Headaches are quite common and are perhaps the first among the reactions elicited by the body in response to fever, stress, strain, nervousness, weakness and even certain infections. Infact some individuals experience it so often that they learn to live with it. However not all headaches are like, some are mitigated by house hold remedies but there are others which are stubborn enough to remain unchanged in intensity. These may suggest a chronic illness …migraine. If a patient experiences three or more headaches in a month, there are chances that he is suffering from migraine.
What is migraine
This is a condition where the blood vessels and the nerves in a specific part of the head are constricted abnormally to almost squeeze themselves up to give rise to a throbbing pain in that section of the head. This is accompanied by symptoms of nausea and vomiting. Some individuals may also experience warning signals before the pain begins in the head. These are typically in form of flashes of light or sudden darkness in front of the eyes. These signals which warn the patient of the symptoms of migraine occurring typically minutes before the headache are termed as aura. Numbness or tingling sensations may be persistent throughout the migraine attack.
Causes of migraine
A lot of people get migraines — about 11 out of 100. The headaches tend to start between the ages of 10 and 46 and may run in families. Migraines occur more often in women than men. Pregnancy may reduce the number of migraines attacks. At least 60 percent of women with a history of migraines have fewer such headaches during the last two trimesters of pregnancy.
Until the 1980s, scientists believed that migraines were due to changes in blood vessels within the brain. Today, most believe the attack actually begins in the brain itself, and involves various nerve pathways and chemicals in the brain.
A migraine attack can be triggered by stress, food, environmental changes, or some other factor. However, the exact chain of events remains unclear.
Migraine attacks may be triggered by:
- Allergic reactions
- Bright lights, loud noises, and certain odors or perfumes
- Physical or emotional stress
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Smoking or exposure to smoke
- Skipping meals
- Menstrual cycle fluctuations, birth control pills
- Tension headaches
- Foods containing tyramine (red wine, aged cheese, smoked fish, chicken livers, figs, and some beans), monosodium glutamate (MSG), or nitrates (like bacon, hot dogs, and salami)
- Other foods such as chocolate, nuts, peanut butter, avocado, banana, citrus, onions, dairy products, and fermented or pickled foods
Natural cure with Fever few
- What is Fever few
Fever few ( Tanacetum parthenium ), a member of the sunflower family, has been used for centuries in European folk medicine as a remedy for headaches, arthritis, and fevers. The term fever few is adapted from the Latin word febrifugia or “fever reducer.” Fever few products usually consist of dried fever few leaves, but all parts of the plant that grow above ground may also be used for medicinal purposes
- Can migraine be treated naturally
Fever few gained popularity in the 1980s as an alternative to conventional medications for migraine headaches. A survey of 270 migraine sufferers in Great Britain revealed that more than 70% of individuals felt substantially better after ingesting an average of two to three fresh fever few leaves daily
- Chemical composition of fever few
The most well-studied and abundant group of active compounds in fever few are the sesquiterpene lactones. Of these lactones, parthenolide is the most prominent. Many of the pharmacological effects of feverfew extracts are attributed to parthenlide which helps relieve smooth muscle spasms. In particular, it helps prevent the constriction of blood vessels in the brain (one of the leading causes of migraine headaches). Parthenolide also inhibits the actions of compounds that cause inflammation.