Different types of herbs for migraines include willow bark, feverfew, and butterbur. Migraines are headaches that can last for hours, or in some cases, even days. Symptoms of migraine headaches include severe throbbing on one side of the head, nausea, light sensitivity, and visual disturbances. Alternative medicine can be effective treatments for migraines, however, using herbs and other natural treatments for migraines should be discussed with the healthcare provider who can explain the risks and benefits.
Feverfew, which belongs to the sunflower family, is considered one of the most common herbs for migraines. In addition to its ability to relieve the pain of the migraine headache, feverfew may also help relieve other symptoms, including nausea and vomiting. In addition, feverfew may help relieve migraines because it can suppress the inflammatory process. The typical supplemental dose for feverfew is generally 50 mg to 80 mg daily. Women who are pregnant, considering pregnancy, or breastfeeding should not use feverfew. It is not recommended for people who are taking medications to thin the blood, as this herb may intensify their anticoagulant effects.
Other herbs for migraines include willow bark, which contains a substance similar to an ingredient in aspirin. In addition to its ability to treat migraine headaches, willow bark may also help treat other types of pain. as well as fever, in the same way aspirin does. Side effects of willow bark may include nausea, diarrhea, and stomach upset and may not be suitable for those diagnosed with gout, diabetes, asthma, or gastrointestinal problems.
For those who prefer not to take herbs for migraines or prescription medications for migraines, alternative treatments are available. Over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen may offer mild to moderate pain relief of migraines. In addition, drinking a strong cup of coffee may help alleviate pain from migraines and other headaches. In fact, the combination of taking an over-the-counter pain reliever and drinking a caffeinated beverage together may offer significant pain relief. Caffeine, however, can cause side effects such as nervousness, insomnia, and heart palpitations.
Migraine headaches can be incapacitating and disruptive to daily life. When symptoms of migraines are unrelieved by treatment, or if they occur frequently, further medical evaluation may be warranted. Women are more at risk for experiencing migraine headaches, but men can get them as well. In addition, migraines are sometimes the result of fluctuating hormonal levels and can frequently affect women during their menstrual cycles.