Various home remedies may help relieve migraine symptoms and help prevent episodes. Examples include dietary changes, essential oils, acupressure, and more.

Migraine episodes are different from other types of headaches. Symptoms of migraine can include:

  • visual changes
  • sensitivity to sound, light, or smell
  • nausea or vomiting

Several medications can help treat or prevent migraine episodes. Natural remedies may be able to provide additional symptom relief.

Below are 15 home remedies for migraine relief and prevention.

A woman lying down on a blue yoga mat practicing deep breathing for migraine.Share on Pinterest
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Acupressure involves applying pressure to specific parts of the body. The aim of stimulating these points is to alleviate pain.

Professionals can administer acupressure, or people can try it themselves at home. However, it is helpful to follow instructions from a professional before beginning.

A useful acupressure point for headaches is the LI-4 point, which is in the space between the base of the left thumb and the index finger. Applying firm, but not painful, circular pressure to the LI-4 point using the opposite hand for 2 to 3 minutes may help relieve headache pain.

A 2017 study looked at using acupressure in 98 participants with chronic migraine with aura. The participants received either standard medication or medication with acupressure for 8 weeks. The researchers found that acupressure decreased migraine-related nausea but did not relieve pain or enhance the quality of life.

A person may find that changing their diet helps prevent migraine episodes. This is because, for some people, specific foods are migraine triggers.

Some common examples of foods that can trigger migraine include:

People can try to identify potential migraine triggers by keeping a symptom diary and looking for patterns.

Learn more about migraine triggers and how to help prevent episodes.

Some people may want to try inhaling essential oils to help relieve stress, anxiety, and headaches.

A 2021 literature review found 10 types of essential oils with components that could help ease migraine symptoms. These include:

  • lavender
  • peppermint
  • chamomile
  • basil

Some clinical trials appear to confirm these conclusions. A 2020 triple-blind trial with 144 participants found that the topical use of basil oil reduced the pain intensity and frequency of migraine episodes.

However, more clinical trials are necessary to better understand which essential oils work best and how to use them.

It is important to note that some essential oils can be harmful to children, people who have asthma, or those who are pregnant or nursing. People should always consult a doctor before using them.

People should only inhale essential oils via a diffuser. If applying topically, always dilute with a carrier oil at a safe concentration.

Although research suggests essential oils may have some health benefits, it is important to remember that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not monitor or regulate the purity or quality of these oils. A person should talk with a healthcare professional before using essential oils and research the quality of a particular brand’s products. It is also important to always do a patch test before trying a new essential oil.

Learn more about using essential oils for headaches.

A 2021 review of three clinical trials found that ginger powder was safe and effective in treating people with migraine. In comparison to control groups, it significantly reduced pain after 2 hours. Ginger also helps relieve nausea and vomiting.

While ginger may have benefits, there is a risk of side effects and interactions. For example, people taking warfarin may have an increased risk of bleeding. A person should speak with a doctor before trying it.

Stress triggers symptoms in about 70% of people with migraine, according to the American Migraine Foundation. It may even create a cycle in which migraine pain worsens the stress, which then triggers another migraine.

Whenever possible, it is best to limit situations that can lead to stress. Finding outlets such as journaling, exercise, and meditation may help. Other stress relief strategies might include taking a warm bath, listening to music, or practicing breathing techniques. Some people find stress management classes helpful.

Learn more about managing stress.

A 2023 review of research on yoga as an add-on therapy for migraine found that yoga can be beneficial in helping people experiencing migraine episodes by reducing their frequency, duration, and pain. However, the review authors noted that the studies they investigated had limitations and further research is necessary.

A 2022 review noted that short-term yoga interventions reduced clinical migraine symptoms. It also alleviated anxiety, depression, and stress, which can worsen migraine episodes.

Biofeedback is a therapy that involves learning how to consciously control bodily functions that are typically involuntary. For example, a person might learn how to relax muscles.

Sensors on the targeted muscles feed into a small machine that gives real-time feedback about muscle tension, helping users identify tight muscles.

Using sensors along the forehead, jawline, or trapezius muscles in the shoulders may help people target muscles that are contributing to migraine pain.

While some individuals report that caffeine can trigger a migraine episode, others have suggested that consuming caffeine stops their migraine symptoms.

Additionally, some people may find that drinking a caffeinated beverage may provide mild relief after they experience a migraine attack.

However, a 2020 review highlighted that caffeine overuse may lead to more frequent migraine symptoms, and sudden caffeine withdrawal may trigger migraine attacks.

The review authors suggested that people living with migraine should be aware of the amount of caffeine they consume and not consume more than 200 milligrams (mg) of caffeine daily. They also noted that if someone wants to continue drinking caffeinated beverages, they should drink roughly the same amount each day to avoid withdrawal headaches.

Massaging the muscles in the neck and shoulders may help relieve tension and alleviate migraine pain. Massage may also reduce stress.

A person may benefit from a professional massage. Anyone interested in a self-massage for migraine can try taking a clean tennis ball and standing against a wall to roll it with some pressure along the shoulders and back.

A deficiency of the essential mineral magnesium may trigger migraine aura or menstrual migraine headaches.

A 2022 review of research concluded that supplementary magnesium may help treat migraine, particularly alongside typical antimigraine medications. However, the authors also highlighted that further studies into magnesium and its effects on migraine are necessary.

Additionally, a person should speak with a doctor before taking this supplement, particularly if other health issues are present.

B vitamins may reduce migraine frequency and severity. They play a role in regulating neurotransmitters in the brain.

A 2021 review found that vitamin B2 at 400 mg daily for 3 months had a significant effect on the number of days, duration, frequency, and pain score of migraine episodes.

Vitamin D may also play a role in the frequency of migraine episodes. A 2018 study found that people with migraine and vitamin D deficiency had more days with migraine pain than those without the vitamin deficiency.

B vitamins are water-soluble, so any excess passes via the urine. For this reason, it is unlikely that a person could take too many. Still, it is best to consult a doctor before taking new vitamin supplements.

A 2020 review of herbal treatments for migraine found that curcumin, citron, and coriander may have promise as preventive treatments for migraine. The authors also found that chamomile and menthol may have potential as an acute migraine treatment.

Additionally, the authors suggested mixed findings about the efficacy of feverfew and positive, but limited, evidence for butterbur.

However, they also noted that the risk of bias was high for many of the studies they evaluated, and further high quality studies into herbal treatments for migraine are necessary.

There are some risks involved when taking herbal remedies. For example, chamomile may interact with warfarin. People should speak with a doctor before trying any of these supplements.

According to the American Migraine Foundation, around one-third of people with migraine suggest that dehydration can be a trigger.

Drinking enough water throughout the day may help prevent migraine episodes from occurring. Taking small sips of water may also help a person manage some migraine symptoms, such as nausea.

Some people find it helpful to lie down in a dark room when they have a migraine headache. For some, falling asleep can also alleviate the pain.

Adequate sleep can also help prevent migraine episodes. Getting too much or too little sleep can be a migraine trigger. Most adults should aim for about 7 hours of restful sleep each night.

Some people find that laying cool or warm compresses on their heads can be soothing and help reduce migraine pain.

However, people with circulatory problems, diabetes, or some skin conditions should avoid extremes of temperature.

If an individual experiences migraine symptoms more than a few times per month or if the symptoms are severe enough to interfere with work or other activities, it is important to contact a doctor. A doctor can rule out serious illnesses and advise on managing and treating symptoms.

Migraine is common, but it is often underdiagnosed, particularly in communities of color and those with lower incomes.

If someone is having difficulty getting a diagnosis from their primary doctor, they may be able to get second opinions or speak with a headache specialist instead.

Headache specialists are doctors who have completed additional training in diagnosing and treating migraine and other headache disorders. The American Migraine Foundation has a directory of headache specialists people can use to find one.

Migraine can cause severe pain, nausea, and vomiting. Although medications may help ease symptoms, some people may also find relief from lifestyle changes and home remedies.

Ginger, acupressure, some essential oils, and yoga may help relieve the symptoms. Learning what triggers migraine episodes can also help a person prevent or manage them.

If migraine episodes are frequent or severe, it is important to contact a doctor. A headache specialist can provide advice on treatment options and help manage symptoms.

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