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Migraine: 4 teas to treat pain and other symptoms

by Dianna Leon

In this article, you will learn about 4 teas to treat migraine symptoms and how to prepare them. See also other tips and recommendations to alleviate and prevent this problem. Check it out below!

According to the Brazilian Society of Headache , there are more than 150 types of headache already identified. Among them is migraine, which is one of the strongest and most uncomfortable pains. It is estimated that this neurological disease affects about 15% of the world population , and in Brazil alone there are more than 30 million people suffering from this problem.

Far beyond a simple discomfort, migraine also interferes with quality of life. The proof of this is that the World Health Organization (WHO) has included it in the list of the most disabling diseases in the world.

Researches reveal that about 90% of people who suffer from this pathology have some loss at work, in studies and even in leisure activities and sexual life.

4 teas to help treat migraine

Migraine teas are natural and accessible resources in the fight against this problem. Some herbs can help both relieve symptoms and prevent flare-ups.

However, it is always good to remember that the consumption of plants with medicinal properties requires a lot of care and guidance from a specialist, especially in cases of pregnant women, nursing mothers or those who take prescription drugs. Let’s go to teas:

1- Lavender tea ( Lavandula officinalis )

According to the USP herbal medicine booklet, lavender tea is a great ally in combating these headaches. It has relaxing, calming, antispasmodic, analgesic and antidepressant properties.

To prepare, put 1 tablespoon of dried lavender flowers in 1 cup of waterboiling , smother and let stand 5-10 minutes. Then, just strain and drink 2-3 times a day while the migraine symptoms persist.

This tea can also be used as a forehead compress. To do this, take a clean gauze or towel, make 4-6 folds and dip it in the tea. Apply to forehead, while still hot, for 30 minutes. Whenever the gauze loses heat, it should be soaked again and placed on the forehead.

See also:  Lavender tea – Indications and benefits of this infusion

2. tea rue ( Ruta graveolens )

Despite being a well-known herb used to ward off the evil eye, rue is also great for cases of migraine and its tea is also indicated in the USP handout.

Among the properties of rue are its analgesic, anti-inflammatory, calming, febrifuge, vermifuge and fortifying action.

To prepare, boil 1 cup of water and add 1 tablespoon (dessert) of fresh rue leaves . Smother it and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Then strain and drink up to 3 cups a day.

3- Tanaceto tea ( Tanacetum parthenium )

Tanacet has long been used to prevent migraines. According to an article from the nutrition course at the University of Vale do Itajaí, UNIVALI, on the use of food and herbal medicines in the treatment of migraine, the effect of this herb is by inhibiting the platelet release of serotonin.

Serotonin is a hormone that is directly related to migraines, as it causes contractions and dilations of the cerebral arteries .

In addition, tanaceto also relaxes muscles, eliminates pain and increases blood flow. Due to these actions, it has been shown to be very effective in reducing the frequency and intensity of migraine attacks, including its other symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting.

To prepare, you can use the proportion of 5g of leaves to 300ml of water . Put the leaves in a cup and boil the water in a pot. Then pour the boiling water into the cup with the leaves, cover and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Next, you just need to filter and drink.

It is a drink with a strong and bitter taste, so it can be sweetened with honey or stevia. This tea can also be used to make forehead compresses.

4- Ginger tea ( Zingiber officinale )

Ginger is also used to treat migraine. According to the UNIVALI article, it has anti-inflammatory properties, as it blocks the synthesis of prostaglandin, a substance that causes inflammation.

In addition, gingerol, one of the components of ginger, behaves chemically similar to aspirin , acting to reduce inflammation and pain.

The recipe is simple: for 500ml of water , grate or chop 25g of fresh ginger . Put the ginger in the water and boil the mixture for 15 to 20 minutes. Then just strain and drink. It is advised to take 3 times a day.

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migraine symptoms

It is important not to confuse migraines with other types of headaches. According to neurologist Leandro Teles , migraine is a throbbing pain of strong intensity that usually affects only one side of the head .

The duration varies from 4 hours, reaching up to 72 hours when not medicated and, often, the symptoms only decrease with retreat to a dark room.

“Migraine is also associated with other symptoms, such as: nausea, sensitivity to light, strong noises and smells, which worsen with daily activities. Some patients also present transitory visual or neurological alterations before the onset of pain”, adds the doctor. These sensations that precede pain are called the aura.

However, the diagnosis is not so simple, it is based on the frequency of these symptoms and a more complete analysis of the patient.

“For an accurate diagnosis, the chronic and recurrent manifestation is essential, without any evidence of another disease that could explain the symptoms. You don’t need to have all the criteria above, but a good part of them must be present”, explains Leandro.

What can cause migraines?

The causes are varied, but the neurologist says that migraine has a genetic character and that external factors can also increase the chances of its onset.

“Genetics makes the individual more sensitive to environmental factors that lead to the emergence of a crisis. The main environmental factors involved are: stress, sleep disorders, hormonal fluctuations , diet (caffeine, yellow cheeses, sausages, condiments, red wine, among others), alcohol consumption, anxiety, depression, climate change, etc.” .

Crises can also be triggered by bad habits , which are related to the busy routine of modern times, such as: prolonged fasting, caffeine withdrawal, fatigue and emotional exhaustion, excess fat consumption, obesity and orofacial alterations and disorders.

The female sex is the hardest hit . Leandro reveals that only 10% of men are affected, while women are three times more predisposed; 30% of them, of childbearing age, suffer from migraine. In relation to children, the rates reach 8%.

“This predisposition of women is largely explained by the oscillation of the estrogen hormone, which occurs during the fertile period. Because of this relationship with the reproductive cycle, women tend to get worse in the premenstrual period, in the first trimester of pregnancy and improve, in some cases, after menopause”, explains the doctor.

Types of treatment

As explained above, migraine has a very strong relationship with lifestyle and, therefore, treatment is usually carried out in a multidisciplinary way . Therefore, it is not only the neurologist who works, but also the nutritionist, the psychologist and, in some cases, the physiotherapist and the dentist.

There are several forms of treatment for migraine, including: medications, herbal medicines, peripheral neurostimulator, anesthetic blocks, acupuncture, botulinum toxin, etc.

“The most effective treatment for severe or very frequent migraine attacks is prophylaxis. In this case, we use medications daily, in low doses, to prevent the pain from starting. The choice of medication is made based on each patient’s profile and side effects. Prophylaxis is used for a minimum period of 6 months and can be discontinued at medical discretion”, explains Leandro.

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Each patient needs to have their own personalized treatment, a therapeutic plan must be made at each appointment.

“Every patient needs to know their predisposition and what environmental stimuli they should avoid. This analysis is carried out on a case-by-case basis, as not everyone is sensitive to the same trigger factor”, adds the doctor.

In addition, the professional says that the migraine does not show up in exams. “Migraine is a dysfunction in the function of the brain and its vessels, it is not a fixed structural change. Exams are generally all normal. Diagnosis is made by clinical history and physical and neurological examination. The doctor will order tests only in selected cases where the risk of other diseases is increased”, he reiterates.

Another important point is to be aware that migraine has no cure. “We are not talking about cure, we are talking about symptom control. As it is a genetic predisposition, symptoms may return whenever treatment is stopped or even during treatment. The goal is always to reduce the intensity and frequency of pain, in order to restore the maximum quality of life. The patient will always need follow-up, attention to lifestyle habits and will have better and worse phases with regard to headaches ”, says Leandro.

Beware of self-medication

According to the Brazilian Society of Headache, one of the most common mistakes to treat these pains is self-medication. When the frequency of pain is low, two or fewer episodes per month, this does not cause any major problems. However, when they appear more often, self-medication can worsen both the frequency and the intensity of their symptoms.

“Migraine is a chronic problem and must be tackled with medium to long-term measures. Common analgesics cut the pain, but they can precipitate more and more attacks, with worsening pain frequency. If you are using more than 2 pills a week of analgesics, we already consider abuse and a more radical medical intervention should be taken to solve the case”, alerts Leandro.

In addition, the abuse of these medications can transform a sporadic headache into a chronic daily headache, which is one of the most difficult to treat. The best thing to do is to see a specialist to find out if the recurring headache can be diagnosed as a migraine. From the diagnosis onwards, it is possible to adopt preventive treatment and avoid acute crises.

keep an eye on the food

Migraine can be related to your diet. In general, foods that cause migraine are those that stimulate the central nervous system, in addition to processed foods that are rich in artificial additives.

Therefore, those who are predisposed should avoid consuming: yellow cheeses, chocolate, butter, fatty meats, fried foods, milk and dairy products, sausages (salami, ham, sausage, etc.), pepper, ready-to-eat spices, citrus fruits, alcoholic beverages, coffee, black teas and soft drinks.

However, the foods that can cause pain vary from person to person. About this, Leandro advises: “with regard to food, it is essential to map the pain and see if it responds to any specific restriction. The patient must be accompanied by a trusted physician and note the evolution of symptoms in a diary”.

According to the article by UNIVALI nutritionists, the involvement of food with migraine is still a matter of debate. But, some studies bet on certain foods to help with treatment.

Among them are: brown rice; cooked vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, chard, carrots; and fruits. Because they are rich in magnesium, they reduce the spasm of arterial vessels and relax tense muscles. Research says that a low brain magnesium level may be related to migraine.

See also :  These 5 tea recipes are the best for treating migraines

Recommendations and care

The main recommendation for migraine sufferers is to change some lifestyle habits. In addition to maintaining a healthy diet, physical exercise can also help prevent seizures. “ Regular exercise helps to control pain, as well as having adequate sleep and controlling weight”, reiterates the neurologist.

But be warned, exercising during a migraine attack is not recommended by doctors. “During a crisis, it is essential that the patient seek rest, avoid bright places or places with strong noises and smells. You can use cold compresses on the head and relaxation techniques”, indicates the professional.

Contrary to what many believe, living with this problem is not common, let alone normal. Also, a constant headache can also be a sign of a more complex neurological disease, so don’t try to overlook the symptoms. “Avoid self-medication and always keep your doctor informed”, reinforces Leandro.

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