Natural Remedies for Migraine: Is it all pills and potions?

Treating migraine doesn't always involve taking medication. Natural remedies can have a big impact on the management of your condition.
natural remedies

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When you hear the term ‘natural remedy’, your mind probably drifts off to weird concoctions made of elusive plants. After all, it is true that complimentary and alternative medicines (CAMs) do sometimes involve unusual techniques for pain relief. But natural remedies for migraine do not always involve magic pills and potions. For the most part, they simply require little lifestyle changes. There are many simple steps we can take in our day to day lives that can help us manage the condition.

Small steps and simple changes…

girl drinking glass of water
Staying hydrated can reduce the frequency of migraine attacks and improve overall health

One of the best ways to naturally remedy migraine is to avoid attack triggers. Attack triggers, of course, vary wildly from person to person. For some, diet changes can really reduce the frequency of attacks. As certain foods like chocolate and dairy (as well as drinks like alcohol) are commonly noted as triggers of attacks, simply reducing your consumption of certain foods – or cutting them out altogether – can make a big difference.

Also linked to dietary changes is water intake. Staying hydrated is perhaps one of the most important steps to take in your daily life. Drinking plenty of water stops you from becoming dehydrated. Not only does this reduce the likelihood of an attack, but can have a major improvement on your overall health and well-being. There is no need to go crazy – just take plenty of sips throughout the day. Carrying a water bottle around with you can help with this!

Another lifestyle change is to rest more. A very common migraine trigger is a lack of sleep, or a disrupted sleeping pattern. The way to deal with this is to try and go to bed and wake up at similar times every day. And make sure you’re in bed for long enough! 7-9 hours of sleep every night is the recommended amount, and sticking to this schedule can have a big impact on the frequency of your migraine attacks.

Try out something new!

Besides small alternations to your daily routine, natural remedies for migraine also involve trying something a little bit different. This may involve introducing new ingredients to the food you eat or drink:

  • Ginger: Increasing your intake of ginger (such as adding ginger powder to foods and drinks) has been proven to be just as effective as certain migraine medications. A study from 2014, found that ginger powder was statistically as effective as sumatripan. The best part – there are no side effects, so including a bit more ginger in your diet will not cause any harm (but could do a whole load of good!).
  • Essential Oils: Essential oils include things like lavender. They are often used as home remedies for things like sleep and anxiety. The most common way to take them is through inhalation, either directly from the bottle or through an air humidifier. Another bonus is that they can make your room smell lovely!
  • Herbal Supplements: Whilst they may come in the form of prescribed or over-the-counter tablets, herbal supplements are pills that actually contain entirely natural substances. One example is butterbur. One study found that takes 150 milligrams of butterbur every single day reduced migraine frequency after taking it for three months.
acupuncture
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese therapy and is used by some as a natural remedy for migraine

Opt for an alternative therapy

There are also different types of therapies which some people claim help them to manage their migraine. Acupressure, for example, involves applying certain amounts of pressure to different parts of the body. Many believe this treatment helps to relieve muscle tension. This in turn reduces the perception of pain. A more well-known therapy is acupuncture. Professionals carrying out this alternative medicine insert very thin metal needles into the body and has been done like this for thousands of years. Some findings suggest acupuncture could certainly be an option for those with migraine looking for natural remedies. But, as with all treatments, it is unlikely to work alone. You may need to supplement the treatment with other methods for it to work effectively.

If you are ever uncertain about which natural remedies for migraine are best for you, consult a healthcare professional like your doctor. They will nudge you in the best direction, helping you to seek out relief from migraine and reduce its disruption to your life!

Sources

Healthline

Medical News Today

NHS on CAMs

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