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A migraine is a debilitating issue which can feel impossible to get rid of. They can happen out of the blue and the pain only gets stronger. People often feel hopeless after trying many medications and remedies only to find that migraine is unstoppable. Before one strikes, it can be helpful to know a few natural migraine remedies.
When you feel that it’s coming, the pain getting stronger and stronger, there are some things you can do to help yourself and make it easier on you as well as lower the amount of pain you feel.
Here are some of those things:
Use a cold pack – Wrap some ice cubes or an ice pack in a towel and press to your forehead or eyes. Take a cold shower or anything similar. This can help either stop the migraine or lessen the pain.
Use a hot compress – While some people find that cold is helping, some people swear by warm compress. Placing it on your neck or area where it hurts might help make the symptoms easier on you.
Ease any pressure – For example, if your ponytail is too tight, loosen it up. If you have any braids, headbands, hats or anything else that might cause you more discomfort, take it off.
Go somewhere dark or dim the lights – If you are in your office or at home, bright lights, sunshine or computer screens can cause a migraine to start. Even if this is not a cause but your migraine starts, you should find a dark place to spend some time in to ease your migraine. Bright lights can only make it worse. Otherwise, use sunglasses.
Don’t chew – If you feel that a migraine is coming, you should avoid chewing anything. Especially stay away from anything crunchy, sticky and so on.
Drink some coffee – Caffeine can help you at the early stages of migraine. Get some coffee if you can.
Try to relax – Do some stretches, meditate or just do what’s relaxing to you. DYou Can try light aromatherapy, such as lavender. Avoid strong, pungent scents though; strong smells can cause a migraine on their own.
Massage your head, neck and temples, the area under your eyes and your eyelids.
Have chewable ginger jellies on hand – Ginger can help you fight migraine, although chewing might be too painful, if you already have a full blown migraine. Ginger tea works as well.
Don’t overdo meds – We all know how easy it is to reach for your meds when the pain starts pounding in your head but you should still not overdo medications. Your body can grow resistant to the dosage and it will take more and more to relieve your pain.
Top 10 Natural Migraine Remedies
Migraines are nothing like your average headache. The pounding pain, the dizziness and nausea as well as sensitivity to light, smells or sounds are incredibly hard to take. Most people would do anything to get rid of it.
While meds might help you short-term, you can try some natural migraine remedies that will help you in the long run.
Here are some of the natural migraine remedies you should try:
- Don’t eat junk food or migraine trigger foods – Your diet could be the main cause of your migraines. So, you should try to avoid food rich in nitrates, cheese, red wine, foods with flavor enhancers, processed foods, and so on. Even caffeine or caffeinated drinks can be the cause sometimes. To figure out what causes your migraines, have a food and migraine diary so you can pinpoint the cause.
- Use lavender oil – Inhaling lavender can sometimes help you reduce your pain. However, strong smells can be a bit too much for anyone with a migraine, so be careful with scents. You can dilute it with an unscented carrier oil or some water if you need.
- Acupressure – This is when you apply pressure to certain points on your body. For example, you can apply pressure to the area between your thumb and index finger. This can help you with the pain or nausea.
- Use feverfew – This is a traditional remedy for migraines.
- Use some peppermint oil – Peppermint oil has a refreshing smell and it can help you feel a bit better. It might even stop a migraine if you apply it to your temples and neck.
- Ginger helps – Try ginger tea or some other form of ginger to relieve nausea and pain.
- Do yoga – Because of all the techniques used in yoga, it can be a health-promoting exercise. It can reduce the amount of times you get a headache, the intensity and so on. It can also have tons of health benefits in general.
- Biofeedback – This is a relaxation method where you learn the control your response to stress.
- Take magnesium – Studies show that it can help with migraines. Eat almonds, sesame seeds and so on.
- Have regular massages – One massage a week could keep that migraine away. So, make sure that you do get one because it will reduce your stress and allow you to feel better. Can't make it to a spa or therapy center? Enlist the help of a loved one to gently massage your shoulders, neck, and pressure points.
What Foods Can Trigger Migraines?
While there is no cure for migraines, there are ways to prevent it or avoid it to some degree. One of those ways includes avoiding certain foods. There is no precise research on which foods can cause it since even the people in the same family and same genetic predispositions for migraine can have different triggers.
Not eating or drinking water for too long can also cause migraines.
Here are some of the most common triggers of migraine:
Caffeine – Coffee or caffeinated drinks can cause a migraine. Although for some coffee helps with the pain, drinking too much can cause a headache. Drinking under the amount of coffee you are used to can also be a trigger. Try to wean yourself down to one cup a day to avoid over doing it.
Aged cheese and meat – Nitrites and nitrates in aged meats and cheese can bring on a migraine attack. They can also dehydrate you and that can cause a headache as well.
Alcohol – The alcohol withdrawal period the day after you take alcohol is the time when you can get a migraine. Red wine seems to cause it more often than other drinks but various alcoholic beverages can be to blame.
MSG or monosodium glutamate – This is a excitatory neurotransmitter that can trigger migraine. It can be found in Chinese fast food, many prepared foods like barbecue sauces and salad dressings.
Citrus fruits – While they may be healthy in the general sense, they are not so good for people who suffer from migraines often. Some people say that a piece of citrus fruit can be refreshing and help with pain and nausea but your best bet is to avoid it when you feel a migraine coming.
Dark chocolate – Although it’s not technically a trigger, a craving for chocolate can come before a migraine. This is because chocolate has caffeine and your body may be looking for ways to stop a migraine.
Spicy food – Spicy food can react with pain receptors and cause a migraine. Especially stay away from chili peppers.
Aspartame – This is an additive in foods and drinks that can trigger a migraine. Diet sodas contain it so stay away from those.
To determine which specific food triggers your migraines, you should start a migraine journal and write down everything that you ate or drank before experiencing an attack. You can also write down if you sensed some strong smells, sounds or lights. Once you notice that there are some recurring foods or events, eliminate these from your life. See a dietitian about this as well if you feel like it could help you.
Do Bananas Help Migraines?
Banana is one of those fruits we like to have and eat on the go. But can it help your migraines?
The fact is, vitamins B that are found in bananas are a powerhouse for fighting headaches. Vitamins B increase the levels of serotonin in your brain and it helps you relax.
This way, bananas can help you when you have a migraine. However, if you have a stronger attack, they might not be as effective.
How to Get to Sleep with a Migraine
Better sleep can mean less migraine attacks.
Here are some tips on sleeping with a migraine.
Always sleep around the same time – A person with migraines shouldn’t change habits too often. Find a sleep schedule and stick to it
Have a bedtime routine – A relaxing routine can help you sleep better even if you have migraines.
Watch your drinking and eating – Avoid trigger foods and don’t drink or eat too much before sleep.
Make a Natural Migraine Treatment Kit to Keep Handy
Migraines aren’t really good at schedules. An attack can come at any time – whether you are working, on an important meeting or at home. Just in case, you should always have several items in your survival kit that you can keep in your bag, car or office – or in each of these places.
Always have sunglasses to protect you from bright lights.
Always have some water on hand to fight dehydration.
Have your medication on hand to take if necessary.
Always have a healthy snack with you so you don’t miss meals.
Have some peppermint or lavender oil to put on your temples
Have a cloth on hand so you can soak it with cold water and apply to your eyes or forehead when your head starts hurting.
We hope some of these natural migraine remedies will come in handy, should you suffer from migraines. Share your fave tip to a speedy recovery down below!