The throbbing pain of migraine begins with the release of inflammatory proteins from an enlarged artery, located on the outside of the skull, which leads to the over-sensitization of the brain area involved in perceiving the sensation of pain.Migraine sufferers quickly reach out for pain killers or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, etc. that have been associated with serious side effects like stomach ulcers and cardiovascular diseases.
Mild to moderate migraine headaches can, however, be treated using home remedies, without necessarily using pain killers, as often as most migraineurs do. Excessive use of painkillers can lead to permanent changes in the electrical pathways of the brain that transmit pain signals, thereby making you more sensitive to headaches.
The most important steps involved in managing migraine headaches is to minimize the usage of pain killers and to identify and remove personal triggers like alcohol, smoking, stress, chocolates, nuts, cheese, citrus fruits, vinegar, leftover foods, vigorous exercise program, seasonal changes, change in sleep pattern, skipping meals, powerful scents, etc. Listed below are a few natural remedies that have been found to be effective in reducing the frequency and intensity of migraine headaches.
Tips To Cure Migraine Headaches:
Drink Lots Of Water
Scientific evidence has proven dehydration to be the most important migraine headache cause. Lack of water leads to the thickening of the blood, which creates a lot of pressure around the forehead.
Hence, it is very crucial to stay hydrated by consuming at least half ounce of water for each pound of body weight daily. Consumption of tomato juice and watermelon not only keeps you hydrated but also acts as a source of many vitamins that are vital for reducing the occurrence of headaches.
Natural Stimulants Of Endorphins
Endorphins are body’s natural pain killers and stress fighters that are released by the pituitary gland during exercise, laughter, love, sex, acupuncture, sight-seeing, etc. They are chemically very similar to morphine, cocaine, etc., in their ability to block pain signals and affect the way you feel emotionally.
The best food sources for the production of endorphins include chocolates, ice-creams, strawberries, banana, grapes, oranges, chili pepper, spicy foods and other foods that are particularly high in B vitamins, vitamin C, iron, potassium and zinc.
Diet Rich In Magnesium
Often termed as the “anti-stress” mineral, magnesium is a natural tranquilizer that relaxes muscles, thus preventing muscle spasms that are associated with headaches. It‘s role in stabilizing the walls of blood vessels and preventing them from excessive dilation has been well documented by researchers.
Studies have shown that magnesium rich foods like wheat germ, seafood, oatmeal, dark green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, avocados, raisins and bananas aid in the proper functioning of the nervous system and are important for preventing migraine headaches. However, doses higher than 400 to 600 milligrams of magnesium per day can cause side effects like diarrhea, nausea, heartburn, etc.
Diet Rich In Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
Scientists in Australia recently conducted a study on migraine sufferers by giving them 2 mg of folic acid, 25 mg of vitamin B6, and 400 micrograms of vitamin B2 for a period of six months.
It was found that the participants experienced reductions in the severity of pain and the frequency of migraine headaches that dropped from 60 percent to 30 percent after six months. Riboflavin is mostly found in green leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, eggs, almonds, sweet potato, whole grains, organ meats and fish.
Diet Rich In Tryptophan
L-tryptophan is a precursor of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in alleviating the symptoms of disturbed sleep, depression and headaches associated with migraine. Chicken supplies the greatest amount of tryptophan, followed by tuna, turkey, salmon, lamb, walnuts, almonds, sesame, pumpkin seeds, brown rice, and whole grains.
Diet Rich In Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Fish oil, olive oil, flax seed oil, wild salmon, sardines, avocados and other supplements of omega-3 fatty acids have been found effective in the reduction of the severity, frequency and duration of migraine headaches.
A daily intake of 6 grams of omega-3 fatty acids, possessing the most potent anti-inflammatory properties can help lessen constriction of blood vessels in the head, a primary cause of migraine headaches.
Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that has been shown to significantly reduce the intensity of migraine headaches by inhibiting platelet aggregation. It acts as an antispasmodic agent, improves blood circulation and blocks prostaglandins thereby, easing migraine headaches.
A study has shown that the intake of 500 to 600 mg or 1/3rd teaspoon of ginger powder mixed with water, after every four hours for four days, resulted in easing a headache, within 30 minutes of beginning ginger.
Peppermint Tea Or Oil
Acknowledged worldwide for its medicinal benefits, peppermint tea aids in the suppressing the symptoms of headaches, nausea and vomiting associated with migraine by relaxing and controlling muscle aches. Its oil can also be applied externally, either alone or by mixing it with other body lotions on the forehead for relieving pain.
Make a cold compress by wrapping a cloth around ice cubes and apply a few drops of peppermint oil to the pack. Dim the lights of the room, lie down and place this pack directly over your forehead for obtaining a nice cooling and a soothing effect.
A Moderate Amount Of Caffeine
Caffeine acts a double-edged sword in the treatment of migraine headaches. It can help relieve headaches by restricting blood vessels and when consumed in excess, it can make making existing headaches worse and can cause rebound headaches. Since caffeine is a constituent of many over-the-counter migraine medicines, it is important to first test your personal response to it, as it can also trigger headaches for some people.
Cayenne pepper equalizes blood pressure and increases the pain threshold in migraine patients. Its active ingredient, capsaicin blocks pain transmission and reduces platelet aggregation factor, which is responsible for the constriction of blood circulation and the onset of migraine headaches. Immediate consumption of cayenne pepper tea by dissolving a pinch of it in hot water or by sprinkling it on food on the onset of migraine headaches has been shown to bring relief within a few minutes.
Hence, migraine headaches can be treated by maintaining a well balanced diet including fresh, organic fruits like blueberries, cherries, vegetables like brussels sprouts, cucumber, cauliflower, lettuce, meats and whole grains that provide necessary nutrients, required for triggering the production of neurotransmitters, responsible for reducing the prevalence of migraine headaches, without causing any side effects that are associated with pain killers.
Caution: Please use Home Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.