Migraine is an intense headache, often accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. Migraines are chronic and can run in families with children and adults known to possess them.
In America, the Migraine Research Foundation estimate that almost 12% of people suffer from migraine headaches.
Migraine headaches are part of a neurological condition and often have other symptoms, including:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Visual changes
- Tingling or numbness in feet and hands
- sensitivity to sound, light, or smell
For some people, migraines can be incapacitating and a chronic condition that can affect daily life.
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There are many different medications used to treat and prevent migraines. But some people prefer to use natural treatments as alternatives or to supplement medical treatment.
Natural remedies for migraines
Here are 11 natural remedies for migraines that people may want to try:
Essential oils are often used a natural remedies or as antimicrobial in homemade cleaning products. Lavender is an essential oil often used as a remedy for anxiety, headaches, and stress. A small study discovered that inhaling lavender oil helped reduce the severity of migraine headaches in some people.
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Two herbal supplements that may be beneficial in reducing migraine pain and frequency are butterbur and feverfew. A daily dose of 150 milligrams (mg) of butterbur was active in lowering migraine frequency when taken for about 3 months, according to the American Migraine Foundation.
The foundation suggests that feverfew may be helpful for some people than butterbur. There are some risks in using these herbs, severe in rare cases, and anyone wanting to try them should speak with their doctor first.
Acupressure is the application of pressure to specific parts of the body. Muscle tension and pain is alleviated when some specific parts of the body is stimulated.
One popular pressure point is the LI-4 point in the space between the base of the left thumb and pointer finger.
Applying firm but not painful circular pressure to the LI-4 point, using the opposite hand for 5 minutes, may relieve headache pain.
A 2012 study examined 40 people who had migraines without aura. It discovered that pressure on the PC6 acupoint, located three fingers up from the base of the wrist on the inside of the arm, was effective in easing nausea or vomiting related to a migraine headache.
Migraine pains can be alleviated if the muscles in the neck and shoulders are massaged. Massage may also reduce stress. People can choose to use a professional masseuse for a massage. Also, a cheap alternative of easing migraine pains is to use a tennis ball and do a self-massage along the shoulders and back.
Migraines can be triggered by certain foods. Common food triggers for migraines include: alcohol, processed foods, chocolate, red wine, and caffeinated beverages.
Some people use a food diary or migraine journal to keep track of potential triggers. Changing diet or eating patterns may help to prevent migraines in the future.
Magnesium deficiency may trigger migraine aura or a menstrual-migraine headache. A migraine aura is a visual disturbance that comes at the beginning of a migraine. Not everyone who gets migraines will experience a migraine aura. According to research, supplementation of magnesium can be useful in reducing the frequency of migraines in some persons. If you have migraine, ensure you consult a doctor before taking magnesium.
For some people, placing a cold or warm compress on their head can be relaxing and may help to reduce migraine pain. Many people who get migraines report an inclination for a cold compress, but warm or cold can work well.
The B-complex vitamins may have an impact on reducing migraine frequency and severity. B vitamins play a vital role in regulating neurotransmitters in the brain. B vitamins are water soluble, this means excess levels are not stored in the body but excreted in the urine.
Yoga or stretching
Yoga helps improve blood flow and reduce muscle tension, which can help ease symptoms for people with migraines.
A comprehensive 2014 study compared conventional migraine treatment with and without the addition of regular yoga practice. The researchers discovered that the group who participated in a yoga program had greater relief than the group who only joined in conventional treatment.
A 2014 study using 100 participants compared the effectiveness of ginger powder with sumatriptan, a common migraine drug. From the conclusion of the study, ginger was statistically comparable to sumatriptan, and users were as willing to continue with treatment. Also, the researchers said using ginger for migraines cannot hurt and has no side effects.
Biofeedback is a therapy that people use to trigger the relaxation of tight muscles. In this treatment, sensors are placed on the muscles and connected into a small machine that gives real-time feedback about muscle tension, allowing users to release the tight areas better. Placing sensors along the jawline, forehead, or trapezius muscles in the shoulders can help to target muscles that might be triggering migraines.