Herbs for migraine

gill_didsbury(S.A.)October 15, 2004

Hi everyone,

Are they any herbs that help to stop or help migraines?

I get them really bad, vomitting etc,usually end up going to Dr for injection,but this leaves me feeling vague the next day.

Any help would be appreciated.

Gill

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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

Feverfew is the best known and documented herb for treating migraines.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2004 at 8:04AM
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Daisyduckworth(Aust)

Some other herbs which are claimed to be of help for migraine headaches include: ordinary black or green tea; peppermint, valerian, vervain, lime blossom, coriander seed, wood betony. All taken as a tea.

If heat is helpful in reducing headache pain, feverfew might help. But if cold is helpful, then feverfew probably will not help. But you could try taking it regularly as a preventative.

Eating 10-12 almonds is the equivalent of 2 aspirin tblets and will reduce pain withou t upsetting the stomach.

Take a small glass of cucumber juice daily. This is especially helpful if the migraines are part of menopausal symptoms.

Place some freshly peeled Lemon rind onto a handkerchief. Place the handkerchief, with the yellow side of the peel against the skin. Remove when a burning sensation begins, by which time the headache should have gone. Particularly good for migraine headaches.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2004 at 5:19PM
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kfgesq(z5NJ)

Feverfew, feverfew, feverfew!!!!!!

    Bookmark   October 16, 2004 at 5:56PM
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lazy_gardens

Keep a food, activity and headache diary ... tobacco smoke, chocolate, and some other foods can trigger migraines.

See if there is a pattern.

And take the feverfew at the FIRST SIGNS of the headache - don't wait until it is sitting on your head.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2004 at 11:39AM
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Heathen1(10a)

I JUST saw on the news this morning, this dentist accidentally found this thing that cures like 80% of all migraines! There's this area in the upper back of your mouth in the gums... that is inflamed.. they cool the area then give you an anti-inflammatory paste you put on your back gums and voila! They said it gives relief in 80% of the cases. This supposedly is brand new.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2004 at 1:25PM
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lazy_gardens

heathen:
Can you be a bit more specific about your information? Like cite the name of the dentist, or even the city and channel the "morning news" was on?

    Bookmark   October 18, 2004 at 10:57PM
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Heathen1(10a)

Well, not any more...I have forgotten...but I googled and found this...a different news article with links...

Here is a link that might be useful: Migraine cure

    Bookmark   October 19, 2004 at 12:32PM
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yeona_sky

Here's a link to a news report which mentions a sore spot in the mouth being treated with cold water and later anti-inflammatory cream. Not herbal, but not very invasive, at least. Is this the method you heard about Heathen?

Yeona

Here is a link that might be useful: Migraine Help

    Bookmark   October 20, 2004 at 3:17AM
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Heathen1(10a)

Yup...not my news, but apparently it hit the circuit! :o)

    Bookmark   October 20, 2004 at 1:18PM
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yeona_sky

Hi again. Apparently the study prompted by Dr Mark Friedman's findings was done in 2001. Here's a link below to the actual info on how the study was conducted.

This is another news report I googled,using the words Dentist Dr. Friedman above upper molar migraines.
Migraine Info.

Yeona

Here is a link that might be useful: Intraoral chilling versus oral sumatriptan for acute migraine.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2004 at 1:31PM
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maryc64(PST)

I have suffered migraines but am lucky also having what's called the "aura" that is a warning that one is coming.
Oddly, I rarely have the follow-up headache.
Vaso-constriction occurs during the "aura" which makes vision all wonky like flashing lights.
Vasodialation occurs following the aura. One does well to have some caffeine during the aura or any pre-symptoms to keep or make cause vasoconstriction. It is the dialation that causes the pain.
Also, if you do drink coffee, then stop during a day,
you might be bringing on your migraines, aside from other causes like relaxation after stress, stress, foods, etc.
If you're a coffee drinker and go through withdrawals even on a daily basis, taper down.
Avoid any anti-inflammatories as the use of those beyond a two week period can be so harmful.
Good herb: Tea with caffeine, coffee, etc.
I'm new and waving hello!
I research a lot and this is the information I recall for migraines and have tried to relate it to herbal meds.
Do be careful with herbal meds. Buy from well known brands that will have the best and cleanest herbs!
Shaklee (sp?), and manufacturers along those lines are the safest.
Otherwise, just reach for the vasoconstrictor in your cupboard and enjoy! I even use hazelnut instant coffee to start my day. I do one cup. Oddly, caffeines and their sources can vary.
I find that real coffee can have a caffeine that renders me shaky. Coca cola, Pepsi offers a "smoother" caffeine for me.
I don't like teas in general unless they contain some good nutritional ingredients and are tasty.
Don't go through this alone.
HRT, whether to prevent pregnancy or for menopause can also trigger these.
There are prescriptions that are easier and non-narcotic for relief also. Progress has been made in this area during the last 20 years!
Waving hello to all as I'm new!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2005 at 11:40AM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

I've looked in Pub Med and I can find just the one small-scale study on intraoral chilling and migraines - Dr. Friedman's paper in Heart Disease(?) from 2001.

There are so many known trigger factors for migraines (foods, stress etc.) that it wouldn't surprise me if oral inflammation helped trigger migraines in certain people - but the claim that it's the link for 80% of migraine sufferers is dubious without hard evidence. For instance, it'd be interesting if a major survey found migraines were significantly more likely in people who had poor or no dental care, or who used chewing/spit tobacco (or had other reasons for gum inflammation). There's no data to support that, as far as I know.

Magnesium was mentioned in one link as being a useful migraine preventative in some people. You can also find articles suggesting that vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and CoQ10 (also available over the counter) markedly lower the incidence of migraines in a significant percentage of migraine sufferers. Might be worth looking into along with feverfew.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 6:02PM
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sheilaschnauzies(Z5 Eastern Nebraska)

Just a note... a medical one. I had migraines my whole adult life. I just learned four years ago (after developing a life threatening blood clot in my leg!) that I have a blood disorder called antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (APS). One of the hallmark symptoms of it is lifelong migraines. Another is multiple miscarriages. So just in the odd chance that you have migraines AND a history of miscarriages, MS-like symptoms that are unexplained, or worse yet history of a blood clot, you might want to investigate APS. No amount of herbs will help this condition, unfortunately:( But I always try to spread the word of this disorder whenever I can:)

One thing I have found most helpful with migraines is ART. There is supposedly something about the way the brain is wired that you feel less pain while drawing, coloring, painting, etc. Give it a try! I also find aromatherapy helpful - I really like peppermint, or the eucalyptus/spearmint aromatherapy sold by Bath & Body Works.

Hope something helps!!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2006 at 5:12AM
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gurley157fs(zone 7/8sc)

Another newbie here.

Preventative measures for migraines:

Chew fennel seeds and use epsom salt scrubs in the shower and bath, you can even scrub your scalp with it or mix it with your conditioner.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2006 at 12:06AM
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francis_eric(5 Illinois)

I don't think the search you might get on this page you will find some Plants to help migraines I saw one their the other day.You might want to click on US Data Base,(top left hand corner) then after that go to the bottom of the page,and type in on search migraine http://www.pfaf.org/

    Bookmark   January 14, 2006 at 8:35AM
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jeane58

Hi, new here... I have the auras also. I call it my twilight zone (old TV program) as a kid I had the wall bangers, yes, I did bang my head on the wall that split second was pain free.. when I hit my 20's nothing once in a great while I would have a mild one, till I hit my 50's THERE BACK I was told by a Doctor that you don't get them after menopause LOLROF and what I told him isn't nice to repeat....any way been through all the new meds and old ones for me nothing seems to help but go through it I was on feverfew for fibroid tumors and cant remerber if I had any migrains during that time. Cant eat peanuts but I can eat tree grown nuts????????????????? nothing really seems to set them off just wake up that way (THE TWILIGHT ZONE TAKES OVER)oh also have had all test if I get any healther I will have to be shot to leave this earth... any HELP out there?????????????????????????????????

    Bookmark   January 26, 2007 at 1:07PM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

In addition to everything that's been mentioned, some people get relief (or at least fewer migraines) on a continual dosage of beta-blockers or calcium channel blockers (not herbal, I know).

There is limited evidence suggesting acupuncture as being helpful in a subset of patients.

What kind of doctor doesn't believe migraines occur after menopause (hormonal changes are a common trigger)? I hope it wasn't a physician.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2007 at 3:51PM
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jadeswan

You might also check into chemical triggers that might be affecting you. I've only had a few migraines in my life but I believe that most, if not all, were caused by some sort of chemical I was exposed to. For example one was brought on when our neighbor sprayed his yard with chemicals and then the next day I stood for a while on a yard that had been recently sprayed. Another time I got a migraine, our mattress had inadvertently been laid over a vent and the heat had caused the mattress to turn yellow underneath and give off fumes. (Yes, I know it sounds dumb but we'd put it over the vent in summer and didn't think about the effect when winter came.) Of course, your triggers might be different but I thought I'd mention this in case it helped.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 2:18PM
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dirt_yfingernails(z3-4 MN)

Advice I received from a neurologist years ago has helped me reduce my migraines greatly. Used to get them 2-3 times a months for 4-5 days at a time with vomiting, etc. I was "lucky" enough to get the aura. Doctor told me to drink 1 or 2 cups of very strong coffee and take 3-4 Ibuprofen at the start of the aura.

Once in a while, the migraine will start while I'm sleeping, but the coffee and IB keeps it pretty much in check. I get migraines maybe once a year now.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 4:57PM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

Caffeine does help abort migraines in some people. In others it's a trigger for migraines and removing it from the diet may help.

It can be a long and frustrating process trying to find what combination of diet, lifestyle changes, supplement(s) and drug(s) lower the incidence of headaches.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 10:07AM
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redrozez

I suffer from chronic migraines and I have been told that a lot of the reason for the caffeine aborting an oncoming migraine is because it's a caffeine withdrawal headache. I never drank coffee, the littlest bit gives me an instant can't see, overwhelming nausea migraine. I drank cola for the longest time though and even though I didn't drink it as regular as a person who had a daily coffee would, I found quitting to be quite an irritable process (although worth in)

There is some rub on oils that you apply to your forehead, neck, and temples that work wonders for me. The only place I have found it is in Vancouver's airport. I started using peppermint essential oil as a substitute. It was pretty good. Recently I've decided to make my own though.

This herbal stuff was the only thing I ever had that actuially got rid of my migraines with no awful side effects.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 3:33AM
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kerrijo

Hi... I am new to this site, but have to say "very thankful" i found it. I have severe, chronic migraines; i.e. bloody noses, aura's, vomiting, clusters, etc. My doctor has me taking blood pressure med (my blood pressure is normally - w/o any med - 110/72, anti-depressants, maxalt, pain reliever and muscle relaxer. All of which I am thankful to have but fear how much longer my system can take not only the pain but the foreign substances taken to relieve it. 99% of the time i have no warning at all, i wake up in pain. To add injury to it all, I am facing losing my job and health insurance because of the illness. I've already lost my health insurance for the mth of November. Looking for herbal remedy! Something that I can take when i get them and to assist in preventing them. HELP!!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2007 at 2:31PM
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apollog

I would be careful going herbal if you have maxalt, anti-depressants, b.p. meds (verapamil?) and muscle relaxers in your blood. While some of the milder herbs may not interact, others definitely will.

For cluster headaches and migraines, kudzu has helped many people. Don't mix it with verap or other bp meds. It has marked effects on serotonin metabolism, and it isn't clear how it plays with maxalt or other triptans (imitrex, amerge, etc). Kudzu tends to prevent pretty well in about 70% of people taking it, provided they take it regularly ... miss a dose, and the beast is back.

Some of the clusterheads noticed that drinking a red bull at the first signs of a headache can often abort, and as a follow-up, some people can prevent with taurine capsules (much cheaper than the energy beverages).

Magnesium and B-vitamins are cheap,and have some evidence of helping prevent neurovascular headaches. CoQ10 is more expensive and takes time to work, but over the long run, it can reduce the number of migraines.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 7:51PM
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bj_bobbi_jo

If the head pains are in the front perhaps putting some peppermint oil on your forehead will help the pain lessen or go away.

I have done this and it seems to work for me. Peppermint oil is good for decreasing inflamation/pain in certain areas.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 8:57PM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

Whatever effect Red Bull is likely to have on a cluster headache is probably due to its caffeine content. While this might be helpful in treating a headache once it's coming on, caffeine is also a possible trigger for both cluster and migraine headaches, and some people need to avoid caffeine entirely.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 10:50AM
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apollog

Disagree with the caffeine/redbull theory. Red Bull has much less caffeine than is rumored - less than a cup of coffee. While it is common for people with cluster headaches to report that coffee or tea brings the pain down a notch, it is unusual to hear of a caffeine beverage that can abort or prevent a cluster.

People taking taurine capsules (no caffeine) have reported improvement in cluster activity. Taurine is an inhibitory amino acid/neurotransmitter that has quite a few properties that may account for this activity - reducing the tone of the sympathetic nervous system, blocking the effects of NMDA/glutamate, modulating calcium channel activity, etc.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 10:14PM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

Red Bull had the highest caffeine content of any soft drink tested on this list - higher even than the fabled Jolt Cola ("all the sugar, twice the caffeine"), and as much as an average cup of instant coffee.

My point was that caffeine can have bad effects on migraine and cluster headache sufferers. If one wants to test out whether taurine is helpful against headache, it might be wise to find a supplement without caffeine, especially if sensitivity to caffeine (or caffeine withdrawal) is a headache trigger.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 8:37AM
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apollog

80 mg of caffeine is significant, but (as I said) is less than a cup of coffee (100-150 mg)... far less than most people imagine. I have heard red bull described as 'liquid crack' and have heard others say it contains as much caffeine as several cups of coffee. Nope. And with cluster headaches, caffeine wont stop a headache in its tracks, but red bull often will.

Caffeine-free taurine capsules do have a beneficial effect on cluster headaches. They are also much cheaper than the high-priced beverages.

I look at caffeine as a double-edged sword. In the short run, it can help many with various types of headaches. In the long run, high caffeine consumption is probably a risk factor for the same headaches - it disturbs the AMP/GMP metabolism.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 11:37AM
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apollog

There are many triggers for migraine, and it varies from person to person. The list is long. I have had ocular migraines triggered by sudden changes in light. Food allergies are often cited, and vary quite a bit. Too much salt can cause it in some people. My clusters always occur at the same time of the year; changing daylength is a factor there.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 7:29PM
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ghoghunter

My neurologist just gave me his list of "Useful Herbs, Minerals and Vitamin supplements " that may help prevent migraine. Here is his list. Since I had to come off of Topamax which is a preventive..it gave me side effects, he suggested I try these.

Magnesium - 600 mg daily
Petadolex (Butterbur root) 75 mg twice a day
Riboflavin -(Vitamin B2)400mg daily
Coenzyme Q10 150 mg daily
Feverfew

He suggested I stick with these for at least 3 months to give them a trial. All were available at the health food store near me but you can also get them online. I still treat the migraines I get with Maxalt and he didn't think there would be any ill effects. I would never give up the triptans for treating the migraines I get unless they come up with something better or they stop!

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 8:40PM
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thyme_keeper(5il)

new here to garden web and migraines.
i was just told that i have high blood pressure with mine.... i have mmy migraines almost every day this last month only two days with out them.i have tried topamax its arough pill but i have had a catscan said my brain wass fine.............
and please becareful in the er be careful if they give you toradol and compixine. i have a seizure like reaction to it

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 1:05AM
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ghoghunter

Well I have been taking the recommended supplements now for 3 months. I posted earlier on this thread with the exact amounts but I've been taking CoQ10, Butterbur, Vit B2, Magnesium and Feverfew. Unhappily they have not done a thing to prevent or lesson my headaches. I am very disappointed. I keep track of the headaches and I've had no difference at all since before I started on all this stuff. I also tried accupuncture and that didn't do anything either. Boy this is such a PAIN!
Joann

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 7:42PM
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nadamc

Hi - new to posting here. Question for anyone.... Are these herbs for treatment/prevention of migraines safe to take while pregnant? I'm a lifetime migraine sufferer and had a horrible time with my migraines while pregnant with my son (now 2). We are trying again and I am nervous about the migraines! Any info?? Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2009 at 2:16PM
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sakmeht(Zone 6)

Just wanted to chime in with my experience. I've had migraines since I was about 14 years old and would get them every couple to 6 months. When I was 24 had a grand mal seizure in my sleep and the doc put me on carbatrol. It had the side effect of taking away my migraines, which was awesome since I had been getting migraines about twice a month at that point. However, some side effects of the drug are a reduction of mental acuity and memory. I'd love to get off of this stuff at some point, so knowing some alternatives is wonderful. I want to try feverfew especially. I worked hard to figure out what was causing my headaches while I was having them and could never narrow it down. Pretty depressing. But I'm happy that I've found some alternatives to try when the time comes. :)

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 2:52PM
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luckygal(3b)

Used to have migraines with aura for years. Discovered what precipitated them and they decreased drastically. Can still get the aura occasionally but not a full blown headache if I take a half teaspoon of soda bicarb in a tall glass of water. Staying well hydrated and keeping blood sugar balanced, ie eating frequent small meals and avoiding high carb/low nutrient foods helps. Meditation also helps me.

I am sensitive to caffeine. If I don't drink coffee in the am I will get a migraine in the afternoon almost every time. The only substitute that works for me is green tea. I know it has caffeine but I've also wondered if the anti-inflammatory effect helps as well.

Some of my other triggers were red wine, old cheddar, spring pollens, or a disagreement with my DH. If 3 out of 4 occurred at the same time I had a doozy! Avoiding stress was very important for me in decreasing the occurrence of migraines which is where meditation is very helpful. I also avoid as many synthetic chemicals/perfumes/petrochemicals as possible. Even walking thru a perfume department could quickly precipitated an aura. I've often had to quit shopping and drive home ASAP due to onset of aura and impending inability to see clearly.

Last night an aura started while I was holding my dog. She's been out a lot when we've been gardening and she rolls on the lawn and likely picked up some pollen in her fur. We garden organically so I know it wasn't due to chemicals. So I bathed her and me and the aura went away. I've always known allergens are a trigger for me.

Useful essential oils for migraine or any headache are lavender and peppermint either singly or blended. A drop or two applied to temples can work wonders.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 4:11PM
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Violet_Skies_(5b S.Central WI)

Magnesium is great, I agree, but be sure you use something to restore your stomach bacteria on a daily basis, either yogurt or acidophilus capsules. Magnesium is an antacid and disturbs the balance in the stomach with daily use, unless you replace the good bacteria. My migraines have changed since my 20s. I used to get the crushing headaches that only a dark room, silence and no movement would allow me to tolerate until they passed. Since my 30s, and now in my mid 40s, I only get the auras, and they are totally hormonally related, so there is little that can be done. Sometimes my whole field of vision goes grey in one eye for a time, but that's less usual that the zigzaggy light patterns of the normal aura. I am hoping that the person above who had her headaches return in her 50s is an unusual case...ugh I don't want those back in a few years! In my 20s when I got the hardcore headaches, Excedrin Migraine worked for a high degree of relief, and visits to the chiropractor to relieve pressure on nerves in my neck made them go away completely. I would try the chiropractor and the excedrin, they worked for me. Good luck.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 10:24AM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

In response to an earlier poster, herbs commonly used for migraine prevention are not recommended during pregnancy. Feverfew can cause uterine contractions, and butterbur is thought to pose other problems, including a possible increased risk of birth defects.

As to chiropractic manipulation, there's no logical basis for this having any impact on the blood vessel changes that cause migraines. Also, chiropractic neck cracking has been linked to strokes.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 8:07AM
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MischiefSilverblade

Hey just found you guys. Wanted to add my imput. I have had migraines since I was 8 yo, and am now in my mid 30s. Feverfew calmed them and never got rid of them. Peppermint oil helps, what I am looking for is something herbal I can take now. I am 37 wks pregnant and usually can work through my migraines. Mine are optical, I get the rainbow auras before during and sometimes after the migraine, and have been prescribed as strong of a pain medication as Vicodin for them, and that doesn't work. So I am in a pickle. Thank you for the suggeston of APS as I also have had multiple miscarraiges they can find no reason for. And Rheumatoid Arthritis, was lucky enough to catch Rheumatic Fever at 2yo. So any help or suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 3:47PM
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theherbalist2012

Mischief:

Feverfew must be used in conjunction with other herbs (often times liver de-congestant and liver stimulating herbs) because the liver condition is the root cause of the migraines. Otherwise, just using feverfew is merely treating the symptom and not getting to the base cause. That's why it never worked totally for you.

theherbalist

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 10:18AM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

Charlie, who told you that liver problems have anything to do with migraines?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 11:51AM
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theherbalist2012

Eric:

For many years, I was involved with clinical research in herbology. The connection between liver and migraines was my own scientific discovery.

theherbalist

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 8:50AM
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rusty_blackhaw(6a)

Charlie, where'd you do this research? Can you provide links to the published articles?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 2:00PM
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theherbalist2012

Eric:

I had a research clinic in the 80's. Whenever a theory or trend came across my desk, I would set up experiments to test them. Most of the so-called natural remedies consisted of misleading information and wive's tales. (I share much of your skepticism.) The conclusions I drew would tell me which direction to take or NOT to take when developing my understanding of bodily operations and related herbal recipes. These were in vitro and in vivo.

I don't publish. What would be the point?

theherbalist

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 3:48PM
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kk1515

chinese medicine has a multi millenium's long history of clearing the liver to treat migraines. how's that for a study?

yep.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 3:27PM
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lipstic

Feverfew is not the be all and end all. In fact for many people (like myself) it will make it worse and send you to the hospital. As someone else mentioned if you migraines can be relieved normally by heat then give feverfew a try if you use cold DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES TAKE FEVERFEW!! if you are not sure try using a ice pack or heating pad first. For those of us that can't take feverfew here are a few other herbs that may help:

Ginger as a tea, candy etc. (I am currently testing this out)
vitamin B2 (riboflavin) not only does this vitamin help with nausea it helps with sensitivity to light.
Lavender, drop real lavender oil on a bandana and wrap around your forehead, and/ or massage into your temples. This also helps with headaches from crying and other pressures.

I am not a doctor, these are things that have worked for me and may not work for you, please do your research and talk to a professional.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 11:29AM
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pandora4606(6)

I saw that you guys were posting that feverfew and a few other things could help relieve migraines I was wondering if anything could help prevent them. My doctor had me on effexor that had the migraines controlled but killed my libido and almost my relationship so we switched to topo(???)off the top of my head I don't remember but I know its an anti-seizure medicine that is making me drop weight like gangbusters mostly because I forget to eat for days at a time. If I don't take anything I have migraines for all but 3-4 days of the month and even with them I still get them with my cycle. I understand that I'm stuck with these horrible drugs until my hormones change. I was just hoping that maybe someone knew of something that could get me off these things.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 11:27AM
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