Essential oils: Lavender

A study in European Neurology found_inhalation of lavender essential oil may be an effective and safe treatment modality in acute management of migraine headaches._ in their study..png

I have been cultivating different ways to manage the pain during the day. Being intractable means I have to go full throttle on other methods. Use what you have available to you. Now lavender isn’t my favorite scent for an essential oil, but I like mixing it with Sage. There is some research behind lavender which is interesting. (As I mentioned earlier in the week I rather like peppermint as well for nausea).

This is the study I mentioned:

METHODS:

Forty-seven patients with definite diagnosis of migraine headache were divided into cases and controls. Cases inhaled lavender essential oil for 15 min, whereas the control group used liquid paraffin for the same time period. Patients were asked to record their headache severity and associated symptoms in 30-min intervals for a total of 2 h. We matched the two groups for key confounding factors.

RESULTS:

The mean reduction of headache severity in cases was 3.6 ± 2.8 based on Visual Analogue Scale score. The reduction was 1.6 ± 1.6 in controls. This difference between the controls and cases was statistically significant with p < 0.0001. From 129 headache attacks in cases, 92 responded entirely or partially to lavender. In the control group, 32 out of 68 recorded headache attacks responded to placebo. The percentage of responders was significantly higher in the lavender group than the placebo group (p = 0.001).

CONCLUSION:

The present study suggests that inhalation of lavender essential oil may be an effective and safe treatment modality in acute management of migraine headaches.

Pretty good response rate to the lavender over the placebo. Not a bad reduction as well. When you think about reduction, I would have expected less, but this is decent. I would have preferred a larger samples size, but I always say that with these tests. If it isn’t a drug, the sample size tends to be lower.

The Journal of herbal medicine also did a study, longer in duration. Double-blind. Reporting a reduction in frequency and severity.

There is no cure for migraine, but preventive treatments are usually applied to reduce the frequency and severity of headache attacks. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of lavender as a prophylactic therapy for migraine in a randomized controlled clinical trial. This double-blind and placebo-controlled study was conducted over a period of three months. Patients were assessed for migraine impact at the baseline and at the end of the study, using the Migraine Disability Assessment Scores (MIDAS) questionnaire. In the case group, after three months of lavender therapy, the MIDAS score was reduced. The reduction in MIDAS score was significant (P < 0.05), when compared to the baseline and also control group. During the treatment, participants did not report any complaints or side effects. The results of this present study report that the frequency and severity of migraine incidents were reduced in those participants using lavender therapy during the three month trial.

It is one of the recommended aromatherapy migraine essential oils for your repertoire to try. I like the research. It makes me pleased there was some positive results for it. Mainly because if I believe there is positive effects, it will increase the positive effects I will experience. Just like belief in a medication working, increases its chances of working. So I take these results as a positive indication that lavender is a nice scent to add to my repertoire because it could do good things.

Here is an article to get you started on aromatherapy for migraines I use more than a few on the list myself. But lavender I am trying out specifically when I have a migraine and seeing if can be one of the ones that helps me manage the migraine.

Ginger

ginger

Ginger has long, long been used for nausea, upset stomach, and diarrhea. We often use it for migraine nausea but now I am thinking maybe even migraine related diarrhea.

 

The study in my image references comparing ginger (Given in power form) compared to a triptan (sumatriptan) and found them similarly to abort a migraine within 2 hours.

I use these two products. Gravol is a Canadian company that has a great product on their own but they also have this natural product. This one is ginger and willow barks. I actually use many things for my nausea. From peppermint tea, ginger, my medication, and actual Gravol. Because my nausea to date caused me 25 pounds in weight loss. It is unhealthy and I’ll manage it any way that I can.

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Migraine.com referenced a different study than I did and here it is:

One over-the-counter remedy containing ginger and feverfew is called GelStat Migraine. The product is applied and absorbed under the tongue, for faster delivery. GelStat’s makers say sublingual treatments take eight minutes to reach their peak level in the body, compared to 70 minutes for a tablet or capsule. One study of 40 migraine sufferers released at the 2006 American Academy of Neurology annual meeting compared GelStat with an inactive placebo. Here are the results:

  • Some pain relief after two hours : GelStat 65%, Placebo 36%
  • Complete freedom from pain at two hours : GelStat 19%, Placebo 7%

Here are the listed side effects Migraine.com mentioned.

  • Gas, belching
  • Bloating
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Irritation or bad taste in the mouth
  • Heartburn

I haven’t had any issue at all, to be honest.

The list of who couldn’t take it should be noted, however.

  • Pregnant and breastfeeding
  • People with gallstones, ulcers and IBD
  • Those with weakened immune systems
  • May increase risk of bleeding with blood thinners
  • May increase side effects of drowsiness and slowed thinking
  • May interfere or interact with heart medications, vasodilators, or drugs that are broken down by the liver
  • May interfere or interact with drugs for nausea, vomiting, arthritis, blood disorders, high cholesterol, blood pressure, allergies, cancer, inflammation, stomach acid or weight loss

And here lies the problem because it may interact with Your Nausea med. So there is that. In my case I may have an ulcer so I should be careful as well I suppose. So if you take ginger to treat your nausea I’d be cautious about it and not be taking it with your regular nausea med without discussing that with your doctor.

As for it easing symptoms. I have used it in addition to some of the other things I do. Like ice, Magnesium oil and meditation… and I have eased my pain quite a bit when I combo pack these things.

Magnesium and migraines

Naturals.png

There has been some research that has shown low brain magnesium levels during a migraine attack. And a magnesium deficiency and migraines may be related due to magnesium being in involved with proper nerve function.

A 1996 study of 81 migraine sufferers compared the effects of 600 mg of Magnesium every day for 12 weeks with an inactive placebo dummy pill. Of those taking Magnesium, 18.6 percent had diarrhea and 4.7 percent complained of stomach irritation. Here are the results:

  • Reduction of migraine attacks from weeks nine to 12 : Magnesium 41.6% , Placebo 15.8%

Another study, also conducted in 1996, didn’t find any difference in patients given Magnesium compared to placebo and experienced twice as many mild side effects such as soft stools.Migraine.com

Getting magnesium is easy enough unless you have bowel issues when you have a migraine. Magnesium can cause digestive upset and diarrhea. Other solutions are Magnesium Oil, Epsom salt baths, or Magnesium Chloride with mineral water found in bottles in health food stores (much easier to digest and tends to be the easiest on the digestive system).

Magnesium is thought to affect changes in the blood vessels in the brain. Magnesium supplements are sometimes recommended to prevent migraines. They are also recommended to treat acute migraines.

Magnesium may be helpful for menstrual migraines, according to some research. Treatment of migraines during pregnancy requires great care. Magnesium may be a safer choice than powerful prescription medications.

When given intravenously, magnesium is “possibly effective” for treatment of migraines, according to the National Institutes of Health.Healthline

 

I was given magnesium oil as a present for Christmas and have been experimenting on it for acute treatment.

  1. First migraine: was a brutal 8. sprayed the magnesium on right away. Wiithin the hour the migraine was completely gone.
  2. Second migraine: Tried it again well into a migraine. Did nothing.
  3. Third migraine: Woke up with a 9 wicked migraine. Tried it a lot and the migraine did lower in level substantially over a few hours down to a 4. But it didn’t stay that way, it creeped back up. However, it is a hormonally trigger one so perhaps that is why.

Someone said magnesium can dull the migraine in the acute phase. Used with other things that can bring a migraine down a notch like ice might work. I will keep giving it a go and increase my intake. I have FM and we do not absorb magnesium well, the ones I listed are the best for us… so perhaps I need a boost anyway. I will have to see if taking more of it can be a preventative deal. It is clearly something I need to explore more.

3 Apps for meditation I use

you matteryour health mattersengage in your self-carewithout guilt

1)Buddhify Is one of my favorite meditation apps. It has 80 meditations displayed on a wheel. You can choose for example “can’t sleep” and 6 can’t sleep medications fold out on the wheel for that selection. What I like is all the meditations are right there to search from. It is fantastically easy to use. And it works great. I use this one most often on the go, since i is quick and easy to pick from the dial when I need to do a meditation. Completely what you see is what you get. No extra fees on this one.

2)Breathe This is my other favorite to use. It has a section for learn to meditate for beginners. Which really I still am. A list of meditations quick picks. And a my progress so you can see how you are progress with making this a routine. Finally it has a How are You section that asks you how you are physically, mentally and emotionally and choosing meditations for you based on your responses. I use this one most often since it is more complete.

3) Headspace– I like this app and there are ten session for free. It looks awesome for the other sections in it that I have explored and i found it in the free apps. I am just not sure it is free after the 10 sessions so I have not explored it as much as the others. But I loved the format. I loved the extensive list of meditations in each section. I loved the style of the meditations. I just think it might be a lite version where it is partly free and have to pay to get the rest.

Aromatherapy

 

Closeup of mint essential oils and candle, aromatherapy setting.Selective focus
Closeup of mint essential oils and candle, aromatherapy setting.

I am new to aromatherapy and since I have migraines I have been very wary of it due to scent sensitivity and exactly that as a migraine trigger. But I have been equally curious about it as well since it seems like it could be very soothing and a great complementary treatment to try. I know this because certain scents like ones I have from migraine balms are very pleasant to me. But also I am very new to the process. So I had to dig around one of my go to sites to look for some helpful migraine essential oils to give me a start.

Health central recommended essential oils for migraines is what I looked up to give me a general idea of what to give a go for this new process I was going to try out. I’m just listing a few that intrigue me right now given this is new to me. Here is a article on Healthcentral about aromatherapy that references more essential oils as well Migraine and Complementary Therapies – Aromatherapy

Bergamont- has a light citrus scent and is said to help with stress, fatigue, tension and anxiety. 


Clary sage- Is great for stress reduction. Often used to fight depression and can be combined with lavender. 


Eucalyptus radiata- Less strong than other forms of eucalyptus and can help with migraine congestion. To be honest this one caught my attention because I enjoy the smell of eucalyptus a great deal.


Jasmine- Used for pain relief, hormone balancing and depression. 


Lavender- Which in general is not a scent I enjoy but I think I’ll give it a go with the sage. Good for easing tension, stress and sleep and head pain.


Peppermint- Who doesn’t enjoy peppermint to be honest? Helps with nausea, which I really need help with, and improving concentration.

So I will be experimenting with these. I just ordered some of them and a few I have already. We will see how the venture goes.

 

hands of a woman meditating in a yoga pose on the grass toned w
I think this will be lovely to meditate with.