Natural relief for migraine headaches – ginger & chamomile

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Attractive woman with a migraine touches her temples. Square shot. Isolated on white.

Migraine headaches are one of the twenty most disabling medical conditions all around the world. This is said by the World Health Organization. A migraine is characterized by a throbbing pain which is usually confined to one side of the head and it tends to get worse with movements. Migraine headaches are typically lasting from 4 to 72 hours.

Migraine headaches symptoms

Symptoms of this condition can vary from person to person. People are often experiencing warning signs such as vomiting, nausea, tingling in the arms and legs, increased sensitivity to light and sound, flashes of light, and blind spots. There are some signs such as frequent yawning, constipation, a stiff neck, food cravings, and irritability which can also happen a couple of days prior to a migraine attack.

About 75% of all migraine sufferers have some family member who had this problem. It is thought that this condition is caused by changes in brain chemicals. Some of the potential triggers for migraine are hormonal fluctuations, low blood sugar, poor posture, irregular sleep, dehydration, skipping meals, strong smells, loud noises, bright lights, alcohol, smoking, stress, and allergies. There is no cure for migraine but you can try some of the mentioned home remedies to get relief from the migraine headaches and the frequency. [1]

10 Natural treatment for migraine headaches

Ginger

There was one study in 2013 in which is said that ginger may prove effective in the treatment of common migraines [2]. This natural cure blocks prostaglandins which are chemicals that regulate inflammation in blood vessels in the brain, impact hormones and promote muscle contractions. Most NSAIDs (non–steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are working by reducing the production of these chemicals. You should drink a ginger tea a few times per day until you get relief from the migraine headaches. You should be sure to drink it at the onset of your headache. Also when you chew on a piece of raw ginger root, this will help you to treat your problem and it will give you relief from symptoms such as digestive distress and nausea.

Apples

When you eat an apple as soon as you experience warning signs of a migraine attack, then this can help you to reduce this problem. There are some studies in which is suggested that the smell of a green apple can help to reduce the severity of migraine and it can shorten migraine episodes, especially for people who find this smell pleasing [3].

Massage

When you massage your head, then this helps to ease migraines because it blocks pain signals which are sent to your brain. Also, it boosts serotonin activity and stimulates certain serotonin receptors which is reducing the symptoms of this condition as well as migraines. There was one study which was published in 2006 in which is also said that massage therapy helps in the treatment of migraines[4].

You should gently massage your head with the first 2 fingers in a circular motion. While you are massaging your head, you should keep in mind that there are pressure points at locations like the corners of the eyes, the middle of the forehead (between the eyebrows), and the base of the skull that when pressed correctly can help you to get relief from the pain. Also, you can heat 2 tablespoons of sesame oil. You should mix in ½ teaspoon of cardamom and cinnamon powder. Also, you can apply this mixture to your forehead and massage it. You should let it stay there for a few hours before you wash it off. You should repeat either of the mentioned home remedies as much as needed. Regular massage can help you to reduce the duration and frequency of migraines.

Coffee

One cup of strong coffee can help you to reduce migraine headache symptoms [5]. Coffee has caffeine which is restricting blood vessels and it blocks some receptors which can be the cause of migraines. To increase the effectiveness of this natural cure, you should add a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice because it counteracts the effects of acidic diets that contribute to cyclic headaches. There are some people who have migraines triggered by caffeine. Also when you drink too much coffee, then it can worsen your headache or it can cause a rebound headache.

migraine headaches

Chamomile

This natural cure has soothing, antispasmodic, and anti-inflammatory properties which can give you relief from migraines [6]. You should drink chamomile tea on a regular basis because it can help you to prevent this problem. When you want to treat migraines, then you will get the best results from German chamomile (also known as Matricaria recutita). When you are in the market and you want to buy this herb, then you should be sure that it is German chamomile. You should steep 2 – 3 teaspoons of dried chamomile flowers in one cup of hot water and you should wait for a few minutes. Also, you can add some honey and lemon juice to it. You should strain it and you should drink this tea 3 or 4 times per day to get relief from migraine symptoms. Also, you can prepare herbal tea by steeping equal amounts of meadowsweet, horehound, and chamomile in one cup of hot water for at least 5 minutes. You should strain this tea and then drink it. Repeat this natural treatment as needed.

Feverfew

This is also a very effective home remedy for migraines which has been used for centuries [6]. It has a component which is known as parthenolide which is giving relief from spasms in smooth tissues and prevents inflammation. Also, this natural cure neutralizes prostaglandins which influence pain signals and they are reducing pain. You should prepare herbal tea by steeping one teaspoon of feverfew leaves and dried peppermint leaves in one cup of hot water for thirty minutes. You should strain and drink this tea a few times per day throughout the day. You should continue drinking this natural cure until the pain subsides. Also, you can eat 2 – 3 fresh feverfew leaves every day or you can take dried leaf capsules, 50 – 100 mg per day. You need to talk with your doctor before you start taking this supplement.

Cayenne pepper

This is one of the best home remedies for migraines because it is improving the blood flow and also it is stimulating circulation[7].

Also, it has capsaicin which is working as a natural painkiller. You should mix ½ to one teaspoon of cayenne pepper in one cup of warm water. If you want, you can add some honey and lemon juice to it to improve the taste as well as the health benefits. You should drink this natural treatment as long as you need.

Peppermint

Peppermint has anti-inflammatory properties which can soothe the nerves. Also, it has calming and antispasmodic properties. There was one study in 2008 in which is found that the fragrance of peppermint is inducing the feeling which is associated with headache relief. You should drink peppermint tea sweetened with honey. You should repeat as much as needed. Also, there is another option and that is to massage each of your temples with one drop of peppermint essential oil or a combination of lavender and peppermint oils. You should let it stay there for at least 20 – 30 minutes. You should do this natural treatment a few times per day until you get relief from it.

Ice pack

This is the most popular home remedy which you can use to rid of tension and migraine headaches. Ice pack has a numbing effect which can alleviate the pain. You should wrap a few ice cubes in a clean towel and you should place them on your temples, back of your neck, and forehead. Let it stay there for ten to fifteen minutes. You should repeat it as much as you need. Also, you can try alternating hot and cold compresses for about fifteen minutes as much as you need. If you want to have better results, then you should add peppermint and/or lavender essential oils to the water for the compress.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a nutritional powerhouse which is a reason why can help reduce migraines[8]. This natural cure also offers health benefits such as relieving constipation, promoting weight loss, reducing bone pain, regulating high blood pressure, controlling blood sugar, and aiding detoxification.

You should add one tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar to one glass of water. You should mix it with one tablespoon of honey. You should drink this home remedy on a daily basis to prevent and treat migraines. If you are not used to taking apple cider vinegar, you should start by taking one teaspoon and gradually increase this amount. During migraine attacks or when you feel that they are coming on, you can take 1 – 3 tablespoons.

References:

[1] GBD 2016 Headache Collaborators. Global, regional, and national burden of migraine and tension-type headache, 1990–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. The Lancet Neurology. 2018;17(11):954-76.

[2] Maghbooli M, Golipour F, Moghimi Esfandabadi A, Yousefi M. Comparison between the efficacy of ginger and sumatriptan in the ablative treatment of the common migraine. Phytotherapy Research. 2014;28(3):412-5.

[3] Romalino CQ. An apple a day keeps migraines, allergies at bay. Courier Post. 2014. Retrieved from https://www.courierpostonline.com/story/make-my-day/2014/10/21/an-apple-a-day-keeps-migraines-allergies-at-bay/17676075/.

[4] Lawler SP, Cameron LD. A randomized, controlled trial of massage therapy as a treatment for migraine. Annals of Behavioral Medicine. 2006;32(1):50-59.

[5] Tai MLS, Yap JF, Goh CB. Dietary trigger factors of migraine and tension-type headache in a South East Asian country. Journal of Pain Research. 2018;11:1255-61.

[6] Agatonovic-Kustrin S, Ortakand DB, Morton DW. Migraine headaches: Feverfew or chamomile leaves? Modern Chemistry & Applications. 2015;3(4).

[7] Gelbard A. Spicy foods (chili peppers, ginger) in treatment of migraine headaches by
Amos Gelbard. Insights in Nutrition and Metabolism. 2016;1(1).

[8] Parker C. Feeling bunged up? Experts reveal how to get rid of a painful sinus infection using apple cider vinegar. The Sun. 2018. Retrieved from www.thesun.co.uk/news/7880093/how-to-get-rid-sinus-infection-apple-cider-vinegar/.

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