Here’s what I found to be a natural remedy for my migraine headache – I do get into specific dosages of prescription medication which are written for me – I will say (as always) that this is not direct medical advice and is for entertainment purposes only covering my own personal experiences.
For those of you who know me personally, you know I battle with migraines from time to time. They stem from a head injury I sustained on my 17th birthday, but luckily 14 years later their frequency has become less and less common. I have learned over the years what can absolutely trigger them -consuming too MUCH magnesium, becoming dehydrated, or making drastic changes to my eating habits overnight – but even when I am “on point” with avoiding these triggers I still get the occasional migraine.
NOTE: As I write this I have had an uncommon string of 3 migraines in the past 30 days which is a very high number for me these days.
Like many people in my situation, I’ve been prescribed Sumatriptan (Imitrex) as it is one of the better studied migraine medicines on the market, but more importantly, covered by my insurance unlike many other migraine prescriptions. While the immitrex works so long as I catch the migraine pretty quickly on, I do hate how it makes me feel or the hangover effect I have for the next 48 hours upon using it….although I’d much rather deal with those two things then be stuck in bed with the room dark all day and my head throbbing.
I’ve begun looking for other alternatives, with one remedy that caught my eye was finally able to be put to the test these past 2 weeks. I found a study¹ that compared the efficacy of using dried ginger root was similar to that of using the prescription drug Imitrex.
I put this to the test twice and were pleased with my results, so much so that I’ve committed to writing this blog and posting it on our site. Instead of using dried ginger root in capsule form I bought fresh ginger root instead. Here’s how those 2 experiences went:
- I woke up with a terrible migraine so there was no way of me catching it early with my medication. I took an 800 mg ibuprofen at 4:30 AM, went back to sleep, woke up at 6:00 AM with my head still pounding, so I then took my Imitrex (200 mg) B complex vitamin, drank a liter of water as well as 2 cups of coffee. My head was STILL pounding at 8:00 AM so we drove to the local Trader Joe’s and got me some fresh ginger root and ginger chews. I chewed down 4 ginger chews (made up of 8% ginger) and then sucked on and subsequently ate a sliver of fresh ginger after I used a carrot peeler to remove the skin. The taste isn’t bad, but your mouth will definitely be “warm.” My migraine was gone within an hour. Now, yes I started the day off by taking both ibuprofen and Imitrex, but instead of being forced to take a 2nd Imitrex I found the ginger to eliminate my migraine altogether.
- I woke up with a bad headache that wasn’t quite a migraine but I felt was definitely headed that way as I had the familiar pressure over my left eye. Instead of taking my Imitrex I once again sucked on a sliver of ginger root after peeling the skin away for about 20 minutes then chewed up and swallowed the ginger. My headache was gone completely by the time I had swallowed the ginger root.
Ginger is typically used for digestion or gastro-intestinal issues, but given its strong anti-inflammatory properties, it appears it may hold promise for us migraine sufferers.
The study mentioned above was actually really well designed following a double blind structure – so both the participants and observers don’t know if the individual was given ginger root or Imitrex – and with my own personal experiences this past week, I feel confident in saying I will be relying on ginger as my first line of defense when it comes to migraine headaches.
If you have any experience using ginger for migraines please comment below, or give it a shot and let me know how it works for you!
¹ Maghbooli M, et al. Comparison between the efficacy of ginger and sumatriptan in the ablative treatment of the common migraine. Phytotherapy Research: 2014 Mar: 28(3) 412-415