Recognise migraine triggers
A migraine attack is triggered by a range of different factors – such as stress or alcohol – and varies from one person to the next. The best ‘household remedy’ is therefore to know your triggers and to avoid them as widely as possible. To find out what your triggers are, a headache diary can be of value.
12 household remedies for migraines
Nevertheless, certain household remedies can be found to alleviate the pain, even if the effects are not scientifically proven. The thing to remember with household remedies and similar treatment methods is that there is no guarantee: at most they «can provide relief», as an actual cure for migraines has yet to be discovered. Websites on the topic – from professional to superficial – provide tips in abundance.
Here is a small selection of remedies that can indeed provide relief:
Peppermint was already used as a medicinal plant in ancient times. A study by the University of Kiel shows that peppermint oil, whose properties include cooling menthol, causes a significant reduction in headache pain after just 15 minutes. Apply the diluted oil to the pain points.
Many people use lavender oil to relax and reduce stress – also a good approach for migraine sufferers. Spray the diluted lavender oil in the air (or on the pillow) or add it to a full bath, for example.
Yoga and meditation
Avoiding stress and being mindful are beneficial. A brand new study from the U.S. shows that stress relief based on mindfulness, incorporating yoga and meditation practices, significantly reduces the frequency of headaches.
Research shows that regularly taking butterbur extract not only reduces the number of attacks but also their intensity.
Peace, quiet and darkness
If the pain has already appeared, it’s helpful to find a quiet space – away from any sensory stimuli.
Acupressure can relieve the pain associated with migraine symptoms. A recent study also concludes that acupressure can significantly reduce fatigue, which is often very distressing for migraine sufferers.
Although usually taken after the pain has already set in, various herbs or spices can at least provide relief. These include lady's mantle, ginger or clove.
A cup of coffee with lemon is the classic remedy for many sufferers. Caffeine dilates blood vessels and lemon softens pain.
Laid on the forehead, cold compresses can have an alleviating effect.
In some studies, patients reported that their symptoms improved with a daily dose of magnesium. The German Migraine and Headache Society recommends taking a high dose of 300mg magnesium twice daily.
Regular exercise can help. Low-intensity aerobic endurance training particularly helps to reduce the frequency and duration of attacks and also the severity of the pain
Treading water or taking hot and cold baths stimulates blood circulation which helps diminish the pain.
Ultimately, these tips don’t apply only to migraine patients, but also help to prevent or relieve tension headaches. These headaches differ from migraines in that the pain is not as intense, being described as constricting and pressing rather than – as in migraines – pulsating and one-sided.