Home Remedies for Migraines

at home remedies for migraines

Only a person who has experienced a migraine can truly explain how much different it is from a regular headache. Sometimes, the painful is unbearable. It is estimated that more than 10% of the U.S. population suffer from this type of headache[1]. Thankfully, instant treatment can also come in the form of home remedies for migraines.

What is a Migraine?

A migraine is a severe headache that can affect other parts of the body – in addition to the great pain it can cause. The lingering effects can last as short as a few hours to continuing on for days. Before and while someone suffers an attack, there are certain sensory warnings that emerge, such as flashes of light or a tingling in the arms and legs.

Causes and Symptoms

A migraine headache arises when blood vessels enlarge and chemicals from surrounding nerve fibers are released. The headache is affected by the enlarging of an artery located on the outside of the skull. It’s situated just under the skin of the temple. The inflammation causes chemicals to release into your system that lead to inflammation, pain, and further enlargement of the artery.

Migraines can cause feelings of nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, blurred vision, and an increased sensitivity to light and sound. The head may pulse and throb with pain, which can increase as you engage in an activity. The ultimate cause of migraines is not completely understood, but your family tree and environment affects your symptoms. There are also triggers of migraine headaches to consider, especially foods and alcoholic drinks. Other triggers include:

• Hormonal changes – including birth control and hormone replacement therapy
• Stress – at work or home
• Stimulus to the senses – such as bright lights, sun glare, and unpleasant odors
• Smoking or exposure to smoke
• Skipping meals or fasting
• Changes in sleep patterns – including jet lag
• Environmental changes – fluctuating weather or barometric pressure
• Physical factors – intense physical exertion
• Certain medications
• Allergies and allergic reactions

Many people who suffer from migraines experience what is called ‘an aura’ just before or during the head pain emerge. An aura is a perceptual disturbance that could include confusing thoughts or reactions [2]. You may see strange lights, flashing lights, sparkling flickers, lines in your field of vision, and blind spots. You may detect unpleasant smells. Your arms and legs could feel like they are being pricked with pins and needles.

Migraine Home Remedies

Since migraines can prevent you from enjoying life or completing your everyday tasks, it is important to learn ways on how to stop an attack in its tracks. Some of the following home remedies for migraine headaches could become your go-to solution when symptoms start to develop:

a) Honey:

Treat frequent migraine headaches by sipping on a ½ glass of warm water with a couple of teaspoons of honey added to it. Before drinking, let the honey completely dissolve. If the pain is still lingering, repeat another serving after 20 minutes. This remedy is especially effective in treating migraines associated with stress.

b) Foods with Phenylalanine:

Phenylalanine offers pain relief for someone suffering a migraine headache. High amounts are found in sunflower seeds. Other sources to consider include lentils, peanuts, spinach and butternut squash.

c) Elderberries:

At the start of a migraine, add 10 to 15 elderberries to one cup of water in a small saucepan. Mash the berries and bring the contents to a quick boil. Reduce the heat, and then simmer for about 10 minutes. Strain the content (sweeten if you wish), and then drink the remedy.

d) Avoid Foods with Tyramine:

Avoid eating foods containing tyramine, such as red wine, aged cheese, smoked fish, chicken livers, figs, and certain kinds of beans.

e) Avoid Nitrates:

If you are susceptible to experiencing migraine headaches, you may want to avoid eating foods that contain nitrates, such as bacon, hot dogs, and salami.

f) Know Common Trigger Foods:

There are certain foods that have a stronger connection to migraine headaches, such as chocolate, nuts, peanut butter, avocado, banana, citrus, onions, and dairy products. Fermented or pickled foods are also common culprits.

g) Massage:

Try massaging a migraine away by applying your fingertips in a circular motion over your scalp. The best way to enjoy a massage for a migraine is to lie back in a dark, quiet room while someone massages your scalp. Focus on the head and avoid the temples.

h) Thyme:

Add one teaspoon of dried thyme herb to one cup of hot water. Drink to treat migraines.

i) Flaxseed:

The essential fatty acids found in flaxseeds are ideal in treating migraines because they make your body produce fewer harmful chemicals that can constrict blood vessels and increase your sensitivity to pain. It is suggested to take one to two tablespoons of fresh, cold-pressed oil daily.

j) A Good Night’s Sleep:

Some people experience migraine headaches because they do not get enough sleep – so hit the sack early to combat symptoms.

k) Vinegar:

Bring a mixture of equal parts of water and vinegar to a boil. For several minutes, inhale the fumes to ease the symptoms of a migraine.

l) Lemon Coffee:

Add one tablespoon of lemon juice to a strong cup of coffee to treat migraine headaches.

m) Avoid Artificial Sweeteners:

Popular artificial sweeteners could worsen your migraine headaches, especially aspartame (like Nutrasweet). Eliminating this ingredient in your diet could improve symptoms and the frequency of your headaches.

n) Niacin:

Studies have shown that niacin can improve the symptoms of a migraine headache. Some people take pill supplements, while others add certain foods to their diet, such as green leafy vegetables, nuts, sunflower seeds, whole wheat, and tomatoes. In capsule form, a recommended dosage is taking 15mg daily[3].

o) Rosemary:

Rosemary is an herb that stimulates the circulatory system – bringing more blood and oxygen to the brain. Add one teaspoon of dried or one tablespoon of fresh herb to a cup, and pour ½ cup of boiling water over the herb. Cover the cup and let steep for 15 to 20 minutes.

p) Hairdryer:

Some people have used a hairdryer on a medium setting to lessen the discomfort of a migraine headache. Direct the warm air towards the pain.

q) Relaxation:

Relaxation (such as exercise, listening to your favorite tunes, or reading a book) can be beneficial to those suffering from migraines.

r) Vegetable Juices:

A mixture of vegetable juices can ease symptoms of a migraine headache. Try a combination of spinach, beet, and cucumber juices.

s) Ice Towel:

An easy home remedy for migraine headaches is an ice towel. First, wet a towel and wring it out before placing in the freezer for about five minutes. Take out the towel and refold it. Put it back in the freezer to make sure all parts of the material are cold. Wrap the towel around your head or neck until the pain of a migraine subsides.

t) Magnesium:

A deficiency of magnesium in the brain can lead to a migraine headache. Taking a supplement or eating foods high in magnesium will not only relax muscles, but also ease symptoms of a migraine. Suggested foods to add to your diet include dark green, leafy vegetables, fruits and nuts.

u) Garlic and Onion:

Use a combination of garlic and onion to thin the blood, which can reduce the platelet activity that could lead to triggering a migraine headache.

v) Bay:

Since bay is linked to inhibiting the release of serotonin (which can cause migraines), consume bay leaves if you frequently suffer from migraine headaches.

w) Red Pepper:

The capsaicin found in red peppers can help relieve the pain of a migraine. It is suggested to best take it in capsule form.

y) Vitamin C:

The bioflavonoids in vitamin C can help reduce the attacks of migraines.

z) Aspirin:

Taking an aspirin every other day can help alleviate the frequency of migraines.

aa) Ease Up on Coffee:

Drinking too much coffee sends a lot of caffeine in the body, which can counteract your attempts to treat a migraine. For some, caffeine is a trigger to their headaches.

bb) Ginger:

Taking 500 to 600 milligrams of dried ginger mixed in a glass of water at the start of a migraine headache can help lessen the pain. Repeat this remedy every four hours to see the best results. Some people will use fresh ginger instead – about 2 ½ teaspoons of fresh, grated root.

cc) Stay Out of Sun:

Direct exposure to sunlight can irritate the eyes and worsen migraine symptoms.

dd) Chamomile Tea:

Sip on a cup of chamomile tea on a daily basis to lessen the severity of migraine headache symptoms.


[1] http://www.migraineresearchfoundation.org/fact-sheet.html

[2] http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/148373.php

[3] http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/vitamin-b3-niacin