As a lifelong migraineur, I’m always looking for new ways to manage my migraine headaches. This includes being aware of lesser known natural migraine prevention techniques and common things that can make them worse. While many people who live with migraines take a preventative or rescue medication, a majority of migraineurs also make lifestyle changes and use natural remedies to help manage their migraine headaches.
“Treatment for both tension and migraine headaches can include a natural holistic approach as well as prescription or over-the-counter medications. Prevention includes good health habits such as a healthy diet, adequate hydration, good quality sleep, an exercise program, and avoidance of smoking,” Dr. Susan Hutchinson, a migraineur and director of the Orange County Migraine & Headache Center in Irvine, California, tells Bustle.
Because a lot of medications have undesirable side effects, being able to prevent the onset of a migraine using an all-natural approach can also help increase your quality of life. While everyday items can be a useful part of your migraine toolkit, other items you use on the regular could be making your migraines worse. According to the National Institutes of Health U.S. Library of Medicine, everyday things like certain foods, bright lights, and odors like perfume can trigger migraines. If you’re not sure what to try and what to avoid to manage your migraines, here’s what you need to know.
Bathing In Epsom Salts Can Alleviate Migraine Symptoms
Everyone loves a nice hot soak in the tub. In addition to being relaxing, taking a bathcan help lessen migraine symptoms. “Epsom salts contains magnesium, which can help migraines both acutely and preventively,” Dr. Hutchinson explains. “Some of the magnesium in the epsom salts can seep into the skin during bathing and may help prevent and treat migraines.”
Drink Plenty Of Water To Prevent Migraines
I’m embarrassed to admit this now, but I didn’t know until I was in my 20s that drinking water is not only vital to good health, but it’s an important part of preventing migraines. “Staying well hydrated, drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day for most individuals. This can help prevent dehydration which is a common trigger for migraines. In fact, drinking a large glass of water may help prevent a mild headache from worsening,” Dr. Hutchinson says.
OK, 64 ounces of water sounds like a lot, but when you’re trying to stave off a headache, getting hydrated quickly is key.
Aromatherapy Is Your Migraine BFF
While artificial scents like perfumes and air fresheners can trigger migraines (scroll down for some more info on that), all-natch scents from essential oils can have the opposite effect. “Aromatherapy especially lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus can help prevent migraine and may help treat a mild migraine,” Dr. Hutchinson says. These are my three go-to essential oils. In fact, I always carry a bottle of peppermint oil with me in case I encounter a scent that will trigger a migraine. I dab a little under my nose so I smell the peppermint and not the offending odor.