#5 – Preventa-Migraine
WHY DOES IT WORK? It has the things in it that have been recommended by neurologists, herbalists, and by medical professionals to help ease and maybe prevent migraine attacks. Magnesium, Butterbur herb, and Feverfew herb.
This particular supplement is prescription-free, and contains a variety of ingredients that are reputed to help with migraine prevention. For example Butterbur (with the pyrrolizidine alkaloids [PA]) removed have been researched and approved in Germany as an preventive for about half of people who experience migraine attacks. If you have found that no single supplement or intervention works well, you can try this for a three-month period and see how it works for you.
PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: I have used this to prevent migraines for a year now. It has truly helped me, personally.
AMAZON: Hands down, Amazon has a great price, and if you are a Prime member, you can get it on a scheduled delivery, or as-needed with free shipping.
#4 – Vitamin B-2 Riboflavin 400mg daily
WHY DOES IT WORK? It’s unclear how the exact mechanism works, but a 2004 study shows that 400mg of Riboflavin every day reduced the number of migraine attacks and the amount of medications for this.
There are several cautions with taking 400 mg of Riboflavin a day. Of course, if you have any any medical conditions or take any medications at all, you must check with a physician prior to using this supplement. Since it’s been so helpful for so many, though, it might be worth a try.
PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: My neurologist actually prescribed this for me. Since I use the VA hospital system, my Rx is covered there – but check your own insurance plan for coverage of over-the-counter supplements. I took this before Preventa-Migraine, and it worked well for me. I would say my personal incidence of migraine attacks was reduce about 30% in occurrence, but not reduced in severity at all.
AMAZON: If your insurance doesn’t cover, this is on Amazon.
#3 – Lavender Essential Oil
COST: I found costs ranging from over $25 for 5ml with a multi-level-marketing (MLM) name and no guarantee that the product is organic to an organic oil at about $12 for a full ounce (about 30ml) and it has the USDA organic seal on it. Needless to say, I am not a fan of MLM prices.
WHY DOES IT WORK? PUBMED presented a study in 2012 showing that lavender oil, inhaled for 15 minutes was far superior to the placebo in the study for people with varying degrees of migraines, and that is could be effect for acute migraine attacks (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22517298 ).
As an RN, I recommend using organics if at all possible because that’s the best access to chemical-free (i.e., poisonous pesticides) that we have at present. And when the cost is much lower, it’s a better bargain, too.
PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: I use Lavender essential oil when I am at work or somewhere away from home and feel the familiar “aura” coming on that might indicate a migraine attack is imminent. I can keep a small bottle with me and use it discretely, and sometimes I apply it to my temples and the back of my neck, where I get tension. I will say it helps to stave off an attack. Secondly, taking daily supplements for prevention is something most of us are good at only about 60 to 80 percent of the time. So, I have used this method a handful of times and it worked for me quickly about 75% of the time to quell a newly-starting migraine. If I use it for a full-blown migraine, I found it effect two ways: it reduces the new onset migraine attack in about half the cases, and it completely resolved it in about 10 percent of the cases. Not bad for a little bottle of essential oil, which has many other uses, too.
AMAZON: Best price I found, tap on the picture above. Additional: tiny 1ml travel bottles here.
#2 – Relaxation, Mindfulness and Stress Reduction
COST: Nothing unless you buy some biofeedback devices, books, or lessons. There are many sources of videos that are free, like youtube. One of the best feedback devices I have used (and recommend) is Muse.
WHY DOES IT WORK? The science isn’t really conclusive, but it’s a well known experiential conclusion that when you are stressed less, the muscles in your neck are more relaxed (how many times have you found your shoulders up to your ears?) you lessen the experience of tension-induced migraine headaches. You can read about biofeedback, massage and acupuncture here: https://nccih.nih.gov/health/pain/headachefacts.htm#hed3
MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: I know the less I am stressed, the more migraine-free I remain. My personal choice is self-massage of my head and neck, which help to mitigate and prevent an aura from turning into a migraine.
#1 – Medical Cannabis
HOW DOES IT WORK? A 2016 study published this week from Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Colorado, examined the effects of inhaled and ingested (edible) cannabis in migraine sufferers. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26749285)
Researchers reviewed reports from 121 adult participants and collected the following data:
- The average number of migraine headaches decreased from 10.4 per month to 4.6
- Almost 40% of subjects reported positive effects
- 8% of subjects claimed medical marijuana helped to prevent migraines
- 6% of subjects reported that cannabis stopped migraine headaches
- About 85% of subjects reported having fewer migraines per month with cannabis
- About 12% saw no change in migraine frequency with cannabis
- Only about 2% experienced an increase in migraine frequency
MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: When I spent a year undergoing medical cannabis therapy, I used sativa-dominant Green Crack (Gc) because I dislike the indica-induced “high” with a vehemence. I had consistently positive results, and luckily I can count myself in the 85% that had fewer migraines when I could use it.
NOTE: You must live in a legal cannabis area, have a medical evaluation and proper access to pharmaceutical cannabis. In no way do I promote the illegal or illicit use of medical cannabis.
RESOURCES: Click on the images above. All of these are sponsored links, where Amazon pays us a small referral fee, which helps fund our free website and educational articles. I do not carry prescriptive authority and again remind any reader that proper medical guidance must be sought.
© Lizzie Bennett PhD RN
Lizzie Bennett is a Registered Nurse and Ordained Minister of some years. She is a thought and cognitive therapist and owns Three Moons Medicine™ as her private counselling and coaching practice, a blog, educational forum, Facebook page, and outreach to support others on their journey.