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Nature’s Kiss to Migraine Pain

"Say goodbye to migraine attacks by the use of your backyard plants"
By: Nikki Sarmiento GuevarraNature’s Kiss to Migraine Pain

Don’t you hate the sensation of extreme throbbing and excruciatingly painful attacks in one area of your head, radiating from your temple all around the base of your nape? Accompanied by the feeling of vomiting, nauseous and sensitivity to light and sound make you seem like you have been bitten by an animal and infected by rabies?

Migraine attacksaffect everyone. Several risk factors of having migraines are: hereditary—up to 90% of people experiencing migraines have family history. Migraine attacks may start during adolescence or in their 40’s, women are noted to have higher risk than men (three times more likely to have migraines).

As an immediate response, this leads to search for an alternative therapy to treat migraine; though we must consider that herbal medications also has potent side effects but we just want to turn on ‘natural’ for some reasons like minimizing the cost of treatment, be resourceful, and be more on the safer side by choosing the non-laboratory based manner of drug preparation minus the use of chemicals.

Below is the list of plantscommonly used for the management of migraine:

Peppermint (Menthapiperita)

Aside for its fresh aroma and minty taste, peppermintis known to incorporate to numerous medical preparations. Not only for its palatability, but menthol (active ingredient of peppermint)has calming and numbing activity that is why it is employed to some dosage forms to relieve spasms, toothache, gastrointestinal problems, and nausea. It is believed that these properties contribute for the management of migraine.

Feverfew (Tanacetumparthenium)

Recognized as the “medieval aspirin” (Pareek, Suthar, Rathore, & Bansal, 2011), first use of feverfew recorded in history was during the 5th century BC by the Greeks; people use the herb as a modern-day aspirin and knownto alleviate various ailments including fever, swelling and inflammation, especially headache. It notably eases the throbbing pain associated with migraines with its property to reduce inflammation including the blood vessels in the brain.

Willow (Salix purpurea)

Willow bark, with its noted active ingredient salicin, has a similar analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties with that of acetyl salicylic acid or aspirin. The difference is that the effectiveness of willow may last longer than aspirin, in this case noting of the proper dosage is crucial to avoid intoxication. Studies shown that willow bark has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antiseptic, antioxidant, analgesic, and immune boosting capacity. No wonder it may treat various ailments.

Ginger (Zingiberofficinale)

While it is wildly known for the management of sore throats and has a folkloric use of enhancingvocal quality, ourmost-lovedTinola spice can be used as a migraine reliever. Traditionally, it is frequently use as a remedy for headaches, stomach pain, nausea, arthritis, and cold and flu symptoms. And in the Ayurvedic tradition, ginger has been suggested for use in neurological problems, including headaches (Mustafa & Srivastava, 1990). Since it is naturally cultivated in the Philippines, we may not have any trouble in acquiring this wonder plant. Just be careful not to combine it with blood thinners, due to potential drug interactions (UMMC, 2010).

Coffee (Coffeaarabica)

Our favorite morning drink and stimulant has a lot of uses; and as to relieve migraine, caffeine is already introduced in the market by incorporating in over-the-counter drugs to alleviate headaches. Although patients testify that a strong cup of coffee can stop some attacks, unfortunately caffeine’s effect may vary depending upon how often we use it. With infrequent use, results are beneficial to provide modest acute headache relief; however, in daily or nearly daily caffeine intake, the brain may develop tolerance resulting to less effective outcome with repeated use.

Lavander oil (Lavandulaangustifolia)

The relaxing and soothing effect of this essential oil make it on our list of herbs that benefits people suffering from migraine. For years, aromatherapy is known to manage headaches, insomnia and mental complaints including stress and fatigue. Using lavender oil during a migraine may help calm or conquer some symptoms more quickly (Sasannejad, et al., 2012).

Rosemary (Rosmarinusofficinalis)

Another culinary seasoning for the management of migraine is rosemary. Though the ability of rosemary to reduce migraine pain has not been well studied, historically, it is used for the treatment of muscle and joint pain, aids memory and concentration, nervous and circulatory problems. More recently, it’s been used as an alternative treatment for migraines and liver ailments (Barney, 1998).

The practice of alternative medicinefor the management of migraine may be contradicted by the scientific evidence. But it is prudent thatour ancestors use herbal medicine as to support the healing process or dealing with the symptoms of illness.

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