Reviewed by: HU Medical Review Board | Reviewed April 2022 | Last updated: August 2022
Migraine sufferers often look for natural remedies to help prevent migraine attacks and ease their debilitating migraine symptoms. Natural remedies, also referred to as nutraceuticals, have been used for many centuries for a range of ailments. Some have been shown to help with migraine.
Why turn to natural options?
Natural medications, such as vitamins, minerals, or other supplements, often appeal to people with chronic migraine for many reasons, including:
- Over-the-counter or prescription drugs do not work for every patient
- Prescription drugs may be too costly
- Prescription and nonprescription drugs may have unwelcome side effects
- Certain prescription or over-the-counter medications may interact with other treatments the person is taking
- Their healthcare professional may recommend trying natural remedies1
What makes dietary supplements different?
There are numerous herbal treatments that have been shown to help some people with migraine. However, because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require rigorous clinical trials on dietary supplements, there is far less evidence on how well these products work. As dietary supplements, these products cannot make claims that they treat or cure a disease. Dietary supplements can include vitamins, minerals, herbs, botanicals, amino acids, and enzymes. These items can come from a plant, bush, tree, or flower and its seeds, stems, berries, roots, leaves, bark, or flowers.
Natural migraine remedies
Natural remedies that may help with migraine include:
- Butterbur or Petadolex
- Vitamins, such as riboflavin / Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E
- Fish Oil
- Co Enzyme Q10
- Peppermint oil
- Flax seed
- Gingko Biloba
- Ginger root
The amount of scientific evidence for each of the natural remedies listed above varies.2
How do natural remedies work?
As with many treatments, researchers and doctors don’t always know how natural remedies work, and each natural remedy has its own probable method of action. Many contain numerous different compounds are thought to ease migraine symptoms or sometimes prevent migraine attacks.
Are there side effects?
Many people believe there aren’t side effects or potentially dangerous consequences if a treatment comes from a natural or herbal source. Although natural migraine remedies are not drugs, they may still cause side effects, can interact with other treatments, or be overused and cause an overdose. Please check information on each individual natural remedy and check with your doctor before using any product.
Different supplements may cause different side effects depending on:
- The person
- The dosage
- How often it is used
- What other treatments the person is taking
- What other conditions the person may have
These are not all the possible side effects of supplements. All supplements should be discussed with a doctor first, to determine the possible risks, including whether the supplements may interact badly with existing medications being taken.
Have you tried Natural Migraine Treatments to relieve or prevent your migraines?
Who shouldn't use natural products?
Most natural remedies shouldn’t be taken by women who are pregnant, may become pregnant or breastfeeding. Most natural remedies haven’t been studied in pregnant women and therefore pregnant women should speak to their doctors before considering taking any natural remedy.
Many natural remedies interact with other medications. Before taking any natural remedy, consult your healthcare provider.
As always, the best source for advice on treating your migraines is your own migraine specialist. These descriptions of natural remedies are provided only for informational purposes. You should begin no medication or supplement without first checking with your health care provider and should let them know of any other prescriptions, OTCs, and herbals you are taking to ensure there are no interactions.