Migraines are very personal. They vary from person to person in severity and cause, and as such, no one treatment will work for everyone. What soothes a migraine for one person, could trigger one in another. Some have been successful with home remedies, using common household items found their pantries and medicine cabinets to find relief.Here are a few of them:
Aromatic plant oils popular in massage or aromatherapy can help relieve migraine headaches.
- Lavender oil - You can use medicinal lavender oil in two ways: either inhale it, or apply it directly to the skin. The only thing you mustn’t do is ingest it orally. Making a solution to inhale is simple; just dilute two to four drops of the oil in two cups of boiling water then breathe in the vapors that rise with the steam.
- Peppermint Oil - This helps combat one of the possible causes of migraine pain, which is restricted blood flow. Its fresh smell makes it popular with most people, and the vasodilating and constricting properties help to control blood flow through blood vessels. Inhaling peppermint vapors can also open up the sinuses, clearing the way for more oxygen to enter the bloodstream
- Basil Oil - If tension brings on migraine, you might find basil oil helpful. We all know about basil as an herb that does well with tomato, making it perfect on pizza toppings, but aside from tasting great, it’s also a muscle relaxant.
- Fish Oil – Many people take this supplement for its omega-3 content, as it is beneficial to the heart. Reports from the American Heart Association indicate that fish oil may help reduce inflammation in blood cells, reducing their pressure on nerves that can cause migraine pain. A great way to consume fish oil is by simply mixing one tablespoon into a glass of orange juice.
Reach for Almonds
Whether nuts work for you depends on whether they’re one of your migraine triggers. Some people find that they actually bring on a headache, while others swear they can relieve it. Because migraine triggers and symptoms vary so much, it’s vital that you understand your own danger points.
If nuts don’t cause your migraines, you may find that almonds in particular can bring relief. They contain salicin, an anti-inflammatory agent that’s also in some over-the-counter pain relievers.
Hot or Cold Compresses
Evidence suggests that hot or cold compresses can help relieve migraine pain. What’s causing your migraine depends on whether hot or cold would be most effective, so it’s a personal choice.
- A hot compress may work if tension or anxiety triggers pain, since a hot compress will work to relax muscles.
- Cold compresses work the opposite way, helping to constrict expanded blood vessels and so relieve pressure on nerves.
For some, a mixture of hot and cold can relieve pain caused by a combination of physical conditions. Try a hot compress across your forehead, and a cold one behind your head. Tension in the shoulders can also lead to migraine pain, in which case try a heat pad on your shoulders.
You don’t need anything fancy to make a hot or cold compress at home. For cold, a bag of frozen peas or an ice pack will do the trick, and for hot, a towel or washcloth dampened with hot water.
Simple Posture and Movement
Not an actual household item, but definitely falling under home remedies, how you sit, stand and move can all effect how your body feels. Hunching up the shoulders, taking shallow breaths or staying still for hours at a time can all lead to tension in the body that, in turn, brings on migraine pain.
Simple things such as making a conscious effort to correct posture, relax your shoulders, sit up straight at your desk, can relieve tension.
As we mentioned for peppermint oil above, a lack of oxygen flowing through the blood can trigger or prolong migraines, and proper, deep breathing can help combat this. We tend to take shallow breaths when not thinking about breathing.
Consciously take deep breaths that start low in the diaphragm as though you’re filling your stomach, and end high in the lungs. This is a good exercise to do while you’re lying down, but you can breathe mindfully in this way at any time.
Getting out in the fresh air with a brisk walk, or taking up yoga to stretch muscles and tendons can also help ward off migraine headaches. Exercise releases endorphins, which can help dull pain.
When you find something that relieves your migraine, it’s as if you’ve been handed a holy grail. It may take some experimentation to find your own household remedy, but it will be well worth it for you in the end.