The People's Perspective on Medicine

How to Head Off a Migraine with a Supplement

A dietary supplement containing four natural products can be effective for alleviating or preventing a migraine headache.

Migraine headaches can have a dreadful impact on a person’s quality of life. In addition to the pain, which can be debilitating if not excruciating, these episodes often bring on nausea, vomiting and intolerance of light and sound. The sufferer may feel like retreating to a dark cave for days until the headache goes away. Those who suffer frequent migraines welcome effective treatments, whether they are pharmaceuticals or natural products.

Migravent for Migraines:

Q. I am a 56-year-old woman and have been plagued with migraine headaches most of my life. A few months ago they were waking me up five times a week so I saw a neurologist.

She suggested I try a vitamin supplement called Migravent, a combination of vitamin B2 and magnesium, before doing anything more aggressive. That gave me instant relief!

In the last three months I’ve had a half dozen headaches. They are not as severe as the ones I used to get. I wish I’d tried this supplement years ago!

What Is Migravent?

A. Migravent contains four ingredients that have been found helpful against migraine headaches: butterbur (Petasites hybridus), riboflavin (vitamin B2), Coenzyme Q10 and magnesium. Individually, each has been shown to help prevent migraines.

Although doctors are sometimes skeptical of natural remedies, a review found evidence that magnesium, Coenzyme Q10, riboflavin, petasites and feverfew can ease the pain of a migraine headache or prevent its occurrence (Current Treatment Options in Neurology, April, 2016). The Canadian Headache Society considers butterbur, magnesium citrate, Coenzyme Q10 and riboflavin to be reasonable choices for migraine prevention (Continuum, Aug., 2015). We do not know if the combination product has undergone clinical trials.

You can learn more about these and other nondrug approaches for prevention such as acupuncture and biofeedback in our Guide to Headaches & Migraines. 

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
Headaches & Migraines

Learn about the causes of headaches. Migraine triggers, and drug & non-drug treatments for migraines and cluster headaches. Coping with menstrual migraines and sex headaches.

Headaches & Migraines
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When I read the article about migravent it suddenly occurred to me that there might be a connection between my migraines lessening and my starting to supplement with co-enzyme q10.
I took q10 to help with symptoms of ME/CFS. It helped me with lack of energy and still does. I’m pretty sure my migraine frequency was affected about the same time. Difficult to tell as it was nearly 20 years ago. I barely get migraines now – happily!

I faithfully read your column in the Chicago Tribune. Last week (12/07/2016), you had a question from a woman whose husband had cluster headaches and needed oxygen inhalation. I suffered from severe cluster headaches for thirty years, after that I heard in a natural health TV show about the amazing help from Magnesium gel for cluster headache.

I rub a little of the Magnesium gel on my forehead every day and since then has been free from cluster headaches. I use the Magnesium gel from Dr. Becker’s Bio Nutrients. Hope this will help her husband and many others.

I’ve had cluster headaches for 20 years. I’ve tried everything, and in the end there are only 3 things that work: To ABORT, I inhale pure oxygen and without fail, the headache is gone in 5-10 minutes. For us it’s a true wonder drug! If I’m not around oxygen, I use a single shot of Imitrex Nasal Inhaler which works a bit slower than oxygen, but without health insurance, is extremely expensive.

To PREVENT, I take several modest doses a year of psilocybin in the form of Magic Mushrooms. I take around 1.5 grams of dried mushrooms (half a recreational dose), chop it up loosely, put it in a tea bag and steep it in water just off boil for a half hour. You’ll have some minor psychedelic effects seeing colors and may be in kind of a stupor for 4 hours. Beginning the next day you’ll likely feel a non-druggy and lasting sense of positive self-confidence as numerous tests have shown them to be an anti-depressant. A double-blind 2006 study at Harvard proved significant remission of clusters in 70% of test subjects using modest doses of pharmaceutical LSD or psilocybin (both being triptans). Recommended dosage is 3 doses over a period of ten days (five days apart). See our Facebook pages and our cluster headache sites and you’ll see many of us are now using Magic Mushrooms to keep our clusters at bay. This is real. I’ve dosed over 50 times in the past several years. Still have clusters but very few, far less intense, and easily aborted with oxygen. Others have obtained total relief. Needless to say, it’s an illegal cure, but no more illegal than using pot, easily obtainable and very inexpensive when used as directed.

Recent medical tests reveal that the administration of oxygen is very effective in reducing the severity and duration of cluster headaches.

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