When a migraine headache strikes, it can keep you home from work or nauseas in bed for an entire day. And while prescription medications can help alleviate the pain once you have the headache, they tend to come with adverse side effects. For those people who prefer a more “natural” approach to preventing migraine headaches, consider giving the following supplements and herbs a try.
According to the Association of Migraine Disorders, daily doses of magnesium may reduce migraine symptoms by 50 percent for about half of people who experience migraines. Magnesium can be found in leafy vegetables such as spinach, spices, almonds, avocado, kale and bananas. The typical dose is 400 mg per day.
Riboflavin, also known as Vitamin B-2, can help prevent migraines by playing a key role in facilitating metabolism. Research has shown that people with poor metabolism get more frequent migraines, and a deficiency in Vitamin B-2 may be the culprit. It’s recommended to consume 400 mg per day by eating lean meats, legumes, nuts, green leafy vegetables, and dairy products.
Butterbur is a powerful migraine-preventative agent as well. Butterbur’s headache-preventing properties likely come from its anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxant effects. The recommended dosage of Butterbur extract is 50-75 mg twice daily; and studies show that the results achieved with Butterbur are comparable to the observed benefits of prescription medications taken for migraines.
Coenzyme Q10 also plays a vital role in cell metabolism and can help prevent migraines. Primary food sources of CoQ10 include oily fish, such as salmon and tuna, and whole grains. While the efficacy is still being tested, the typical recommended dosage is up to 100 mg of CoQ10 taken three times per day.
Feverfew is an herb that resembles a daisy and has historically been used to treat fevers and inflammation. If you’d like to give this herb a try, start with a low dose of 50 mg per day. *It’s important to note that you should not take Feverfew if you take any anticoagulants.
Melatonin is most commonly used for those that have trouble falling asleep, but can also be used to treat migraines. It’s recommended to take 3 mg of melatonin about 30 minutes before bed to reduce the frequency of headaches.
While all of these remedies are considered “natural”, it’s still very important that you consult with your physician before taking any supplements or vitamins, as they can react with certain over-the-counter and prescription medications. If you have still found no relief after trying vitamin and herb supplementation, consider speaking with a neurologist to explore other options like prescription medications and injections.