Homeopathic Remedies for Migraine Headaches


Migraines are extremely painful headaches that can be debilitating. Only one side of the head is involved in many cases. Circulation to the scalp and brain can be altered, which affects the person’s perception, muscle tone, and mental function—causing weakness, nausea, vomiting, sweating, chills, and visual disturbances. A tendency toward migraines often runs in families, and allergic factors seem to be involved. Attacks can be triggered by hormonal shifts, emotional stress, and exposure to offending foods and additives (such as nitrates, nitrites, sulfites, MSG, and artificial sweeteners), or chemicals (such as air pollutants, chlorine, pesticides, colognes, and ingredients in cleaning products). Homeopathic remedies can help to reduce the pain and sickness, especially if taken in early stages. Long-term constitutional care, with the guidance of an experienced practitioner, often helps to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines.

Belladonna: Migraines that start in the back of the skull or upper neck and spread to the forehead and temple (especially on the right) may indicate a need for this remedy. Pain is throbbing or pounding, and worse from jarring, light, and noise. Headaches often begin in late morning or afternoon, and may be worst around three p.m. The face may be flushed and red, and the skin feels hot, although the feet and hands are often cold. The pupils may be dilated, with sensitivity to light, and the person may either feel delirious or drowsy.

Bryonia: This remedy can be helpful if a person has a heavy or “splitting” headache, with steady pain that settles over one eye (especially the left) or spreads to the entire head. Pain is worse from any motion, even from moving the eyes, and the person wants to lie completely still and not be talked to or disturbed. Nausea with a heavy feeling in the stomach and vomiting may occur. The person can have a very dry mouth and usually is thirsty.

Cimicifuga: This remedy is often indicated for migraines with throbbing pains (“as if the top of the head would fly open”) or shooting pains in the eyes. Headaches are often associated with the menstrual period or come on after long-term study or worrying. The muscles of the neck are usually involved in the headache, feeling very stiff and painful. The person (normally talkative and energetic) feels mentally dull and gloomy, or even fearful, during a migraine. Pain is worse from motion and sometimes improved by eating.

Cyclamen: Migraines that start with flickering in the eyes, dim vision, or dizziness suggest a need for this remedy. Pain is often right-sided and may involve the ear—which can also ache or itch. The person feels very weak and sick (the nausea is often worse from fatty food) and is thirsty, very sensitive to cold, and worse from open air. People who need this remedy are sympathetic and emotional; they often have an anxious or remorseful feeling that they may have neglected some responsibility.

Gelsemium: When this remedy is indicated, the person feels weak and lethargic, with a heavy feeling in the face and eyes, and droopy eyes with diminished vision. Pain may be mostly felt in the back of the head and muscles of the neck. The person may tremble, and sometimes heat or chills run up and down the spine. Pain often is relieved by urinating. Worry, fear, or dread of a stressful event may precipitate a headache.

Ignatia: This remedy is helpful for migraines in sensitive people, especially headaches after emotional upsets or caused by grief. The headache is often focused on one side of the head, and may feel as if a nail is driven in. Twitching in the face or spasms in the muscles of the neck and back frequently occur. The person often sighs or yawns and may sometimes weep or seem “hysterical.”

Iris versicolor: Intense migraines with blurry vision and pain that extends to the face and teeth, along with vomiting and a burning feeling in the throat and stomach, can often be relieved with this remedy. The person feels worse from resting and better from motion.

Kali bichromicum: Migraines with excruciating pain that is felt in little spots, or pain that settles over the eyebrows (or one eye), suggest a need for this remedy. When the headache begins, the person is very sensitive to light, and vision gradually diminishes. Nausea and dizziness can be intense, but vomiting does not relieve the headache. The person may feel better from lying in bed and keeping warm.

Lachesis: Left-sided migraines with congested, pulsing pain that is worse from pressure or tight clothing may respond to this remedy. The person’s face looks deeply flushed or blotchy. Headaches are often worst before the menstrual period and better once the flow begins. The person feels worse from sleeping (either in the daytime or at night) and is usually worse from heat.

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