Migraine is a medical condition characterised by recurring headaches that feel as severe as some massive injuries. It is said that migraine occurs in every one individual out of ten. It affects health as well as daily life. The pain is so disabling that it is really difficult for the patient to carry on with their general routine. Though the intensity and frequency of migraine vary from person to person.
Different individuals have different triggers that initiate migraine pain. Some are sensitive to light while others get disturbed because of stress and other environmental conditions. These triggers interfere with the activities of brain and initiate pain. The exact reason for the pain is still unclear. Though, some of the common triggers are:

  • Sleeping issues
  • Improper meals
  • Bright lights
  • High volume or noise
  • Hormone changes during the menstrual cycle
  • Stress
  • Weather changes
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Foods that contain nitrates, such as hot dogs and lunch meats

In some cases, migraine is found to be a genetic issue also. Although migraine does not have any permanent cure, it can be handled. Here are some tricks and home remedies that can help you in fighting against migraine pain.

  1. How to identify migraine pain
  2. Home remedies for migraines
  3. Lifestyle changes to prevent migraine
  4. Other tips
  5. When to visit a doctor

Migraine is a type of headache. Although it is much higher in intensity, it is hard to discern a migraine from a severe headache. Here are some major characteristics of migraine pain, which can help in distinguishing it with other types of headaches:

These are some major characteristics of migraine pain. However, there may be other distinctions also. Migraine is not the same for every individual. Its symptoms, intensity of pain and triggers vary from person to person.

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Here are some home remedies that can help you in reducing the frequency of occurrence and intensity of pain in case of migraine. Regular use of these remedies would not only help in reducing migraine symptoms but also it may help you prevent them altogether.
However, this does not mean that you can stop taking your migraine medications. Sudden cut off from medications can lead to more adverse effects and severe pain. Hence it is advised to continue with your normal medication along with implementing these home remedies. 

Ginger for migraine

Ginger can be a great remedy for migraine pain. In a study conducted with 100 patients with migraine, ginger was found to have similar effects as sumatriptan (a commercial drug for migraine). But the plus point with ginger was that it did not have any side effects. Moreover, ginger is comparatively cheaper and is easily available in almost every kitchen. Here are some steps to make ginger powder at home:


  • Blender
  • Ginger
  • Knife
  • Clean cloth
  • Airtight container


  • Take some ginger and clean it properly with water
  • Chop the ginger into small pieces. The smaller the slices of ginger, the easier it can be dried
  • Spread these ginger slices under the sun on a clean cloth
  • Grind these dried ginger pieces in a blender to make a powder out of it
  • Make sure that ginger it grinded properly
  • Store this powder in a clean and airtight container
  • Consume one-eighth of a teaspoon of ginger powder daily with some lukewarm water.

Apart from this, you can also add some ginger in your daily diet. This will add on to its therapeutic effects.

Magnesium for migraine

Magnesium deficiency is one of the major triggers for regular headaches. Hence, adding an adequate amount of magnesium to your diet can really help with your migraine. It is not just considered an effective migraine medication but also is helpful in preventing a migraine attack. Studies indicate that a minimum dose of 600 mg/day magnesium is required to get all of its benefits. You can either take it in the form of magnesium-rich foods or as magnesium supplements. Some of the magnesium-rich foods include Dry and roasted almonds, Spinach, Cashew, Peanuts, Rice (brown or white), Banana, Chicken breast, Broccoli, Kidney beans, Carrot and, Apple
If you are taking it in the form of supplements, it is better to break this dosage in two 300 mg tablets. Make sure to check in with your doctor before taking any supplements.

(Read more: Magnesium deficiency)

Cold therapy for migraine

Cold therapy is an excellent solution to virtually any kind of pain. Clinical studies suggest that using cold gel caps for 25 minutes on the onset of migraine can help in reducing pain. Though the exact mode of action of cold therapy is still not clear, most people swear by its benefits.

Since it doesn't have any side effects, trying cold therapy can be a good idea. You just need to freeze a gel cap for some time and wear it. In case you do not have a gel cap, do not worry. The motive here is to cool the head down. Here are some more ideas you can try:

  • Wash your head with cold water
  • Apply an ice pack on your head
  • Keep a frozen peas bag on your head

Note: Avoid using cold therapy if you are sensitive to cold and in case of vertigo.

Vitamin B-2 for migraine

Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin is an excellent remedy for migraine. Clinical studies indicate that regular consumption of about 400 mg vitamin B2 is effective in reducing the frequency of migraine attacks. Although there were no changes in the intensity and headache hours. This means that if you were having 4 attacks of migraine in a month, then after taking doses of vitamin B2, the occurrence will reduce to 2 migraine attacks per month. This can be counted as a great improvement. Wouldn't it?

If you are not keen on supplement intake, you can always switch to some food items that are rich in vitamin B2 such as oats, yoghurt, milk, mushrooms, almond, Swiss cheese, apple (with skin), egg, spinach and, tomato.

Lavender oil for migraine

Lavender oil is a natural anxiolytic drug (anxiety reducer), a mood stabilizer, a sedative (induces sleep), and an analgesic agent (pain reliever). With such properties, it becomes a great migraine remedy. Research studies suggest that using lavender oil in the case of severe headaches and migraine can give quick and effective relief. Here are three ways that you can use this aromatic oil to reduce migraine symptoms:

  • Inhalation: The easiest way to use lavender oil is through direct inhalation. For this, take a few drops of lavender oil on your hand and just take a whiff every now and then.  
  • Humidifier: Essential oils can have a strong scent, which may just worsen a migraine in some cases than improving it. If lavender scent seems too strong to you on direct inhalation, you can simply put a few drops of this oil into a humidifier and let it do its work.
  • Steam: Steam inhalation works in the same way as a humidifier and thus could be an excellent alternative to a piece of otherwise expensive equipment. For this, you just have to add a few drops of lavender oil in a steaming hot pan of water and inhale the vapour for at least 15 minutes to get noticeable results.

Note: Do not sit too close to the humidifier or steaming pan. Also, make sure to clean the humidifier properly after every use. This will make it last longer and also prevent respiratory conditions.

Peppermint oil for migraine

Menthol is an active ingredient present peppermint, which is really efficient in alleviating several pains including migraine. Mint oil is traditionally used as a topical application to open nasal sinuses and to get rid of congestion headaches. The fresh aromatic scent of mint is also said to be effective in relieving stress headaches.

In a clinical study, thirty-five migraine patients were made to apply peppermint on their forehead. Application of peppermint reported to provide major relief from migraine pain to all of the patients. Apart from relieving pain, peppermint application is also helpful in other conditions during migraine including:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Disturbance or irritation due to light
  • Inability to tolerate loud noises 

And one of the best plus points of peppermint is that it does not have any side effects. Here is how you can use peppermint oil for relieving migraine symptoms:


  • Humidifier
  • Peppermint oil
  • Water


  • Fill the humidifier with water after cleaning it properly
  • Add a few drops of peppermint oil in the humidifier
  • Switch the humidifier on and just sit an relax
  • The humidifier will release the peppermint oil in the air along with moisture and you will get relief


  • Make sure to close the room before switching the humidifier on to avoid escaping of lavender oil in the outside environment.
  • In case you do not have a humidifier, you can use the lavender oil by adding it into some hot water and inhale its vapour.

(Read more: Mint benefits)

Home remedies can help you reduce the extent of pain and discomfort associated with migraine. However, if you want to ward off this type of headache altogether, you need to go the extra mile and make some healthy changes in your lifestyle. Here is a list of few such lifestyle factors that can help you avoid migraine pain.

  • Manage your stress: Indulge in activities that keep you away from stress. Lowering stress will help in reducing the frequency of occurrence of migraine.
    Choose any activity you like. Go for a walk, listen to your favourite music or you can also pick up a new hobby. See what works for you the most.
  • Manage your triggers: It is really important to know what initiates your migraine. Make a log of your triggers and make sure to stay away from them. For example, if you get migraine pain when you skip your meal it could be your trigger. Try to take regular meals in such a condition.
    Note down the events that you think can be a reason for your migraine and plan your work according to it. It’s all in a bit of vigilance.
  • Obesity and hormonal changes: They may not be a direct trigger for migraine but obesity and hormonal disturbances are major risk factors for this condition. While hormonal changes need professional assistance, overweight and obesity can certainly be managed by including some healthy changes to your lifestyle. So, include more physical activity in your daily routine and take a healthy and well-balanced diet. This would not just aid in managing migraine symptoms but also aid in managing stress and improving the overall quality of life. However, it is important to avoid overexertion, especially on sunny days as dehydration can sometimes trigger a migraine.
  • Stay in a dark quiet room during migraine pain. This will give you a better environment to relax. Also, some people are sensitive to light and sound during migraine attacks, so a dark quiet room can be a good option for them.
  • Lack of sleep is one of the major triggers for migraine. On the other hand, taking adequate sleep helps promote relaxation and rejuvenation. It also aids in relieving stress. So, get into a proper routine and fix a time to sleep. Do not stay awake until late at night.  Avoid oversleeping as this can also be a trigger for migraine attack. (Read more: Home remedies for good sleep)
  • Keep a migraine diary. This will help you know more about your migraine and its triggers. Note down every detail including the frequency of occurrence, the intensity of pain and suspected triggers. Share this diary with your medical expert whenever you visit him/her.
  • Stay away from caffeine. Most of us consider caffeine or coffee to be a solution to headache and pain. But it is important to keep in mind that migraine is not similar to any other regular headache. In fact, caffeine consumption has been suggested to be one of the most common triggers of migraine. However, if you are a regular consumer of caffeine, do not stop caffeine intake suddenly. Try to reduce your doses day by day. Sudden withdrawal of caffeine can also cause migraine pain
  • Avoid driving if you have migraine pain. The severity of pain makes it easier to lose focus, which may lead to accidents.
  • Also, stay away from televisions and laptop as the light from their screens can increase your pain.
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