Home remedies for migraine include consumption of balanced diet especially rich in essential nutrients such as vitamin B2 (riboflavin), magnesium and ginger and avoiding certain food items which may trigger its occurrence. Healing with aromatherapy, acupressure and hydrotherapy can also be considered as a peacemaker with migraine. Massaging with peppermint oil, using an ice-pack and some effective herbs such as feverfew and butterbur may also prove beneficial in treating migraine problems. In addition to this, certain lifestyle changes such as regular sleep routine, usage of relaxation techniques, optimistic and stress-free attitude can naturally promote the healing of migraine conditions.
Table of Contents
- What is Migraine?
- Signs and Symptoms of Migraine
- Causes of Migraine
- Home Remedies for Migraine
What is Migraine?
Migraine is characteristically a moderate to severe emergence of an excruciating headache which may affect one half of the head known as unilateral or both the sides of the head also known as bilateral. It is a neurological disorder which occurs repetitively and may dwell for hours or even days.
Usually migraine is associated only with a throbbing headache however in reality headache is just one of the components of this intricate malady. The cognitive, medical, neurologic, gastrointestinal and autonomic indications that escort the migraine headache evidently signify the disturbed functioning of the autonomic nervous system and cerebrum to name a few.
For a number of individuals, it may be thought of as an intense situation that can drastically transform their quality of life. However, there are some people who succeed in curing themselves with home and herbal remedies and over-the counter analgesics, if need be.
Signs and Symptoms of Migraine
Migraine is neurovascular disorder and is associated with genes that regulate the functioning of the brain cells. The symptoms of an individual migraine attack may vary from a mild distress to a major emergency which may manifest all the characteristics of the disorder. A migraine attack generally has five possible phases, however not everyone experiencing the attack may pass through all the below mentioned stages.
Pre-headache or ‘Prodromal’ Stage: A number of people experience mood swings, body aches, irritability, depression, fluctuations in the energy levels and appetite several hours or days before the migraine attack.
Aura Stage: Aura is a focal, neurological experience which normally happens progressively over a period of few minutes prior to the start of the actual migraine pain. It can be defined as the associated warning signs which may be visual, motor or sensory in nature. These warning signs include achiness and stiffness around shoulders and neck area with tingling sensations, visual disturbances including blind spots, aphasia or speech problems, zigzag patterns and flashes of light. A person experiencing the aura might feel disoriented or in very rare situations become unconscious.
Pain Stage: This stage normally begins with a terrible unilateral or bilateral headache accompanied by a feeling of nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity towards light and sound. The throbbing pain may normally worsen with physical activity.
Resolution Stage: The agonizing pain gradually settles down with the usage of some effective remedy.
Recovery or ‘Postdromal’ Stage: This stage majorly entails the feeling of fatigue, weakness and exhaustion once the headache ceases.
Women generally have three times more chances of getting a migraine pain as compared to the men and its symptoms may differ for each individual including the severity, frequency and duration of the migraine episode.
The migraine attack may hit a person in several ways such as sometimes a person may feel the aura or the associated symptoms of migraine without any disturbing headache. This condition is also referred to as silent migraine. A number of people experience the migraine attack preceded by the development of aura. This category of migraine is normally experienced by 30% of the individuals. Another type of occurrence is the migraine attack without any aura or abovementioned signs.
Other symptoms associated with migraine include frequent urge of urination, perspiration, nausea, feeling of sickness followed by vomiting, experiencing hypersensitivity towards light, also known as photophobia, difficulty in focusing, sensitivity to sound or phonophobia or may develop osmophobia which is characterized by the sensitivity towards smells.
Causes of Migraine
Basis the scientific research, migraine is believed to be caused by a blend of genetic and environmental factors. A range of psychosomatic conditions such as bipolar disorder, nervousness and melancholy are also associated with migraine attacks. Some of the major causes of migraine have been discussed as under:
Genetic Factors: Migraine may have a tendency to get genetically inherited in families but that does not infer that all the family members would get affected by it. Although the research study validates some genetic involvement in migraine, but it also states that all the migraine patients differ in responding to the administered medications.
Hormonal Changes: A variety of chemical changes in the brain are also believed to be the cause of migraine. Drop in the levels of serotonin hormone which may lead to sudden contraction and dilation of blood vessels in the brain is also understood to be rationale behind the headaches. Fluctuation in the hormones around menstrual cycle and menopause may also trigger the migraine attack.
Triggers: Certain events and factors including medical, environmental, dietary, emotional and physical may also contribute in causing the onset of migraine attack. Emotional triggers include stress, anxiety, and depression. Physical triggers include fatigue, strain in shoulder or neck, poor posture. Dietary reasons such as alcohol, caffeine, irregular eating habits, and food additives like tyramine, dehydration and dieting may lead to a sudden fall or rise in the blood sugar levels which may lead to migraine attacks. Environmental triggers include smoking, flashing lights, strong odor, climatic changes, noisy or stuffy atmosphere. Medicinal reasons such as sleeping pills, contraceptive medications or certain hormonal treatments like hormone replacement therapy may also be the reason behind migraine incidents.
Migraine is often thought to be associated with sinus headache. There may be a relation between the two as the constitution entailed in the migraine pain is positioned right at the rear of sinuses. A medical professional may definitely helps you distinguish between the two post required examinations.
Home Remedies for Migraine
Enveloping a constellation of almost infinite symptoms, it is not unusual for a person to feel frustrated and vulnerable when the migraine hits. However, enriching your acumen with the natural remedies may help prevent or cure the problem holistically. Some of the home remedies which may prove effective in the migraine condition have been mentioned as under:
Feverfew Herb (Tanacetum Parthenium)
Feverfew is an effective botanical remedy which is well established in treating migraine headaches. Research studies have validated the efficacy and anti-inflammatory properties of feverfew herb which has shown promising results in reducing the frequency and duration of migraine incidents without any side effects.
Butterbur Herb (Petasites Hybridus)
Extracts of butterbur roots have been proven valuable in the prevention of migraine headaches. Butterbur helps in relaxing the muscles and the constrictions in the cerebral blood vessels. Research study conducted on butterbur has shown the effectiveness of this herb in reducing the frequency of migraine attacks. Another study conducted on children and teenagers has also advocated the efficacy and safety of butterbur herb as a preventive therapy without any adverse effects.
Aromatherapy is another useful and holistic method for treating migraine headaches. Studies have demonstrated the efficacy of lavender essential oil which has anxiolytic and sedative properties and helps soothe the pain and discomfort caused in migraine. It aids in stabilizing the mood and works as a wonderful analgesic agent as well.
Certain dietary habits are a major contributor in triggering migraine attacks. Foods such as wine, chocolate, citrus fruits, monosodium glutamate (MSG), high-fat foods, cheese, and ice-cream are few of the popular food items which may prompt such attacks. Research studies conducted on migraine patients eating restricted diet has shown promising results in reducing the occurrence of migraine headaches. Another study has advocated the effectiveness of low-fat diet in the reduction of duration, severity and frequency of the migration headache. The study has also suggested that low-fat diet may help in reducing the intake of medications required for combating the headaches. Migraine has also been associated with food allergies which can act as triggers. Another pediatric study has recommended the intake of balanced diet without skipping the meals, unnecessary fasting of course lots of water and healthy fluids for the prevention of migraine headaches.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)-rich Diet
Riboflavin is an essential nutrient required for growth and is an effectual natural remedy to cure migraine headaches. Riboflavin helps in the production of red blood cells. Studies conducted on migraine patients administered with high-dose of riboflavin have shown positive results not only in significantly reducing the frequency of headaches but also in consumption of anti-migraine medications. Inclusion of riboflavin-rich foods such as milk, eggs, asparagus, whole grains can prove valuable in keeping the body enriched with this beneficial nutrient.
Another nutrient which plays an important role in the pathogenesis of migraine is magnesium. Deficiency of magnesium in the body may lead to hyper aggregation of platelets, cortical scattering depression, influence serotonin receptors and may have an impact on the production and secretion of neurotransmitters. Studies have shown that consumption of adequate magnesium is quite effective in providing relief in the migraine patients. An important cautionary advice over here is regarding the adverse reaction such as diarrhea and gastric irritations in some individuals which may be caused by excess magnesium.
Peppermint oil contains menthol which has been found effective in treating the migraine headaches. A research study conducted on migraine patients has shown that massaging of forehead and temporal area with menthol 10% solution helps in alleviating the symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, photophobia and phonophobia and soothes the pain caused in migraine headaches.
Ginger is one of the most readily available items in a kitchen and is a well-known home remedy for curing migraine. Eating a small piece of ginger may help relieve the digestive problems and nausea associated with migraine and protects the blood vessels in the brain from getting inflamed. Research studies have established the efficacy of ginger in reducing the severity of the migraine attacks. The study has also validated the fact that effectiveness of ginger in curing migraine headaches is at par with the commercially drug, sumatriptan.
Bottoms-up with Water
Water undoubtedly plays a vital role in the functioning of the entire body. Consumption of healthy fluids including water may help prevent the occurrence of dehydration which may also trigger migraine headaches. Water helps to compensate for the fluid loss happened during nausea and vomiting associated with the migraine headaches.
Relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation may prove helpful for curing migraine and prevent its occurrence. The breathing exercises, also known as ‘pranayam’ performed in yoga assists in calming the mind and help reduce stress. Various yoga postures may help in relaxing the muscles in the entire body including the head and ease out the strain in the neck and shoulders.
Sleep is the nature’s way of healing and recovering the stressed response system of the body. It is one of the most valuable cures for migraine headaches. Sleeping in a dark room helps promote melatonin hormone which induces better sleep and helps soothe the migraine pain. One should try to maintain a regular sleep routine as both oversleeping and under sleeping may have detrimental effects on the health.
A massage with a soft touch always creates an invigorating experience in the body. It enhances the flow of blood and stimulates the production of endorphins. Massaging your head, neck and shoulders would help calm the migraine pain and release strain from the muscles.
Hydrotherapy is yet another effective and natural way to heal migraine headaches. Soaking your hands and feet in bearably hot water may reduce the intensity of the migraine attack by soothing the pain and easing the tension out of the muscles. Immersing the feet in hot water helps in restricting the blood flow in the congested area by dilating the blood vessels.
De-stress and Enjoy Your Life
Stress can aggravate the severity and frequency of the migraine attacks. Scan your routine and try to figure out the things that get you in the tensed mode and take a step to resolve them. Look for little things that make you happy and stress free. De-stressing your lives may assist in keeping your mind and body relaxed and can make a huge improvement in the occurrence of migraine attacks.
Using an ice-pack is the easiest remedy which is used as a first line defense for migraine by a number of people. You can use a bag of ice or frozen peas and put it on your head, face or scalp wherever, you could feel the agonizing pain. The anti-inflammatory effects of ice help in shrinking the sore tissues and soothe the pain associated with migraine.
Acupressure is an age-old Asian method of massage using finger pressure and is effectual in healing migraine symptoms. It basically aims twelve energy channels also known as ‘meridians’ spread over the entire body. Blockage in the flow of energy or ‘chi’ is usually believed to be the reason behind the migraine pain. Acupressure technique targets to release the blocked energy and once learned from a professional, it may help provide relief from the pain and uneasiness associated with migraine.
Migraine may bring a distressing phase in an individual’s schedule however; it can be managed with the knowledge of some self-care remedies and by making simple alterations in the lifestyle. Depending upon the severity and frequency of the attacks, it becomes necessary to take migraine medications on a provisional basis or longer. However, natural care along with appropriate medicines, if need be may expedite the healing process. In fact, holistic approach may even prevent the occurrence of migraine episodes in the first place. It is always advisable to consult an expert medical professional before considering any self-care treatment for migraine to better understand its effects and implications. On the whole, maintaining a healthy weight, regular and healthy meal routine, regular sleeping schedule, exercise and last but not the least positive and stress free attitude towards life may facilitate to abridge the road to recovery and simplify migraine management.
Relax, laugh a lot, eat healthy and kick migraine!