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Herbs for Migraine Relief

Jul 27, 2021

Migraine is a pathology characterized by violent headaches which occur in crisis, more or less frequent, lasting from 4 to 72 hours. Migraine sufferers usually take seizure medications (triptan) and background medications, but these can cause complications or side effects.

Today more and more patients are turning to natural treatments and plants can be an excellent alternative to relieve migraine attacks.

Migraine is characterized by inflammation of the meninges and hyperexcitability of the brain. To relieve migraine, it is thus preferable to act on these two mechanisms. Thus, we will preferably use plants with an anti-inflammatory effect and those with a soothing effect on the brain.

Plants with an anti-inflammatory effect to relieve migraine:

An anti-inflammatory effect reduces the symptoms associated with the headache phase (head pain), which consists of inflammation of the meninges, the covering of the brain.

Many plants have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect:

  • white willow ( Salix Alba) : used in medicine since nearly 2000, white willow is known to be an excellent painkiller, especially against headaches and migraines. In particular, we find salicin in its bark: the pharmacological effect of white willow is partly due to this molecule. Several studies have proven its effectiveness in humans. White willow bark is used as a dry plant, in capsules, in dry or liquid extracts. To take advantage of its benefits, you can take 2 to 3g of white willow bark as an infusion, several times a day.

  • Feverfew ( Tanacetum parthenium or Chrysanthemum parthenium) is the emblematic plant for migraine and headaches. It is often the fresh or dried leaves that are used. It is mainly thanks to the parthenolides that feverfew has a pharmacological effect. Taken as a long-term treatment over several months, it would reduce the frequency of seizures and the associated nausea and vomiting. Be careful not to confuse feverfew with other varieties of chamomile: they do not have the same properties! It can be consumed in herbal tea at the rate of a teaspoon in the morning.
HERBA MIG and MIG SPRAY are two new preventive treatments for migraine attacks that use white willow, feverfew and their active ingredients!
  • turmeric (curcuma longa) : Several studies have proven the effectiveness of curcumin (one of the active ingredients of turmeric) in the treatment of migraine. Indeed, curcumin would act on the production of the substance linked to headaches. In order to be able to feel the benefits of this spice, it is advisable to consume 3 teaspoons a day.

  • Ginger ( Zingiber officinale): This medicinal plant is known for its many virtues and is also widely used in Ayurvedic medicine . In addition to having anti-inflammatory properties to reduce the intensity of migraine attacks, ginger is also known to fight against nausea and vomiting. This plant can be consumed as an infusion with dried or freshly grated ginger. You can also eat its rhizomes directly.

  • Wintergreen ( gaultheria procumbens ): This plant has the particularity of inhibiting the TRPV1 receptors which play a major role in the transmission of pain to the brain. Thus, wintergreen soothes the pain associated with migraine. To take advantage of its benefits, wintergreen is used in essential oil by local application. To increase its effectiveness, it can also be used in massage: thanks to the movements and the therapeutic effects of wintergreen, massage is very effective in relieving painful headaches.

  • Devil's claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) : This plant contains many active ingredients such as harpagoside, phenols and flavonoids which give it anti-inflammatory properties. Devil's claw can be consumed in herbal tea from its roots. There are also fresh plant extracts or capsules.

Plants with a soothing effect:

Other plants meanwhile, will have a soothing effect on migraine.

    • St. John's Wort ( Hypericum perforatum ) : Also called St. John's Wort, St. John's Wort was traditionally used to drive away evil spirits. Today, it has a calming effect thanks in particular to hyperforin, one of its active ingredients. It is effective in treating mild depression, improving sleep quality or reducing stress. Thus, St. John's wort helps to relax the body so that it feels soothed. The parts used are the flowering tops. You can take capsules of dry extracts of St. John's wort or liquid extracts. However, St. John's wort should never be combined with taking traditional antidepressants, otherwise there will be an interaction.

    • saffron ( crocus sativus) , nicknamed “red gold” because of its price, this spice contributes to nervous balance to fight against stress and emotional fragility. Saffron also helps promote relaxation and improve sleep. It is the filaments of saffron that contain these properties. It can be consumed in cooking or in infusion.

    • Ginseng ( Panax Ginseng ) is an ancestral plant known for its many virtues: it would increase muscle oxygenation and strengthen the immune system. Ginseng is often used as an infusion, liquid extract or capsule.

ginseng root in a dish

Even if all these plants are natural, they can still be dangerous: do not consume them excessively and do not take them if you are allergic.

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