Headaches are some of the most common conditions for which people go to the doctor’s office. Three out of four migraine sufferers are women. Migraine is probably set off by their menstrual cycle, but there are a host of trigger factors like weather, stress and food that could set off a migraine attack. Typical attacks could last for at least a day with some sufferers undergoing couple of day’s agony. Aversion to light and smells are also common symptoms with lancing pain and throbbing being others. Some individuals have nausea and aversion for food. There are several home remedies for migraine. All of them are safe and a viable alternative to over-the-counter medication.
The Fragrance Of Lavender
Lavender smells great; it is one of the earliest perfumes. It has a very uplifting smell and is used extensively in aromatherapy. Lavender has been found to ease pain of many kinds but it is especially of use in migraine. Lavender can either be applied topically or inhaled. When used for inhaling, add a drop of lavender oil for a cup of boiling water. You may need three or four cups of water to be boiled to provide enough vapors for inhaling. Sit facing the pan in which the hot water is kept and cover your head and the pan together with a towel. Breathe in the vapors which collect. Do this at least four times in a day. Lavender Oil is so light it can be applied directly on the skin.
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Comforting Peppermint Oil
The comforting smell of peppermint oil is known to help migraine and tension headaches. Peppermint oil has the unusual property of being both vasodilating and vasoconstricting. This way it is able to control blood flow in the body. Headaches including migraine are linked to inadequate flow of blood into the brain. Peppermint oil is able to ease and regulate the flow by closing and opening blood vessels in the head. This oil is also good for decongesting the nasal passage, thereby allowing more oxygen to be breathed in. Try basil oil when migraine strikes. Basil has a comforting and invigorating smell as a basil topped pizza will tell you. The smell makes saliva flow as it dilates taste buds. It can also dilate blood vessels ensuring more blood into the head.
Certain foods have been implicated in migraine and other headache attacks. Recognizing those foods and making changes to it will help reduce the frequency and severity of migraine incidents. Look out for a variety of foods like: dairy products, peanut butter, chocolate, certain fruits like banana, avocado, citrus fruits, meats containing nitrates, such as hot dogs and bacon, foods that contain MSG, red wine as it contains an amino acid called tyramine and most pickles and fermented foods, Maintaining a food diary will help track of these trigger foods and connect them to migraine attacks.
Scalp massages are effective in reducing the intensity of migraines. Even when you do it yourself, it alleviates the pain. If you have a partner who can give you a head massage, it would be more effective as the back of the head can be targeted better. It is the area at the back of the head, towards the base of the skull – the greater occipital nerve – that needs to be massaged. Reflexology has since long claimed that massaging the reflex points on the hands and feet can mitigate migraine pain.
Of the currently available herbal medicines, none is so popular or so well known as feverfew. Feverfew belongs to the chrysanthemum family and has daisy like flowers. Feverfew has been extensively studied and it has been found to be like a superior aspirin. Feverfew acts on the brain’s blood vessels controlling the way they dilate and contract. They also control the secretion of prostaglandins that trigger inflammation. No one quite knows when and how feverfew began to be used as a herbal medicine. But in the 1970s, it caught the attention of the physicians at the London Migraine Clinic who heard of its effectiveness from patients. Several small studies conducted showed that feverfew indeed held much promise.
Omega 3 And Migraine
There is a buzz about Omega-3 fatty acids that are said to protect brain cells and reduce inflammation. Omega-3 is abundant in seeds, nuts and fatty fish. Supplementing your diet with flax seeds and nuts like walnuts is a great idea. Flax seeds need to be ground coarsely to make the body absorb its goodness. Flax seeds have a hard shell and if consumed whole, they pass through the body without being absorbed. An easy way to consume flax seeds and nuts is to grind them coarsely and add them to cereal or muesli. Making fish an intrinsic part of your diet is also beneficial. With fish you get lean meat.
For long it had been believed that physical activity reduced migraine and now research has proved this to be right. Aerobic exercise has been found to be as effective in preventing migraine as migraine medication. This is of special interest to migraine sufferers who do not want to be on regular medication. The suggested exercise is stationary cycling for 40 minutes, three times a week or its equivalent. Exercise has more benefits than preventing migraine. It supports heart health and gets endomorphins going which makes possible a positive frame of mind.
Riboflavin And Magnesium
Riboflavin and magnesium are both said to help cope with migraines. Riboflavin protects cells from oxidative damage. It is also involved in the production of energy. Large doses of riboflavin or vitamin B2 reduces incidence of migraine, though once an attack occurs, it makes no change to its length or severity. Magnesium is not produced by the body, so we need to consume it for the body to get a sufficient supply. Most of the world population is said to be deficient in magnesium to varying degrees. Magnesium helps to calm overexcited nerves and also helps to transmit nerve impulses through the body. Magnesium rich foods are spinach, sunflower seeds, Swiss chard, sesame seeds and soy beans.