Anyone who’s ever had a severe headache will have an inkling of what it is to suffer from regular bouts of debilitating migraines.
Often they announce themselves with symptoms like sensitivities to light and sound. Others will start experiencing aura headaches – a seemingly normal headache accompanied by visions of spots and colours.
Many sufferers have developed their own ways of recognizing the signs and what they can do to prevent the onset of a migraine.
6 Natural Remedies for Migraines
① Feverfew – the “Headache Herb”
Discovered by the ancient Greeks and used as a herbal aspirin, Feverfew has been known as a very handy natural remedy to prevent the recurrence of migraines when taken regularly. It contains the substance parthenolide that helps to prevent blood vessels from constricting in the brain. Try a Feverfew extract or munching on a few leaves daily.
Unfortunately, this herb is not safe to use for migraines during pregnancy (or while breastfeeding) as it can cause uterine contractions.
Clinical studies1 have shown that there is a link between magnesium deficiency and migraines. One explanation is that magnesium is necessary for certain serotonin and other migraine related receptors to function properly. Migraine sufferers tend to have lowered levels of magnesium.
You could take magnesium tablets regularly to prevent migraines or try taking a few as soon as you recognise the warning signs, like sensitivity to light and sound.
③ Fish Oils/Omega-3’s
Two studies conducted by the University of Cincinnati found that high doses of omega 3’s (such as fish oil containing DHA, flax seed oils, walnuts, etc) may help prevent migraines due to their anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to reduce blood vessel spasms.
④ Ginger Tea
Strong ginger tea has strong anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea properties and can therefore help prevent and perhaps cure your migraines.
⑤ Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
A clinical study2 conducted in 1998 in Belgium showed promising results with migraine sufferers who were given Vitamin B2 over a three month period. 59% of those who received the a daily 400mg dose reported improvement in the severity and frequency of their migraine attacks.
Imbalances in the level of melatonin, a hormone naturally found in humans that regulates sleep, may be related to migraines. Commonly used as an aid to people who suffer from jet lag, it may also help you prevent your migraines from recurring. A Brazilian study found a 75% decrease in headaches if 3mg of melatonin are taken before bedtime each day.
1 Role of magnesium in the pathogenesis and treatment of migraines by Mauskop A1, Altura BM. published in US Library of Medicine National Institute of Health
2 Effectiveness of high‐dose riboflavin in migraine prophylaxis A randomized controlled trial by J. Schoenen, MD, PhD, J. Jacquy, MD and M. Lenaerts, MD