Migraines aren’t typical headaches. If you experience them, you know you may experience pounding pain, nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound. When a migraine strikes, you’ll do almost anything to make it go away.
Natural remedies are a drug-free way to reduce migraine symptoms. These at-home treatments may help prevent migraines, or at least help reduce their severity and duration.
Note: Severe migraines may require treatment with prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medication. Talk to your doctor about a treatment plan that works for you.
Diet plays a vital role in preventing migraines. Many foods and beverages are known migraine triggers, such as:
- foods with nitrates including hot
dogs, deli meats, bacon, and sausage
- cheese that contains the
naturally-occurring compound tyramine, such as blue, feta, cheddar, Parmesan,
- alcohol, especially red wine
- foods that contain monosodium
glutamate (MSG), a flavor enhancer
- foods that are very cold such as ice
cream or iced drinks
- processed foods
- pickled foods
- dried fruits
- cultured dairy products such as
buttermilk, sour cream, and yogurt
A small amount of caffeine may ease migraine pain in some people. Caffeine is also in some migraine medications. But, too much caffeine may cause a migraine. It may also lead to a severe caffeine withdrawal headache.
To figure out which foods and beverages trigger your migraines, keep a daily food diary. Record everything you eat and note how you feel afterward.
Inhaling lavender essential oil may ease migraine pain. According to 2012 research, people who inhaled lavender oil during a migraine attack for 15 minutes experienced faster relief than those who inhaled a placebo. Lavender oil may be inhaled directly or applied diluted to the temples.
Acupressure is the practice of applying pressure with the fingers and hands to specific points on the body to relieve pain and other symptoms. According to a
Feverfew is a flowering herb that looks like a daisy. It’s a folk remedy for migraines. According to a
The menthol in peppermint oil may stop a migraine from coming on, according to a
Ginger is known to ease nausea caused by many conditions, including migraines. It may also have other migraine benefits. According to
Yoga uses breathing, meditation, and body postures to promote health and well-being.
Although researchers conclude it’s too soon to recommend yoga as a primary treatment for migraines, they believe yoga supports overall health and may be beneficial as a complementary therapy.
Biofeedback is a relaxation method. It teaches you to control autonomic reactions to stress. Biofeedback may be helpful for migraines triggered by physical reactions to stress such as muscle tensing.
Magnesium deficiency is linked to headaches and migraines. Studies show magnesium oxide supplementation helps prevent migraines with aura. It may also prevent menstrual-related migraines.
You can get magnesium from foods that include:
- sesame seeds
- sunflower seeds
- Brazil nuts
- peanut butter
A weekly massage may reduce migraine frequency and improve sleep quality, according to a
If you get migraines, you know the symptoms can be challenging to cope with. You might miss work or not be able to participate in activities you love. Try the above remedies and find some relief.
It might also be helpful to talk to others who understand exactly what you’re going through. Our free app, Migraine Healthline, connects you with real people who experience migraines. Ask treatment-related questions and seek advice from others who get it. Download the app for iPhone or Android.