Natural Remedies for Migraines

Primary Image

Migraines can be truly debilitating, so try these home remedies to get some migraine relief.

Migraine Relief at Home: Natural Migraine Remedies

Print Friendly and PDF
No content available.

Migraines can be truly debilitating, so try these natural remedies for migraine relief. You don’t have to bow to the king of headaches!

Migraines are the worst form of headaches because they can cause upset stomachs and ringing in the ears. Everyone can experience a migraine at one point in their life. Women are more prone to have migraines, and it usually comes strictly down to genetics.

Some historians believe that Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) probably had migraines for most of his life. His writings speak of headaches that lasted as long as two weeks, such as after the death of his wife, Martha Skelton, in 1782, and when a British warship fired on the American ship Chesapeake.

What is a Migraine?

A migraine is not just a headache but a special condition caused by nerve-controlled inflammation of a membrane between the brain and the skull. Usually, there is an intense throbbing pain that unevenly affects different sides of the head. The pain can also bring nausea and vomiting, as well as sensitivity to light and sound. 

Home Remedies for Migraines

Obviously, medications can be taken for migraines; ask your doctor or medical professional. But here are some at-home remedies for treating migraines. Note: Please consult your healthcare provider.

  1. Try eating dried feverfew leaves. According to herbalists, eating a dried leaf of feverfew (or using feverfew extract) has been a home remedy for headaches since the 1970s. Feverfew can be purchased at health food stores and also comes in freeze-dried capsules.
  2. Magnesium, vitamin B2, and CoQ10 are among the minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants shown to break migraine headaches.
  3. Turn off the lights. Find a dark and quiet room to lay down. Place a cool, damp cloth on your forehead and close your eyes. Most migraine sufferers are sensitive to light, so keeping the lights off should ease the pain.
  4. Pressure points will help. Try pressing your fingers against your temples. The pressure should decrease the flow of blood through the arteries and can bring some relief. Acupuncture has also been proven to break migraines. 
  5. Take a break from alcohol. Too much red wine and alcohol can cause a migraine. Also, some birth control pills and irregular sleeping habits can cause migraines. Although coffee can start a migraine, caffeine withdrawal could also be the cause of one. Chocolate is another trigger.
  6. Explore a non-drug treatment called neural modulation. Devices (available by doctor prescription) placed on your forehead send signals to your nerves to break a bad migraine headache.

Preventing Migraines

Of course, the best way to treat migraines is to avoid them in the first place. 

  1. Get your sleep! Sleep deprivation is a major trigger. Set a sleep alarm to ensure you get your 8 hours.
  2. Drink water! Dehydration is another trigger. Start carrying a water bottle with you. 
  3. Exercise is also important, even if it’s light exercise.
  4. Some triggers for women, like hormone fluctuations, may be out of your control, but speak to your doctor about possible solutions.
  5. Also, stress is a well-known trigger for migraine. However, counteracting stress with mindfulness exercises or meditation has proven effective. Here is a simple exercise: 
    • Lie on your back in a comfortable, outstretched position with no distractions. Close your eyes. 
    • Focus on your breathing, and feel your belly expanding gently when you inhale and receding when you exhale. 
    • Scan your body and start with your left foot. Feel any and all sensations in this area, including pain. Try to recede a little more into the floor every time you exhale. Observe the feelings in your foot and keep breathing through it.
    • Then, move slowly and patiently onto your other foot, legs, hands, arms, and other body parts.

Find out more about what causes headaches. Also, if you think irregular sleep is causing your migraines, find out how to sleep better.

Do you have any tips for migraine remedies? Let us know below!

About The Author

Margaret Boyles

Margaret Boyles is a longtime contributor to The Old Farmer’s Almanac. She wrote for UNH Cooperative Extension, managed NH Outside, and contributes to various media covering environmental and human health issues. Read More from Margaret Boyles

No content available.