Herbal Remedies for Migraines 2018-05-26T20:55:17+00:00

Herbal Remedies for Migraines

If you’re one of the millions of people who experience migraines, you know they’re much more than just a headache.  Herbal remedies for migraines are increasingly popular, and can provide instant relief from pounding pain and searing auras.

Cultures worldwide have developed herbal remedies for migraines, and alongside this, found cures for headaches and other common migraine symptoms years before the introduction of modern medicine. Many of these herbal traditions have survived and found their way into modern medicine as the foundation of many prescription drug compounds.

The Migraine Research Foundation reports that more than 90 percent of people who get migraines are unable to work or function normally during an episode.

Herbal Migraine Remedies and Spices

Herbs for Migraines

Although most herbal remedies for migraines have not been deeply scientifically tested for their effectiveness, many herbs are rapidly gaining the support of the modern medical community and can be found in pharmacies or specialty health stores as extracts, oils and ointments.  Remember that herbs are only one possible preventative remedy for your headache pain – a variety of other migraine treatments are available as well.

Feverfew (or “featherfew”) a flowering plant in the daisy family Asteraceae, first used in ancient Greece as early as the fifth century B.C. It has been used to treat a wide variety of ailments, such as fever, swelling, and inflammation. People commonly took the herb to relieve aches and pains such as headaches in the first century. It is usually prepared by drying the leaves, flowers, and stems of the plant. This combination is also used to make supplements and extracts. Some cultures eat the leaves raw, however.
Butterbur (or “colsfoots”) is also part of the sunflower family, Asteraceae mentioned above. It is found in wet, marshy areas of Europe, Asia, and North America. People once used the leaves of the plant to wrap and preserve butter during warm weather, which is where butterbur got its name. It has been used throughout history for a wide variety of purposes. The Greek physician Dioscorides originally used the plant as a skin ulcer remedy. Since then, it’s been used to treat headaches, and is one of the most often recommended herbal remedies for migraines.
Is a cross between spearmint and watermint, and grows throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Peppermint leaves and their essential oils are used for both medicinal and culinary purposes. Peppermint essential oil gives a cooling sensation and has a calming effect on the body. It is one of the oldest known European herbs used for medical purposes. The health benefits of peppermint oil have been documented back to 1,000 BC and have also been found in several Egyptian pyramids.
Will Bark Extract is used when making aspirin and is, therefore, a well-known over-the-counter pain reliever and anti-inflammatory drug. It contains an anti-inflammatory ingredient called salicin. The use of willow bark dates back to the times of Hippocrates (400 BC) when people were advised to chew on the bark to reduce fever and inflammation. There are a number of different species of trees and shrubs native to Europe, Asia, and some parts of North America. Willow bark can be found in capsule form and as a chewable bark at most health food stores, and is often used as a replacement of a daily dosage of aspirin.
This spicy and tropical Asian plant is most likely already in your pantry at home. It has been used in herbal medicines in China for over 2,000 years and has been popular in Indian and Arabic medicines since ancient times. An eighth of a teaspoon of powdered ginger was found to work as well as the migraine headache drug Sumatriptan (Imitrex) without the side effects – maybe give it a try next time? One of our founders recently tried ginger as a daily preventative cluster migraine treatment. You can read more about using ginger for migraines.
Valerian is native to Europe and Asia. It’s now also commonly found in North America. Use of valerian traces back to ancient Greece and Rome from the time of Hippocrates. It was also known as a ‘heal-all’ in the 1500s, due to its ability to cure a number of different illnesses. The root and flower are both medically promising with soothing your headaches. Valerian flower extracts were also used to make perfumes in the 16th century!
Coriander (or “cilantro or Chinese parsley”) has been used for over 7,000 years. The seeds are used for both their healing powers and seasoning properties. Traditional Ayurvedic medicine used coriander to relieve sinus pressure and headaches by pouring hot water over the fresh seeds and inhaling the steam.
This root (or sometimes known as “female ginseng”) comes from the same family as carrots, parsley, and celery and has been used as a spice, tonic, or medicinal cream for more than 1,000 years. This is especially the case in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean medicinal practices. It can be bought in health stores, especially in China Town, in a dried form that will be boiled alongside water, to create a type of tea.
Lavender usually comes in the form of an oil extract, (made from the flowers of the plant) which is highly fragrant and has long been used to perfume hygiene products across time. Lavender is indigenous to the mountainous regions surrounding the Mediterranean. A drop of this on your clothes or pillow could take that headache right away.
Rosemary is similar to lavender, in that it is usually in the form of an oil. It can be diluted and applied topically or inhaled for aromatherapeutic purposes. It is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers, native to the Mediterranean region. The plant’s leaves can be dried and ground for use in capsules as well. It can also be used in teas, tinctures (medicine which is made by dissolving a drug in alcohol), and liquid extracts. Rosemary is believed to have antimicrobial, antispasmodic, and antioxidant effects.
Linden (or “lime tree”) is a tree whose blossoms were used in medicinal teas in both European and Native American cultures. The plant has been used to calm nerves and ease anxiety, tension, and inflammatory problems, among other issues. The blossoms can also be used in tinctures, liquid extracts, and capsules. There are about 30 different species and it is usually consumed in the form of a tea.
Mullein is comes from a family of over 250 species of flowering plants in the figwort family Scrophulariaceae. They are native to Europe and Asia, with the highest species diversity in the Mediterranean. Since ancient times, people in Europe and Asia have been using mullein for medicinal and other practical purposes, from treating inflammatory conditions to spasms, diarrhea, and migraines. The leaves and flowers can be used for extracts, capsules, poultices, and dried preparations. Tinctures of the plant are used in modern homeopathic therapies for migraine treatment. Mullein has been shown to have diuretic properties.
Yarrow is believed to be named after Achilles, the Greek mythical hero, and has historically been used to heal wounds and slow blood loss. Other folk remedies encourage the use of yarrow to treat inflammatory conditions, muscle spasms, and anxiety or insomnia. More recent folk remedies have used yarrow to relieve colds, the flu, coughs, and diarrhea. Yarrow can be used in a wide variety of forms, including capsules and tinctures.
Teaberry (or “wintergreen”) is native to eastern North America. This edible plant, made famous by Teaberry gum, has long held a place in folk medicine for its anti-inflammatory properties. It can be used to make teas, tinctures, and oil extracts. You can brew Teaberry in hot water for three to four minutes and drink the mixture to experience its calming and healing effects.

Herbal Remedies for Migraines

People all over the world generally choose traditional medication to cure their migraines.  However, many people are turning to natural remedies such as relaxation techniques and some of the herbal remedies mentioned above. Cultures worldwide-developed herbal remedies for migraines and other common headache symptoms years before the introduction of modern medicine, why not give it a try?

Although most herbal medicine properties haven’t been thoroughly tested for their effectiveness, many herbs are rapidly gaining the support of the modern medical community. Please always remember to use caution when considering herbal treatments for your migraines. Herbal remedies for migraines can have adverse effects on different people and/or when used alongside other medicine or daily supplements. Discuss your options with your doctor before beginning or stopping any medical or herbal treatment. Let us know what herbal remedies you’ve heard of, and which ones seem to work best for migraines from the list above!