Migraine Herbal Treatments
I had my first migraine headache when I was nine years of age. The migraines were incapacitating at times. However, I rarely get migraines now.
Part of the reason for the decrease in migraine occurrence is that I use herbal treatments to prevent them from starting.
Herbs may also reduce the severity of migraine headaches. There are several herbs which may help you if you suffer from migraines. Let’s take a look at some of the best ones.
Butterbur (Petasites Hybridis)
Several research studies confirm the efficacy of this herb for relieving migraine headaches in children and adults.
Experts believe that butterbur works by dilating the veins in the brain and relaxing muscles. The herb also relieves other types of pain, anxiety, and gastrointestinal discomfort, which sometimes accompany migraine headaches.
The root is the part of the herb most commonly employed to treat headaches, however the whole plant may be used.
The herb’s ability to reduce frequency of migraines is recognized by the American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society. Experts at both organizations reached this conclusion after reviewing several research studies.
Much of the research was conducted on a commercial extract of butterbur. The health care experts determined that butterbur herbal extract was as effective as prescription medications commonly used by sufferers of migraine headaches
They found that 150 mg/day of butterbur extract offered benefits comparable to the following prescription medications: propranolol, metoprolol, flunarizine, valproic acid, topiramate and gabapentin.
Additionally, the safety level of butterbur is higher than that of those medications, according to an American Botanical Council study. The researchers concluded that butterbur was a safe and effective preventative treatment for migraines. Participants in the study took 75 milligrams of butterbur twice daily. It decreased the average frequency of migraine occurrence by 50%.
While butterbur contains compounds that can cause liver damage, researchers in the study used a butterbur extract called Petadolex (Linpharma Inc., Orlando, FL; manufactured in Germany by Weber & Weber of Inning, Germany). Petadolex has been safely used in Europe for over 25 years. It is manufactured using a process that removes the compounds which may harm the liver.
Another research project was conducted that evaluated the effectiveness of butterbur for children who had migraine headaches. After four months of taking butterbur, over 90% of the children improved. The frequency of migraines among children decreased by 50%.
If you choose to use butterbur, purchase a product labeled as pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA) free.