Home Remedies For Migraine
We have all had headaches, but if you feel this one is the worst, it probably is a migraine attack. Migraine symptoms start slow and gradually increase in intensity, giving you a headache so intense on one side of the head that it makes you want to throw up. Many people believe that a migraine is just a headache when in reality, it has many other symptoms. Migraine can give you nausea, vomiting, fatigue, etc. Did you know that almost half of the adult population suffers from migraine, and women are three times more likely to experience migraine?1 Fortunately, like every problem that comes with a solution, there is a multitude of solutions for migraine. Your search for home remedies for migraine ends here.
With some herbs and lifestyle changes, you might be able to manage migraine symptoms at home. However, do not use these herbs and remedies as an alternative to modern medicine. Talk to your doctor if your symptoms don’t improve using home remedies.
What Causes Migraines:
Many factors may trigger a migraine. These triggers differ from person to person. Some of the triggers are:
- Bright lights
- Anxiety and stress
- Loud noises
- Strong smell
- Certain pain killers
- Excess caffeine or withdrawal of caffeine
- Skipping meals
- Hormonal changes in females
- Sudden weather change
- Excessive physical exertion
- Tobacco use
- Lack or excess sleep
- Medication overuse2
Symptoms of Migraine:
The primary symptom of migraine is a throbbing or pounding headache that can progress to mild, medium or severe.1 Other common symptoms include:
- Sensitivity to light, odour and noise
- Pale skin colour
- Tender scalp
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Upset stomach
- Abdominal pain
- Fever and diarrhoea (rare)1
It is common for migraines to last for a few hours. However, severe migraines can last longer.1
Home Remedies for Migraines:
These are some common kitchen ingredients that you may use as remedies to relieve migraine symptoms at home.
Ginger has been proven effective in preventing and managing migraine symptoms in a clinical study conducted by Mehdi et al., in 2014.3 Ginger contains many phytochemicals that might be responsible for effectively managing headaches.4 You can make some ginger tea to relieve migraine symptoms. To make ginger tea, boil some freshly crushed ginger rhizome in water. Let it simmer for some time, strain it and your ginger tea is ready to serve.
Herbs like tea, coffee and guarana berries contain plenty of caffeine. Caffeine may be a double-edged sword, as it may relieve or trigger migraine symptoms. You are advised to use caffeine with caution.5 Introducing caffeine in small amounts may be the best choice for you.
Aromatherapy with chamomile oil may help manage migraine symptoms. Chamomile may also help with nausea, a common migraine symptom. To use chamomile for migraines, take some chamomile oil, heat it and inhale the vapours using a vaporizer.5 You can also make a cup of chamomile tea by boiling chamomile tea leaves in water. Strain it in a cup. Honey can be added for taste. And your chamomile tea is ready to drink.
Peppermint oil, vapours and extract have shown benefits in migraine. Peppermint may help you relieve headaches during migraine. To use peppermint oil, you can heat some oil and inhale the vapours using the vaporizer.5 Peppermint tea can be made by boiling peppermint leaves in water. Let the mixture simmer for some time. Pour the peppermint tea into a cup.
Here are some lifestyle changes to help prevent and relieve migraine symptoms.
5. Drink water
You need to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration, especially if you have vomited because of a migraine. In addition, drinking water may help manage the headache caused due to dehydration. You can also try drinking fluids other than water, such as juices and soups.1,6 Make sure to steer clear of any liquid that might trigger your migraine.
6. Take rest
You can try resting in a quiet and dark room to relieve migraine. Moreover, you might want to catch up on some sleep while resting.6 This will help you cope with the migraine symptoms and wake up refreshed and relaxed.
7. Try relaxation techniques
Trying some relaxation techniques may help you reduce stress. You can try relaxing techniques like yoga, massage, mindful breathing, meditation and exercise. You may also try placing a damp towel or cool cloth over your head.1,6
8. Avoid triggers
You need to avoid any triggers that might be causing your migraines. Some common triggers that you can look out for are
- Drinking alcohol
- Caffeinated drinks (for some people)
- Loud noises and bright lights
- Skipping meals6
These are some common triggers. However, you must keep track of your migraines to understand the cause and triggers. You can take help from a healthcare provider to identify triggers.
Though some studies show the benefits of the given herb and home remedies for migraine, these are insufficient. There is a need for large-scale human research to find the extent of the benefits of these home remedies on human health. Thus, these should only be taken cautiously and never as a substitute for medical treatment.
When to Seek Medical Help:
If the headache is unbearable and does not relieve after several hours, it is best to consult a doctor for help. It can be accompanied by:
- Difficulty speaking
- Vision problems
- Mental confusion
- Difficulty balancing
- Numbing or tingling sensation
- Sudden headache
- Headache followed by a head injury1
Reach out to your healthcare provider immediately.
You must not rely solely on home remedies for migraine treatment at home. You should consult a qualified doctor for any advice for the condition if the symptoms do not improve with home remedies.
Migraine attacks can make life difficult. The throbbing and pounding headache can make it nearly impossible for you to carry out your daily routine. There are some herbs and remedies that you can use to ease the symptoms and cope better. Herbs like ginger, tea, coffee, chamomile and peppermint have few pieces of evidence where they have effectively managed migraine symptoms. Therefore, they may be used as natural remedies for migraines. Unfortunately, a migraine headache can indicate an underlying health condition which needs a doctor visit. Therefore, contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience a headache that is unbearable coupled with difficulty speaking and balancing, mental confusion and vision problems.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What are the home remedies for migraine?
Some home remedies for migraines are chamomile, peppermint, tea, coffee and ginger. These herbs may be used at home to take care of a migraine. Making some lifestyle changes might also help you help with symptoms. Trying out relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, and mindful breathing are some ways to reduce the stress that can trigger migraine. Drinking plenty of water and resting are simple and quick ways to help you manage your symptoms.1,4–6 However, you are advised not to rely on home remedies alone to treat migraine. Make sure you consult your doctor or healthcare provider if you experience migraine symptoms.
Does coffee help in migraine?
There is some evidence reporting the use of caffeine in migraines. However, coffee can also induce a migraine in some people.5 Therefore, you are advised to use coffee cautiously. Also, do not rely solely on herbal remedies to manage your symptoms. Seek medical help immediately if your migraine symptoms don’t improve.
Can I prevent migraine?
Regular exercise, relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation, sufficient sleep and good water intake may help prevent migraine headaches. Maintaining a diary of your migraine attacks, including possible triggers and causes, may help you manage your symptoms better.1 You can also take help from your healthcare provider as they will be able to help you identify the triggers better.
Are migraines more common in women?
Yes, 3 out of every 4 people who have migraine are women. Women between the ages of 20 to 45 are more prone to migraine headaches.7
1. Migraine Headaches: Causes, Treatment & Symptoms [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jul 21]. Available from: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/5005-migraine-headaches
2. Migraine. MedlinePlus [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jul 21]. Available from: https://medlineplus.gov/migraine.html
3. 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. Phytother Res [Internet]. 2014 [cited 2022 Aug 23];28(3):412–5. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23657930/
4. Yarnell Eric. Herbal Medicine and Migraine. https://home.liebertpub.com/act [Internet]. 2017 Oct 1 [cited 2022 Jul 21];23(5):192–201. Available from: https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/act.2017.29131.eya
5. Levin M. Herbal treatment of headache. Headache [Internet]. 2012 [cited 2022 Jul 13];52 Suppl 2:76–80. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23030536/
6. Managing migraines at home: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jul 21]. Available from: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000420.html
7. Migraine. Office on Women’s Health [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jul 22]. Available from: https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/migraine