Ginger is no longer for just those tasty ginger snaps and elaborate houses during the holiday season. The spice has been a commonly used remedy to soothe upset stomachs and help with feelings of nausea, but what most people do not know is that ginger can be used to help with the pain of a migraine.
Why Does Ginger Help Migraines?
In its oils, ginger contains more than 200 substances, which is why it is so helpful for a variety of different situations. The spice is thought to block prostaglandins; these lipid compounds stimulate muscle contractions, control inflammation and affect the release of some hormones. All of those activities can act negatively on the body as the effects of a migraine. Therefore, if ginger can act to block these activities, it can help to prevent the symptoms of the migraine or the migraine itself. As noted before, it can also help to treat nausea that is often associated with chronic or severe migraines.
Ginger can be utilized in home remedies, or it can be found in over-the-counter medications for migraine sufferers. Of course, as with all medications, certain groups of people should avoid or be cautious with the use of ginger in medicinal form. These groups include those who are pregnant or looking to become pregnant, those people taking medications that weaken the immune system and those taking blood thinners (as it can increase bleeding), among others. If the problem or pain persists or is severe, a doctor should be consulted.
One over-the-counter ginger treatment also includes a notable ingredient known as feverfew. Feverfew is another natural ingredient that, like ginger, has been utilized to help a variety of symptoms and disorders. In terms of the treatment of migraines, feverfew contains a substance called parthenolide, which can help to relieve smooth muscle spasms. It also helps to stop the brain’s blood vessels from contracting and prevents inflammation, easing and even preventing the pain of migraines.
Like ginger, not everyone can take feverfew. While multiple groups should avoid the ingredient, those who should take special caution are pregnant women (as it can cause contractions and risk miscarriage or untimely delivery) and those allergic to members of the daisy family, as they could be allergic to feverfew as well. A doctor should be consulted if the pain is persistent or chronic.
How Do I Use Ginger to Treat Migraines?
For those who are interested in utilizing ginger as a home remedy for migraines or migraine symptoms, here are a few ways to do so:
- Ginger juice: crush fresh ginger, boil with water, let steep, filter and drink.
- Vapors: crush ginger (or use a pre-purchased dried variety), add to boiling water and inhale the vapors.
- Ginger paste: create a paste out of dried ginger by adding a small amount of warm water; apply the paste to your forehead and relax with eyes closed.
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