Let’s explore the natural herbs that can help manage your migraine

Tanacetum parthenium flowers

Migraines affect around one in seven people in the UK, and are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light and noises, abdominal pain, and sweating. Migraines can last anywhere from two to three days, or even longer.

The exact cause of a migraine is unknown. However, medical professionals suggest to try to note your own triggers. These may include diet and environmental factors, stress, anxiety, tiredness, or a lack of sleep. Natural herbs offer an alternative to over-the-counter painkillers. It’s always advised to speak to a professional or your GP to assess dosage and possible side effects, particularly if you’re taking other medications.

Tanacetum parthenium (also known as feverfew) is an anti-inflammatory herb used for headaches, dry coughs, and rheumatic pains. It contains sesquiterpene lactones and parthenolide, which have an anti-inflammatory effect on serotonin-dependant migraines. Note: some clinical studies have found it may elevate the severity of migraine symptoms like nausea and vomiting.

Fresh ginger is used to alleviate symptoms of motion sickness, nausea and digestive disorders, and helps to increase circulation. The direct anti-inflammatory activity of ginger is thought to be because of gingerols and diarylheptanoids that may inhibit prostaglandin synthesis and anti-platelet aggravation that are usually present in migraines.

Judyta Zyrek

Butterbur has a reputation as an anti-inflammatory and pain relieving remedy. Studies have shown that butterbur works well as preventative treatment for migraines, however the herb contains some pyrrolizidine alkaloids that can potentially cause damage to the liver. Please check guidelines on supplements containing butterbur.

Vitex agnus-castus has a hormone balancing action by increasing progesterone levels and decreasing oestrogen levels to help hormonal migranes. However, it’s not usually prescribed by itself.

Read the full article on Therapy Directory.
Written by Judyta Zyrek NIMH Medical Herbalist.