I've been suffering from migraines for 50 years. The solution for me and many others I've gotten onto this is simple: The herb feverfew. It is a natural dilator. I had used B3 for years but feverfew does not have the flush issue.
Take two tablets of feverfew every day until migraines subside, then every other day. If you are under lots of pressure (job, family etc) make sure you take two daily.
Feverfew works if the sufferer has a "classic" migraine; light halo, light sensitivity leading to blurred vision and usually nausea.
This is to be taken as a preventative not as a pill to be taken when the migraine is upon you.
I have also found Feverfew exceptional for migraines.
I suffered from migraines before low air pressures, when going in the sun for too long and sometimes could be in bed for two or three days. Once I started taking feverfew on a regular basis the migraines left for ever. I don't need to take it these days, I sometimes get some of the migraine symptoms but not the blinding pain.
I take a lot of ACV but it never helped my migranes. I have the classic ones; blurred vision, like a halo, then dull pain following along with nausea. The solution that has worked for 25 years: the herb feverfew. I take two tablets every other day. Feverfew is a natural dilator. My theory is that a large percent of migrane sufferers are genetically predisposed to depletion of their 'B" vitamins when under stress. The feverfew compensates the loss of B, especially B3. Yes, you can also compensate with B3 but the feverfew is much easier. The flush of B3 is sometimes a problem for some.
I have seen feverfew work dozens of times on long time migrane sufferers. Not all so called migranes, are really migranes. I found feverfew when used on the classic migrane works 90 percent of the time. And remember, you are not taking the feverfew AFTER the migraine hits; you are taking it daily as a preventative.
Some perfumes cause severe migraine headaches for me. Debilitating pain, faintness, nausea, vomiting, the whole nine yards. Extra strength aspirin used to help, but that brings other problems. I found an online reference to feverfew and bought capsules. Now, even in the migraine stage where I can't see or walk straight, if I can get to the feverfew, I get relief. One or two capsules emptied into a small cup of water, shoot it down and chase it with more water. In my condition, I don't have time to wait for tea to brew. Within 10 minutes, I have complete relief. Then all I have to do is pray the neighbors have finished their laundry or have left for new vistas. :-)
Feverfew, which is an herb has cured my migraines. You can either grow the stuff, chop it up (a tablespoon's worth) and add it to a cup of hot water to make a tea. Or you can buy it in the health food store in tincture form. Don't buy the dried because it doesn't work. Add a few drops of the tincture to a cup of hot water and drink up. You can drink the tea just a migraine is coming on or drink it as a preventative. It's a nice tasting, soothing tea.
Feverfew and Butterbur
I came across Butterbur and Feverfew as recommendations for Migraines and decided to buy both for my husband who has migraines due to multiple Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI.) Most people who write about treating migraines tend to have had them most of their life, or it's related to their menstrual cycles, so I didn't have high hopes. Previously, the only things that have worked for sure have been Botox (to freeze all the muscles along the skull front and back) or percocet (which pretty much works with everything but it's a pain to try to get that from the doctor's due to drug-seekers.) Otherwise, if he's lucky, at the start of a migraine, he can take 1600 milligrams (that's right, 8 200mg pills) and get it to go away. However, this doesn't always work, and on top of that his doctor warned him that he'd be at risk of renal failure if he happened to be dehydrated when taking such a dose. The doctor was otherwise worthless.
I've been giving him 3-4 Feverfew (380mg per pill) pills a day, and 3-4 Butterbur pills a day as well. It's not til now that I've realized the Butterbur has extra Feverfew thrown in. (ButterBur 75mg and Feverfew 200mg.) So far, it's been three days since he's had a headache or migraine. February 9th and 10th he had a headache (which is fairly unusual--he tends to get migraines every other day--sometimes everyday, sometimes only 2-3 times a week.) It's now the 12th-- so clearly not definitive at all, but I wanted to put this out there since it's promising so far. I plan on giving him these high doses until the two bottles run out (which I bought at the natural food store) and then buying online and bringing down the dose and seeing if a migraine shows up or not.
I've looked into overdosing and it's mainly digestive upset-- he hasn't had any of that.
(Fountain Inn, Sc)
Re your husband's migraines, I take two feverfew five days a week to fight off migraines... and often take niacin (the flushing kind) a few times weekly.
You are correct in using as a preventative...if he takes when migraine is already underway, little help.
I've been on Niacin for ... I guess thirty years, and feverfew for ten.
Never caused stomach upset for me.
Niacin and Feverfew are natural dilators and if your husband's migraines ...which you think may come from the brain injuries... are the cause of the migraines, the dilation of the capillaries staying open may well act to keep blood flowing properly.
Find Your Trigger
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.
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.
Find Your Trigger
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
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
Metabolic or infectious diseases
Physical exertion or fatigue
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?
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.
(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.
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??
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.
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.
(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!
(Fountain Inn, Sc)
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.
Here's a link that might help; good luck.
(Fountain Inn, Sc)
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.
My migraines started at 50!!!!
I hope this helps someone, I know there is a lot of suffering out there. I am a nutritionist, researcher and have used the GAPS diet in gut and brain related conditions over the years. One client, a mid-30s mother of 3 boys had daily migraine seizures so severe that she was unable to function.I recommended she try the GAPS diet as I had so much success with ASD children improving. GAPS requires a bone broth, to meat stock, advancing diet to heal the gut lining and prevent leaky gut and, ulimately, leaky brain.
After 30 days she was seizure free, and no longer having the migraine headaches she had had since she was 13. She was a miracle, but I have come to know that miracles are not rare but happen everyday all over the world.....more and more as people wake up and take control of their own health.
I have found that raw garlic actually can trigger my migraines. Use with care.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!