Migraines are debilitating, incredibly painful and seem to be almost impossible to get rid of or avoid. I suffered from 24/7 migraines after the birth of my youngest child 16 years ago. The specialist put me on three daily medications and I was still getting migraines 3-4 times a week.
Thankfully, I was able to figure out that my trigger was the pesticides, herbicides and synthetic chemicals in our food. About two months after switching to an all-organic diet, I was able to get off of my medications and reduce the frequency of migraines to about once a month.
This was without going on any kind of special diet like gluten-free, Paleo, etc! I simply just changed the foods I was regularly eating to organic. I think this goes to show the importance of figuring out the root cause of your health issue!
Over the years, I’ve learned about other triggers, and how to reduce even my previous monthly migraine, and have had success helping my Nutritional Therapy clients do the same. So, today, I want to share with you what I’ve learned.
A holistic practitioner shared with me many years ago that a migraine is a severe form of inflammation. And, if you think about it, that makes sense. When you get a migraine, the blood vessels in the head are inflamed. When the blood passes through, it pulses and causes extreme pain. This is why taking caffeine helps, because it restricts the blood vessels.
So, if migraines are a form of inflammation, then taking the next step to figure out what triggers that inflammation can be incredibly helpful!
Here are my top 8 ways to prevent migraines and headaches naturally:
- Do a castor oil pack over the liver once a day for two months and then three times a week for maintenance. Many times, a migraine is triggered because one has come in contact with an environmental toxin (think fumes, perfume, conventional cleaning products, etc.) and the liver is congested and can’t filter out the toxin quickly enough. So, doing a detox therapy like the castor oil pack can gently decongest the liver and reduce the frequency or intensity of the migraine. Migraines closely associated with a woman’s menstrual cycle are also often tied to liver congestion. During this time of the month, the body creates excess hormones that the liver needs to filter out. If the liver is congested, then this can trigger migraines, hormonal breakouts, PMS, etc. during those times during the month.
- Eat an organic, unprocessed diet. The amount of pesticides, herbicides, etc. that one is exposed to overall when they eat conventional food really adds up! By reducing the toxins in your body, you can possibly reduce the amount of migraines you get. This was the key for me! And, I wasn’t even on any kind of special dietary protocol, I simply just switched to organic and it made the world of difference.
3. If your migraines are triggered by bright lights, being in the sunlight or heat, or you wake up with them, then these migraines are often rooted in adrenal fatigue. Read this article and start taking the steps listed.
4. Remove sugar from the diet that doesn’t come from a fruit or vegetable. Sugar causes inflammation in the body, especially when eaten in excess, so reducing your total sugar intake to around 20-30 grams a day can make a significant difference (this does not include carbohydrates from healthy sources such as vegetables, soaked grains, raw dairy, etc.)
5. Reduce your stress to keep your blood sugar levels even. Stress plays just as much of a part in blood sugar balance as eating sugar. Large fluctuations in blood sugar can trigger migraines, so it’s very important to take steps to spend time taking care of yourself each day. Exercising outdoors, not spending too much time on electronics, letting go of anger, etc. can all have a profound affect on blood sugar and the frequency of migraines.
6. Keep a regular sleep schedule. Sleep gives your body time to heal, restore, rest, and also detoxify. A lack of sufficient sleep taxes the adrenals and causes blood sugar imbalance, causes inflammation in the body, and can trigger migraines. Aim to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep each night, and stick to a regular schedule.
7.Take daily epsom salt baths to replenish magnesium. Magnesium helps relax the body and may be effective at reducing or preventing migraines. When the body is under stress, the first mineral it burns through is magnesium, so following #5 and replenishing magnesium stores is very helpful. Simply pour a cup of Epsom salts in a bath and soak for 20 minutes. If you still find you need an additional magnesium supplement, Mag Max is the one I recommend to my clients.
8. Walk for 30 minutes daily. This isn’t a speed walk, but a slow stroll to help reduce cortisol levels, calm the body and reduce inflammation to reduce migraines.
If you do get a migraine, here are some remedies that I’ve found beneficial:
Because we are each bioindividual, it’s hard to say exactly how much of these remedies to use, so either talk to your holistic practitioner about the best dosage, or book an appointment with me at Our Well House.
- Taking a therapeutic dose of magnesium can be very helpful. EZ-mg is one of my favorites.
- If your migraine is most likely from liver congestion (maybe you drank too much the night before, or you’re doing a detox) then Livaplex and Betafood can help relieve the pain.
- If your migraine is most likely from stress, then taking a therapeutic dose of Cataplex B can help. Sometimes I’ve found that combining Cataplex B with EZ-mg can also be effective.
- An epsom salt bath with extra epsom salts (2 cups instead of 1) can relax the body, replenish magnesium stores and aid in pain reduction.
- To alleviate the extreme tension, the combination of Deep Blue, Frankincense and Basil essential oils applied over the area of concern may provide relief.