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Feverfew and ginger for migraines

A variety of herbal therapies and nutritional supplements have been carefully tested for treating and preventing migraines. A new study will be published later this year in the journal Headache describing the results of a well-designed study testing the benefit of a combination of feverfew and ginger for treating migraines before they become severe. The herbal product used was Lipigesic M, which is administered as a liquid placed under the tongue.

This study used a double-blind, placebo-controlled design. This means study participants were treated with the actual feverfew plus ginger compound or a look-alike sugar pill, called a placebo. The study was double-blinded because neither the patients nor the doctors in the study could tell which treatment the patients were getting until the study was over. This is the best way to study migraine treatments to make sure the treatment is actually effective. Because of the strong power of suggestion for at least temporarily reducing pain, most studies show that about one in three patients will benefit from the placebo therapy.

In this study, 60 patients treated multiple migraine episodes with either the feverfew plus ginger pill or the placebo. Three in four patients experienced a mild phase at the beginning of their migraines and were told to treat early, while the migraine was still mild. After two hours, migraine pain had been relieved in two of three patients treating with the feverfew plus ginger product compared with about one in three taking the placebo. In addition, patients were twice as likely to be completely pain free after taking the feverfew plus ginger combination.
This study suggests three things:

  1. Treating early while your headache is still mild can be an effective way to prevent a migraine episode from becoming severe and difficult to treat
  2. Herbal therapies can effectively treat migraine episodes
  3. Early migraine treatment with herbal therapies, like feverfew plus ginger, might reduce the number of migraines that become more severe and need to be treated with medications like triptans

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Colleen Whalen Johnson
    8 years ago

    This sounds interesting as the generic Midrin has again gone by the wayside and I cannot tolerate much else.

  • Karen Stanley Haack
    8 years ago

    Nothing worked for Sami…We tried everything. I even eliminated all of my stainless steel pans and replaced them with glass. She was put on every med that she could have been put on for migraines. The only thing that helped was a shot of toradol. Tempory for maybe 5 hours.

  • Laura Watson
    8 years ago

    I have been taking feverfew supplements for a few months now as a preventative rather than a treatment and it has really worked well for me. I was getting them twice a week and now it’s more like once or twice a month. Although I have been taking extra B vitamins as well so it may be the combination rather than just the feverfew. Either way it’s been a god send and really inproved my standard of living.

  • Janice Worden Lamb Clemens
    8 years ago

    I am taking feverfew and white willow everyday for over 2 months now. I am trying to give it a chance but not sure if it is helping. I still have the everyday headache but haven’t had the “migraine” for 2 weeks now…but I am tired of taking the esgic and tylenol and advil and excedrin migraine…..just to keep the headache under some sort of relief…not much but takes the edge off.

  • Dawn A Marcus
    8 years ago

    There have been studies supporting a variety of herbal/nutritional agents for migraine treatment and prevention. You can find several helpful articles here at migraine.com by typing in the search words “nutritional supplements” or “herbal.” You can also, of course, find detailed information on using supplements in my new book, The Woman’s Migraine Toolkit. It’s important to remember that taking advantage of the full range of effective treatments, prescription, herbal, and non-drug therapies often offers the best opportunity to migraine improvement with you have particularly troublesome migraines.

  • Ann Rucker
    8 years ago

    I find that if I can catch a migraine just at the start, taking fewerfew, butterbur and magnesium helps.

  • Dr Marcus author
    8 years ago

    Ginger is frequently used to reduce digestive symptoms — we recommend it especially for pregnant women to treat nausea because it’s safe to use during pregnancy and effective. Research have actually been investigating ginger as an ulcer treatment, with protective effects shown in studies on rats. I am not aware of any clinical trials showing benefit to people with ulcers yet. Before adding any herbal therapy, be sure to consult with your doctor about your unique medical condition.

  • Mary Ortis Creighton
    8 years ago

    I just found this link for a free sample of Lipigesic M, which was mentioned in this article. http://www.msamples.com/

  • Mary Ortis Creighton
    8 years ago

    I haven’t tried any herbal remedies. I never know what amount to take or when to take it, it is kind of confusing, for the most part.

  • Nancy Miller
    8 years ago

    butterbur is supposed to help too- just heard that yesterday

  • islandgurlinvegas
    8 years ago

    Does anyone know if I take ginger will it mess with my ulcers? What’s the best way to take it?

  • Jennifer Collins-Gonzalez
    8 years ago

    Ok, this is the best ginger rememdy I know! Buy real ginger, it is availble in most grocery stores in the refrigerated section, already minced in tubes, it is from Australia and on the tube it reads,”Gourmet Garden” Ginger 21 pieces of finely chopped ginger, 4 oz.it is manufactured for Botanical Food Co. from California. Use 3 to 4 tubes of the ginger, then add real lemon juice from 4 lemons or from the bottle of Real Lemon juice, then add 4 tablespoons of ground cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of 100% organic honey, just stir all ingredients together and eat 1 full tablespoon up to 3 times daily! Keep in a plastic/glass covered container in the refegerator until you use it up, then just make some more! Enjoy!

  • Jennifer Collins-Gonzalez
    8 years ago

    OMG! I love knowing that about ginger, I use it everyday! I have alot of migraines and I will do anything as a preventive to avoid taking in my case, Maxalt.

  • April Kenney
    8 years ago

    I really like this article and believe migraines can be treated with ginger. I have pure ginger oil ~ however, it is so strong it is difficult for me to get a single drop even in water! Therefore, ineffective, so a “ginger pill” might work.

  • Madelyn Clare Powell
    8 years ago

    There are several teas on the market, and you might also try seasoning as much food as you can with ginger. I’ve also had good results w/tumeric.

  • Tanya Morsbach
    8 years ago

    I should try that. these migraines are awful.

  • Mary Ruth Andrews
    8 years ago

    I think that this article has some merit, my only concern is the combination of the herbal remedy with medications we are already taking for other problems.

  • Dawn A Marcus
    8 years ago

    You might also want to talk to your pharmacist about combining nutritional products with your prescription medications. Some work similarly to prescription drugs and shouldn’t be combined, while others do not. Pharmacists can be great resources to look up this information and, like me, probably have both the PDR and a guide ot herbal therapies within reach on their desks!

  • Joseph Perez
    8 years ago

    I agree, I’m currently taking other prescription pharmaceuticals for heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. But I would love to try it (I have chronic migraines which never drop below a 7). I’ll ask my doctor what she thinks, next time I see her.

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