Headaches are no laughing matter. They are most certainly painful whenever an attack occurs, and sometimes it is accompanied by nausea and unpleasant visual auras. It can strike anywhere, and any time. We want nothing more than to get rid of this discomfort as soon as possible, hence the availability of many medications such as over the counter painkillers that promise to get the job done.
Aside from taking the said medications, there are also supplements that can help relieve headaches. From herbs, to nutrients derived from food and in capsule forms, here are some of the best supplements for headaches.
Disclaimer: The supplements mentioned here are based on research, and is written only for informational purposes. These are not meant to be substitutes for professional advice from medical experts, hence you should always coordinate first with a doctor regarding these supplements before taking one. That said we’ve compiled the list below and included links to the best prices online for each of the supplements in case you want to get started relieving your headaches now:
1. Butterbur: Used for the treatment of headache and stomach ache, cough, fever, insomnia, and for appetite stimulation. How it exactly works in treating migraines is not yet specifically determined, but some theories state that the herb helps in relieving the pressure on blood vessels. The herb should not be consumed directly as it is toxic; and as for supplements, only those that are certified to be free from pyrrolizidine alkaloids (labelled as “PA free”) should be used as those that have PA can cause liver damage. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not use butterbur, along with people who have an ongoing liver condition. Click here to check out butterbur on Amazon.com
2. CoQ10: Also known as coenzyme Q10, its primary function is to assist in the harvest of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) from food. ATP is a substance that helps provide energy to the cells and the body. Deficiencies in CoQ10 result in lesser ATP harvested, and this leads to lower energy levels in the body and triggering chronic pain and fatigue. Maintaining proper levels of CoQ10 helps in reducing the duration and frequency of migraines, as shown in a study published in February 2005 on Neurology. Seafood, organ meats, broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach are some of the food sources of CoQ10, but do not provide enough amounts of the nutrient, making the intake of supplements a must. There may be interactions between the supplement and certain medications for cancer, high blood pressure, and blood thinners, so coordinate first with a doctor before taking CoQ10. Here is the coq10 I personally use and you can get it on Amazon with the discount automatically applied by clicking here.
3. Feverfew: This yellow flower has been used extensively as a remedy to arthritis, fever, dizziness, vomiting, and many others, but perhaps the most common use is in the prevention of migraine. The intake of fresh leaves was the original way of utilizing feverfew for the treatment of headaches, and supplements available in health stores make it easier to reap the said benefit. A study published in 1988 at the medical journal The Lancet showed promising results in the reduction of migraine and nausea frequency and severity without the risk of triggering any serious side effect, however it did not affect the attack’s duration. There are feverfew supplements with ginger added to the ingredients, as it is an effective treatment for nausea. The supplement is not to be used by children and pregnant / breastfeeding women. Here is our recommended feverfew (also available on Amazon.com)
4. Magnesium: The body contains an abundance of magnesium as it is required in many physiological functions. Some studies reveal that people who suffer from migraines have low magnesium levels, especially during an attack. Increasing the body’s levels of magnesium helps in minimizing migraine frequency, including those that are triggered during menstrual periods. Aside from taking supplements, magnesium can be obtained from food sources such as nuts, seeds, dark green vegetables, beans, avocado, and yogurt. The said food sources should be eaten regularly while taking supplements, as the milligrams provided by supplements may not be enough to benefit from its migraine-fighting property. Around 400 to 600 milligrams is the recommended daily dosage of magnesium. Those with atrial fibrillation, kidney problems, myasenthia gravis, and abnormal heart rate should talk to a doctor first before taking magnesium. After searching online for the best value, here is a link with the discounts applied for doctors best high absorption magnesium on Amazon.
5. Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): You’ll know when you have enough of this vitamin in your body when your urine is bright yellow in color. Riboflavin is crucial in producing much-needed energy through food, and it also destroys free radicals as it is an antioxidant. A study published in February 1998 on Neurology had migraine patients take 400mg of the vitamin in a span of three months. After the given period, almost 59% of the patients (compared to the 15% who were given placebo) reported fewer migraine attacks with reduced duration. Spinach, beet greens, asparagus, mushrooms, eggs, broccoli, milk, and sea vegetables are among the best dietary sources of the vitamin, and supplements are available for higher dosages. Children, and pregnant and breastfeeding women are restricted to lower recommended dietary intakes. Here is the best value online for a riboflavin supplement.
Do you have other supplements that work? Have you tried the ones mentioned above? Let us know in the comments.