These days, many people realize the dangers of using too many drugs to help us get through our everyday lives. Headache drugs, in particular, are overprescribed, and may be ineffective, even harmful, for migraines.
So, it makes sense that people often want to consider natural headache remedies rather than taking drugs to combat their pain. The problem is that many natural headache remedies are simply ineffective–and, in some cases, may even be harmful.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the natural headache remedies that have been shown to be effective and so might be worth trying.
Ginger is an amazing root with many great properties. Among its powerful effects is its ability to combat headaches. In fact, ginger as an abortive treatment for migraines is as strong as a leading prescription medication, but without the side effects. The promising potency of ginger comes with a caveat, though: it’s shown promising results in one study, but it hasn’t been studied extensively.
Peppermint is often listed as a headache treatment, but the scientific support doesn’t actually look at peppermint per se. Instead, the focus is on rubbing a 10% menthol solution on the skin to treat migraines. This solution not only relieves the pain of migraine, but it also dispels nausea, light sensitivity, and sound sensitivity.
How this translates to eating peppermint or drinking peppermint tea is less clear, but it’s worth a try.
Lavender oil has stood up to the hardest challenge, a placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial –the same standard used to test pharmaceutical drugs. All it takes is inhalation of lavender oil for 15 minutes.
Capsaicin has the power to control many types of chronic pain, including headache pain. It’s even been used to treat migraines, although there is debate about the mechanism.
Chamomile has been shown to have the same properties as anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen. There are theoretical reasons why it might work on migraine and other headaches, but the truth is that its actual effectiveness hasn’t been studied yet.
Feverfew is one of the few natural remedies that’s been studied as a preventive migraine medication, rather than as an abortive one. And it actually seems to work fairly well. People with episodic migraine saw their migraine days decrease by about 2 per month with feverfew. A follow-up trial got similar results. Note that this is based on using an extract, so it’s not exactly a natural medication.
TMJ treatment is also a preventive approach to migraines. The goal is to reduce muscle tension that can lead to tension headaches as well as overstimulation of the trigeminal nerve. When the trigeminal nerve is overstimulated, it can trigger migraines.
The treatment of TMJ may be as simple as a specialized massage of the jaw muscles, but for many people an orthotic (similar to a mouthguard) can also help to provide long-term relief.
We have helped many patients overcome their migraines and other headaches without drugs. If you are looking for natural, long-lasting migraine relief in Columbia, SC, please call (803) 781-9090 today for an appointment with a TMJ dentist at Smile Columbia Dentistry.