Natural Treatments for Migraines

According to the Migraine Research Foundation, migraine is one of the most common conditions worldwide. It can run in families with adults and children known to have them. 

Migraine headaches aren’t just simply severe headaches; they are part of a neurological condition and usually have other symptoms, such as:

nausea

vomiting

tingling or numbness in the feet or hands

sensitivity to smell, sound, or light

visual changes

Migraines can be a debilitating chronic condition that can impact some people’s daily lives.

Various medications are used to prevent and treat migraines, but some prefer using natural remedies as alternatives or supplements to medical treatment.

Here are 12 natural reliefs for migraines that you might want to try:

Acupressure

Migraine symptoms may be relieved with the help of acupressure therapy.

Acupressure involves applying pressure to specific body parts, and stimulating these points in this way is believed to alleviate pain and release muscle tension.

The LI-4 point, or the space between the pointer finger and the base of the left thumb, is a popular pressure point. Applying firm, though not painful, circular pressure to this point using the other hand for five minutes may relieve headaches.

woman treated to acupressure therapy

Diet Changes

Most people who have migraines notice particular foods can trigger them.

Some typical food triggers for migraines include:

alcohol

red wine

processed foods

caffeinated beverages

chocolate

It’s critical to be aware of what might be triggering your migraine. Some use a migraine journal or food diary to keep track of the possible triggers.

Changing your eating patterns or diet to avoid these triggers may help in preventing future migraines.

Acupuncture

An extensive systematic review in 2012 looked at studies evaluating acupuncture’s effectiveness as a treatment for migraines and other conditions. The authors found that it’s an effective treatment option for those with migraine headaches, though they pointed out that other factors might play a part.

If you’re interested in treating your migraines with acupuncture, you should make sure to go to a licensed practitioner for treatment.

Ginger

A study in 2014 with 100 participants compared the effectiveness of sumatriptan, a common drug for migraine, with ginger powder. The study found ginger’s effectiveness was statistically comparable to sumatriptan, and people using them were as willing to continue with either of the two.

A definite benefit for those who experience migraines is that using ginger can’t hurt and exhibits no side effects to using it apart from existing allergies.

Essential Oils

These oils are usually used as antimicrobial homemade cleaning products or natural remedies.

Lavender essential oil is mainly recommended as a remedy for anxiety, stress, and headaches. A small study in European Neurology found that inhaling lavender oil can help reduce the severity of migraines in some people.

The results are pretty encouraging, though further research with larger sample size is required.

Massage

Massaging the neck and shoulder muscles can help in relieving tension and alleviating migraine pain. It may also reduce stress.

You can opt to get a professional masseuse for a massage. Alternatively, you can take a tennis ball and use it as a self-massager along the back and shoulders. The latter is a more cost-effective option.

Stretching or Yoga 

Yoga is believed to help reduce muscle tension and improve blood flow, which can help in relieving symptoms for people with migraines.

A comprehensive study in 2014 comparing conventional migraine treatment with and without the accompaniment of regular yoga practice found that the group participating in a yoga program experienced more significant relief than the one who only joined in conventional treatment.

bottles of essential oils, flowers

B-Complex Vitamins

B vitamins may have an effect on reducing migraine severity and frequency. These vitamins play a part in regulating the brain’s neurotransmitters.

The human body immediately excretes B vitamins, so it’s not likely that someone could take too much. Nonetheless, it’s still vital to speak with your doctor before taking a daily B-complex vitamin.

Magnesium

Magnesium deficiency may trigger a menstrual-migraine headache or a migraine aura, as magnesium is an essential mineral. The latter is a visual disturbance that happens at the onset of a migraine, but not everybody who experiences migraines will get a migraine aura.

According to research, supplementation of magnesium can help reduce migraine frequency in some individuals. But before taking magnesium, you must first speak with your doctor, especially if you have other health conditions.

Rest

A lack of and too much sleep may trigger migraine headaches. It’s essential to get about seven to nine hours of restful sleep every night to help lessen stress and prevent migraines.

Stay Hydrated

It’s well-known that not drinking enough water can trigger headaches and migraines, and it only needs minor dehydration to cause a headache.

You can try to drink more water every day to avoid dehydration. Individuals with severe dehydration may first need an oral rehydration solution to replace the missing electrolytes.

Maintaining a healthy diet and drinking water throughout the day is typically enough to stay adequately hydrated.

Herbal Supplements

Herbal supplements like butterbur may help in reducing migraine frequency. Feverfew and butterbur are two herbal supplements that may help reduce migraine frequency and pain.

However, there are some dangers to using these herbs, severe in some rare cases, and anyone who wants to try them must first speak with their doctors.