Home Remedies – Migraine Headaches
Most people prefer to try and find a natural remedy for their ailments. Natural or home remedies for migraine headaches are often overlooked in favour of using a drug. This is because most people are so desperate to find relief for this notoriously debilitating condition that they seek the help of a doctor of medic.
Drugs aren’t always the answer
The obvious choice for your medical practitioner, is to prescribe a drug. The majority of doctors and medics will not prescribe a natural remedy because 1. they probably haven’t been taught about the various benefits of vitamins and minerals and 2. the drug companies will take a dim view of anything being prescribed which is not produced by them. The problem with drugs is, they can often have side effects. It’s bad enough having the migraine without having another problem introduced by way of a prescribed drug. Medications such as Codeine can cause sufferers to feel drugged up and exhausted after the event is finally over. Some drugs such as Imitrex are known to intensify the nausea in some patients and even induce chest pain!
A migraine steals your day
A migraine will disrupt your day, stop you working and make you thoroughly miserable. They are extremely painful and often frequent, recurring regularly for some people. All most sufferers can do, is retreat to a darkened, quiet room with an ice-pack or cool cloth for the forehead and eyes and just wait it out in pain and discomfort. I used to suffer with severe migraines that lasted for days. I was completely disabled for the duration with intense pain and nausea and shivering and shaking all the time. Light and noise was incredibly uncomfortable and just moving induced more pain. Suffice to say, I have not had a single attack since taking my Magnesium (Mg) supplement on a daily basis.
No Aspartame Please!
Many migraine patients will make the mistake of drinking diet coke or sodas to try and keep hydrated during an attack, but this will often exacerbate the situation because of the intake of ‘aspartame’, which will only make matters worse. Aspartame is an excitotoxin and there is much evidence to suggest that this substance plays a role in introducing several disorders not least migraines. I’ll talk more about this later and I will be doing a post on Aspartame in the near future to give people the lowdown on this unpleasant artificial sweetener and it’s side effects.
Many get to know the symptoms they will have before the onset of the migraine. For example, one of the most common signs is an aura manifested by zigzag lines, stars, blurred vision and/or a serious blind spot which temporarily obstructs your sight. These auras can last for up to half an hour with the aural affect slowly moving through your line of sight until it disappears. There isn’t always an aura but other signs could be a craving for sweet foods, thirst, depression (hardly surprising) or feeling sleepy and sometimes upper back and neck pain.
Other characteristics of migraine
The characteristics of a migraine headache are many and can include:
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Visual disturbances as explained above.
- Thumping, throbbing, pulsating pain often beginning on one side and often the most intense pain is on the sides of the forehead.
- Being lightheaded, dizzy or feeling as though the room in spinning.
- Fatigue, feeling weak.
- Numbness or feeling tingly.
- Loss of appetite.
- Sensitivity to noise, light and movement. You want to lie down in a quiet and darkened room. Moving about, especially bending down, increases the pain.
- Irritability (not surprising).
- Shaking, caused by shock because of the pain.
- Side effects from taking drugs.
After the headache?
Some symptoms may linger after the headache is gone, such as:
- Feeling sleepy
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Feeling mentally dull, brain fog.
- The migraine can last up to 72 hours.
- Side effects from taking drugs
There does seem to be certain foods that can trigger an attack. These are different for each sufferer, who soon learns what not to eat if they want to help avoid a migraine. These foods can include, but are not limited to: chocolate, cheese, nuts including peanut butter, fruits, monosodium glutamate (MSG), pickles, dairy produce, cured meats, bacon to name a few. Alcohol is also known to be a trigger, particularly red wine and beer, also caffeine intake needs to be monitored. Other triggers can be: certain smells or perfumes, loud noises and/or bright lights, smoking or smoke from tobacco, heat, high altitude, thundery weather.
Watch those stress levels!
Other considerations which could cause an attack are: skipping meals, sleeping too little or too much, physical or emotional stress, particularly after a stressful event, medications including excessive use of headache pills which can lead to more frequent attacks, fluctations in hormones during pregnancy, before and during menses and menopause. Are there any symptoms I’ve missed? Please comment if you have other symptoms and triggers not mentioned here, this will help other sufferers.
The dreaded aspartame
Taking anything with Aspartame in it is a no no! If you drink sodas with added artificial sweeteners to re-hydrate please try to stop and just drink plain water or mineral water. If you have to sweeten your drink, use ordinary sugar in preference to a sweetener, except perhaps stevia which has no known side effects to date. Steer clear of any drink that advertises: low calories, no calories, no sugar added, no added sugar, or as diet coke says: no sugar, no calories.
Aspartame linked to ill health
Aspartame has been linked to various disorders including migraine, huntington’s disease, alzheimer’s disease, parkinson’s disease, learning disorders the list is long. Some people actually get addicted to diet drinks and to stop taking them can be difficult. This is because they often suffer withdrawal symptoms such as strong cravings, feeling dizzy, being depressed, itchie skin and unfortunately, headaches! Stick with it and kick those low cal sodas to the kerb, they can be the biggest factor to inducing your migraine. Make sure you’re not consuming aspartame in your food without knowing it. Check labels and again look out for ‘no sugar added’ or ‘low calories’ clues.
Migraine sufferers are often deficient in Magnesium
Now is the time to start taking a Mg supplement. A regular intake of either Mg Citrate or Mg Chloride will help reduce those migraines and with most people they will eventually disappear altogether. If you’re a diet coke or soda drinker, stop now! You will get some withdrawal symptoms if you’ve become addicted but that’s just the time to up your dose of Mg. You will not believe the difference in your health and well-being once you start supplementing with this amazing alkaline mineral and if you suffer from migraines, they will diminish and often disappear. I am the proof of that. See my post on Magnesium Supplements for details of different ways of taking this amazing mineral.
There are many other posts and pages on this site, talking about all the aspects of Mg supplementation and why it’s necessary for most, if not all of the population. Of particular interest is the list of ailments and diseases that can be relieved and sometimes prevented by taking regular Mg.
I would love to hear your comments on how migraine affects you and if you have taken Mg to reduce your symptoms or have even banished the curse of migraine headaches for good as I have done. Success stories are always of benefit to other sufferers. Ches
18 thoughts on “Natural Remedies – Migraines”
Good article, we live in a drug-oriented society today where the average person will look for a quick fix to their ailments. The quick fix is usually over the counter medicine or prescription medication which may have horrible side effects. I learned about a new natural remedy for migraines in this article. The next time I get a migraine headache I will go to a dark, quiet room and I’ll put an ice-pack on my forehead. I think more people need to look for remedies like this to solve their ailments before turning to drugs.
Hi WMP and thanks for your comments and input. Don’t forget to take some magnesium as well, this is likely the reason you get migraines in the first place because migraine sufferers are usually magnesium deficient! Ches
Thank you so much for this post!!
I am, unfortunately, a migraine sufferer. Since cutting most bad things out of my diet completely, I’ve noticed a significant change in the amount of migraines I had.
Lately, though, I’ve felt a lot of the old symptoms coming back, especially light headed-ness and dizziness. I mostly noticed this after going a while without eating. What are some foods naturally rich in magnesium that I can integrate into my diet?
I’ll check out the magnesium supplements in the meantime. And again, thank you for the informative post!
Hi Heather, I have a list of foods with Mg in them. Unfortunately, our agricultural practices over the years have greatly diminished some of our most important nutrients, Mg being most vital. Try and keep your Calcium levels similar to your Mg intake. This antagonistic pair need to be kept at an even ratio ie. 1:1. This is difficult because Ca is abundant and Mg isn’t, not nowadays anyway. Make sure you have plenty of downtime and relaxation, stress often results in a migraine. You will find that Mg will lighten your mood and keep you calm which helps greatly with stressy situations. Mg Chloride solution is the most bioavailable of all the supplements. Steer clear of Mg oxide, it’s bioavailability is very low. You could also soak your feet in warm water with a cup of Epsom salts otherwise known as Mg Sulphate which will be absorbed into the skin easily. Thanks for your comment and input. Ches
I am an acupuncturist and see this in my clinic a lot–not consuming aspartame is a HUGE thing, and hard for many of my clients to give up. I have also recommended magnesium flake baths to my clients with migraines–have you tried this? Stress sometimes plays a part, as done lack of sleep, but not always. Great post!
Hi Hillary and thanks for your comment and input. Yes, using Mg topically is a great idea, especially for those that have a delicate stomach. Mg Chloride has no laxative effect if taken in small doses. I take mine (600mg) in a litre or so of water and drink it throughout the day. You’re right about aspartame, a really toxic substance IMHO. I have seen the benefits of acupuncture, specifically in treating dogs owned by Cesar Millan. Stress is the worst depleter of Mg and there are so many stressors that the body has to contend with. Good luck with your acupuncture clinic. Where are you based? Ches
I agree with you, I believe that taking pills is not always the best solution. But It seems like person would rather take pills to try and get a quick relief rather than going the natural way, which they believe will take time.
but I believe that natural is better, sometimes all a person my need is rest to get relief I have experience this many times, or even a drink of water can sometimes bring relief. I like how you address this topic of going natural.
Hi Norman and thanks for reading the article and your comments on the natural way. I thoroughly agree with you, there are better ways of approaching our conditions whether it be migraine or other problems. Headaches and migraines are so indicative of Mg deficiency, as are so many other health issues. Without Mg to produce the energy we need in our body and with the added burden of too much calcium, we will get sick. As Dr Christiane Northrup quoted – “Living without adequate levels of magnesium is like trying to operate a machine with the power off”. Good health to you always Ches
I started off reading this post and then ended up going all over your website, as I was so interested to read more. I wouldn’t say I suffer terribly from migraines, but I have heard whispers before of Magnesium being good for women’s health in particular. After having more of a look at the role Magnesium plays in overall health I am amazed. I suffer from quite a few of the symptoms you list, so it’s definitely something I’m going to try. I also wanted to applaud you on highlighting aspartame – I personally think it’s a poison, and I steer our family away from it completely, whatever it’s present in. I also advocate the use of a little sugar if you need sweetness – avoid sweeteners like the plague, unless they are 100% natural.
I think your whole site is really informative – how did you originally come to know about Magnesium and what it can do?
Hi there Mara and thanks for reading the article. I do hope you get some relief from your symptoms by using a Mg supplement. I recommend Mg citrate if you want a gentle laxative affect or Mg chloride if your digestion is good. Don’t waste your money on Mg oxide, it’s the cheapest form and only a small percentage, less than 4%, will get absorbed. The rest will go straight through you.
As for how I found out about Mg. I was suffering from various ailments not least, crippling back spasms, insomnia, facial twitches especially around the eyes, ankle pain, headaches, fatigue of mind and body (couldn’t exercise, no energy), sciatica on my right side. My bones ached, like I had the flu. I was also so miserable, anxious and always in a pessimistic mood. I thought it was downhill from now because of my age and that these symptoms were just the start of a spiral of deteriorating health.
I came across Dr Carolyn Dean and her book The Magnesium Miracle and that was it. Everything fell into place. My husband who is a senior lab technician, made up a solution of Mg Chloride which we now take every day religiously. Dr Dean produces and sells a similar recipe as ReMag, it is a little expensive but well worth it. There is a cheaper version available and if you prefer the Mg citrate, that’s not so expensive and can be bought in powder form which enables you to control your dosage. I have a page on different Mg supplements at Best Magnesium Supplements which may be helpful to you.
Needless to say, all my symptoms have long gone and I’m back to my old (young) self again. My husband, who has to be regularly tested for glaucoma because of his very high pressure reading, has recently been tested again and his mm of Hg has dropped by 2mm of pressure. His readings have never dropped EVER. His optician was a bit surprised! Also, having two brothers who have had serious strokes, he takes Mg to protect himself against stroke and heart disease (his mother died of heart disease at age 50).
Good luck and good health to you always, Ches Power
This is a really sensible post. You’re right, drugs are not always the answer if you can find a more natural remedy. I never knew aspartame was so bad. I knew it wasn’t good, but it truly sounds like an evil substance to avoid at all costs.
Fortunately I don’t suffer migraines, but I know people who do and I’ll share your post with them. keep up the great work.
Hi Darren and thanks for reading the post. Yes, aspartame does cause problems for many people. Trouble is, there has been no conclusive proof of its negative effects. Until someone comes up with foolproof evidence by way of clinical trials, the power that be will do nothing about it. All we can do is make sure we consume natural foods and drinks. For migraine sufferers, water is best for keeping hydrated. Thanks for the kind remarks and good health to you and your family. Ches
I personally have not suffered from migraine head aches, but I know people who have, and they are terrible. This page provides great information on a drug free way to cure migraines. I had no idea that magnesium supplements could have such a positive effect, and is a safe alternative to drugs.
Hi there Mitch and thanks for reading the post. I’m pleased you’ve picked up on the importance of Magnesium and its safe natural alternative to drugs. I don’t suffer from Migraines at all now but for those that do, this mineral will really make a difference and can actually stop an attack from happening in the first place. Be in good health, Ches
I’ve been having migraines on-off weekly & its really a pain in the ass. I’ve tried panadols/icepack on my head, nothing works. I’ seen somewhere that if you went into the shower with a headache, the risk of stroke increases (I have no idea how true is that)
I would also like to add that migraine can affect your jaws area as well, at least for me
Well thank you Lee Zhi Wei and I certainly hope you will try a Magnesium supplement and see how much your migraines will diminish. I’ve not heard that one about the shower and risk of stroke but again, if you take Magnesium your risk of having a stroke will reduce drastically anyway! Yes I’ve heard that some people suffer with an aching jaw and sometimes face-ache with a migraine. This really is a magical mineral, please take it regularly and see how much better you feel in yourself and when you do, send me a comment so I can put your improvement on the site so others can benefit. Good luck to you and here’s to the end of your migraines! Ches
Thank you for posting this! Sometimes we jump to medication instead of looking at what we are eating. Most medications should be only for temporary use, and if you are using it long term, you might want to think about your lifestyle and what you are consuming.
People fail to notice that they could not be getting enough vitamins or minerals, or they might be taking too much of one but not enough of the another. Keep it up, plus it is good to know why I don’t like to drink or eat things with artificial sweeteners.
Thanks for reading the post David. I’m pleased to know that you are looking after your health and that you’re aware of the problems with drugs. That’s a bonus if you don’t like artificial sweeteners! Good health to you, Ches