I tried 5-HTP and I can't really say it worked for migraines. I did find that it caused a bit of sexual dysfunction (and this is a noted side effect). Since it didn't really seem to work, I stopped it.
I was super excited about taking 5-htp, as I use Imitrex and from what I read 5-htp seemed pretty much like a natural Imitrex. Imitrex imitates serotonin and basically alters the body's pain reception for migraines. (or something to that effect).
5-htp is a precursor to serotonin, which means your body will take 5-htp, convert it to serotonin and it in theory will act like Imitrex. Though that's where the awesomeness ended for me.
I have a few major warnings for anyone interested in 5-htp:
1) You cannot use it if you are pregnant
2) You cannot use it with many anti-depressants
3) You cannot use it within about 24 hours before or after you use Imitrex. Both anti-depressants that increase serotonin and Imitrex that imitates serotonin used with 5-htp that creates even more serotonin can cause a serotonin overdose and can be fatal.
4) I did more research on it and it turns out that 5-htp is a chemical by-product of L-tryptophan, which is responsible for making serotonin in our bodies. They used to sell tryptophan supplements but after many people started developing eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome, an incurable muscle and blood disease, from these supplements, as they were tainted, they banned the sale of tryptophan supplements in the US. (This happened mainly due to one large manufacturer going cheap, but who's to say this won't happen again with 5-htp??)
There have already been a few cases of eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome being caused by 5-htp supplements to date and that got me thinking: "Is taking this 5-htp to hopefully have a cheaper more 'natural' form of Imitrex worth it?" I decided it wasn't worth it.
I just want to warn those who are thinking about taking 5-htp that just because it's natural doesn't make it safer, and just because they sell it doesn't mean it's guaranteed safe. Supplements are not regulated by the FDA and only get any attention once a lot of people get sick from it. Use the information we are given to make the best decision for you. I ended up finding that Mint essential oil works really well for me and with no serious side effects. (or any at all for me)
I hope this helps someone, it would have been nice to have this all written for me when I was researching it. :)
(New York, US)
I came across 5-HTP on my doctor's vitamin website. The description said that it was for Depression, Mood Swings, Sleeplessness, Headaches, etc. Since I have all those things, I decided to give it a try! Much to my delight, I found that my 25 year struggle with Gluten and Casein related migraines was suddenly over!! After suffering through years of debilitating migraines, that effectively put a damper on my Junior High, High School, College, and Marriage life. When I was 27ish, I finally figured out that if I removed gluten and cow-related dairy products from my diet, I no longer had migraines. This was great! Except, that gluten and casein are in EVERYTHING! This food allergy (food intolerance) discovery was a blessing in disguise, because now I eat fresh organic fruit and veggies and organic/grass-fed meat. No packaged meals or fastfood ever! But eating out or over at friends' houses was still causing me to lose days due to the migraines. 5-HTP literally changed my life! I started taking 100mg/day in the morning and noticed after a month that I could have little cheats in my diet and get away with them!
Currently I take 200 mg/day and can have a sandwich for lunch and cheesecake! (it's SO wrong, I know! ) I still try very hard to keep the gluten and casein out of my diet. Even though I can cheat and not have a migraine attack, I still can tell that my body feels wrong or icky when I have those foods. But it's SO nice to go from 10 migraines a month, down to 1, maybe 2 per month. I plan to cut back to 100mg/day because I know that there is differing opinions about how much is too much. Plus being able to eat whatever I want makes it very hard to stay gluten/casein free. I hope this post helps other people to realize that they may have food allergies/intolerances that they are unaware of yet.
(Los Angeles, Ca)
I have had migraine problems for over 15 years. After I took 5-HTP once a day, not even 1 migraine. Of course there are many causes for migraines. But this might help someone.
(Fountain Inn, Sc)
I'm 68 in good health but still get migraines. I've had prescription medication for 20 years but sometimes it doesn't work. I tried the ice packs on the back of my neck for 2 hours and that helped. Then I pressed real hard on the top of my neck, both sides and my migraine was almost completely gone!
For the lady who thinks she will quit having migraines when she gets 50.You can quit dreaming. I am 64 and have had migraines for years. I take Imitrex and sometimes when it is not available and I get one, I pinch my hand between the thumb and index finger. And garlic does help, I also drink peppermint tea with honey. Dairy products cause me to have migraines because of the thick mucus it causes at night.
I bought my daughter a very good air purifier with multiple filtration system and it cut her migraines back to next to none from almost constant.
I have been a regular reader of this site and find the remedies very helpful. Thought I would add my remedy I stumbled upon by accident for migraine. Alka Seltzer, when taken before a full-blown migraine if you are someone that gets nausea during migraine helps relieve it. I have been suffereing from migraine for many years now and getting hold of ACV, baking soda etc is not always convenient. Trying to see if AC Gold without aspirin would have the same effect.
(New York, USA)
About a month ago, I experienced a migraine that did not respond to my usual treatment (Excedrin Migraine) so I took a second dose even though the package said not to. I was still suffering and getting worried when I remembered having read about eating almonds to stop a migraine. I happened to have some and by the time I had eaten six of them, the migraine was completely gone! Last night, I got another migraine and took the Excedrin, but also ate about a dozen almonds, and the headache stopped within just a few minutes. I don't know what it is about almonds, but it worked for me.
I stood in a freezing cold, icey shower for nearly 20 minutes with no relief. My migraines are debilitating, throbbing aches that stop me in my tracks. The cold felt good on my skin, but didn't help my pain.
I was 50 when I had my amalgam fillings removed. I did not see any benefit to having them removed and was later informed that once you have amalgam fillings it is best to keep them as having them removed causes a lot of mercury to be released into the body system. I chose to have them removed on the suggestion of an naturopath who I was attending because I suffered from migraine. Didn't help with migraines.
(Leeds, West Yorkshire, Uk)
ACV and honey for migraines.
The other day one of my co-workers was sitting at her desk with her head lowered, cupping her forehead in one hand and massaging her head and neck with the other. I asked her if she was all right and she said I have a migraine. So I logged in to see what Earth Clinic has posted for migraines and saw the remedy of 2 Tbsp. of ACV and 2 Tbsp. of raw honey in a glass of water.
I asked if she usually takes something for it and she said she takes Excedrin but that she did not have any with her. So I told her that my #1 resource for natural healing recommends ACV and honey in a glass of water and told her that I had both of them if she would like to try it. She looked up at me and said let's do it. I mixed it up and she drank it. About 20 or 30 minutes later another co-worker asked her how she was feeling and she said she felt a lot better! And for the rest of the day she was her usual bubbly self.
What is particularly interesting about this is that I work for a tribal government and these folks are Native Americans who, for the most part, have lost or forgotten the old ways, replacing them with medical services provided by the federal government through Indian Health Services. But many of them have witnessed my journey and have come to me for help for themselves and for their animals. They are re-discovering that Mother Nature has provided all that we need!
Thank you to all who post on this website, you are changing and saving lives! Flower's Mom
Apple Cider Vinegar
I normally take four peppermint oil capsules for a headache and add white willow bark if it gets out of hand, but when I woke up yesterday with a migraine, nothing was really working. I took two tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar with the mother with a spoon by mouth and within about an hour, the pain was reduced. It eventually went away almost completely. I will now use the ACV sooner in the course of a bad headache.
(Aiken, South Carolina)
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar for migraines: A TRUE MIRACLE WORKER... ACV unpastuerized and Raw Honey has been a God sent. About 4 days ago I realized I forgot to get a refill for some anti depressants I have been taking for 2 1/2 yrs now for migraines and headaches. I needed to wait for my Dr. to approve the refill at the pharmacy which would have taken about 2 to 3 days. NOT GOOD. Anyone who is taking anti depressants know that you can not miss a day because the affects are horrific. As I was about to panic, I remembered Earth Clinic. The first day without my pills I was having a terrible migraine which I expected. I drank 2 tbsp ACV unpastuerized, 2 tbsp raw honey and 8 ounces of water (I warmed the water first, before I added the Apple Cider Vinegar and honey) Because my migraines are extemely bad I had to drink this MAGIC POTION 3 times in 2 to 3 hour increments. After the 3rd drink my migraine was gone completely. For the past 3 days I have been drinking this potion 3 times a day, breakfast, lunch and before I go to bed. I began to feel a slight headache yesterday because I was feeling soooo good that I thought my migraines were gone for good (silly me) and I was experiencing an increase of energy that I have not felt in years so I did not drink the potion for lunch and I began I feel a slight headache getting worse quickly. I made the potion and I could feel the headache go away within 15 to 30 minutes. I drank the potion this morning and lunch so far no headache. I will be drinking it again before I go to bed. I will be my new drink for many years to come... I say this drink is a true miracle worker.
Apple Cider Vinegar
I used apple cider vinegar for my migraine the other day. I had the eye problem first (auras) and then the migraine begins. But about 20 minutes into the aura phenomenon, I came on here and saw the ACV recommendation and did it. My migraine never really had a chance to begin. I felt a little pressure all day, just a little. I drank the ACV (2 tbsp in a glass of water), throughout the day and was just fine!