Migraines aren’t typical headaches. If you experience them, you know you may experience pounding pain, nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound. When a migraine strikes, you’ll do almost anything to make it go away.
Natural remedies are a drug-free way to reduce migraine symptoms. These at-home treatments may help prevent migraines, or at least help reduce their severity and duration.
Note: Severe migraines may require treatment with prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medication. Talk to your doctor about a treatment plan that works for you.
- Avoid hot dogs
Diet plays a vital role in preventing migraines. Many foods and beverages are known migraine triggers, such as:
- foods with nitrates including hot
dogs, deli meats, bacon, and sausage
- cheese that contains the
naturally-occurring compound tyramine, such as blue, feta, cheddar, Parmesan,
- alcohol, especially red wine
- foods that contain monosodium
glutamate (MSG), a flavor enhancer
- foods that are very cold such as ice
cream or iced drinks
- processed foods
- pickled foods
- dried fruits
- cultured dairy products such as
buttermilk, sour cream, and yogurt
A small amount of caffeine may ease migraine pain in some people. Caffeine is also in some migraine medications. But, too much caffeine may cause a migraine. It may also lead to a severe caffeine withdrawal headache.
To figure out which foods and beverages trigger your migraines, keep a daily food diary. Record everything you eat and note how you feel afterward.
- Apply lavender oil
Inhaling lavender essential oil may ease migraine pain. According to 2012 research, people who inhaled lavender oil during a migraine attack for 15 minutes experienced faster relief than those who inhaled a placebo. Lavender oil may be inhaled directly or applied diluted to the temples.
- Try acupressure
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Acupressure is the practice of applying pressure with the fingers and hands to specific points on the body to relieve pain and other symptoms. Acupressure is a credible alternative therapy for people in pain from chronic headaches and other conditions. A separate study found acupressure may help relieve migraine-associated nausea.
- Look for feverfew
Feverfew is a flowering herb that looks like a daisy. It’s a folk remedy for migraines.