You may be able to reduce migraine symptoms by avoiding known triggers, such as certain foods and additives. Other practices like staying hydrated and practicing yoga may also help.
Migraine attacks aren’t typical headaches. You may experience pounding pain, nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound. When a migraine attack or episode occurs, you’ll do almost anything to make it go away.
Natural remedies are drug-free methods of reducing migraine symptoms. These at-home treatments may help prevent the onset of migraine attacks or at least help reduce their severity and duration.
Keep reading as we take a look at 15 natural remedies that may help you manage migraine symptoms.
Note that migraine attacks may require treatment with prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medication. Speak with a doctor about a treatment plan that works for you.
Diet plays a vital role in preventing migraine attacks. Many foods and beverages may be 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, and Swiss
- 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 attack. It may also lead to a severe caffeine withdrawal headache.
To figure out which foods and beverages trigger migraine attacks for you, keep a daily food journal. Record everything you eat and note how you feel afterward.
A 2016 randomized controlled study found evidence that 3 months of lavender therapy as a prophylactic therapy, meaning taken before a migraine attack begins, reduced frequency and severity of migraine attacks. However, research is still limited.
According to the authors, many studies had a high risk for bias, and more high quality research is needed.
Acupuncture involves injecting very thin needles into certain parts of your skin to stimulate relief from a wide variety of health conditions.
- 5 days with usual care
- 4 days with fake acupuncture or prophylactic medications
- 3 1/2 days with real acupuncture
Feverfew is a flowering herb that looks like a daisy. It’s a folk remedy for migraine. It still isn’t well-studied, but there is some evidence that it may be slightly more effective than a placebo for treating migraine.
The authors note that one larger study published since the 2004 review found 0.6 fewer migraine days per month in people who took feverfew versus a placebo. They describe previous studies as low quality or providing mixed evidence.
The researchers found that 40 percent of people in the lidocaine and peppermint oil groups experienced considerable improvements in their symptoms, compared with only 4.9 percent of people in the placebo group.
Ginger is known to ease nausea caused by many conditions, including migraine. It may have pain-relieving benefits for migraine attacks. According to a
More research is needed to understand the extent and usefulness of ginger for treating migraine-related pain.
Yoga uses breathing, meditation, and body postures to promote health and well-being. A
The researchers concluded that yoga could be beneficial as a complementary therapy for treating migraine.
Biofeedback is a relaxation method. It teaches you to control autonomic reactions to stress. During this therapy, electrodes are applied to your skin to monitor physiologic processes that change with stress, such as your heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension.
During a biofeedback session, you work with a therapist to manage stress using changes in your physiologic processes as feedback.
According to a
You can get magnesium from foods that include:
- sesame seeds
- sunflower seeds
- Brazil nuts
- peanut butter
Massage may reduce migraine frequency. Migraine is associated with low serotonin in the brain, and massage has been shown to increase serotonin. There’s limited evidence to support the use of massage for migraine relief, but it’s generally safe and has a low risk of side effects.
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 the American Headache Society, more than 80 percent of people with migraine report stress being a migraine trigger. Learning how to better manage your stress may help you decrease migraine frequency.
Some commonly used stress management techniques include:
According to the American Migraine Foundation, about a third of people with migraine report dehydration as a migraine trigger.
To prevent dehydration, make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially when exercising. On hot days, you may need to drink more water than usual.
The connection between sleep and migraine still isn’t entirely clear.
Going to bed at the same time each night, avoiding caffeine late in the day, and avoiding stimulating activities before bed are some of the ways you can improve your sleep.
Butterbur is a plant that grows throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. Up until
If you have migraine, you know the symptoms can be challenging. You might miss work or not be able to participate in activities you love. But the remedies above may provide some relief.
It might also be helpful to speak with others who understand exactly what you’re going through. Our free app, Migraine Healthline, connects you with real people who experience migraine. Ask treatment-related questions and seek advice from others who get it. Download the app for iPhone or Android.
If your migraine attacks or episodes don’t respond to home remedies, it’s important to talk with a doctor. Visit a doctor if your symptoms are severe, frequent, or interfere with your daily life.