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I’ve had migraines for most of my life and been prescribed various medications to treat them. I never had any luck with Imitrex, Midrin, or any of the rest, mostly because I’d just barf them up right away. One doctor saw fit to prescribe an anal suppository containing an antiemetic to prevent the vomiting. She’d obviously never had a migraine, if she thought I’d be shoving a cold stick of jelly in my bum during one.

I’ve had much more success with herbal remedies. Here they are:

*Cannabis. Highly recommended and clinically proven, though I see from enth’s writeup that it may not work for everyone. Smoking marijuana is the only thing that will reliably stop my migraines cold – in about five minutes. It’s also a preventative; smoking daily will reduce the frequency of migraines. If you live in a state where medical marijuana is legal, you can quite easily get a prescription for marijuana as treatment for migraines.

*Feverfew. Also highly recommended, very well-documented, and clinically proven. My preferred method is a product called MigraSpray, which contains highly concentrated feverfew. Use it daily as a preventative, or at onset to kill the migraine. I find that fresh feverfew and feverfew tea are so bitter that it’s hard to take enough for the dose to be effective.

*Kudzu root starch. Less effective for me, but many people swear by it. It affects the level of serotonin in the brain and mitigates nausea. I recommend kudzu-yu.

Other herbs I have not tried for migraine treatment, but have had recommended to me, include linden, lavender oil (massaged into temples), hawthorn, wood betony, skullcap, cramp bark, butterbur, motherwort, vervain, dandelion root, centaury, and wild carrot.

Herbs that support the liver are recommended by people who believe that migraines are influenced by the function of the gut brain. They include milk thistle, schisandra, dandelion leaves and root, turmeric, caper, chicory, black nightshade, ginger, arjuna, yarrow, tamarisk, reishi, poria, cordyceps, maitake, shiitake, hericium, astragalus, lyceum, chinese blackberry, fruit of paradise, licorice, and burdock.

Herbs that reduce nausea can be useful, especially if you have a prescribed drug that works well, but have trouble keeping it down during a migraine. They include ginger, umeboshi, kudzu, licorice, cinnamon, agrimony, hops, hawthorn, sage, strawberries, tea, white willow, chamomile, dill, and lemon balm.

And finally we have the banana-peel headache remedy: Wrap your forehead and temples and the back of your neck with banana peels, yellow side out. Don’t know that it’s been clinically proven, but it is widely recommended and it feels lovely. (Yes, I know banana is not exactly an herb. Just chill.)

*Please be aware that some herbs have side effects, and you should educate yourself on their contraindications before using.

Cannabis: http://www.ardpark.org/research/migraine.htm
Feverfew: http://www.healthy.net/scr/article.asp?ID=1861
Kudzu: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Migraine
And all the rest: Various herbalists and naturopaths I’ve talked to over the years

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