If you are one of the 37 million people in the United States who suffers from migraines, consider all of your options before starting a drug regimen. Some home remedies can be just as effective and cheaper than prescription pain medicines, and they have the added benefit of no side effects. Home remedies range from vitamins and minerals to essential oils, so choose the remedy that best fits your budget and your lifestyle. Try out a couple ideas and keep a journal of how effective each of these remedies are, so you can determine which one works best for you. In addition, try to pinpoint what exactly causes your migraine headaches.
Before discussing remedies, it's important to nore that there is currently no definitive cure for migraines. While some treatments have proven to be effective in lessening symptoms, researchers are still unsure as to what causes the condition, which makes it difficult to eliminate entirely.
Thankfully, this has not stopped scientists from continuing their work related to migraine cures. For example, in one recent study presented at the 2014 annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology researchers presented a study indicating that migraine symptoms occur because of a specific protein in the brain known as CGRP. By using two different medications, they were able to prevent the effects of CGRP from causing migraines in their test patients. These medications will require further study and approval from the FDA, but for now they show promising signs of stopping migraines once and for all.
Vitamins & Supplements
Vitamin B2 provides numerous health benefits, and one of the main ones is treating migraine pain. The results of a study conducted in Belgium showed that those who took 400 milligrams of this vitamin a day slashed their number of migraines in half. Melatonin is secreted naturally to help you fall asleep, but you can also take a supplement of it to aid with migraines. Taking melatonin before bed has helped migraine sufferers reduce their number of migraines by up to fifty percent. Be patient, though; it may take up to three months for these methods to become effective.
Essential oils are all the rage when it comes to alternative treatments. They can be used to naturally treat a variety of ailments, including migraines. Three of the most helpful oils include lavender, peppermint, and basil. The most common way to use these oils is to add 2-4 drops to 2-3 cups of boiling water, then inhale the vapors. They can also be applied externally to the skin with no risk of side effects. Peppermint oil can also be consumed, so you can add a couple drops to your morning coffee or hot chocolate for an easy peppermint mocha. Essential oils are wonderful because they provide almost instant relief for your pain.
Massage & Reflexology
Everyone loves a good massage, but most people probably don’t realize that massage can provide effective pain relief for migraines. If you want to focus entirely on your head, give yourself a scalp massage. Rub your fingers in a circular motion and primarily massage your temples and the base of your skull. You should start to feel some relief pretty quickly. Reflexology is a technique where you massage reflex points on your hands and feet to alleviate migraine pain. For a mild migraine, gently massage the top of your three biggest toes for at least five minutes. Another method is to apply pressure to the tips of all your fingers, then continue squeezing them in a downward motion until you reach your wrist.
Jordan Pennington contributed to this article.