If you’re one of the nearly 5 million Canadians who suffer with headaches and migraines, you know it can be a debilitating and limiting condition. We’ve chosen some of our favourite natural remedies for you to help bring some relief!
Earlier this week, we walked through 10 things that might be causing your headaches and migraines. Now, we’re going to look at the other side of that topic: natural solutions and remedies for this condition.
Many people look to drugs to help cure their headaches, such as NSAIDS, aspirin, and even antidepressants or anticonvulsants in severe cases. However, these treatments simply alleviate the symptoms—they don’t dig down to the root cause of the problem.
The first step to relieving your headaches is to look at what might be causing them. Jump back to our post here about 10 possible causes, or go through this checklist to see which areas you might need to address:
That checklist alone might be enough to help you. If it’s not, and you’re still searching for some natural relief to replace NSAIDs, anti-inflammatories or other medications you might be taking (which increase the toxic burden on your liver… one of the causes of headaches!), check out these natural remedies that might be the key to your relief! (And sign up for our email list to get more tips for healthy living straight to your inbox!)
Fish Oil: fish oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help to reduce inflammation (inflammation can cause headaches) and stimulate antioxidant production (antioxidants fight free radicals, which can cause headaches). Try Ascenta Fish Oil liquid or capsules—they come in a variety of flavours that you can fit into your lifestyle easily!
Magnesium: magnesium is an amazing mineral needed for over 325 functions in the body. We used to be able to get magnesium through our produce (which soaked it in through mineral-rich soils), but to do our nutritionally-depleted soils that produce now grows on, it is tough to get a lot of magnesium through diet. Choosing organic produce that grows in nutrient-rich soil can help, but you may still need to supplement. Magnesium relaxes the muscles which is essential for reducing the severity of headaches. Try a bisglycinate formula (like CanPrev) as it’s easier for the body to assimilate and use.
5-HTP: this helps to increase serotonin levels (feel-good hormone) through the conversion of tryptophan (an amino acid). Clinical studies have shown its effectiveness in reducing tension headaches, and even migraines. You can get this through food in free range turkey and chicken, wild caught salmon, pumpkin, sunflower seeds, turnips, collard greens, and seaweed, or you can choose a supplement with it.
Butterbur: this is the herb most often used to prevent and manage migraine headaches (though you shouldn’t use this if you are allergic to the daisy family). It’s thought to be as effective as an over-the-counter histamine. Flora Migranon II contains butterbur root extract and is clinically proven to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks.
Essential Oils: certain essential oils like helichrysum, lavender, eucalyptus, and roman chamomile all have anti-inflammatory effects on the central nervous system. Peppermint and spearmint both relax the muscle system, which helps in reducing pain and calming the mind. Try adding a few drops of lavender oil to a cup of boiling water and inhaling it, or rubbing lavender oil on your temples for relief.
DermaMed Tension Balm: this is an all-natural topical treatment for reducing headaches and migraines. It helps to regulate and decrease the inflammatory response of the cerebral neurovascular system, and inhibit the contractile response of vascular muscles, relieving vasospasm and improving brain circulation which is diminished during a migraine episode. You can use it to limit migraine recurrence or during a migraine episode to halt further progression.
By evaluating and addressing your diet and lifestyle, as well as trying some of the natural remedies above, you can experience relief from headaches and migraines. Looking for more information? Come and chat with any of our Healthy Living Advisors or Supplements Specialists at any Goodness Me! location. We can help you put together a plan that works for you, or refer you to a Naturopathic Doctor for further treatment.
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