Ginger: The popular herb that may be the solution to lessening the symptoms of Migraines as they occur.
This popular herb that may be the solution to lessening the symptoms of Migraines as they occur.
Migraines are extremely intense headaches, often recurring, that cause throbbing pains in any area of the head. The exact cause to migraines are unknown and determining the cause of headaches has become as hard as trying to put together a puzzle with a missing piece.
Migraine headaches are also known as vascular headaches. The reason behind this classification is the involvement of excessive dilation of blood vessels in the head. But why?
Ultimately, the reason beyond migraine headaches in unclear because the manifestation can be different depending on the person experiencing them. Some common theories of migraine headache development are vasomotor dysfunction, serotonin deficiency, or platelet disorder. The timing of migraines can also differentiate from person to person, typically lasting from 4-72 hours long. Some examples of triggers are low blood pressure, mycotoxin exposure, allergies, chemical exposure, and hormonal imbalances. MSG, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, sensory stimuli, sleep disorders, stress, and amine rich food diets also influence the development of migraines. Because the onset of migraine headaches can be so painful, many seek conventional therapies such as aspirin or medications to lessen symptoms immediately. Unfortunately, conventional therapies are not resolving the migraines they are hiding the problem.
One important overlooked dietary intervention that can help address migraines is the herb Zingiber officinalis, or more commonly known as ginger. Ginger is a well-known herb for its anti-inflammatory, digestive, and antimicrobial properties. Research has shown that ginger is just as effective as sumatriptan, a commonly prescribed medication, in reducing migraine pain. In a recent study, group one was given sumatriptan and group two was given ginger. Both groups miraculously had relieved their pain from migraines. However, group one who was given the sumatriptan had further side effects. Although the cause may be hard to address, ginger may be the trick you need up your sleeve to potentially lessen the duration of migraine headaches. The research supports that the biological activities of ginger include anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidant formation, antiemetic benefits, prevention of cell death, and blood pressure regulation. Research also supports dosages of approximately 500-600 mg of the ginger powder showed relief from migraine attacks. Ginger may be consumed in a few different ways consisting of capsules, powders, tea, or fresh.
I remember when I was in high school and I got my first migraine. My head started to throb and eventually felt like there was an axe splitting right in the middle of my head. I had to turn off all the lights, lay my head on a cold pillow, and close my eyes begging for it to be over. Luckily for me, I only experienced migraines in my adolescent years, around the time I started birth control. Unfortunately for some, migraines can happen on a monthly or even weekly basis. Thankfully, there are home remedies which may have a powerful benefit in lessening the duration such as the power of ginger.
Ginger can play a beneficial role in minimizing the duration of migraine headaches but there have been contraindications about the herb being used as a preventative method. The direct development of migraine headaches for some remains a mystery. Potentially there is no one cause for migraines & perhaps there are many causes. The human body is so complex and there is never a one size fits all.
Rahmani, A. H., shabrmi, F. M. A., & Aly, S. M. (2014). Active ingredients of ginger as potential candidates in the prevention and treatment of diseases via modulation of biological activities. International Journal of Physiology, Pathophysiology and Pharmacology, 6(2), 125–136.
Ryan, J. L., & Morrow, G. R. (2010). Ginger. Oncology Nurse Edition, 24(2), 46–49.