Feverfew and Butterbur are well known migraine supplements. They never worked for me. Nor did magnesium, B2, fish oil ... the list goes on and on.
I just tried something unrelated to my migraines and it reduced my migraines from 16 to 9 days per month in 6 weeks. It was a complete surprise.
Before we get to that, let me tell you about feverfew that works for lots of migraine sufferers.
Feverfew is one of the more well known migraine supplements. It has been found to be effective in preventing migraine headaches and/or reducing the nausea and vomiting associated with migraines. It is the most widely used supplement for natural and effective pain relief.
The respected British journal, Lancet, reported way back in 1988, that extracts of Feverfew inhibited the release of two inflammatory substances, serotonin and prostaglandin, and found it useful for pain reduction in headaches.
The parthenolide in Feverfew appears to block platelets and inhibit the production of serotonin, a brain chemical involved in the release of pain-causing chemicals.
Sadly I had an allergic to reaction to feverfew in all three kinds I tried. Leaves, tincture and capsules. No migraine supplements have helped me abort an attack, but there are a few I choose to take to maintain my health and well-being.
Dr. Weil, whom I trust and have followed for years now, suggests trying: caffeine if you don't already drink it, eliminating artificial sweeteners (like NutraSweet and Equal), Butterbur, Feverfew, Co-enzyme Q10, and Vitamin B2 for migraine prevention.
He says to take 100-150 mgs daily of feverfew "standardized to contain at least 0.2 percent parthenolides. This herb helps prevent the release of substances that dilate blood vessels in the head. You can stay on it indefinitely."
Butterbur also has some good results from clinical studies.
Experiment with this herb as a preventative too.
You may have to take it daily for 6 - 8 weeks before seeing results.
The recommended adult dose is from 50 - 100 mgs twice a day with meals.
Side effects are rare.
I have the exact details for dosing on my Top 6 supplements for migraines post. I took it for 18 months but did not notice enough improvement to continue with the added costs. Plus I found a triptan I could take to effectively abort attacks.
Feverfew and Butterbur should be tried separately - they are not to be taken together.
But check with your naturopath, nutritionist or health care professional, they may have some more ideas on this regime for you. Everyone is so different.
The aim is to relieve the severe pain and symptoms associated with migraine headaches and promote improvement in blood circulation to the brain by dilating the already constricted blood vessels that can trigger and aggravate the migraines. Feverfew is know to do this, as is cayenne pepper.
Feverfew is one of the top migraine supplements recommended along with Butterbur and magnesium. But I also want to tell you about B12 Oil that I just started taking for CFS/ME.
I see my migraine days have reduced from 16 last month to 9 this month. Cause for celebration? Not just yet.
B12 Oil. My functional medical doctor has decided to try me on B12 Oil to see if it helps with my CFS. And I just looked at my migraine diary and I have gone down this month from sixteen days per month where it has been for over twenty years I might add, to nine days.
I feel like I have had a holiday. But .... I am going through menopause, so I will keep you posted on the B12 Oil results.
Studies show that migraine sufferers are often low in Magnesium.
It is the second most abundant mineral in our human cells and under normal circumstances our needs can be met with food intake.
Foods high in magnesium include: dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish, beans (soy beans, black beans, kidney beans, white beans, chickpeas, black-eyed peas and lentils), whole grains, avocados, yogurt, bananas, dried fruit, and dark chocolate, just to name a few.
The current recommended daily value (DV) for magnesium is 400mgs. My neurologist said 300mgs twice a day would be better, if I can tolerate it.
Magnesium helps the body regulate hundreds of enzymes in our bodies and plays an essential part in organizing vital bodily functions such as electrical impulses and muscle control.
I am referring to the "electrical storms" our migraine brains have before and during an attack. It can potentially calm them down.
Magnesium helps the body with detoxing and increases our energy production. It is absolutely vital to our well-being.
The dose can vary depending on your own individual need. I used to get magnesium by injection because I was so deficient, but even then my migraines persisted. No change at all.
This does not mean there is no point in experimenting, I know a lot of people it has helped A LOT!
Look for quality ingredients. This is just so important, you will hear me saying it again and again. My very expensive doctor uses mostly Thorne brand which I get from iherb.com. I spend that much money on migraine supplements, it would be silly to get ones that just don't work due to poor quality and processing.
Click on the links below and if you enter HAZ215 you will get a discount. These are the migraine supplements I would say to try first.
This is the one my doctor recommended I trial. I took it for 18 months. It reduced the severity but not the frequency or duration. I would still be taking them but I found a triptan that worked better.
In clinical trials in both Germany and the United States butterbur reduced the incidence of headache pain by up to 61%. Butterbur's principal active constituent Petasin reduces smooth muscle spasms and helps relax the constriction of cerebral blood vessels.
Migra-Eeze contains butterbur root extract standardized to provide 22.5 mg of petasins with each daily dose of two soft-gels.
Riboflavin (vitamin B2) and ginger are included based on the ability of these nutrients to exert functional changes that may also guard against headache and migraine.
There is more to read in this supplements section:
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Migraine Supplements - Finding What Works