Not all headaches are created equal. Migraines are often mistaken for headaches, and when they happen - it feels like all we can do is brace ourselves. But is there another way of addressing these debilitating attacks without being forced to take over-the-counter medications?
Today, we will take a deeper look into what migraines are, why they happen, and herbs you can find in your cupboard that can end them once and for all.
What Are Migraines?
Migraines are severe headaches that can be debilitating and interfere with daily activities such as attending work, running errands, and taking care of loved ones.
Symptoms Of Migraines
- Sensitivity to light
- Sensitivity to sound
Why Do They Occur?
The cause of migraines remains unclear, however environmental factors and genetics seem to play a role. Other factors that may contribute to migraines are chemical imbalances in the brain, specifically neurotransmitters such as serotonin. Other potential culprits include dehydration, excess stress, loud sounds, smoking, hormonal changes, and severe heat.
This herb gained popularity in the 1980s when a study revealed that over 70 percent of the participants had reduced migraine pain after supplementing with feverfew daily. Another clinical trial conducted in 2006 concluded that participants who took feverfew with white willow (another natural herb) showed a significant improvement in their migraine pain. Feverfew should be taken at night since tiredness is a side effect of taking it. While there is no clear recommended dose, studies have shown that taking 100mg - 300mg of feverfew up to four times a day daily supplementation with feverfew may successfully address migraines.
*Pregnant and nursing mothers should not take feverfew.
Basil is commonly used to treat flu symptoms and works as a natural muscle relaxant making it an excellent choice for migraines and headaches. Basil works as a natural sleep aid. Therefore it is best to take it at night. You can use basil in various ways such as inhaling it, eating it, or applying directly to your body. The most popular way to use basil for headaches is to drink basil tea. All that’s required is to add a few fresh basil leaves to a pot of boiling water, then let it simmer for 3 minutes. One cup is enough to start feeling the benefits of the basil.
Catnip is an herb that has been used for generations to treat conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, and migraines. Catnip contains nepetalactone, which can promote feelings of relaxation. Catnip works as a mild sedative, so it’s best to take it at night. The best way to ingest Catnip is by making Catnip tea. All you need to do is mix two teaspoons of dried catnip leaves with boiling water. Add brown sugar or honey, then let it summer for a 10 minutes. Adding honey will help neutralize the woody taste. One cup is all you need.
A study conducted in 2013 revealed that using rosemary oil with a combination of other medications, it helped relax muscles and reduce the pain caused by headaches.
Rosemary oil is best taken at night due to its relaxing effects. Taking it at night will also help promote restful sleep. The best way to use rosemary to ease your headaches and migraines is to use rosemary in the form of oil. Adding rosemary oil to a hot bath can subside any throbbing pain you may be experiencing.
Butterbur is an ancient natural remedy that’s been used to tread allergies, headaches, and gastrointestinal problems. One 2012 study found that Petasites (butterbur’s purified root extract) helps prevent migraines when taken twice a day in 50 to 75mg doses. It is best to taken in the afternoon and evening since drowsiness is a common side effect to new users. Petasites should be taken twice a day in 50 to 75mg doses.
Willow bark extract contains salicin - an anti-inflammatory ingredient that is effective in treating headaches. A study conducted in 2012 confirmed that willow bark extract is a potent antioxidant. Willow bark is best taken at night since it promotes restful sleep. Willow bark is most commonly found in a chewable or capsule form. For best results, 1-3g of willow bark taken daily is recommended.
Ginger has been heavily researched and the results are staggering. A 2014 study showed that ginger in the powdered form was nearly as effective as sumatriptan - a drug commonly prescribed for migraines. Ginger is best consumed at night due to its relaxing effects on the body. The easiest ways to incorporate ginger into your diet is by drinking ginger tea. One to two cups of ginger tea a day can significantly improve migraine symptoms.
One 2020 study revealed that the active compounds helped reduce the impact headaches have on performing daily activities. Valerian root gradually increases gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain which has a calming effect on the body. It is best to take valerian root near bedtime to promote restful sleep and maximum relaxation. Take 300 to 600mg of valerian root no more than two hours before bedtime.
Betony has been used as a herbal remedy for facial inflammation, pain and headaches. The sedative ingredients present in betony help reduce headache pain and promote relaxation. Betony is best consumed in the evening as betony is a mild sedative. One cup of betony tea is plenty to reap the benefits of its sedative properties.
Coriander has been used across the world for thousands of years. Coriander is best known for its ability to treat medical conditions such as allergies and migraines. Coriander works as an excellent anti-inflammatory. The best way to use coriander seed for migraine relief is to pour boiling water over coriander seeds and inhale the steam.
Honeysuckle is commonly used to treat fevers, inflammation and infections. Honeysuckle is also said to have anticrobial and anti-cancer properties. The anti-inflammatory properties that are found in the stems and leaves are said to provide comparable to the pain relief aspirin provides.
It is best to ingest honeysuckle at night since it may make you sleepy.
It is important to inform to your doctor if your migraines persist. Be sure to consult with your doctor before taking any medications and remember that a healthy diet and regular exercise is one of the best things you can do to maintain your health and live a long, fulfilling life. For more migraine relief options, try our Wearable Acupressure Products, Migraine & Headache Relief Hat, Essential oil products, and more at Aculief.com.