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Home Herbal Migraine Remedies

from: Brian B. Carter, MS, LAc




This is one of my favorite topics! Wanna know why?

Because I've suffered from migraines for 2 years, and my unique position as an herbalist and acupuncturist has allowed me to learn about and experiment with a number of home migraine remedy you may not have heard of.


Chinese herbal medicine is still new and unknown to most westerners. I've found some effective solutions from China that few people know about.

And now I get to share them with you!

On this page, I'm going to talk exclusively about home migraine remedy - if you want to read more about migraine symptoms, causes, and acupuncture, check out my previous articles:

What is a Migraine, anyway?
It's more than a headache. It's a neurological configuration - any number of symptoms can show up, and more than one thing can cause it.

It's as if you tend toward this neurological configuration, called migraine - like you're already on the edge of it, and certain things can push you over.

Or, it's like you're filling a water glass, but you can't stop pouring, and it overflows. In this analogy, the water is all the factors that cause your migraine, and the overflow is the migraine itself.

How do you stop the Migraine tendency?
The way to prevent it is to balance the imbalances that lead to migraine. Your home migraine remedy should take care of at least one of these imbalances.

I'm going to suggest our basic home migraine remedy, called "Relieve Constraint" that will help with a number of the causes of migraine.

Here are the major migraine contributors,
with at least one home migraine remedy each:

1. Stress and emotional constraint: Relieve Constraint herbal formula

2. Sinus congestion and sinus headaches: Relieve Constraint herbal formula, and possibly a sinus infection home remedy

3. Indigestion and dysbiosis: Relieve Constraint herbal formula, get any complicated or chronic digestive problems diagnosed and treatment by a natural medicine specialist

4. Inflammation: Relieve Constraint herbal formula

5. Neck misalignment and tension headaches (this is your author right here, sitting at a computer): Chiropractic and acupuncture, stress reduction, and Relieve Constraint herbal formula

6. Food allergies: Get good IgG and IgE food allergy tests, make sure you don't also have systemic candida, and avoid/rotate the foods you are allergic to.

If you can't afford the $100 food allergy test from your alternative medicine provider, you can instead try going 1 month each without wheat, dairy, and yeast. Those are the most common offenders. If any of them is involved, you should notice a difference!

7. Irregular eating: Eat more regularly. Identify and deal with hypoglycemia - research shows, and specialists know that hypoglycemia can cause rebound migraines. See below for eating tips.

If you don't have a regular appetite, Relieve Constraint will help somewhat, but you may want to consider medical-quality enzyme supplements.

8. Fatigue or lack of exercise: If exercise makes you worse, then you need strengthening herbs. However, you may have to wait til #1-6 above are better before you can tonify yourself.
If exercise makes you better, then you're stagnant. Keep exercising, especially aerobic like basketball, running, or swimming, and take Relieve Constraint.

Dietary Home Migraine Remedy Options:
As mentioned in the chart, hypoglycemia can lead to rebound migraines. There's some research to back that up - see the references at the bottom of the page.

How to control your hypoglycemia:

* Increase the amount of protein in your diet (meat, poultry, fish, nuts, beans) and eat smaller meals more frequently during the day to sustain energy.
* Never go for more than four or five hours without eating preferably no more than three hours.
* If you sleep in on weekends, but find you wake with the beginnings of a migraine, keep a starchy snack by the bed.
* Eat small, starchy snacks, but not sugary or processed foods, on a regular basis. Crackers, rice, bread, and pasta are all good, as are fruits and nuts.
* Many migraine sufferers find that strenuous or prolonged exercise lowers their blood sugar levels and makes them more prone to attacks. Try taking a glucose tablet (or a teaspoon of glucose) before exercising, and a starchy snack within half an hour of finishing. This may help compensate for lost energy. However, once your diet has been corrected, glucose tablets shouldn't be necessary.
Not having an appetite is a problem!

Most people worry about their weight and want to get rid of their appetites. But for a migraineur, not having an appetite is a problem. Whether you are enzyme deficient, or your gastrointestinal system is all backed up, or both, you need to fix it.

If you don't have an appetite, you won't eat enough (leading to hypoglycemia), and even if you do eat enough, you won't be able to digest it properly. Indigestion will create more problems, like acid reflux or intestinal stagnation. Since everything in your body is connected, and migraineurs are so sensitive, all of these things can contribute to a migraine.

Herbal Home Migraine Remedy Options:
Let me tell you about a modern migraine formula, called
Relieve Constraint.

This is a modern Chinese herbal formula, a home migraine remedy. It comes from a book by Philippe Sionneau, a famous European Chinese medicine translator and author. Philippe translated it from the Chinese article written by Dr Cao De Ting in the Shan Dong Chinese Medicine Journal (1988, #1).

The full name of this home migraine remedy is the "Order the Qi and Resolve the Depression Decoction." It's based on what has become one of my favorite Chinese herbal formulas, "Yue ju wan," also known as the "Escape Restraint Pill." This formula was written by herbal master Zhu Dan Xi in the 14th century A.D.

The Relieve Constraint home migraine remedy relieves all 6 types of constraint (with the herb for each):

qi (cyperus)
blood (ligustici)
dampness (atractylodes)
food (shenqu)
phlegm (atractylodes)
heat (gardenia)

Added to the basic Escape Restraint Pill (to make the Relieve Constraint home migraine remedy) are several other herbs for emotional constraint, nourishing, moving the excess qi and blood down out of the head, relieving tension, and stopping pain. These herbs are chrysanthemum, cassia, tribulus, uncaria, peony, and licorice.

How do you use it?
Take it when you know a migraine is coming, or even before that after one of the migraine contributors has occurred in your daily life. It can help once the migraine is already there, but as with other home migraine remedy, it's much more effective the sooner you take it.

Depending on how bad and how frequent your migraines are, you might use this home migraine remedy every day, or every few days. If they're really bad, I'd take it every day for a while (2-4 weeks) until it's much better. Then, you still may need it occasionally unless you eliminate all migraine triggers, move to the countryside, and live a perfectly relaxed life ;-)

Nutritional Supplement Home Migraine Remedy Options:
Here are some nutrients suggested to be very important in the Balch's Prescriptions for Nutritional Healing:

Calcium and Magnesium: 2000 mg daily Ca, 1000 mg daily Mg
CoQ10: 60 mg daily
Essential Fatty Acids
Multivitamin and mineral formula
Vitamin B3 (niacin) plus niacinamide: 200mg 3x daily of niacin, 800mg daily of niacinamide - but do not take if you have a liver disorder, gout, or high blood pressure
Rutin: 200mg daily

About the Author

Acupuncturist, herbalist, and medical professor Brian B. Carter founded the alternative health megasite The Pulse of Oriental Medicine (http://www.PulseMed.org/). He is the author of the book "Powerful Body, Peaceful Mind: How to Heal Yourself with Foods, Herbs, and Acupressure" (November, 2004). Brian speaks on radio across the country, and has been quoted and interviewed by Real Simple, Glamour, and ESPN magazines.








 

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