Migraine, plants and natural remedies

During a migraine attack, the patient feels like their head is locked in a vise since the pain is so dreadful.

Such attacks can last between 4 and 72 hours, so migraines can turn into a real handicap when daily tasks must be performed. Mostly it affects women, but all in all migraines impact 12% of Western inhabitants.

According to the WHO, this particular type of headache is the 7th most incapacitating pathology in the world. Can plants with their benefits help do away with this condition? Let’s have a look around…

Migraine, a short story

Going back to the root word helps understand it: migraine comes from the ancient Greek word “mikranion” which means “pain on half the skull”. Also called cephalgia, a migraine crisis often starts just as the person wakes up. It is a particularly frequent chronic form of headache and the one suffering from it can’t do anything else.

Migraine is often a hereditary disease and appears anytime within ages 10 and 40. Although certain factors like the menstrual cycle, food allergies, quick shifts in surrounding temperatures or lack of sleep seem to sometimes act as triggers, the real causes are as of yet not completely understood.

Symptoms of migraine

Apart from headache, migraine symptoms also involve nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light and sound. These symptoms are related to the headache and are usually exacerbated after physical activity.

Migraine, a real handicap

Definitely incapacitating, migraine seems to stem from genetic factors (in two of three cases) and environmental factors. When it appears daily, such a particular type of cephalgia is one of the most invalidating afflictions and considerably diminishes the patient’s quality of life. It is classified as one of the topmost 10 diseases, especially as concerns women.

Apart from medical treatments that sometimes work preventively, as do those of non-conventional therapies, are there other ways to treat migraines?

Treating migraine with plants

Treating with plants isn’t simply hogwash.

Today, many persons support the claims of treating the body with plants. From there, benefits of herbal medicine on health on a day-to-day basis has been the topic of much research, including dealing with migraine. What exactly is all this about?

How does the plant work?

The benefits of plants that soothe migraine attacks for a patient work in different ways, and tips on how to use them differ, too. Let’s have a look around…

  • Basil against migraine
    Apart from its culinary properties, basil is known to be very effective against nausea. It is used preventively to avoid vomiting and nausea which are the main symptoms connected to a migraine attack. As a good anti-inflammatory, this plant is recommended in case of migraines, especially when due to nervous causes.
    Read also: health benefits and therapeutic value of basil
  • Dried cherry stems
    Do your migraines come and go with the weather? Learn then that in herbalism, dried cherry stem herbal tea is a potent way to bring you solace.
  • Peppermint essential oil
    Known to have anti-migraine and pain-relieving properties, peppermint is a virtually miraculous remedy for persons suffering from migraines.

How to prepare these plants:

To soothe your migraines,

  • basil is best ingested in the form of infusions.
    For that, a cup of hot water with 1/10th to 1/5th oz (3 to 5 g) of basil after each meal is a good idea.
  • aniseed must be drunk in the form of decoction: several cups of green anise a day are recommended, prepared with 1/3rd oz (7 g) dried plant material for ½ quart (½ liter) water. In other cases, whatever the ailment, simply infuse half a teaspoon of aniseed seeds in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes at most. Once prepared, drink one cup after each meal, this will be sure to soothe you…
  • Dried cherry stem herbal tea
    Sold in pharmacies or in organic lifestyle stores, cherry stem infusions must be drunk after having been steeped for 5 minutes. If possible, you can also pick cherries from the tree and keep the stems aside for later. Again, steep them for 5 minutes. An amount of 4 table spoons should be just right for ½ quart (½ liter) boiling water. Let the herbal tea cool off a bit before drinking it.
  • Peppermint essential oil
    To alleviate your cephalgia, it is recommended to pour a single drop of 100% pure and natural peppermint essential oil on the tip of your finger and rub it in on your forehead and temples, carefully avoiding the eyes. One piece of advice: locate the exact source of your headache and massage this spot. Read the precautions of use before using it.
  • Infusions prepared from lavender boast a high effectiveness in alleviating headaches. For that, it is stipulated that ½ to 1 oz (15 to 30 g) dried lavender flowers are needed per quart (liter) of water. 3 or 4 cups should be drunk a day. If you’ve got small cloth pouches filled with lavender flowers, slide them under your pillow: this will increase the quality of your sleep in case of migraines.
  • Costmary infusions are known for their effect against headaches. It is recommended to steep for 10 minutes, 3 to 4 g per cup. After that, drink 3 to 4 cups a day after meals to reduce spasms.

These few lines present plants that have acknowledged beneficial properties in the treatment of migraines, but of course, there are more!


Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Migraine-soothing mortar shared by PhotoMIX-Company under © CC0 1.0

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