Life can be so stressful at times and most commonly, our body reacts with a headache. If you’re unlucky it’ll be a migraine headache.
A migraine is most commonly characterized by a throbbing pain, which is usually confined to one side of the head and tends to get worse with movement. Typically, they last between 4 to 72 hours.
A headache is an indicator that something is wrong with the body. Maybe you need to take a breather, get some fluid or change your eating habit.
Normally, symptoms tend to vary from one person to another. But in most cases, people often experience sensory warning signs, such as blind spots, flashes of light, increased sensitivity to light and sound, tingling in the arms and legs, nausea and vomiting.
However, there may be some warning signs prior to a migraine attack, and some common signs include food cravings, irritability, a stiff neck, constipation and frequent yawning.
Most people who suffer from a migraine have a family history of this problem. The condition is thought to be caused by chemical changes in the brain.
A migraine headache can be triggered by allergies, stress, smoking, alcohol, bright lights, loud noises, strong smells, skipping meals, dehydration, irregular sleep, poor posture, low blood sugar, hormonal fluctuations, constipation and nutritional deficiencies.
Though there is no known cure for migraines, but some home remedies can serve as a palliative to get relief from chronic migraine headaches and to reduce the frequency.
This article elucidates home remedies that could serve as a palliative for a migraine headache.
Peppermint has an anti-spasmodic and calming effect that makes them a perfect tool for relieving symptoms of a headache. It also has anti-inflammatory property that helps soothe the nerve.
A 2008 research study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience shows that the fragrance of this herb induces the feeling associated with headache relief.
Another study shows that peppermint oil, in combination with ethanol, reduced headache sensitivity.
- Make a peppermint tea and sweetened it with honey. Repeat until symptoms disappear.
- You can also massage your forehead and the back of your neck with peppermint essential oil or a blend of peppermint and lavender oils.
- If the smell is too pungent, dilute it with coconut oil.
- You can also take advantage of coconut oil’s health benefits like moisturizing skin and decreasing wrinkles.
- Leave this oil on for at least 20 to 30 minutes and repeat a few times until you get relief.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) can help reduce migraines. ACV offers health benefits like aiding detoxification, blood sugar control, blood pressure regulation, reducing bone pain, aiding weight loss and relieving constipation.
- Make a mixture of one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, honey and a glass of water.
- Drink this mixture daily for treatment of a migraine and for symptom relief.
Dehydration can be one of the causes of a headache. Also, the dehydrating effect of alcohol, coffee can leave us with a severe migraine headache.
A study at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery shows that there is indeed a water-deprivation headache.
In this case, all you have to do is to quench your thirst and stay hydrated. You can also embrace fruits with high water content like watermelon.
Massaging the head can help ease migraine headaches as it blocks pain signals sent to the brain.
It also boosts serotonin activity as well as stimulates certain serotonin receptors, thereby reducing the symptoms and frequency of migraines.
A 2006 research study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine also found that massage therapy helps in the treatment of migraines.
- Gently massage your head in a circular motion with your first two fingers.
- However, you should know that there are certain pressure points at locations like the base of the skull. Middle of the forehead and corners of the eyes that when pressed may help relieve pain.
- Another option, heat two teaspoons of sesame oil. Make a mixture of one-half teaspoon each of cinnamon and cardamom powder. Apply it on your forehead and gently massage.
5. Ice Pack
An ice pack is one of the most popular home remedies to get rid of tension as well as a migraine. It’s numbing effect helps alleviate pain.
- Wrap a few ice cubes in a clean towel and place it on your forehead and/or the back of your neck.
- Alternatively, try alternating hot and cold compresses for about 15 minutes as needed. For more effective result consider adding lavender and/or peppermint oils to the water for the compress.
6. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is a potent home remedy for migraines because it stimulates the body’s circulation and reduces acidity. It also contains capsaicin a compound that works as a natural painkiller.
- Make a mixture of one-half teaspoon of cayenne pepper with a cup of water. Drink this mixture as needed for relieve.
A study published in Phytotherapy Research in 2014 indicates that ginger may be potent in the treatment of common migraines.
It inhibits prostaglandin production, which are chemicals that promote muscle contractions, impact hormones and regulate inflammation in blood vessels in the brain.
Most non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can work by reducing the inhibiting the production of these chemicals.
- Make ginger tea and drink a few times until you get relief. Ensure to drink this tea at the onset of your headache.
- In another way, you can chew on a piece of a raw ginger root as this will also help treat the problem and relieve symptoms.
Chamomile possesses anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and soothing effect that help relieve migraine headaches.
You will get maximum effect when you use German chamomile.
- Dip two to three teaspoons of dried chamomile flowers in a cup of hot water for a few minutes. Optionally, you can add some lemon juice and honey. Drain and drink this tea three to four times a day for relief from symptoms.
- Alternatively, make an herbal tea by steeping equal quantities of chamomile, horehound, and meadowsweet in a cup of hot water for at least five to seven minutes. Strain and drink it, and repeat as needed.
Feverfew has been used over the centuries as a remedy for migraines. This herb contains a compound called parthenolide which relieves spasm in the smooth muscle tissue and prevents inflammation.
- Make an herbal tea by making a mixture of one teaspoon each of dried peppermint and feverfew leaves in a cup of water for about 30 minutes.
- Strain and drink this herbal tea a few times until pain subsides.
When next or if by chance you have a migraine headache, you can be sure to use any of these home remedies listed above to get optimum results.
However, it is very important to watch your eating habits, wrong eating habits would predispose you to more migraine attacks.
If you get migraine headaches, 15 days in a month at least, that’s Chronic Migraine, pay your physician a visit.