We’re loving these sunny summer days, but the migraines that seem to flare up every time the barometric pressure changes? Not so much. Thankfully, experts say these natural remedies can stop a painful migraine in its tracks.
Ditch pricey meds.
No need to reach for prescription migraine medications that can cost upward of $50. Instead, take one aspirin and one ibuprofen, and wash them down with coffee. Research in BMC Neurology suggests this trick (which costs less than 25 cents!) cuts migraine pain by 90 percent in just two hours — better results than prescription sumatriptan provides. Sam Jafari, M.D., says aspirin reduces inflammation, ibuprofen calms irritated nerves, and caffeine helps these meds work up to 80 percent faster.
Breathe in lavender.
The scent’s aromatic compounds relax spasming blood vessels in the brain, says neurologist Ali Gorji, M.D. No wonder a study in European Neurology found inhaling lavender essential oil for 15 minutes reduced migraine pain by 55 percent. Just put four drops on a tissue and set it beside you while you rest.
Cool your neck.
When you feel a warm-weather migraine brewing, lay an ice pack across the front of your throat. University of Hawaii researchers say this makes migraine pain plunge for 77 percent of women studied in as little as five minutes. Cooling the blood that flows through your neck into your brain acts as potent side effect–free painkiller.
Try the ‘four-song fix.’
Just 13 minutes of gentle exercise daily releases pain-killing hormones, preventing migraines as effectively as prescription medication, Swedish scientists say. Tip: Cue up four songs to listen to while you stroll. By the time your tunes are done, you’ll have met your goal!
Never have another!
Want this migraine to be your last? Try butterbur! Taking 100 – 150 mg. of this herbal extract daily cuts flare-ups by 61 percent in eight weeks. German scientists say it shuts down the enzyme (COX-2) that kick-starts migraine attacks. Try: Life Extension Migra-Eeze. Note: Check with a doctor before supplementing.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.