6 Natural Remedies for Migraines
There are many natural remedies for migraines that can help reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines.
1.Butterbur: Perhaps the most effective and well-known preventative herbal remedy, Butterbur is considered by the American Academy of Neurology to have the highest level of proof for effectiveness in preventing migraines. Generally considered safe and well tolerated, it might cause allergic reactions if you’re sensitive to ragweed and pregnant and lactating women should consult with a health care practitioner familiar with herbal supplements.
How to take it: The American Academy of Neurology recommends Butterbur Petasites (not generic butterbur) to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. Natural butterbur root contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs), which can damage the liver, lungs, and blood circulation, so look for a formulation that is PA-Free. Please consult with your doctor, or other qualified health care professional to ensure this product is right for you.
2.Feverfew: Feverfew is another well-known natural herbal remedy for migraines. A perennial that grows in Europe, Asia, and North America, the Ancient Greeks used it to reduce inflammation and treat menstrual cramps but now it’s widely used prophylactically to prevent migraines. A number of studies over the years have confirmed how well it works, including one three-month study that found a combination of Feverfew, Magnesium, and Vitamin B2 led to a 50% decrease in migraines.
How to take it: Studies have used 50-100mg daily with beneficial effects seen after only three months of continued use. It’s a good idea to consult with a health care practitioner familiar with its use for a dosage appropriate for your needs. Not recommended for pregnant women.
3.Vitamin B2: The American Academy of Neurology ranks Vitamin B2 and magnesium “probably effective” in the prevention of migraines. Vitamin B2 can heighten the energy levels or reserves in brain cells, especially when it is used in high doses.
How to take it: 400mg daily for chronic migraines. Please consult with your doctor, or other qualified health care professional to ensure this product is right for you
4.Magnesium: Magnesium is understood to relax blood vessels and some studies have found a higher rate of magnesium deficiencies in people who suffer from migraines
How to take it: 400mg twice daily with meals. Consult with a health care practitioner for the best recommendations for your particular needs.
5. 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP): Many antidepressants have been found to prevent migraines because they raise serotonin levels in the body. Researchers suspected the same might be true of the compound 5-HTP (which our bodies produce from the amino acid tryptophan as a precursor to serotonin), a suspicion that’s been borne out by several studies. Since it’s not found in the food we eat, supplements need to be manufactured from the seeds of an African plant (Griffonia simplicifolia).
How to take it: 400 to 600mg daily for migraine prevention. Consult with your doctor if you take antidepressants, as this supplement will also boost your natural serotonin levels.
6.Caffeine: The caffeine in coffee and tea is the most widely consumed “natural” drug in the world. As a stimulant, it can give moods and mental acuity a lift and can also help our bodies absorb medication faster and relieve pain in its own right. During a migraine, adenosine levels in the blood go up; however, caffeine can interrupt the effects of adenosine, which can provide some migraine relief. The effect on adenosine is greatly reduced when caffeine is taken daily, which is why this is unlikely to work as a migraine treatment for regular coffee and tea drinkers.
How to take it: If you rarely drink black tea or coffee, try drinking a cup of coffee or strong black tea as soon as you feel a migraine coming on and repeat in an hour if needed. Avoid consuming too much caffeine late in the afternoon or evening.