Natural Remedies

Natural Remedies for Migraines

Find Your Trigger  

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Posted by Terry (Eugene, Oregon) on 04/17/2008
5 out of 5 stars

There is some great information here, but no one has addressed the possibilities of migraine due to non-food sources. My biggest triggers are environmental air quality factors. Things sure to trip my migraine activity is fragrances of all kinds (personal care items or cleaners, candles, incense, etc., scented fabric softeners are evil to me), chemical off-gassing and odors, cleanser odors, new materials off-gassing (new plastics, new leather, etc.), mold, pollens, animal dander, dustmites (big offender for me), dust, smoke of any kind, gas fumes, even unscented off-gassing from formaldehyde or welding fumes. New stereo or video components off-gas for months and will put me down so fast. New furniture will do the same. While I have specific food triggers, what is more vital is making sure my home environment is fragrance, chemical and as odor-free as possible.

Replied by Rob
5 out of 5 stars

I use to get ocular migraines frequently from jogging. It took me a few years to figure that out. I tried taking ibuprofen an hour before the jog, but it did not reduce the frequency. Although it made me sad that I cannot jog anymore, I'm more happy to not get the ocular migraines anymore. Instead I have now fell in love with Yoga, it will never replace the jogging but it has it's own beauty to it.

Replied by Dabags

Ocular migraines are also caused by a lack of metafolic acid - the defect MTHFR. The wrong (synthetic- added to flour, many foods) acts as poison for us. By adding METAfolic acid, you can keep from getting these, or cure one quickly.

Posted by Amith (Durban, South Africa) on 02/11/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I thinks it's silly telling people not eat certain foods. For each individual Migraine Attacks are different.

Here are the common TRIGGERS:

Foods and food additives - Alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, artificial sweeteners (aspartame, saccharin), monosodium glutamate (MSG), citrus fruits, meats with nitrites, salt

Foods containing tyramines - Aged cheese, yogurt, sour cream, chicken livers, sausages, bananas, avocados, canned figs, raisins, peanuts, soy sauce, pickled fish, freshly baked breads, pork, vinegars, beans

Family history


Too much or too little sleep

Medications - Vasodilators (drugs that make blood vessels widen), oral contraceptives (birth control pills)


Exposure to bright or fluorescent lighting

Strong odors - Perfumes, colognes, petroleum-based products

Hormonal changes -

Menstruation (common association), pregnancy, ovulation

Head trauma

Weather changes

Metabolic or infectious diseases

Physical exertion or fatigue

Motion sickness

Cold stimulus (eating ice cream)

YOU need to find your TRIGGER. Food is not mine but avoid MSG at all costs, Migraine or not. It's amazing how this screws up your body, yet it's everywhere.

I suffer from Sever Aura-Migraines, the worst kind. I figured out after 12 years it was a lack of sleep. Somehow my body requires at least 8 hours of sleep. If I get less sleep, I have to exercise much more than normal to avoid an attack.

The main problem is finding YOUR TRIGGER. I've never taken any pills for the headaches, But I'm very keen on trying some of the remedies here if I get an attack.

THE GOOD NEWS is the you won't suffer after 50. Migraines go away after 50 according to doctors.
Cool only 22 more years to go.I'm not sure I believe this unless I've heard it from a sufferer. Anyone care to add to this theory?

Replied by Dawn
London, Canada
1 out of 5 stars

That's not true about people over 50 not getting migraines. my grandmother and aunt both still get migraines and they are both over 50.

Replied by Pat
St. Louis, USA

My head didn't get the message that I am not supposed to get migraines after 50! I am 64 and still get them.

Replied by Danielle
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Migraines: What ever you do, don't go on medication, that has done nothing but cause problems for me and i feel bad all the time. Since I went on preventatives, I have gotten more migraines then when i wasnt taking medication. I found feverfew worked for me for about a year, but that no longer works anymore. The worst thing is that I am sleep deprived and stressed out, but for working purposes I need to keep on going, anybody have any more things that are good for you to take, because I have always known what NOT to do, and the list is very long....Any suggestions??

Replied by Joyce
Joelton, Tn
512 posts

Hi Danielle from Saskatoon, First question, have you been using aspartame (nutrisweet)? It is well known for causing all kinds of headaches, including migraines! If not go read ingredients in your kitchen foods and see how many of them contain aspartame or any hydrolyzed plant (corn, soy, etc) protein because this is a combination of both MSG and aspartame. Allergies can be the cause of migraines also. If you are blessed with allergies, pay attention to what you eat or drink before they start (usually from minutes after to l hour after ingested). Any diet food or drink is probably going to be loaded with both MSG and aspartame, so beware! I have also heard positive comments from people started on magnesium supplements saying their headaches decreased. Usually with headache reactions from food or drink, my nose starts itching first and then the headache starts. I think it's probably the red food coloring in Marachino cherries that gives me the problem because I can eat all kinds of fresh cherries without headaches.

Replied by Gloria
Anchorage, Alaska

Had classic migraines beginning at 14. One a month for six months. Then they disappeared except for an occassional one every 10 or so years. Two years ago when I was 64, they reappeared worse than ever. I have had four accompanied by aura, pain beyond belief, high blood pressure and numbing of a hand (alternates between left and right) moving up arm to head and disappearing after 10 or so minutes. Thought I was having a stroke and was taken to ER. Not, just a migraine, thank God. Just tried Sumavel Dose injection a couple of days ago for #4. Don't know what was worse. Got loopy and had short term memory loss. A powerful, powerful drug and scary drug. Now what do I do? Just tried the apple cider drink, my brother and this site swear by that are great. Took away a knife pain in my head within 10 mins? Maybe there is a God afterall.

Replied by Vanessa D'rand
San Miguel De Allende, Gto. Mexico

I'm 67 and I still have chronic migraines--going on 31 years now. When I moved to the mountains of central Mexico three months ago, I panicked when I was informed by my new doctor that Mexico does not carry the prescription drugs that have (usually) worked so well for me for so many years. Therefore, I would like to offer my profuse thanks to everyone who has posted on this site, giving personal accounts of what works to alleviate the horror of their own migraine pain. Over the years I have discovered my own triggers (certain odors and foods), but I can't wait to try these new (to me) home remedies. Two more notes: I never leave home without a bottle filled 3/4 full of frozen water, then top it off with cool water. When I'm out and about and a migraine starts, I immediately find a cool spot and press the bottle to the back of my neck or my throbbing temple. It brings the pain down to a tolerable level after 10 to 15 minutes so I can get home and lie down, continuing to use the frozen water bottle for additional pain relief... Then I take a very long, very hot shower, and many times lately my headache disappears with that regimen. And last of all, If I don't have my one cup of strong coffee for the day, first thing in the morning, I am assured of getting a migraine within the next couple of hours. The prescription meds I took, including a self-administered injection, both contained cafeine, so it stands to reason. Works for me, but you may find it works just the opposite for you. Unfortunately, it took me years to determine (nearly) all my triggers! Best of luck to everyone out there sharing their stories, and many thanks for your input!

Replied by Dave
Fountain Inn, Sc

Hello Vanessa,

I've posted a number of times on EC about migraines. I cured mine.

Reading about them first when I was about 25 years old I learned that certain people over use their supply of B vitamins under stress (one of the triggers you mentioned) caused the majority of migraines...that is some genetic types over utilize their B3 which keeps the dilation of capillaries in functioning order. And that when the over use of the B 3 is exhausted, then the shut down begins (a cascade effect) and you have the "classic" migraine. There are different types of migraines and not all are the classic type. A sensitivity to light and an accompanying aura and narrowing of vision and then nausea are typical symptoms of a classic migraine.

The solution for me was using niacin and making sure I got enough to cause a flushing. If no flushing then I knew I was B3 deficient. Then later in life I discovered that the herb "feverfew" would also keep the capillaries dilated. So between them both I have rid myself of migraines for the better part of 30 years. (I don't take these AFTER the migraine has started, as they are preventative. I take them four or five times WEEKLY as a preventative.)

PLUS, niacin is now believed to greatly help with mental issues...and if you think about it that makes sense since the flush produced by the niacin is rushing blood to the brain. Dementia issues, and Parkinson's etc might be helped by regular use of niacin.

Replied by Adam
Seattle, Washington

I still haven't pinpointed my trigger because they have a way of changing. I think the most recent one for me was weather. High pressure for a few days followed by low pressure. Lately though, there hasn't been a build up, it just hits like a ton of bricks.

Replied by Timh
Ky, Usa

Here's a link that might help; good luck.


Replied by Dave
Fountain Inn, Sc

To Adam,

Re: Trigger for Migraines

You're exactly right...migraine triggers can vary and change. That's because, I believe, the issue is NOT a trigger...anything CAN be the "straw that broke the camel's back" but the condition is one of vitamin B complex ... especially B3...depletion. Some people are genetically predisposed to such depletion, brought on usually by the stresses of life in general. The greater the stress the greater the propensity to deplete the B3 that keeps open the capillaries in the brain controlling the area that can cause a migraine.

So... the issue of the trigger is immaterial. The trigger is the "straw" I mentioned....the tipping point... and what is needed is to supply the body, primarily the brain, with the depleted nutrient to provide sufficient dilation of capillaries.

The above "theory" is what I have tested on myself and in giving advice to others with "Classic Migraine"...note other look alike causes for the standard "Classic" are possible. The worst is Viral Meningitis.

The solution to the Classic Migraine is taking supplements of B3. B3 causes a flush and is a preventative. It won't cure the migraine after the migraine has started. For years I successfully used B3 and highly recommend it. Then I read that the herb Feverfew is also a wonderful dilator and sure enough, if I take 2 a day four or five days a week ... no migraines. Then the triggers are meaningless. Why? Because I've gotten rid of the underlying cause.

Always look for the underlying cause and I contend...after studying and dealing with (not only myself but dozens of folks with the same condition)...after working with migraines for 40 years that the genetic type is a predictor to the solution; a genetic type predisposes one to over use of the B vitamin and to compensate, supplementation of B3 or Feverfew will keep the capillaries open.

This method will NOT help all headaches because the cause will be across the board; but for the Classic Migraine, the cause is easily remedied.

Now in my life, I can be under enormous stress and if I'm taking my Feverfew or B3, no migraines....but get off those supplements for three weeks and watch out. Usually I can barely "feel"..."sense" is the better word; I can sense my eyes weakening and I know FROM EXPERIENCE that I am a day or two or even hours away from a migraine attack....Quickly I reboot with B3 and/or Feverfew and in an hour that "sense" of eye weakness has gone. And so does the migraine...which had been knocking at the door.

Replied by Carol

I am seventy and just started getting migraines the last 3 years. Not common but possible ūüėį


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Posted by Mytwocents (Ga) on 10/02/2016
1 out of 5 stars

I have found that raw garlic actually can trigger my migraines. Use with care.

Posted by Beverly (Willsboro, New York) on 08/23/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I have started taking garlic tablets EVERY DAY Because in the past I have had over the period of 2 yrs flashing bright lights, like lightening) in front of my eyes. Even when I put my head under a pillow I still saw them, and it was very scarey. I went to a nuerologist and had a cat scan of my brain, his conclusion was' he said I have the side effects of a migraine with out the headaches. Well, since taking one garlic tablet every day, I am very excited to say, that I have had NO problems for about 4 years. So of course I told the Doctor. He didn't say much,I guess he was skeptic.

General Feedback  

Posted by Rosie (Aurora, Il) on 10/14/2011

My migraines with aura became more and more frequent until they were occurring about once a week. It was during that time that my doctor found out that I had thyroid cancer with goiters on both the left and right side. Since I had my thyroid removed I have not had another migraine.

Posted by Agapegirl (Orlando, Florida, Usa) on 09/03/2011

For 14 years I have had 3-day migraines approximately once a month (more or less). This week my 3-day migraine morphed into a 5-day full head headache. I haven't had a traditional "headache" since the migraines began, so I was very concerned. My standard migraine Rx (Relpax) only takes pain away for a few hours and it didn't even do that this week. A couple of times I tried 3 ibuprofen, which worked for about 2 hours each time. On earthclinic, ACV seemed to work for some people, so I decided to drive (nauseated and in pain) 20 minutes to the health store. I bought ACV capsules and took 2 (500 mg each) with water in the parking lot. By the time I reached home the headache/migraine pain was gone. I was exhausted and aching from 5 days of pain so I went to bed early. I took my normal nighttime supplements (200 mg chelated magnesium and 1 gr L-Glutamine), I woke up refreshed and back to normal. I will try ACV capsules the next time pain strikes. Thanks.

Gluten Free  

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Posted by Anon (US) on 09/04/2014

I get digestive problems from wheat, peanuts, cooked eggs, coffee. Taking senna and then eating only raw fruit and green veggies the next day helps a lot. Rice pudding is ok too. Cantalope. Canned peaches. Filtered water with a little baking soda sometimes helps after the senna, too.

One guy I knew got migraines from bananas.

Posted by Ck (Erie, Pa) on 05/01/2011
5 out of 5 stars

I have suffered with migraines for 61 years with relief only from sesame oil pulling and acv. It never completely alleviated migraines but helped. The past five years the migraines increased from two or three a week to five. I missed so much work, was out of it most of the time and unable to function when a new naturopath suggested I might be gluten sensitive! After yrs at pgh and Cleveland clinic no one had ever suggested that! I had been living on toast, too I'll to eat much else! I immediately started a gluten free diet and amazingly have been migraine free four months today! I feel my life has been a gift returned to me! I still use avc and sesame oil pulling every day for the remarkable health benefits but want to share my experience for any of you migraine sufferers. Our modified wheats now have over 500 times more gluten than they did 20 yrs ago. It is estimated that 50%of the population of the U.S. have some gluten related illness. Our livers simply cannot process this load. I hope my experience may help someone out there!

Grapefruit Seed Extract  

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Posted by Dave (Victoria, British Columbia) on 01/07/2014
5 out of 5 stars

Another remedy to try to arrest the onset of Migraines is Grapefruit Seed Extract. My complaint was feeling very tired, mild to moderate sickness, a constant sore neck, insomnia and 3-4 mild, non-food allergy triggered migraines in one week.

I immediately tried acupuncture on knots in my neck and shoulders, followed by chiropractic adjustments and massage therapy on these sore muscles. Usually, this helps but did not work this time. Realizing that a virus was causing my migraines, my wife suggested Grapefruit Seed Extract.

The directions on the label suggested 5-15 drops, in water, 3 times a day, to be taken with or without food. I took 5 drops, maybe a total of 7 times over a period of 5 days, whenever I felt ill.

The results were dramatic and amazing. After the first 5 drops, my migraines stopped. The sore neck went away and my general feeling of sickness began to abate. After the next three doses, over the next two days, my general feeling of sickness disappeared and my energy came back to 90% of peak. After a month of abandoning all forms of intense exercise, I was able to run for 20 minutes and cycle for 3 hours.


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Posted by Sarah (New Baltimore, Michigan) on 02/23/2008
5 out of 5 stars

My mother suffers from severe migraines. ... I looked to the Internet for help. I found that green or red grapes often help with migraines and since we had some in the refrigerator I decided to give them to my mother. She ate them and within thirty minutes her migraine was cured, with a tiny headache left.

Gunpowder Tea  

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Posted by Kim (Marlborough, MA) on 11/14/2006
5 out of 5 stars

Cider Vinegar did NOT cure my migraine. Did not even touch it. Several years ago I used to use this Chinese tea called 'Gunpowder'. After having a migraine, going to ER and they helped a little bit, and continuing the migraine for 11 days straight, I went to an Asian store and bought some Gunpowder tea. My migraine went away within 20 minutes. I think it might be a good idea for someone to post this information about Chinese Gunpowder tea. I also use it for any pain and it get's rid of the pain within 20 minutes, colds, same thing. Thank you very much.

Replied by Lanet
Durham, NC
5 out of 5 stars

Hello, after reading this post about 4mths ago I told my friend about the gunpowder tea. He just decided to try it out last week. He noticed a big difference in his migraine headaches and he is very pleased with the product. He normally takes imitrex and it seems as if some of the side affects are just as bad as the illness. Thanks for the information.

Replied by Soph
New York, NY
5 out of 5 stars

I suffer from menstrual migraines once a month. The city here has a cool tea shop so I bought some GunPowder Tea. This tea it truly works and I feel fortunate to have found the remedy for my migraines.

Replied by Carly
Duluth, Mn/ Usa
5 out of 5 stars

My son got a horrible, throwing up migraine headache. He was laying on the couch clutching the edge of a blanket. I came to Earth Clinic thinking there might be something for him. Saw the Gunpowder tea, called the local wholefoods, and and sent my husband out to retrieve it. Brewed it, and sat down next to him to wait for it to cool while I wondered if he would be able to hold it down long enough to see if it helped. He actually wanted to try it, and drank 1 cup down. Within 5 minutes he was up and looking for some food. Amazing! Now I carry some (teabag) in my purse in case he gets a migraine.

At a basketball game, I gave some to a dear lady who gets horrible migraines. Her husband gave me a look of disbelief, but the next time I saw her, they were both beaming and telling me how much it stopped the pain and symptoms cold of her next migraine. Now, they share the good news with others.

I don't know why this would work, but it does.

I love Earth Clinic! My other favorite cure from here is the eggwhites for burns. It immediately stops the burn pain and prevents any scarring. Just do it right away and keep applying it.

Replied by Rsw
Uniontown, Oh
5 out of 5 stars

I wake up many mornings with a headache which can sometimes ruin my day. I tried the gunpowder tea remedy that I saw here and to my surprise, by the time I finish drinking the tea, I am already feeling much better and am able to get on with my day. Thank you for sending in this remedy! No OTC anti-inflammatory had been able to help with this.

Herbs and Supplements  

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Posted by Let It Go (Los Angeles, California) on 01/21/2017 11 posts
5 out of 5 stars

Herbs and supplements for migraines

I am dealing with headaches/migraines since young age of 2, but just the last few years I started using natural ways to stop them. I use many things as I noticed, that sometimes remedies, that worked for me one day, might not work the other. Lately I started combining several remedies together, and that seems to work better than using any one of them. For prevention I use mainly magnesium and alpha lipoic acid. I take either magnesium malate powder or magnesium glycinate capsules without any fillers. I feel that I need minimum of 600mg a day, but if I ate sugar or day was stressful for any reason, I need more. It is not cheap, otherwise I would probably take daily 1000 mg. I can't take more than 300mg at one sitting though without getting belly rumbles, so I take my in two doses. I take 2 alpha lipoic acid 300mg tablets per day-also in two times. I feel that those two help a lot, however I am not particularly good at taking it every day twice a day since I do not like to eat breakfast early, so I have to remember to pack them in my bag. If I take just once a day for a few days, migraine comes. When it comes, I take:

1. 600 mg magnesium at once or within 2 hours (better tummy troubles than horrible headache)

2. drink 2-3 tablsp ACV in a large glass of water (I avoid honey as sugar negates some of the magnesium)

3. drink wood betony tincture (2 droppers in a bit of water.) I also use devil's claw tincture with good results. I tried wild lettuce one, but that tends to give me more nausea.

4. take half teaspoon of turmeric and half teaspoon of ginger powder with some black pepper for better absorption in a bit of water.

Those 4 things work really well for me. Much better than drugs, because even though those would take the pain, but would make me feel weak, and nausea would still be there. Herbs/supplements make me feel good, not just take the pain away.

I did use cayenne tincture couple times to stop it, when I was out and didn't have my usual remedies. It works for a while, but then it would come back. Now I make sure I have at least magnesium and tincture with me at all times.

Himalayan Salt  

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Posted by Julie (Melbourne, Australia) on 03/07/2016
5 out of 5 stars

Although I have suffered from migraines for decades, to varying degrees, this summer I have had a disturbing number; several times a week and sometimes twice in one day. I always see a shimmering jagged aura as the first sign of its onset.

In the past, I have taken 20 drops of liquid oxygen in water, thus avoiding the nausea, vomiting and headache which would normally follow. I would, however, be very "washed out" for the rest of the day. I haven't been able to stop the aura though, UNTIL TODAY!!!!! I AM SOOO EXCITED.

A few minutes ago I had another attack and thought I would try a glass of water with a teaspoon of sole (which we always have made up). If it didn't work I would also take liquid oxygen but wanted to give it a few minutes trial. Within one minute, maybe less, the aura stopped!!!! Not only that, no headache, nausea, no dull, weak feeling, I just feel normal.

You may ask what is sole (soul-ay) is made by taking Himalayan coarse crystal salt and 1/4 filling a jar and topping it up with filtered water. Cap with a plastic lid: it will rust a metal one. Leave it sit overnight and check in the morning. If the salt is still visible, the liquid is ready to use. If not, add more salt and let it stand for the rest of the day. You should always see crystals otherwise you don't have saturation.

I would imagine taking 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of Himalayan fine salt crystals and adding it to a large glass of water and stirring to dissolve, before drinking it, would do the same thing. I used the sole because it was there.

What motivated me to try the salt remedy? Two days ago, a man bought some Himalayan salt from me and said he had heard it was good for migraines and wanted to do some experimenting. Immediately I thought of dehydration, electrolytes, profuse perspiration in this summer heat and it made perfect sense. By my past record, I knew that within the week I would be able to try it out.

For those reading this who think ALL salt is bad, Himalayan salt is not refined so it contains over 90 minerals. This is the good salt and necessary for life.

Refined salt, is not the same, it has had everything removed except the sodium chloride. In processing, they also bleach it and add a flow agent, to stop clumping, which is usually a derivative of fluoride or aluminium, depending on where it is processed. This is the bad salt which does so much damage to our bodies. It has been described as a poison.

It has taken me a while to finish this message, I still feel great; no migraine symptoms whatsoever.

Homeopathic Remedies  

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Posted by Carol (Pueblo, Colorado) on 08/28/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Response to Julie in Ohio looking for migraine headache relief....
This works almost immediately.....find nat.mur 30x and belladonna30x at health food store in homeopathic (about $4.00 each) take 5 each under tongue....works right away. Then find a traditional chinese medicine practioner licenced to help you resolve the underlying cause, if you want to. Recommend www.ITMonline.org

Replied by C.
Charlotte, NC

Migraine went away earlier with cayenne pepper. It's back now. :(

Just took the recommended homeopathic remedy. I hope this helps. :)

Ice Pack  

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Posted by Mama To Many (Tn) on 10/03/2017
5 out of 5 stars

After traveling about 700 miles yesterday by car I had a terrible migraine. I find them very difficult to shake.

I filled a gallon bag half full of ice and wrapped that in a t-shirt and sat with the ice pack on my neck. Slowly relief was coming. I kept it on for the better part of 2 hours and even tried to prop to up to my neck when I got into bed, though by the time I went to bed it had lessened significantly. Usually if I go to bed with a headache I wake up with one.

I was thrilled to wake up with no headache. My ice pack was still cold and one part of my shoulder was cold.

~Mama to Many~