Migraine attacks are debilitating as if a hammer is being tapped on your head constantly. Having to deal with a pounding head can be very difficult especially if the pain is unbearable and frequent. People generally tend to become grouchy and irritable when they have a minor headache or even a migraine. There are several things that can trigger the condition and make it intolerable such as hormonal changes in women, starving, alcohol, odours or perfumes, smoking, stress, loud noises or bright lights stress, lack of sleep and eating too much processed food. The pain is usually one sided and the symptoms varies from person to person. A vision disturbance is the warning sign of a migraine attack. Other signs include nausea, yawning, eye pain, etc. While you may take medications such as ibuprofen or panadol to relieve pain, but in the long run, consuming too many painkillers may damage your kidneys. Therefore, it would be best to avoid them. Are you wondering how to get rid of a migraine headache without the use of medication? Well, listed below are some effectual home remedies that can prevent migraine.
Home Remedies for Migraine
1. Apple Cider Vinegar Compress
Pour some ACV in a bowl and soak a washcloth in it. Place it in a refrigerator for 20 minutes. Afterwards, apply the compress on your head and neck. Do this a couple of times.
- Alternatively, to fasten the healing process, inhale the vinegar. Take equal parts of water and ACV and boil them. Now, breathe in the rising steam.
A cup of coffee can give you instant relief from migraine. Since, it contains caffeine, which restricts the blood vessels and therefore, lessens the pain.
Note: Overconsumption of caffeine is harmful.
When it comes to migraine home remedies, you have got to try buckwheat as it has flavonoids known as rutin. These flavonoids have rich antioxidant properties that prevent any damage to the cells in your body and also reduce swelling which may be a cause of the headache.
4. Capsaicin cream
The capsaicin cream is made of cayenne pepper that is extremely strong and is ideal for migraine prevention. Simply apply some cream on the sides of your nostril.
Acupressure is an ancient Chinese method of applying gentle pressure on certain points of the body that are directly linked to the muscle where one is experiencing pain. It is best to get a professional acupressure massage.
Magnesium is a mineral that calm down your nerves. Research shows that people who suffer from migraine have a low level of magnesium in their body. Therefore, one must increase the intake of food that contains ample magnesium such as spinach, soy milk, broccoli and beans.
Water has the potential to heal many illnesses, including migraines. In hydrotherapy hot and cold water are used to reduce the pain associated with the illness. Take shower with some hot water (as hot as your body can tolerate) for 3 minutes and then take a cold shower (again as cold as your body can bear) for 3 minutes and repeat again. Keep doing this for twenty minutes. This is one of the best home remedies for migraines, and certainly an excellent choice for those who have frequent migraine attacks.
Add a slice of lemon to your green tea or make a paste from the lemon peel and apply it on the forehead whenever you experience pain. The anti-inflammatory properties of lemon peel actually heal your pain.
9. Fish Oil
Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for the heart. It helps reduce the inflammation, blood clots and blood pressure. One can consume fish oil capsules or liquid fish oil by adding one tablespoon of it in orange juice.
An apple can reduce the severity of a migraine attack. Although eating apple is beneficial, but smelling it will also work well.
11. Raw Potato
Cut a few slices of raw potato with the skin and wrap a few pieces in a thin cloth. Now rub the cloth on your forehead and temple to get rid of migraine.
Herbal Remedies for Migraine
12. Cayenne Pepper and Peppermint Tea
Take an inch of fresh ginger piece, a dash of cayenne pepper and a teaspoon of dried peppermint. Mix all the three ingredients in two cups of boiled water. Steep the decoction for 15 minutes. Strain the solution and add honey to sweeten the taste. Drink this herbal tea, in order to reduce the symptoms associated with migraine headaches.
- Alternatively, mint tea also gives effective results. Place a few mint leaves in a cup and pour hot water over them. Allow the mixture to steep for 10 minutes and then strain it. Add honey to sweeten it.
Sometimes headache may be caused due to some minor injury on the head. In such a case, flaxseed is an excellent choice as it reduces inflammation. Brew a tea by adding a teaspoon of the flaxseed in a cup of boiling water. Steep them for a while. Strain the liquid and drink at least twice a day. Alternatively, you can massage the muscles with this.
The analgesic property of lavender soothes the jangled nerves and reduces inflammation in the blood vessels. Steep a tsp of dried flowers for 15 minutes in one cup of boiled water. Filter the solution afterwards and drink it throughout the day. Add honey, if desired.
- Alternatively, you can use lavender oil. Apply the oil topically or add 2-4 drops of the oil to 3 cups of boiling water and inhale the steam.
Note: Never take lavender oil orally.
15. Peppermint Oil
A number of people suffer from migraines mostly when they have cold. Since, the mucus blocks the passage way and makes breathing more difficult. Peppermint is a natural migraine relief herb that controls the flow of blood in the body due to its vaso-dilating and vaso-constricting properties. Add a few drops of the oil to some hot water and inhale the steam or pour a few drops on a wash towel and place if near your nose when you go to sleep.
16. Red Raspberry leaf tea
This is magnificent migraine treatment especially for women when they have their monthly period. Drinking a cup of red raspberry leaf tea will not only reduce the intensity of a migraine attack, but also reduces other symptoms.
Basil has a very strong smell that effectively heals the headache associated with migraine. There are a number of ways in which you can use basil for the treatment of migraine. The basil oil works as a muscle relaxant, and therefore, cures the body pain. Apply a few drops of basil oil on your temples and forehead and massage gently.
- Alternatively, chew a few fresh basil leaves whenever you experience pain.
- Besides, try making a cup of basil tea by boiling a few basil leaves in water for 10 minutes. Strain the liquid and drink it.
- Moreover, a compress using basil and witch hazel will also work great. Boil 3 cups of water and add 2 teaspoons of ground dry basil to it. Allow it to steep until the water cools down. Later, add 2 tbsp of witch hazel to the tea. Now dip a cloth in the solution, squeeze the excess water and place the cloth on your forehead.
Feverfew is mostly used in the treatment of colds and flu, but it effectively cures migraines as well. Using feverfew with white willow bark can reduce the frequency and intensity of a migraine attacks. Chew a few fresh leaves, but be careful not to chew too many as it can affect your taste buds.
- Alternatively, place a few feverfew herbs in a pot and add some hot water into it. Steep them for a few minutes. Thereafter, strain the liquid and add honey to make it taste better.
- Expecting mothers should avoid using feverfew. There are a number of side effects of this herb like canker sores, blotting and even vomiting. After you stop using this, you may experience joint pain and difficulty in sleeping.
19. Willow bark
Willow bark contains salicin that is used for the development of aspirin, and therefore, is an ideal migraine reliever herb. Add a few willow barks to a pot of water and boil it. Reduce the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Now remove the pot from the stove and steep it for about 30 minutes. Drink 3 to 4 cups daily.
- People who are allergic to aspirin should avoid taking willow bark as it can cause itching, rash and may also upset your stomach.
- Not recommended for children under 16 years.
The anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties of butterbur cut-down the severity of migraine headaches, since it balances the blood circulation in the brain. Besides, it controls the blood pressure and inhibits spasm in capillaries. It is available in many herbal stores in a variety of forms such as capsules, powder and liquid.
Note: Avoid taking butterbur capsules that contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA), as it may cause cancer and damage your kidneys and liver. Do not rub butterbur products with PA on broken skin.
21. Ginko Biloba
Ginko Biloba is an excellent herb for migraine relief. It increases the flow of oxygen and blood to the brain, and therefore, reduces headaches. The leaf of this herb is available in extract form. Moreover, capsule and tablets are also accessible.
Rosemary oil combined with other essential oils can prevent migraine attacks as it normalizes blood circulation. You can add fresh rosemary leaves to a cup of tea and sip on it.
- Alternatively, add a drop of rosemary oil on a cloth and inhale it.
- Moreover, massage your forehead with rosemary oil.
Valerian helps cure many illnesses such as chest pain, anxiety, indigestion and insomnia. Although it does not cure migraines, but it does relax your body and acts as a sedative. Like several other herbs, it is also used as tea.
The antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties of Chamomile give a soothing effect on the body and relieve the migraine problems. Take 2-3 tsp of dried chamomile flowers and steep them in a cup of hot water. Later, strain the solution, add lemon and honey. Drink this herbal tea thrice a day.
Ginger helps prevent migraines, since it inhibits the prostaglandin synthesis that stimulates the muscle contractions. Add ginger to your food or brew tea by boiling the gingerroot in 2 cups of water. Steep the solution for 30 minutes. Strain the decoction before you drink it.
26. Coriander Seeds
Boil some water in a kettle. Now place handful of coriander seeds in a vessel and pour the boiling water over them. Inhale the steam. Alternatively, you can also chew them raw or add its powdered form to your food.
27. Dong Quai
Dong Quai is a root and belongs to the family of other edible roots such as parsley, carrots and celery. Simply use cream that contains dong quai and apply it on the forehead. This will certainly reduce the pain associated with migraines.
- Alternatively, Add dong quai along with 2 cups of water to a clay pot. Cover the pot and place it on the stove over medium heat for 15 minutes or until it comes to boiling point. Reduce the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for 20 minutes or until it reduces to half its quantity. Pour a cup of tea for yourself and add some honey to it.
- Breast feeding mothers and pregnant women should not use this herb.
- Also do not use it during the menstrual cycle.
- Wash the herb with water before you use it.
Add a few leaves of the linden to a pot of boiling water and allow it to simmer for few minutes. Strain the liquid and drink the tea when you experience pain associated with migraines.
Horseradish is used for the treatment of kidney infections, arthritis, bladder infections, muscle strain and respiratory infections. It has the ability to narrow the blood vessels which, in turn, helps reduce the pain related with migraines.
The natural pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties of honeysuckle reduce the headache and alleviate several intestinal infections.
The innate sedative properties of mullein effectively treat migraines. The tea prepared from mullein leave soothes the muscle spasms and acts as a pain reliever. Take a tbsp of dried mullein leaves and add them to a cup of boiling water. Steep them for 10 minutes. Add honey, if needed.
Research shows that Yarrow has antimicrobial, anti-anxiety and pain-relieving properties that reduce the pain. You can either take its capsules, extracts or tinctures. But, consult your doctor prior using it. Moreover, tea prepared from dried yarrow can give effectual results.
Note: Not for expecting mothers.
Betony is mostly used in tea form and considered a substitute of black tea. It has sedative properties which prove to be effectual in treating – migraines, facial pain, menstrual cramps, stress, and anxiety. It also alleviates the symptoms of sinusitis. Use dried leaves and flowers to brew a betony tea.
34. Common Hops
Common hops or Humulus lupulus are used due to their sedative properties, but it is obscure how effectively common hops ease migraines. It can, however, provide you with a sound sleep. You can take its tincture or an infusion.
Note: It is advised to consult a health-care professional before using hops.
Research shows that certain chemicals in evodia prove to be effectual for the body. It prevents frequent headaches.
Note: Pregnant women should avoid using this herb.
Before using any of the herbal remedies, it is advised to consult your doctor.
- Practice yoga and meditation, in order to relax yourself.
- Have three balance meals in the day since starving can cause headache.
- Eat food rich in vitamin B6 and niacin such as milk, chicken and fish.
- Include Tryptophan in your diet by eating red meat, turkey, legumes or take its supplement form.
- Drink plenty of water, in order to avoid dehydration.
- Get a scalp massage.
- Exercise regularly.
- Don’t work on the computer when you experience a migraine attack.
- Avoid foods that contain MSG.
- Stay away from alcohol, chocolate, refined sugars, caffeinated beverages, gluten-containing grains, aged cheeses, genetically modified foods, sodas, pickles, citrus fruits, vinegar, bananas, processed food and peanuts.