15 Natural Remedies for Migraine Headaches by Jay S. Cohen, MD

NOTE: Many of the natural remedies are those that may already be in your daily diet or supplement plan, such as ginger. And if they are not, consider Cohen’s suggestions to try them.


For anyone who has never had a migraine headache, you may think, “What’s the big deal? Take two aspirins, and it’ll go away.” Not so! I personally suffered from migraines for 20 years, acute headaches that sometimes lasted for two or three days. Living with this “temporary disability” as a result of these headaches is a big deal, as Dr. Jay S. Cohen explains in his 15 Remedies for Migraine Headaches, a “Square One Health Guide” from Square One Publishers. The author, who also suffered migraines, feels he has been on a medical odyssey, and his book takes us with him on a journey of sorts about his research into natural remedies, as well as a discussion of traditional medical remedies. The book is an eye opener for people who cannot find a solid solution to their migraines.


In the Preface, Dr. Cohen explains upfront that different treatments work for different people, so this particular health journey will include trial and error. However, the studies that the author reviews might help readers pick and choose remedies that seem plausible for them to manage. In other words, different people will choose different remedies based on their personal reaction to the information.


The Introduction jumps right into a comparison between a pill called Propranol—often prescribed for migraine prevention—and the natural remedy, riboflavin. If you use Propranol, explains Cohen, the side effects are not pleasant (around 20 or so are listed in the book, from anxiety to sexual dysfunction.) Riboflavin, by comparison, is already made in small amounts by in your own body, and is “equally effective in preventing migraines.” What would you choose? Dr. Cohen asks.


Evidence-based medicine is the new wave of dealing with remedies by mainstream doctors who are taught, or who simply accept, that only big studies are worth considering in treatments. These studies are large to make sure of their safety. Natural remedies don’t require this because they already have a high degree of safety. The author devotes his whole Introduction to the pros and cons of evidence-based medicine, and this information is worth reading for anyone considering a prescription drug for any health issue.


In defining a migraine headache, Dr. Cohen clarifies that migraines are an entirely different issue from a tension headache, “one that is often severe enough to be disabling.” (I agree!) He explains that getting a migraine is like an attack, sometimes preceded by visual disturbances such as double vision and blind spots. Twenty-four hours is the approximate length of time before a migraine headache will subside, although one can also last a week or more. Additionally, none of the numerous medical theories explains this disorder adequately. The author explains that different underlying impairments trigger different symptoms, frequency, and intensity with different “triggers,” which result in needing different, effective therapies.


With this as background, the reader now understands why Dr. Cohen describes many natural remedies in the following sections: Bioidentical Remedies (such as coenzyme Q 10 and Vitamin D); Herbal Remedies (such as ginger and feverfew); and Mind and Body Remedies, such as biofeedback and acupuncture. The author also discusses how to prevent migraines in children and adolescents, as well as natural remedies for people with acute migraines. He also discusses some of the prescriptive meds as a comparison.


The information in this book, based on my own migraine background, is priceless. I wish this book had been written when I had my own migraines. (I use many of the herbal and bioidentical remedies he lists in my own natural foods lifestyle to keep healthy in general, and this seems to have kept the migraines at bay.) If you or anyone in your family suffers from migraines, I would suggest reading this book from cover to cover, and start your own odyssey to find which natural remedies work best for your particular kind of migraine. Because they are natural remedies, the side effects will be minimal and you can check with your doctor as you try them to be sure you are on a positive path of healing.


15 Natural Remedies for Migraine Headaches is 136 pages of information, plus 10 pages of reference, so the good doctor has done his research and presents a strong case for natural remedies. This softcover gem by Dr. Jay S. Cohen, considered an expert on prescriptive drugs and their natural alternatives, is available from:

http://squareonepublishers.com/Title/9780757003585 and costs only $7.95.


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