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How Natural Medicine can help Migraines

By Josie Carin

When describing what I do as a naturopath, I often get tongue-tied! There is so much we can do to help that I usually don’t know where to start.

Sometimes it can be challenging to describe how I support my patients with migraine, as naturopaths often work very differently from other healthcare providers you may have seen before.

But the simple answer is that as a naturopathy client, we make it all about YOU. By looking at you as an individual and including a holistic health assessment, a naturopath can help uncover some of the root causes of why you are experiencing migraine attacks.

After an initial consultation with a naturopath, recommendations to help manage migraine might include the following:

  • Nutritional advice, recipes and meal plans
  • Natural pain management
  • Supplements and herbal medicines to either manage symptoms or address the root cause
  • Lifestyle advice

Your naturopath may look at testing – for example for food intolerances, nutritional status, hormone levels or microbiome imbalance.

Some patients describe our appointments as a health journey. I think this is because we are all unique, and every migraine sufferer experiences migraine differently. That’s why naturopathy – with its holistic and individual approach where no patient receives the same treatment plan – can achieve great results with migraine patients.

While each client’s health plan is different, some natural remedies which are often recommended include:

Magnesium: Magnesium can help prevent migraines by relaxing blood vessels and reducing inflammation. Foods high in magnesium include almonds, spinach, and avocado.

Vitamin B2:  also known as riboflavin, Vitamin B2 has been shown to be effective in reducing the frequency and severity of migraines. Several studies have found that daily supplementation with high doses of riboflavin (up to 400 mg per day) can help reduce the frequency and severity of migraines, particularly in people who experience frequent migraines.

Feverfew: Feverfew is a herb that has been used for centuries to treat migraines. It may help reduce inflammation and prevent migraines. However, it should also be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Ginger: Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce migraine pain. Plus, it is effective for nausea with migraine. It can be taken as a supplement or consumed as a tea.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): Some studies have suggested that CoQ10 supplementation may help reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. One small study published in Neurology found that daily supplementation with 100 mg of CoQ10 for three months reduced the frequency of migraines by more than 50% in a group of migraine sufferers. Another study published in Cephalalgia found that daily supplementation with 150 mg of CoQ10 for three months reduced the frequency and severity of migraines in a group of people with migraines.

Relaxation techniques: Stress is a common trigger for migraines. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga may help reduce stress and prevent migraines.

With any natural medicine, speaking with a healthcare professional before starting supplementation with any herb, vitamin, or supplement is important. Additionally, it is essential to follow the dosage and timing recommended by a healthcare professional.

More about the author

Josie Carin 2022
Josie Carin

Josie Carin is a Clinical Naturopath with a special interest in women’s health and migraine.  She is often referred to as “The Migraine Naturopath”.

As someone who struggled with migraine attacks for many years, Josie knows exactly how horrid migraine can be. She also understands that migraine can go hand-in-hand with other health problems, such as hormonal imbalance, weight gain, digestive issues, anxiety and fatigue.

Josie is a Fellow Member of ATMS, and her qualifications include the following:

  • Bachelor of Health Science (Complementary Medicine) - Charles Sturt University
  • Advanced Diploma in Naturopathy - Nature Care College
  • Migraine Management for General Practitioners - University of Melbourne
  • Certified Metabolic Balance® Coach

Josie provides online consultations to clients around Australia and practices from her clinic in Coffs Harbour, NSW.

Free resources and articles are available on Josie’s website.