A migraine is characterized by a throbbing pain, usually confined to one side of the head, that tends to get worse with movement. They typically last from four to 72 hours.
Migraine headaches are caused by the enlargement of blood vessels in the brain and the release of chemicals from tissue surrounding these vessels, according to Medical News Today.
The release of these chemicals can cause inflammation, which can also increase pain. A common household spice is cayenne pepper, and the capsaicin in it has been known to work as an effective anti-inflammatory, according to Reader’s Digest.
Symptoms tend to vary from one person to another. People often experience sensory warning signs, such as blind spots, flashes of light, increased sensitivity to light and sound, tingling in the arms and legs, nausea and vomiting.
Some potential triggers for a migraine are allergies, stress, smoking, alcohol, bright lights, loud noises, strong smells, skipping meals, dehydration, irregular sleep, poor posture, low blood sugar and hormonal fluctuations.
Here are the top 7 home remedies:
1. Ice Pack
Using an ice pack is perhaps the most popular home remedy to get rid of tension as well as migraine headaches. It has a numbing effect that alleviates pain.
Ginger blocks prostaglandins, which are chemicals that promote muscle contractions, impact hormones and regulate inflammation in blood vessels in the brain. Most non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), too, work by reducing the production of these chemicals.
Massaging the head helps ease migraine headaches as it blocks pain signals sent to the brain. It also boosts serotonin activity and stimulates certain serotonin receptors, thereby reducing the symptoms as well as frequency of migraines.
A cup of strong coffee can help reduce migraine headache symptoms. It contains caffeine that restricts blood vessels and blocks certain receptors that could be causing the migraine.
To increase the effectiveness, add a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice as it counteracts the effects of acidic diets that contribute to cyclic headaches.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Being a nutritional powerhouse, apple cider vinegar helps reduce migraines. Apple cider vinegar also offers health benefits like aiding detoxification, controlling blood sugar, regulating high blood pressure, reducing bone pain, promoting weight loss and relieving constipation.
The anti-inflammatory property of peppermint helps soothe the nerves. Plus, it has an antispasmodic and calming effect. A study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience in 2008 found that the fragrance of this herb induces the feeling associated with headache relief.
Feverfew is another effective home remedy for migraines that has been used for centuries. The herb contains a compound called parthenolide that relieves spasms in smooth muscle tissue and prevents inflammation. It also neutralizes prostaglandins that influence pain signals, thereby reducing pain.