Posts Tagged ‘migraine cure’

Safe Supplements for Migraine Headaches

Monday, February 3rd, 2014



People who suffer from chronic migraines may consider the use of safe natural supplements to help with debilitating headaches, nausea, and fatigue that occur with a migraine attack. Some of the most popular include butterbur, magnesium, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and coenzyme Q10. Though vitamins, minerals and herb extracts are considered safe for all ages, it’s important to be informed and discuss any new medication, even natural supplements, with your doctor.

Safe Supplements for Migraine Headaches

Here are a few questions that migraine patients frequently have about the safety of natural supplements for migraine:

Do herbal remedies cure migraines?

In a nutshell, natural supplements won’t cure migraine headaches, but they can provide health benefits needed most when migraines strike often.

Let’s get one thing straight- there is no cure for migraines, so don’t believe any claims you may hear to the contrary, even from natural supplement manufacturers.

By supporting many vital biochemical functions that occur in your nerve cells, vascular network and immune system, many natural supplements that are endorsed by today’s top migraine specialists can significantly aid with the day-to-day challenges of chronic headache.

For example, then your migraines are triggered by vascular constriction, then using a natural supplement that supports good circulation can only benefit.

Likewise, if magnesium deficiency is a cause of chronic migraines, as it is with many migraineurs, then upping your magnesium intake is a smart choice to make- one that you may need to continue for life for optimal benefits.

The 4 Best Vitamins to Help Headaches

What do doctors have to say?

Natural supplements are becoming mainstream as part of a functional medicine approach to migraines.

Increasingly, more doctors today are open to complimentary medical approaches such as the use of herbs, vitamins, and minerals to aid with migraine headaches. Unfortunately, many migraine patients who choose to go the natural route are too embarrassed to confide in their doctors about natural supplements, either because they think they’ll be ridiculed or they’re worried that their doctor will take offense.

This is a serious problem- you should always tell your doctor about anything new you are using to treat migraine disorder, as even safe natural supplements for migraine headaches can sometimes interact with other medications you are taking or other underlying health conditions.

Butterbur Supplements for Migraines- Are they Safe?

Tell us…

What natural herbs, minerals, or vitamins do you use to help with migraines?

Have you noticed a difference in the amount of pain medications you use since you started supplementing with vitamins?

After reading this, are you more or less likely to consider adding a vitamin regimen to your migraine plan?

Also read: Top 25 Natural Migraine Treatments: Vitamins, Minerals, and Herb

Image by Kittikun Atsawintarangkul

Cindy McCain Launches 36 Million Migraine Campaign

Friday, June 28th, 2013



In describing her personal experience with migraines to the Today show, Cindy McCain compared it to having a vise or nail digging into her forehead. Her appearance on the show marks the beginning of her campaign to raise $36 million for migraine research.

Cindy McCain Launches 36 Million Migraine Campaign

Commenting on the urgent need to raise more money for migraines, which affect 12% of US citizens, she expresses, “It affects our economy. It affects our daily life. It affects our school children. Everything is involved in this.”

Migraines make it almost impossible to work or even care for your own needs, as persisting headache pain, nausea, and extreme fatigue offer virtually no respite from the suffering.

And migraine stigma carries its own brand of suffering, as close friends and family have no way to understand the amount of “indescribable pain” you’re experiencing, as she puts it.

“They want so much for you to feel well and they don’t understand it,” she said.

As spokesperson for the 36 Million Migraine Campaign, supported by the American Migraine Foundation (AMF), she hopes to raise one dollar for each of the 36 million people in the US who suffer from migraines.

But even that number won’t cut it, says the AMF. To effectively fund migraine research, the National Institutes of Health would require annual proceeds of $260 million, a windfall compared to the $16 million they currently receive in one year.

Ms. McCain has always been an avid advocate for migraine awareness. Since her early days of campaigning alongside her husband Senator John McCain in his bid for presidential election, she has been open about her constant struggles with excruciating migraine attacks that would often pop up at the worst moments, even taking her message to Capitol Hill.

In 2004 she suffered a stroke, a dreaded comorbid occurrence with migraine disorder. (Read Cindy McCain Gives Voice to Migraine Syndrome)

“If you saw me in pictures with sunglasses on, I wasn’t trying to be aloof,” she says. “I had a migraine.”

Her unwavering commitment to migraine research is commendable. Using her connections at Capitol Hill, she pledges to spend the next two years raising funds and awareness for the 36 Million Migraine Campaign, affirming, “Nothing is going to change unless we rattle the cages.”

Your turn!

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

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Like this? Read more:

10 Surprising Facts about Migraines you probably didn’t know

Top 10 Worst Migraine Advice Ever!

5 Migraine Misconceptions you shouldn’t believe

35 Things you should never tell a Chronic Migraine Sufferer

Image courtesy of Wikimedia

Top 25 Natural Migraine Treatments: Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs

Friday, November 9th, 2012



There is no cure for migraines, but there are many natural migraine treatments that promote healthy responses in chronic headache patients of migraine disorder.  Here is a list of the 25 herbs, vitamins, and minerals that are most prescribed by natural migraine treatment practitioners.

Top 25 Natural Migraine Treatments: Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs- Migravent

Note: Never begin any new migraine treatment before first speaking with your doctor. Even “natural remedies” can have dangerous side effects if used incorrectly or without taking into account any current medications or underlying health conditions.

Below are 25 beneficial nutrients- vitamins, minerals, herbs, and spices- for natural migraine treatment.

1- Butterbur (Petasites hybridus): Butterbur supplements have been the focus of many studies on natural migraine prevention. Researchers have found encouraging evidence in support of using 50-75mg of butterbur extracts daily for at least three months for optimal health in patients suffering from migraines, asthma, and muscle spasms. Caution: Avoid butterbur supplements that contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA’s), a known carcinogen. Look for butterbur extracts carrying the label “PA-free.”

Also read: Conquer Allergies and Migraine Headaches with Butterbur- a Migraineur’s Best Friend

2- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): Alternative medical practitioners recommend about 400mg of riboflavin, taken daily, for about three months. Riboflavin benefits migraine sufferers by promoting cellular metabolism and reducing the effect of oxidative damage.

Also read: Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) in Natural Migraine Ingredients

3- Coenzyme Q10: Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant that benefits migraine patients by increasing blood flow to the brain, sustaining healthy circulation, regulating blood-sugar levels, and supporting cellular metabolism. Doctors recommend 60mg-100mg of coenzyme Q10 daily for effective natural migraine management.

4- Magnesium: Some migraine patients suffer from magnesium deficiency, a common trigger of migraine attacks. Health experts recommend beginning with 200mg of magnesium per day, to be increased to 1,000mg if needed. Magnesium helps to sustain health neurological functioning.

Also read: Magnesium- for Migraines and Beyond

5- Omega-3’s: Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to sustain healthy responses to inflammation in people suffering from migraines.  Experts recommend approximately 1,000mg of omega-3 fatty acid supplements daily.

6- 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP): 5-HTP is produced by an amino acid, tryptophan, and is helpful for serotonin management. Doctors suggest 5-HTP as a natural migraine treatment for headaches caused by vascular disorders as a result of low serotonin.

7- Feverfew: Feverfew has been the focus of several studies on natural migraine treatment. Although not clinically proven to have a singular effect on migraine headaches, many Chinese medicine practitioners endorse feverfew tablets for improving inflammatory responses to migraine triggers in the blood vessels.

8- Coffee: For some, caffeine is a migraine trigger. For others, however, a cup of coffee can do wonders to effectively relieve migraine headaches.

9- Ginger: Ginger is helpful for relieving nausea and vomiting caused by migraine attacks.

10- Ginkgo biloba: Some migraine patients have found beneficial properties in ginkgo biloba extracts in naturally treating migraines.

11- Bay laurel: Bay laurel contains many of the same beneficial properties of feverfew in treating migraines naturally.

12- Valerian: Valerian is helpful for reducing stress that triggers migraine attacks.

13- Peppermint: Peppermint promotes gastrointestinal health in alleviating nausea, stomach cramps or vomiting associated with migraines.

14- Cinnamon: Cinnamon has many natural painkilling properties which work by improving inflammatory responses.

15- Lavender: Lavender has an overall calming effect on the body, and is helpful for migraine patients suffering from stress and anxiety.

16- Lemon balm: Lemon balm tea relaxes the stomach muscles and eases the nerves.

17- Vervain: Vervain is another herb that is beneficial for natural migraine treatment of nausea.

18- Jamaican dogwood: Jamaican dogwood tea beneficial for neurological functioning.

19- Kava: Kava contains therapeutic phytochemicals that promote relaxation in the nerves and muscles.

20- Skullcap: Skullcap is one of many herbs that promote mental balance and tranquility.

21- Xiao yao wan: The Chinese herb Xiao yao wan treats migraines naturally be helping to rid the body of toxins which trigger headaches.

22- Rosemary: Inhaling the invigorating scent of rosemary oil is often helpful for patients of chronic pain.

23- Juniper: Like rosemary, juniper oils are also an effective natural migraine treatment.

24- Cayenne: Topical creams containing cayenne are helpful for relieving neck stiffness, back pain, and sore joints.

25- Chasteberry: For treating menstrual migraines, many health experts recommend drinking several cups of chasteberry tea daily.

Please tell us…

What natural migraine treatments do you currently use?

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, Facebook, or Google+.

Like this? Read more:

Introducing Natural Ingredients for Migraines- Tips for Success

Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) for Chronic Pain


Little-known Herb Butterbur Cures Symptoms of Migraine Headaches

Supplements and Herbs for Migraine – The Evidence

7 Natural Cures for Migraines

Image(s) courtesy of

Cure Migraines with Functional Medicine; Part 1

Thursday, April 19th, 2012



Finding the right treatment for migraines is all about looking past the symptoms.  Yes, migraine symptoms are debilitating and horrific- sharp, pounding headaches, nausea, fatigue, vertigo- but in order to get to the root cause of your migraines, you need to find a doctor who is willing to be your medical detective.  That’s where functional medicine practitioners, such as the famed health expert Dr. Mark Hyman, can help.


What is functional medicine?

Functional medicine is a practical, investigative-type approach to medicine.  Rather than simply treating the symptoms of chronic illnesses such as migraines, functional medicine doctors find out what’s causing your headaches and eliminate the threat.

By listening to the patient, examining her medical records, running necessary tests, and paying attention to oft-overlooked factors like diet, environment, comorbid ailments, and genetics, functional medicine practitioners are able to prescribe a multipronged approach that includes total body health.

Functional medicine doesn’t cure the disease- it cures the patient.

Here are some ways that functional medicine aids migraine sufferers:


Magnesium is  used in hospitals for a wide range of health benefits; magnesium is an emergency room staple used for cardiovascular health, relief of occasional constipation, and to alleviate minor aches and pains associated with daily life.

Magnesium deficiency is a growing crisis for several reasons:

  • CURING MIGRAINES WITH FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE, PART 1One, we just don’t eat enough foods that contain magnesium.  Seaweed, dandelion greens, and fatty nuts are just not staples in the American diet.
  • Second, we are unknowingly depleting our migraine levels by mass-consuming foods that drain magnesium from our bodies.  Sodas, sugar, coffee, salt, and alcohol all contribute to magnesium deficiency.
  • Other causes for magnesium deficiency that apply to migraine sufferers include chronic diarrhea, vomiting, PMS, and emotional stress.
  • Third, our current method of testing for magnesium deficiency, blood tests, is highly inefficient and inconclusive.  So, even if a magnesium deficiency test comes out negative, you could still be suffering from symptoms of severely low magnesium levels.

Magnesium- for Migraines and Beyond

What are the symptoms of magnesium deficiency?

A long list of ailments indicates possible magnesium deficiency.  They include:

  • Muscle cramps
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Hypersensitivity to loud noises
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Moodiness
  • Chronic fatigue
  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Digestive disorders

Brain Drain from Migraines…What’s Causing it?

Magnesium benefits

In cases where magnesium deficiency correlates with migraines, magnesium supplementation produces excellent results.  Always consult a doctor before trying a new migraine regimen, including natural supplements.

  • Take 400-1,000mg of magnesium supplements.
  • Try to include magnesium-rich foods in your diet, like kelp, dark leafy greens, nuts, avocados, wheat bran, and beans.
  • Soak in a bath filled with Epson salts.

Please tell us…

Which treatments do you currently use for migraines?  Are you satisfied, or would you like to find something more efficient without all the side effects?  Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, Facebook, or Google+.

Read more about natural migraine cures:

Conquer Allergies and Migraine Headaches with Butterbur- a Migraineur’s Best Friend

Natural Migraine Remedies: 9 Must-Take Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs


How to End Migraines

Magnesium deficiency in critical illness.

The multifaceted and widespread pathology of magnesium deficiency.

What is Functional Medicine?

What’s that Smell? Migraine Sensitivity and Olfactory Auras

Friday, November 4th, 2011



Migraine headaches are not just about throbbing head pain; sufferers of migraine have strong sensitivity to smells, resulting in olfactory aura- an indicator of an approaching migraine attack. Migraine odors usually include unpleasant imagined smells such as burnt food, cigarette smoke, or rotten garbage.


What causes migraine headaches?

Millions of people suffer from migraine symptoms, such as severe headaches, nausea, and dizziness, but nobody has come up with a universal migraine cure. However, by determining migraine triggers and experimenting with various migraine remedies many- if not all- migraine suffers are able to find a measure of relief from their debilitating migraine symptoms.


What is a migraine aura?

A migraine aura appears during the migraine prodrome stage- generally, just a few minutes before the migraine attack strikes. Alice in Wonderland Syndrome is one example of a migraine aura that includes distorted body image, auditory hallucinations, loss of spatial awareness, and temporary jumbled, confused speech patterns.  Typical migraine auras are bright lights and voids, such as blue-green zigzagging lines, eclipses, and blind spots.

Olfactory hallucinations

Sometimes, migraine patients report smelling weird, unusual odors before a migraine attack- odors that don’t actually exists, save for them.  Thes olfactory auras are called parosmia.  The majority of migraine patients describe imagined smells as putrid, smoky odors.  Common descriptions are:

  • burning wood
  • toxic-smelling aromas
  • sewer-like stenches
  • smoke
  • decomposed garbage.


Read more about migraine illness:

Night Terrors, Migraines, and Insomnia- 7 Nightmare Headaches

Perfumes and Migraines: The Good, the Bad, and the Downright Stinky


Imagined smells can precede migraines

Olfactory hallucinations in primary headache disorders: Case series and literature review

Olfactory aura symptoms- Migraine Aura Foundation

Migraine Symptoms: Olfactory Hallucinations

Image credits, from top:

andertoons, John Kasawa, Grant Cochrane

Migraines at Work- Can my Employers Fire me from my Job?

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011



If you get migraines at work, you might qualify for disability benefits and legal protection if you ever get fired you from your job.  As migraine headache falls under the Americans with Disabilities Act, you should receive compensation for time missed from work.  Symptoms of migraines include neck pain, intense, throbbing headaches, vomiting, dizziness, sensitivity to light, smells, and noises, and temporary partial blindness.  Side effects from drug treatments may include memory loss, fatigue, depression, and anxiety.


The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

According to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), you have the right to take up to twelve weeks off from work each year without pay, and without fear of losing your job.  Any group health insurance you have through work remains active, according to FMLA conditions.  This is good news for people who get frequent migraine headaches, because it allows you to stay home and experiment with new abortive migraine medications and pain relievers without having to call in sick if headache symptoms- nausea, cramps, sharp pain- become overbearing.


Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The Americans with Disabilities Act covers migraines, but that alone does not guarantee that your job isn’t at stake.  If you are a chronic migraine sufferer, and if you require days to recover from a migraine attack or to try unfamiliar headache remedies, then your employer will have to find somebody to replace you for every day you call in sick, either temporarily…or permanently.  Regardless of the fact that your migraines are ADA-approved, and even if you disclosed your migraine history with your employers beforehand, the risk of possibly losing your job to migraine headaches constantly lingers overhead.

“It is difficult when you’re dealing with employees who do not visibly appear to have any impairment whatsoever, but are dealing with issues of stress or fatigue.” -Businessweek

ADA redefines “disability”

In May of 2011, the Americans with Disabilities Act expanded on their definition of disability,” responding to continuing discrimination of disabled persons in the workplace and the courtrooms.  Where the burden of proof previously rested on the employee to prove that her migraines became a disability, it now rests on the shoulders of the employers to show that migraines headaches don’t in fact diminish one’s ability to work.

In its early years, the ADA defined disability as any physical or mental condition that significantly impairs one’s ability to lead a normal life.  So what’s the catch?  The employee had to prove in court that he was not able to do his job because of his disability.  More often than not, the judge would throw out the case.  There was simply not enough evidence to support the litigant’s claim.

MIGRAINES AT WORK- CAN MY EMPLOYERS FIRE ME FROM MY JOB? WWW.MIGRAVENT.COMToday, the ADA specifies certain illnesses that usually qualify as a disability, making it harder for employers or judges to ignore an employee’s request for disability benefits.  They are:

  • Deafness
  • Blindness
  • Autism
  • Cancer
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Major depression

How do the new ADA amendments help migraine sufferers?

Before, if you filed for disability benefits, you had to convince the judge that you were unable to perform your job duties.  For people with “invisible diseases,” such as migraines, that burden of evidence can be next to impossible.  Now, it’s the employers’ responsibility to made special accommodations in the workplace for people with disabilities- make it easier for them to do their job.  For migraine patients, it could mean providing a scent-free environment, granting special permission to wear “migraine sunglasses,” or enabling them time to recuperate from crippling migraine attacks.


Read more about migraine law:


Image credits, from top:

Improve your Memory while taking Topamax for Migraines

Friday, September 23rd, 2011



The epilepsy drug Topamax is popular for treating migraines, but headache relief comes at a price- memory loss. To improve your memory, try these online memory games.


Concentrate on this…

Migraine pain is synonymous with words like “torture,” “misery,” “debilitating,” and “agonizing.”  It’s no wonder that many migraine headache sufferers will do almost anything to get headache relief, even if it means opting for a headache remedy that causes unfavorable side effects.  Topamax, an epilepsy drug, is an anti-seizure medication that is also used to treat migraines, obesity, and alcoholism.  Unfortunately, Topamax also causes the following side effects:

  • Short-term memory loss
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Weakened cognitive reasoning skills
  • Decreased vocabulary
  • Difficulty organizing thoughts
  • Brain fog

Natural ingredients for migraines

Alternative,home-based management for migraines are gaining popularity because they improve neurological health and your body’s response to inflammation, without causing more side effects than conventional migraine treatments, and usually with dramatically fewer side effects.

Some popular nutrients for migraines are magnesium, butterbur extracts, riboflavin, and coenzyme Q10.

Memory games that reverse memory loss

If Topamax is your preferred migraine treatment, then it is imperative that you strengthen your thinking skills.  Just as your abs, biceps, or hamstring muscles become weakened with inactivity, so do your brain segments.  Choose from a variety of online brain games that focus on specific learning cognitive skills.

Here are some of the best brain exercises for improving memory:


Count the F’s Brain Teaser

Are you smarter than a chimp?

Inside and Outside

See It, Hear It

Memory games:

Brain Exercises for the Weekend

Memory Matrix

Flex Your Memory

Speed Match

Patterns and numbers:

Tower of Hanoi

Tipping the Scales

The Empty Triangle


Visual puzzles, brainteasers, and optical illuions:

Catch 33

Is the inner shape a real circle?

Pick the missing piece

Are those 2 rows perfectly parallel?

Color tile optical illusion


Language and logic:

In which direction is the bus pictured below traveling?

Words in the brain

Word Bubbles

Crossword Puzzles


Math puzzles:

The Fork in the Road

The Really, Really, Really Big Number




Free Memory Games – Brain Games for Adults – RealAge

Test Your Brain With Brain Teasers and Games- SharpBrains

Epilepsy Drug Linked to Memory Problems

New Migraine Cure

Monday, March 15th, 2010

A new migraine cure has been discovered by Richard B. Lipton and colleagues at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. It was specifically developed for migraine sufferers who experience an aura (sensation of lights) immediately prior to the onset of the migraine.

Researchers have found that the aura is caused by a wave of electrical activity in the brain, followed by a stage known as cortical spreading depression. It is during this stage that the pain sets in.

The migraine cure is a hand-held magnetic device that emits a magnetic pulse to the cranium in order to prevent the onset of the migraine.

This study involved 201 patients. Some were given the real magnetic device, and some were given a sham device.

Four out of ten people using the real magnetic device experienced relief from their migraines, which is not a high percentage, especially when you consider that two out of ten people using the sham device claimed to have relief of migraine pain. The other problem is that not every person suffering from migraines experiences the aura beforehand.

The good news is that there were no side effects from the device, in contrast to many migraine medications which do cause side effects.

In conclusion, further research needs to be done to see if this device would help more migraine sufferers when combined with medications.

This study was published in The Lancet Neurology (April, 2010).