View Full Version : Migraines and Herbs?
Does anyone know anything about the use of herbs to treat migraines? I've gotten them on and off for a year or two, although I've always been headache prone. Are their any herbs that can be used to treat the pain when a migraine sets in?
I've always heard that vervain is the best thing to use, but I don't get headaches enough to actually try it. I did try feverfew once, as a tea from the leaves, but it tastes horrid and I couldn't put enough down to make a difference so can't say that it worked. I think it comes in powdered caplets now.
There are some homeopathic sites online you can find if you type in a search on the words 'herbal migraine', this one seems to cover a lot and offers other herbal choices. http://www.positivehealth.com/permit/Articles/Medical%20Conditions/coe34.htm Halfway down the page they list some herbs to try that are known to help.
But check out the side effects on anything you want to try, a lot of herbs used for treatment actually are blood thinners or do other things and do NOT mix well with medications (or even if you're simply taking aspirin that day). Even something as 'safe' as ground/powdered ginger can cause a problem with blood thinners. There are other side effects too, I just remember this particular problem because my dad was on meds for his heart and wanted to try ginko biloba which is a BIG no in that circumstance.
As HudsonGray mentioned, feverfew is the most common herb used for preventing migraines. However, it should not be taken if you are taking any type of blood thinner, and it can cause mouth ulcers. I have read that eating the fresh leaves between slices of bread helps prevent the mouth ulcers (and would probably help with the bitter taste!). Research has shown feverfew to be very effective, but most people can't tolerate the taste or live in an area where it doesn't grow. I would suggest a tincture (made by steeping the herb in alcohol and water) if you have access to a health food store or pharmacy. A combination of tinctures would be even better:
10 ml of feverfew tincture
10 ml of valerian tincture
5 ml of lavender tincture
The valerian and lavender are mainly for relaxation; as I'm sure you've experienced, when a migraine comes on you tend to tense up, which makes things worse. I highly recommend Dr. James Duke's book, "The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook" for treating yourself. It lists helpful herbs but also the interactions/side effects they might cause. You could probably find this book at your local library.
Of course the feverfew capsules would be the simplest method. I would also recommend (for relaxation) skullcap or lemon balm capsules or tea. The lemon balm is delicious! The skullcap should not be taken if you are taking any form of sedative, as it has sedative properties.
Many Blessings from a Fellow Migraine Sufferer,
Thank you both very much for your advice. I looked up local health food stores, and found one near me. Bodhran: It turns out my mom has the book by Dr. James Duke! The name sounded familiar, so I looked on her bookshelves, and sure enough it was there! Definitely alot of info I'm interested in there.
Check out the Book "Prescription for Herbal Healing".....1-Cayenne smallest amount that would cause burning sensation on tongue. 2-Don Quai-prevents migraine attacks that are related to PMS 3- Ginko (I cant take that personally) 4-Quercetin 5-Tiden Flower5- Feverfew-stops migrains by inhibiting the release of seretonin...be careful with that one.....If you are caffeine free you can use coffee. My daughters have had migraines...terrible... also calcium magnesium supplements have been helpful (1000mg per day)Vitamion B2 riboflavin is supposed to help too...DO take a look at that book.....