 2010 study has shown that menthol, an essential component of peppermint oil, may help prevent the onset of migraine. According to the study, applying peppermint oil to the temples and forehead helps in the relief of migraine much more than placebo. Nausea, light sensitivity and pain are usually relieved by this means.
Using ginger: Ginger eases nausea caused by many underlying health conditions (migraine inclusive). It may also help in relieving other symptoms of migraine.Research has shown that ginger powder helps in drastically reducing the duration and severity of migraine as well as sumatriptan (a prescription drug), with little or no side effects.
Yoga: Yoga promotes health and well-being using meditation, body postures and breathing. Studieshave shown that yoga can relieve the duration, intensity and frequency of migraines. It also improves vascular health, releases anxiety and tension in areas susceptible to migraine and also improves anxiety. It may be too early to recommend yoga as one essential way of relieving migraine (so researchers say), but it does help as a complementary therapy.
Biofeedback: This a form of relaxation that allows you control autonomic reaction to stress. It helps in relieving migraine triggered by muscle tensing and other physical stress reactions.
Magnesium should form an essential component of your diet: Migraines and headaches can be triggered by magnesium deficiency. Research has shown that supplementing with magnesium oxide prevents migraine with aura. It may also prevent migraine related to menstruation. Foods that can supply you with magnesium include:
- Seasame seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Brazil nuts
- Peanut butter
A massage may also help. A 2006 study has shown that doing a massage weekly may help reduce the frequency of migraine and also improve the quality of sleep you get. The research also suggests that massage improves coping skills and perceived stress. Anxiety, cortisol levels and heart rate are also decreased by massage.
Allais, G., Rolando, S., Gabellari, I. C., Burzio, C., Airola, G., Borgogno, P. … Benedetto, C. (2012, May). Acupressure in the control of migraine-associated nausea. Neurological Sciences, 33(1), 207-210
Borhani Haghighi, A., Motazedian, S., Rezaii, R., Mohammadi, F., Salarian, L., Pourmokhtari, M. … Miri, R. (2010). Cutaneous application of menthol 10% solution as an abortive treatment of migraine without aura: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study. International Journal of Clinical Practice, 64(4), 451-456
Boroujeni, M. Z., Marandi, S. M., Esfarjani, F., Sattar, M., Shaygannejad, V., & Javanmard, S. H. (2015). Yoga intervention on blood NO in female migraineurs. Advanced Biomedical Research, 4, 259
Headaches and food. (n.d.)
Lawlor, S. P., & Cameron, L. D. (2006, August). A randomized, controlled trial of massage therapy as a treatment for migraine [Abstract]. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 32(1), 50-59
Lee, J. S., Lee, M. S., Min, K., Lew, J. H., & Lee B. J. (2011, August). Acupressure for treating neurological disorders: A systematic review [Abstract]. The International Journal of Neuroscience, 121(8), 409-414
Maghbooli, M., Golipour, F., Moghimi Esfandabadi, A., & Yousefi, M. (2014). Comparison between the efficacy of ginger and sumatriptan in the ablative treatment of the common migraine [Abstract]. Phytotherapy Research, 28(3), 412-415
Magnesium rich foods. (n.d.)
Migraine facts. (n.d.)
Pittler, M. H., & Ernst, E. (2004). Feverfew for preventing migraine [Abstract]. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 1
Sassanejad, P., Saeedi, M., Shoeibi, A., Gorji, A., Abbasi, M., & Fouroughipour, M. (2012). Lavender essential oil in the treatment of migraine headache; a placebo-controlled clinical trial [Abstract]. European Neurology, 67, 288-291
Tepper, D. (2013). Headache toolbox: Magnesium. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain