Natural Remedies for Migraine Relief

Consider trying these alone or in conjunction with other treatments

If you have recurrent migraines, it is worthwhile to consider natural approaches to managing your condition. Not everyone with chronic migraines has the same response to natural remedies, however. Most people do not experience complete resolution with these simple strategies, some don't experience any improvement at all, and for some migraineurs, natural methods completely prevent or diminish migraines.

As you try natural remedies for migraine relief and prevention, you can observe your response and decide whether these methods are useful for you. The following are considered safe to try on your own. Of course, keep your doctor informed about any strategies you incorporate into your care plan.

natural remedies for migraines
Illustration by Emily Roberts, Verywell

Diet

Use for: Migraine prevention and treatment

Certain foods and drinks may trigger your migraines. Dietary triggers tend to differ from person to person, so it isn't practical to eliminate all of the foods and drinks that are known to provoke migraines. Instead, it's best to work on finding out which dietary triggers tend to set off your migraines by observing your own migraine patterns.

You can also pinpoint your triggers with an elimination diet. The idea is to stop consuming just one type of food and pay attention to changes in your migraine frequency or severity before considering re-introducing it. Although this method may be time-consuming, many find it well worth it.

There are many foods and beverages that may trigger migraines, including alcohol, aged cheese, processed meats, chocolate, and even bread.

Some research suggests that a high-fat diet may be associated with migraines in both men and women and that moderating fat intake may reduce the frequency of migraines and other types of headaches.

Essential Oils

Use for: Migraine prevention and treatment

Essential oils are sometimes used for migraines. Lavender oil is the essential oil most consistently found to improve migraines. Other essential oils that may help migraines include rose oil, chamomile oil, and Lippia alba oil, all of which can be obtained from health food stores.

They can be inhaled or applied (diluted) to the skin in small amounts; essential oils should never be ingested.

These oils have only been studied in small groups of participants, though, so there are no well-established guidelines for their use. Researchers are working to understand the chemical reason for why some essential oils may improve migraines.

Acupressure

Use for: Migraine treatment

For some people who get migraines, acupressure—a process of stimulating certain pressure points on the body—may help relieve symptoms. Pressure applied to PC6, an acupressure point on the wrist, can reduce migraine symptoms, especially nausea.

Products marketed as "Sea Bands" or acupressure wristbands are used for motion sickness and these products can be used during or before a migraine as well.

Yoga

Use for: Migraine prevention

Practicing yoga may help to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. Regularly practicing yoga several times a week may help prevent migraines for some people. The improvement is related to yoga's ability to reduce stress and its effect on hormones and the cardiovascular system.

Yoga is not generally recommended during a migraine, because some positions, including inversions (when you position your head lower than your body), can actually exacerbate a migraine attack.

A Word From Verywell

Natural management of migraines is usually an adjunctive approach that you can use along with over-the-counter or prescription medication. Natural methods of managing your migraines can reduce your need for medication and improve your quality of life.

These natural strategies for migraine management are safe, and you can use more than one because they do not cause side effects or interact with each other in a harmful way.

Note: While migraine herbal remedies may be natural, they can come with side effects and drug interaction concerns. As such, they are not mentioned here. Speak with your doctor before trying any such supplements.

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