More than 47 million Americans suffer or have suffered from migraines. Migraines can cause a severe throbbing or pulsing pain/sensation which can last anywhere from hours to days. Many choose to take painkillers to help subside the pain, but a doctor by the name of Fayyaz Ahmed, says taking painkillers on a regular basis can be the cause of many of your headaches or migraines.
When you are constantly taking painkillers for headaches your body starts to get used to them, and when the painkillers wear off you get another headache (also known as rebound headaches) and you take more painkillers for the pain. It’s a vicious cycle and chances are, you’re habits may be the cause of it. (1)
That’s not the only reason you should stay away from painkillers (especially stronger drugs or higher dosages); many are known to be addictive. Every time you stop using them, withdrawal symptoms kick in, making you think you need to consume more. This is how the vicious cycle of abusing painkillers comes into play. The best course of action is to take a more holistic approach to your migraine pain.
5 Migraine Headache Remedies
Feverfew is a plant from the sunflower family and has been used as a natural remedy for centuries. It is often used as a preventive treatment for migraines. The recommended daily dose is about 250mgs (2). You can consume it as a supplement, you can also use their leaves for tea or even just eat the leaves fresh. The substance parthenolide, which is found in feverfew, helps stop the brain’s blood vessels from contracting and helps prevent inflammation. (3)
Butterbur comes from the butterbur plant which is a small shrub. Isopetasin and petasin, substances found in butterbur, help work to produce spasm and reduce inflammation. You can take butterbur in the form of a capsule, as an extract, or as powders. (4) The recommended daily adult dosage for butterbur extract is around 50-100 mg (11).
Ginger has been used as a cooking spice for over 2000 years. It’s used as a natural remedy to help cure nausea, diarrhea, and upset stomach. Basically, ginger can help reduce inflammation. You can consume ginger as a powder to add to your food, or in the form of a tablet or a capsule (6). Read this article for more information on the benefits of using ginger and how it helps reduce inflammation.
4. Basil Oil
Basil oil is extracted from the herb Ocimum basilicum. It is best known for treating stress related headaches, migraines, and allergies and for treating nausea, vomiting, and cramps. You can smell the oil by applying a few drops on your palm and cupping it over your nose for relief. You can also try adding a few drops to your temple and massage it in. Thirdly, try using a cold compress where you add about 5 drops of the oil in a bowl of cold water then get a clean cloth and dip it in the bowl and place it on your forehead. There are many other ways you can use essential oils to help relieve stress or pain, and you can read more about it in this article. (7)
5. Banana and Ice Compress
Mayo Clinic suggests temperature therapy for migraines such as a cold compress to the forehead. It is also suggested that you take this method one step further and wrap ice in a banana peel and place that on your forehead and neck for 15-20 minutes for 2-4 times a day. The potassium in the banana peel and the ice helps dull the sensation of pain. (9)
You can find many other natural remedies to help subside migraine pain so that you do not have to constantly rely on painkillers. It’s important to work with a natural health professional to help figure out what the root causes of your headaches are and to develop your personal treatment plan to help naturally relieve them.
This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and is for information only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition and/or current medication. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.
Painkiller headaches – Live Well. (2015, June 2). Retrieved April 19, 2017, from http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/headaches/Pages/Painkillerheadaches.aspx
Feverfew. (n.d.). Retrieved April 19, 2017, from https://www.migrainetrust.org/living-with-migraine/treatments/feverfew/
Migraine.com. (n.d.). Feverfew natural remedy for migraine headaches. Retrieved April 19, 2017, from https://migraine.com/migraine-treatment/natural-remedies/feverfew/
Migraine.com. (n.d.). Butterbur herbal treatment for migraine headaches. Retrieved April 19, 2017, from https://migraine.com/migraine-treatment/natural-remedies/butterbur/
Migraine.com. (n.d.). Caffeine for migraine headaches. Retrieved April 19, 2017, from https://migraine.com/migraine-treatment/natural-remedies/caffeine/
Migraine.com. (n.d.). Ginger for migraine headaches. Retrieved April 19, 2017, from https://migraine.com/migraine-treatment/natural-remedies/ginger-for-migraine-headaches/
O. (2016, August 08). Best Essential Oils for Migraine Relief for Adults and Children. Retrieved April 19, 2017, from http://essentialoilbenefits.com/best-essential-oils-for-migraine-relief-for-adults-and-children/
Mayo Clinic. (2015, July 08). Migraines: Simple steps to head off the pain. Retrieved April 19, 2017, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/migraine-headache/in-depth/migraines/art-20047242?pg=1
A Banana Can Peel Away Your Migraine Pain. (2016, June 09). Retrieved April 19, 2017, from http://www.allhealthynews.com/2561/banana-can-peel-away-migraine-pain/
Russell, E. (2017, April 10). Have a migraine headache? Place a banana peel on your forehead for an incredible effect. Retrieved April 19, 2017, from http://shareably.net/get-rid-of-migraines/
Sahelian, R., MD. (2017, February 1). Butterbur supplement extract, side effects, herb used for allergy and migraine review of research studies, how well does it work? . Retrieved April 19, 2017, from http://www.raysahelian.com/butterbur.html
Mashhadi, N. S., Ghiasvand, R., & Askari, G. (2013, April). Anti-Oxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ginger in Health and Physical Activity: Review of Current Evidence. Retrieved April 19, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3665023/