Natural Migraine Remedies to Try Now
- Written By:Dr. Will Cole
There are millions of people who struggle through migraines and other types of headaches on a regular basis. In fact, it is estimated that 12% of the population experiences migraine headaches. And if you've ever experienced a migraine, you know just how debilitating it can be.
When you experience a migraine, it is due to the tensing up of blood vessels and can cause throbbing in one particular area with pain that can vary in intensity. Not only can a migraine be more intense than a regular headache, they can last longer and come with a whole slew of uncomfortable symptoms that can push you over the edge and leave you unable to do much else other than lay in your bed such as:
- Sensitivity to light and/or sound
- Blurred vision
- Nausea and/or vomiting
As a functional medicine practitioner, I specialize in finding natural remedies to various health problems, including migraines. These are my favorite simple tools for alleviating migraine symptoms effectively.
As the fourth most abundant mineral in your body, this electrolyte is responsible for a lot of biochemical processes, including relaxing the blood vessels that tense up during a migraine. It is estimated that 50% of migraine sufferers are deficient in magnesium and 60% of sufferers have genetic mutations that inhibit magnesium metabolism.
Focus on adding in more magnesium-rich foods to your diet on a regular basis including dark leafy greens like spinach and kale. You can also purchase powdered magnesium supplements that can be added to a glass of water or smoothies for more targeted relief during a migraine.
2. Essential oils
These highly concentrated plant compounds have some powerful healing abilities. When it comes to migraines, essential oils can be used topically and as aromatherapy for relief. Breathing in lavender essential oil can help alleviate migraine pain while peppermint oil can be applied both topically on the base of the neck or temples and breathed in.
This therapy uses pressure on certain points on your body to relieve symptoms similar to acupuncture but without using needles to actually puncture the skin. One of the most common pressure points is the space between your index finger and base of your thumb, also known as the LI-4 point. You can easily apply pressure to this point yourself if you are experiencing a migraine.
Massage is more than just a luxury experience. Studies have shown that getting a weekly massage can reduce the frequency of migraines. This could be due to the fact that massages lower cortisol levels - our stress hormone - which can impact
5. Cold compress
Applying cold compresses to the head area can decrease inflammation, constricts blood vessels, and slows nerve conduction. In fact, one study showed that women who used cold compresses significantly decreased their migraine pain.
6. Try an elimination diet
Food intolerances are a common underlying source of health problems, including migraines. One study even showed that migraine occurrences decreased in those who did an elimination diet. An elimination diet is my gold standard for discovering your individual food triggers and what your body ultimately loves and hates. My book The Inflammation Spectrum, walks you through exactly how to do an elimination diet.
7. Targeted herbal remedies
The earth has given us an abundance of natural plant and herbal remedies. Feverfew is a plant that has been studied for its ability to help alleviate migraine pain due to its anti-inflammatory abilities. While more research needs to be done around this herb, some studies have shown that supplementing anywhere between 50-150mg per day can reduce migraine frequency.
8. Practice yoga
Yoga increases blood flow and relaxes muscles which can help with migraine relief. Research has shown that incorporating a regular yoga practice in conjunction with other migraine treatments can provide more relief than just treatment alone. Plus, you can find free resources and classes online and can easily be done from the comfort of your own home.