Migraine Home Remedies | What is Migraine Headache? | How Migraine Triggers? | What causes Migraines? | Migraine Headaches in Women | Common Symptoms of Migraine Attacks
What is Migraine Headache?
Headaches are one of the most painful and debilitating afflictions. Specialists have identified a few major types of headache. Muscle contractions in the head and neck can cause tension headaches. This tension is characterized by dull, steady pressure. Migraines originate with constriction and expansion of blood vessels in the head. There may be throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head, often accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light or sound. Alcohol drinking or smoking can trigger agonizing cluster headaches. They come episodically in groups, or “clusters,” followed by periods of remission. Vascular headaches result from dilation of the blood vessels in the head, whereas non-vascular, or psychogenic, headaches result from stress. Neuromuscular skeletal imbalances can also cause headaches. Low blood sugar can also be a cause. Migraine headaches are vascular condition.
How Migraine Triggers?
Migraines are often preceded by auras in which objects appear surrounded in light. Menstrual cycles and birth control pills also may be factors. Stress, poor posture, and lack of sleep can all contribute to tension headaches. Strange smells, numbness, and difficulty with speech may also occur. Blood vessels can constrict and then over dilate, which causes pain. The pain can be general or local. But it is usually on one side of the head, in the frontal or temporal region. Migraines may also manifest as numbness, tingling, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The pain may shift from one side of the head to the other. Attacks may last less than a day, up to three days, and in some cases weeks.
What causes Migraines?
Migraines may occur cyclically or from a particular food allergy. Yeasted breads, gluten-rich foods, citrus fruits, and processed meats can also bring on migraines. Tension headaches are more likely to occur as one’s day becomes increasingly stressful. Neck pain often goes along with tension headaches. The pain may be on one or both sides. Classic migraine is a severe and throbbing headache. It is usually on one side of the head and often preceded by visual disturbances. Nausea and vomiting often accompany the migraine.
Migraine Headaches in Women
Migraine headaches inflict misery on 25 million people around the world. For unknown reasons, about three times as many women as men experience this painful condition. Women often develop migraines just prior to menstrual periods or during pregnancy. Migraines disappear after menopause in about three quarters of women. Foods high in the amino acid tyrosine, such as aged cheese and wine, can cause migraine headaches. The class of chemicals known as vasoactive amines can also cause headaches in some people. This includes Histamines in aged cheese, eggplant, spinach, tomato, chicken liver, and wine. Tyramines in avocados, bananas, cheese, citrus, red wine, peanuts, fermented, pickled and smoked foods, plums, sourdough bread and baker’s yeast. Phenylethylamine in chocolate and cheese.
Common Symptoms of Migraine Attacks
Migraines are intensely painful and are often accompanied by vision disturbances, extreme sensitivity to light, nausea, and vomiting. A migraine episode, which is usually incapacitating, may last a few hours, or it can go on for several days. Unlike tension headaches, migraines are not caused by muscular tension but by disturbances in blood flow to the head. In addition, it is rare to have just one migraine; most migraine sufferers get them at least once a month. The disorder can run in families and affects far more women and girls than it does men or boys.
Home Remedies for Migraine Headache
A number of herbs can help reduce the frequency and intensity of headaches. Here’s how to find relief from headache pain with 30 effective migraine home remedies.
- Banana Peel Poultice for Quick Relief: In Trinidad a poultice of ripe banana peel is popular migraine home remedy. Apply banana peel poultice to the forehead and back of the neck to relieve excruciating migraines.
- Basil – Indian Ayurveda Formula: Basil is as an excellent nightcap tea for restlessness and migraines. Fresh basil leaves and unground seeds are the best to use when making a tea. If such is obtainable in your immediate area, then bring 2 pints of water to a boil and add 15 basil seeds. Cover and reduce the heat, slowly simmering them for about 45 minutes. After which, remove from heat and add 1-1/2 handfuls of fresh or half-dried basil and steep for another 25 minutes or so. Drink tea on the average of 2 cups per day as needed. If fresh basil is not available, you may try making tea with dry ground basil. Bring 3-1/2 cups of water to a boil; remove from heat and add 1-1/4 level tsp. ground basil. Cover and steep for half an hour. Sweeten with a touch of pure maple syrup and drink on the average 1 cup twice daily.
- Ginger Cure: At the first sign of a migraine, take one-third teaspoon of fresh or powdered ginger. Danish researchers discovered that ginger can help prevent the onset of migraines by blocking prostaglandins, chemicals that cause inflammation in blood vessels in the brain. Unlike aspirin and related drugs, ginger blocks only the types of prostaglandins that cause inflammation, not the ones that have beneficial roles, such as strengthening the stomach lining.
- Prevent Migraine with Bay: Bay (Laurus nobilis) contains compounds known as parthenolides that are extremely useful in preventing migraine. Although the mechanism of these headaches is not thoroughly understood, it appears that release of the neurotransmitter serotonin from blood cells known as platelets plays a causative role. Parthenolides inhibit serotonin release from platelets. For frequent migraines add bay leaves to feverfew.
- Raw Potato and Red Pepper: Make a compress with raw potato and pepper. Slice raw potatoes and sprinkle pepper. Applied this compress to forehead for an hour.
- Petadolex – Herbal Remedy from Europe: An herbal remedy from Europe called Petadolex can help relieve and prevent migraines. Take one gelcap three times daily.
- Treat with Onion Compress: Treat a migraine with an onion compress placed on the forehead. Slice fresh onions and place on a clean cotton. Wrap into a thin parcel to make the compress.
- Herbal Alternative – Feverfew: Try feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium). Feverfew one of the most interesting herbs in modern herbalism. Studies published in the British Medical Journal agree that taking feverfew regularly prevents migraine attacks. Eating feverfew leaves has become a popular method for preventing migraine attacks in England. Some people for whom conventional treatments for migraine have not worked have turned to feverfew with good results. People who use feverfew often use fresh leaves, typically ingesting one to four leaves a day to prevent migraines. If you have access to the fresh herb, you might try this approach, but don’t expect the leaves to taste good. And some 10 to 18 % of the people who use fresh feverfew develop mouth sores or inflammation of the mouth and tongue. You may be able to avoid the side effects by making a tea with about two to eight fresh leaves. Steep them in boiling water, but do not boil them, as boiling may break down the parthenolides. You can also take this herb in capsules, which is really the easiest way to do it. Depending on the potency of the herb, doses may vary from one capsule a day (60 milligrams) to six capsules a day (about 380 milligrams) of fresh, powdered leaf or two daily 25 milligram capsules of freeze-dried leaf. Feverfew capsules are available at many herb shops and health food stores. By all means discuss the herb with your doctor if you have a hard time arriving at an appropriate dose. Avoid feverfew during pregnancy.
- Make Platelets Less Active with garlic, onion: The platelet cells that are involved in blood clotting are also involved in triggering migraines. Of course, you don’t want to knock out your platelets entirely, because then you’d bleed to death from minor cuts. Making the platelets a little less active, however, apparently helps prevent migraines. Naturopaths suggest eating lots of garlic and onions, because these blood thinning herbs interfere somewhat with platelet activity. This is why they are also recommended for preventing heart attack.
- Watermelon – South American Folk Remedy: Watermelon is also useful remedy to treat migraine headaches. This is a popular remedy in South American countries. Bind thick rind of watermelon around the forehead and temples to relieve excruciating migraine headaches.
- Simple Home Treatment – Apple: When you first notice flickering in your vision (aura) eat an apple straight away to keep a migraine at bay. This is effective remedy and useful before migraine headache becomes severe.
- Caffeine to Calm Pain: Black and green teas both contain caffeine (1-5%). Since caffeine constricts the blood vessel in the head, it’s able to calm the pain caused when they throb and swell. To 1 cup of hot water, simply add 2 teabags of black tea and steep for 20 minutes until very strong. Then drink while still very warm.
- Magnesium for Headaches: Magnesium (500 mg daily) relaxes muscles and can help migraine and tension headaches. Essential fatty acids such as those found in fish, flax, and hemp seed oil can also help by reducing the inflammation associated with headaches. Take 1 teaspoon (5 ml) daily or follow the directions on the bottle of capsules you choose.
- Umeboshi Plum Paste: For a migraine take 1/4 teaspoon of umeboshi plum paste at onset of attack.
- Avoid Food Triggers: Avoid foods that contain lots of the amino acid tyramine. So-called trigger foods include cured and processed meats, such as bologna, hot dogs, pepperoni and sausage, aged cheeses, nuts and peanuts. Chocolate and red wine are other sources of tyramine.
- Chamomile Herb Calms Headaches: If you’ve ever suffered from an occasional migraine headache then you should consider the herb chamomile. 14 days of intensive chamomile treatment can effectively treat migraine headaches. To make a nice, relaxing tea, simply steep 2 tbsp. of fresh or dried flowers in 1 pint of boiling water for 40 minutes. Strain, sweeten with pure maple syrup and drink 1-2 cups at a time.
- Getting Rid of Migraine Headaches with Lemon: Take a peeled lemon skin, turn white side down and place on a handkerchief. Then put the handkerchief against the forehead with the yellow side of the peel against the skin. Remove when a burning sensation became evident. This helps to lower headache intensity. OR try another folk remedy from Jakarta. Just go and wash the dishes or some clothes by hand to bring quick relief. Cut couple of lemons and squeeze juice into the hot, soapy water as well. The hot lemon water seems to transfer excess blood from the head down to their hands, besides reducing the swollen blood vessels in the top of the head. For severe migraines that don’t seem to go away, standing barefoot in two pans of hot lemon water by the sink while washing dishes in hot lemon water is sure to work just fine. An upright, standing position is necessary, though, for guaranteed success.
- Peppermint for Relieving Pressure: Peppermint tea is excellent for relieving the pressure of migraine headaches. Bring 1 pint of water to a boil. Remove from heat, adding 2 tbsp. of fresh or dried mint leaves. Cover and steep for 50 minutes, then strain. Drink 1-2 cups of cool tea when a headache occurs. Also rubbing a little peppermint oil on either side of the temples and toward the back of the neck gives additional relief as well.
- Pecans and English Walnuts Poultice: Pecans relieve migraines. As strange as it might seem, a small poultice made out of raw meats of pecans and English walnuts will relieve a headache. In a blender mix 2 tbsps. each of both nut meats and a little water until a thick puree forms. Then spread on two squares of gauze and tape to either side of the temples while reclining. Remain this way for several hours or until the throbbing ceases.
- Treat Root Cause: Check for temporomandibular joint problems, which can also cause tension or migraine headaches.
- Cool Down Intensely Splitting Pain: In certain parts of India and Europe, people use pumpkin to migraine pain. Scrape pulp of fresh pumpkin or yellow and orange squash. Apply to the forehead and temples as a cooling application to relieve intensely splitting headaches.
- Effective Asian Approach: People in Asian cultures often use ginger to prevent migraines. Since ginger is good for you in so many different ways, it seems like this approach is certainly worth a try. Ginger can be used in multiple home remedies to treat migraine. If you opt for ginger powder, try 500 milligrams of dry ginger in capsules. If you prefer fresh ginger, the equivalent amount is five grams (about 2 and 1/2 teaspoons) of fresh, grated root. For greater effect, you might also want to combine ginger with another herb. Naturopaths sometimes suggest taking turmeric, which is an anti-inflammatory and shares many of ginger’s medicinal activities.
- Prevention cure with Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Fish such as salmon and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that may help prevent migraine headaches. Consume a serving three to five times weekly. OR Take 5,000 mg of fish oil or 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil daily. Essential fatty acids improve circulation and reduce inflammatory prostaglandins that may contribute to migraine headaches.
- Relax Tense Muscles and Tight Blood Vessels: The antiviral constituent, thymol, occurring in thyme is not only effective against combating unfriendly bacteria, but also helps to relax tense muscles and tight blood vessels. To help relieve migraine headaches drink 1 cup of warm tea on an empty stomach before laying down for awhile. Also, soak a small cloth dish towel in some of the hot tea, wring out the excess liquid, then apply across the forehead and lay another dry hand or small bath towel over that to retain the heat longer. Change several times when it turns cold and continue the process for about an hour before getting up. Having the hot tea on a stool, table or small stand beside your bed or couch, will prevent you from having to get up every so often to change the compresses if you are alone and have no one else to assist you in this matter. If fresh or dried, cut thyme is unavailable at the moment, you can effectively substitute some Listerine antiseptic in its place. Just bring a couple of cups of this commercial mouth wash almost to a boil or until quite hot. Remove from the heat to use only for compress purposes. Under no circumstances are you to drink this. The reason Listerine is recommended when thyme herb is readily available, is because this oral mouth wash contains a lot of thymol and eucalyptol from eucalyptus.
- Red Pepper – A Great Rescue: Red pepper also works great for migraine. The hot ingredient in red pepper, capsaicin, is also a marvelous pain reliever. Capsaicin has been shown in studies to help prevent cluster headaches, which are painfully similar to migraines. You can simply take capsules OR according to some folk remedies – inhale one gram of capsaicin up the nose three times a day for several days to get complete relief.
- Salt – Homeopathic Remedy: Natrum Muriaticum is a great remedy for migraine headaches caused by being in the sun or headaches that come on from stress or grief. The person feels better lying down in a dark, cool room. Natrum muriaticum is the homeopathic remedy commonly known as table salt or sodium chloride.
- Valerian Root Tea: Various Russian clinical journals indicate that valerian root has been successfully used throughout the Soviet Union for treating occasional migraine headaches. Some times the tea. made by steeping 1 and 1/2 tbsp. of dried root in 1 pint of boiling water for 30 minutes, was administered 1-2 cups daily. On other occasions. 2 tablets were prescribed twice or three times daily. The same amount also applies for taking capsules of this root by consumers in America. Valerian may be obtained from local health food stores. Consult your doctor before using valerian root in migraine home remedies.
- Lemon Balm Herb: Lemon balm herb also known as melissa, can be helpful in home remedies for treating migraine. Make a tea with one to two teaspoons of dried herb. Take one cup of boiling water, add herb and steep until cool. Experiment lemon balm tea with feverfew, ginger and turmeric for better results.
- Special Care for Women: Women on the birth control pill should consider discontinuing it to see if their migraine headaches improve. Also, women using synthetic hormone replacement should switch to natural HRT or nutritional supplements to see if their headaches go away.
Acupressure Home Remedies for Relieving Migraine Headaches
When headache pain strikes, it’s only natural to rub your eyes. And no wonder. The area around the eyes is one of the main acupressure points for easing pain from tension headaches and migraines. For maximum relief, press a spot about half an inch above each eyebrow, directly above the pupils. Don’t press too hard, or your headache might get worse. Next, apply pressure under the cheekbone, directly below the pupils. Press upward into the notch on the bottom of the cheekbone.
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Migraine home remedies mentioned here are for information purpose only. Do not stop taking doctor prescribed medicine for migraine headaches.
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