Migraine statistics are frightening; Almost 5 million people in the United States alone, suffer from at least one migraine attack per month – and more than 11 million blame migraines for causing moderate to severe disability.
Instead of fighting this migraines with various pharmaceuticals, let’s look at some natural remedies to help you manage these attacks.
What Is A Migraine?
A migraine is a headache that typically occurs on one side of the head, or around the eye area. They tend to get worse with movement and are often accompanied by nausea and/or vomiting. Migraine sufferers typically experience some sensory warning signs such as; blind or white spots, sensitivity to light and/or sound, and potentially tingling in the arms or legs.
Why Do Migraines Happen?
According to Dr. Susan Broner from the Manhattan Headache Centre in New York City, Migraines are a neurobiological disorder involving both neurological and vascular changes in the brain during an attack.
“People with a genetic predisposition have a reduced threshold for the activation of the brain's ‘pain centers' and become hypersensitive to stimuli that cause pain. These set off a wave of nerve cell activity and neurotransmitter release that activates blood vessel inflammation, feeding pain structures deep in the brain.”
There are also some common triggers shared with many migraine sufferers; dropping estrogen levels, missed meals, caffeine, alcohol, lack of sleep, certain scents or perfumes, and aspartame to name a few.
Ideally, the suggestion would be to determine your triggers and avoid them at all costs, but let’s visit some natural remedies in the event that they occur and you need to be able to cope with them.
Natural Prevention and Natural Remedies for Migraines
Ice Packs – Ice acts as an anti inflammatory, which could assist in minimizing the nerves surrounding the pained area. You may choose to place the ice pack directly on your head, around your eye, and often at the back of your neck can assist in managing the pain.
Roboflavin (Vitamin B2) – Suggested daily use can assist in reducing migraines dramatically over the course of a few months.
CoQ10 – Some medical studies suggest daily use of this vitamin can also act as a preventative measure in reducing migraines, and their intensity.
Magnesium Citrate – Magnesium is needed for the proper function of nerves, muscles and many other parts of the body.
Acupuncture – Some studies suggest this can assist in migraine reduction on a long term scale, without the side effects of similar acting drugs can cause.
Essential Oils – Peppermint (helps control the blood flow in the body), Basil (works like a muscle relaxant) and Lavender oils are among the most commonly suggested oils used (direct contact to temple area or through inhalation using a diffuser) to treat migraine pain.
Dietary Changes – Certain foods have been shown to affect the frequency and severity of migraine pain, including dairy; chocolate; peanut butter; certain fruits, such as avocado, banana, and citrus; onions; meats with nitrates, such as bacon and hot dogs; foods containing monosodium glutamate (MSG); foods containing tyramine, an amino acid found in red wine; and foods that are fermented or pickled. Consider keeping track of food intake using a food diary to see if there are any common trends in the foods eaten and your migraine headache.
Cayenne Pepper – This ‘spice’ stimulates circulation and improves blood flow. Consider mixing one teaspoon in a cup of warm water.
Ginger – With its known properties of blocking prostaglandins (chemicals that promote muscle contractions and impact hormones), consider a cup of ginger tea daily or chewing on a piece of raw ginger.
Do it Yourself Scalp Massage – Medical studies have shown that massaging the base of the neck and around the optical nerve can greatly reduce migraine pain, and they generally feel great too!
FeverFew Herbal Remedy – As the name suggests, it is typically used to prevent fevers, this herb has also shown results in managing and coping with a migraine. This herb is available in most drug stores and All Natural Stores.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids – Such as flax seed – given their natural anti inflammatory qualities. Consider adding them in your breakfast cereal or smoothies. They are also available in an oil designed for consumption as well.
Flavonoids (found in Buckwheat) – They contain some antioxidant properties, but more commonly used to reduce inflammation.
Relaxation and Meditation – Create positive thoughts, focus on your breathing. Take time away every day to practice these simple techniques. Dim the lights, make yourself comfortable. With stress being a known cause for migraines, relaxation and meditation can also be a great coping tool in managing and coping with stress.
Is There A Cure For Migraines?
Unfortunately no, there isn’t a cure for migraines, but we’re confident these suggestions will assist you in the prevention and management, naturally, of your migraines. Be sure to check with your doctor or health care practitioner in determining the best possible plan for you and should you have any questions in regards to dosages on the suggested vitamins.
It is important to learn the triggers of these debilitating headaches and take the necessary steps in prevention to help you live a migraine free life!