If you’ve ever suffered from a migraine, you know a migraine is more than a headache. Migraines make normal activities impossible for an estimated 1 billion people worldwide, and they are responsible for billions of dollars in healthcare costs. But could a natural remedy work as well as drugs, with fewer side effects?
About the study comparing ginger to the drug Imitrex for migraines
A double-blinded randomized controlled clinical trial with 100 participants compared the powdered ginger to sumatriptan, also known as Imitrex — one of the top-selling billion-dollar drugs in the treatment of migraines.
The researchers used one-eighth of a teaspoon of powdered ginger versus a standard dose of the drug. And the results? Both worked equally as fast.
Most participants started out with moderate or severe pain. After taking either the drug or ginger, they were either in mild pain or were completely pain-free. The same proportion of migraine sufferers reported satisfaction with the results, whether they took sumatriptan or ginger.
But with ginger, there were substantially fewer negative side effects. With sumatriptan, people reported dizziness, a sedative effect, vertigo, and heartburn. The only adverse side effect reported for ginger was an upset stomach, and that occurred in only about one out of 25 people.
How to use ginger as a natural remedy for migraines
At the first sign of a migraine coming on, you can try mixing one-eighth of a teaspoon of powdered ginger in water, drink it, and see if your migraine lessens or goes away within a half hour.
You may also want to try using ginger root to make ginger tea, though the study mentioned above used ginger in powdered form.
As Dr. Greger says,
“Sticking to an eighth of a teaspoon is not only up to 3,000 times cheaper than the drug, but you’re probably less likely to end up as a case report yourself—of people who have had a heart attack, or died, after taking the drug.”