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Headache
 
by James F. Balch, M.D. and Mark Stengler, N.D.
Super Seven Prescriptions—Headache
 

In one study, forty-nine people with reoccurring migraines were given 400 mg of riboflavin daily for at least three months. The average number of acute migraine attacks decreased by 67 percent, and migraine severity was reduced by 68 percent. In a separate double-blind trial, 59 percent of patients assigned to receive vitamin B2 had at least a 50 percent reduction in the number of headache days, whereas only 15 percent of those taking a placebo experienced that degree of ­ improvement.

 

In a double-blind trial of 81 people, ages 18 to 65, with migraines, a dose of 600 mg of magnesium per day was significantly more effective than a placebo at reducing the frequency of migraines. In weeks 9 through 12, the attack frequency was reduced by 41.6 percent in the magnesium group and by 15.8 percent in the placebo group.

 

Super Prescription #1  Homeopathic combination headache formula

This contains the most common homeopathic remedies for headaches. Take as directed on the container for the treatment of all three types of acute headaches. For an individualized remedy, see the Homeopathy section further on.

Super Prescription #2  Magnesium

Take 200 mg two to three times daily. Reduce the dosage if diarrhea occurs. Magnesium has been shown in several studies to be effective in alleviating migraine headaches, and we also find it very helpful in preventing tension headaches.  Intravenous magnesium can be very effective for acute headaches. Consult with a nutrition-oriented doctor for intravenous treatments.

Super Prescription #3  Riboflavin (vitamin B2)

Take 400 mg daily for at least three months. Studies have shown it to be effective in preventing migraine headaches.

Super Prescription #4 Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium)

Take a product standardized to contain 250 to 500 mcg of parthenolides daily. Several studies have shown feverfew to be effective in reducing the severity, the duration, and the frequency of migraines.

Super Prescription #5  5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)

Take 50 to 100 mg three times daily. Several studies have shown 5-HTP to be effective in preventing migraine and tension headaches. It has a direct effect on serotonin levels, which affect circulation in the blood vessels of the brain, and increases the body's endorphin levels (natural painkillers). Do not use if you are currently on a pharmaceutical antidepressant or an antianxiety medication.

Super Prescription #6 Essential fatty acids

Take 5,000 mg of fish oil or 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil daily. Essential fatty acids improve circulation and reduce inflammatory prostaglandins that may contribute to migraine headaches.

Super Prescription #7  Vitamin B6

Take 50 mg daily. Vitamin B6 is involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which may be deficient in migraine sufferers.

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