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Prevent Migraines Naturally
Prevent Migraines Naturally
Imagine if you could stop a migraine before its first hammer blow to your temple. New research shows that not only is this possible in 38 percent of cases, but you can even do it naturally, without the side effects of prescription drugs.
Researchers with the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) reviewed 284 different studies published between 1999 and 2009 and found that there are five natural substances that are proven to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines: butterbur, feverfew, magnesium, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and coenzyme Q-10.
These findings, which were published in April 2012 in the journal Neurology, are particularly relevant because pharmaceuticals used to prevent migraines can have serious side effects, including nausea, dizziness, diarrhea, cramps and hair loss. In addition, “Because migraine is frequent in women of childbearing age, the potential for adverse fetal effects related to migraine prevention strategies is particularly concerning,” the researchers noted.
According to the Mayo Clinic, people who benefit the most from daily doses of migraine prevention drugs or supplements include those who have two or more debilitating migraines a month, or whose symptoms include a prolonged aura or numbness and weakness.
AAN researchers reported the following results for natural migraine preventers:
Butterbur. Petasites, a purified extract from the butterbur plant, was shown to decrease migraine frequency by 26 to 60 percent in two different studies. In both studies, participants took 50 to 75 mg of petasites daily, with better results reported in the 75 mg group. The only side effect was burping.
Feverfew. An extract of this herb is marketed as MIG-99. AAN researchers reviewed seven studies on MIG-99’s effects on migraines: six positive and one negative. In the two studies that the researchers cited, three 6.25 mg capsules of MIG-99 a day reduced migraine frequency from an average of 4.7 attacks a month to 2.8, and from 4.5 attacks a month to 2.7. Side effects included mild gastrointestinal system disorders.
Magnesium and riboflavin. The researchers reported that this mineral and vitamin are probably effective for reducing migraines, based on three positive studies and one negative one. However, a more recent study failed to show that a combination of 300 mg of magnesium, 400 mg of riboflavin and 100 mg of MIG-99 was more effective at relieving migraines than 25 mg of riboflavin. No side effects were reported with either magnesium or riboflavin.
Coenzyme Q-10. One small study showed that 100 mg of CoQ10, which is produced naturally in the human body, reduced the frequency of migraines by 47.6 percent. No side effects were reported, but researchers say more study is needed.
By: Vicky Uhland
Vicky has 26 years' experience as a professional journalist and has written about healthy living topics for a variety of publications and websites, including Men's Journal, Natural Health, Vegetarian Times and Revolutionhealth.com.
July 10th, 2012