Migraine headaches are caused by inflammation, and effort should be made to ascertain the cause, so that they can be prevented. The causes are almost always dietary, and the main aggravating factors are listed below.
Aggravating Inflammatory Factors
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
- Artificial sweeteners
- Magnesium deficiencies *
- Homogenized milk
- Unhealthy cooking oils
* Be careful not to over-supplement with magnesium, because it can cause other minerals to be stripped from the body. Magnesium is best obtained from a diet containing green, leafy vegetables, cashews, and walnuts.
Migraines are most often related to gastrointestinal problems, and they occur frequently in those with irritable bowel syndrome and acid reflux disease. Most long-term gastrointestinal problems are caused by an overgrowth of candida yeast in the digestive tract. Detailed information about this can be found in the allergies article.
Feverfew can prevent migraines if taken daily, and 90 mg. is ideal for the average adult. Feverfew should be used with caution in those who have ragweed allergies, due to the risk of an allergic reaction. Test with a small dosage, and increase if no reactions occur.
Stopping a Headache
Ginger can be helpful for when nausea accompanies a migraine. If the sufferer is too nauseous to take ginger capsules, then place ginger powder in the mouth for direct blood absorption through the cheeks. This may be necessary before pain-relieving methods can be attempted.
Butterbur is a herb that is effective in the prevention of headaches, and for stopping them when they occur. The recommended dosage is 100 mg. for an average adult. Ideally, butterbur would be taken immediately when any soreness is felt in the head. Waiting for the headache to manifest will result in diminished effectiveness.
Reflexology and pressure point techniques can help to alleviate some of the pain from migraine headaches. This entails gently pinching and applying pressure to the tops of the first three toes of each foot in a massaging motion. The patient should notice unusually acute soreness in this part of the foot, and there may even be slight toe pain in the beginning. Begin with only slight pressure and eventually build to as much force as the patient can tolerate. Some temporary relief may also be obtained by applying pressure to the cheek bones, temples, or just above the eye sockets.
Blue lotus is a flowering lily. Its dried flowers may be smoked to relieve migraines and lesser headaches. The fact that it can be smoked is an advantage, because migraines cause nausea, which can make swallowing impossible.
Kava kava is a mild pain reliever and relaxant. Kava kava is an exceptional remedy when headaches are caused by stress and anxiety. Reference our article about painkillers for more information about kava kava and blue lotus.
Migraines can be a result of spinal misalignment. This is most likely when the headache is accompanied by soreness in the neck or in the back of the head. These headaches can be typically cured by a chiropractor within minutes.
Smoking cannabis ("marijuana") is the most effective method for alleviating both nausea and the pain. It is the fastest method of obtaining relief, and it really ought to be recommended by doctors. It is wise to obtain it before it is needed, due to the fact that it cannot be purchased in stores.
Some have reported success after smoking salvia divinorum during migraines, but research on the plant is very lacking. It is, however, much more readily available than cannabis.