Migraine is a disorder marked by extremely painful and recurring headache, often alongside nausea and vomiting. Migraine attacks can be a frequent, almost daily event, or an occasional problem. There is often a trigger that brings on a migraine, such as stress, hormonal changes, or with certain foods and drinks, including cheese, chocolate, alcohol, and much else. Some people experience an ‘aura’ that precede the head pain, and the sufferer may also experience flashing lights, loss of vision, dizziness, and numbness. Migraines vary in intensity, from moderate to severe to intolerable. Any physical movement can be difficult.
CONVENTIONAL MEDICAL TREATMENT OF MIGRAINE
The NHS Choices website offers the following on the treatment of migraine, probably reflecting most peoples experience of treating migraine with conventional drugs:
“There is currently no cure for migraines”
It goes on to outline the treatment conventional medicine offers to the migraine sufferer.
Painkillers, like paracetamol and aspirin, pointing out some (but by no means all) the known problems with taking these drugs, and also pointing out that for some people they can make migraines worse. Moreover, whilst they may dull the pain, on a temporary basis, they do nothing to cure the condition itself
Triptan Drugs, often sold over-the-counter, like Sumatriptan. These drugs carry with them a long and detailed list of serious adverse reactions, and a longer list of lesser side effects, which should be checked before you decide to take them
Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, like Ibuprofen (Nurofen?), Diclofenac, Naproxin and Tolfenamic Acid - and again this suggestion comes with warnings, and contraindications about the dangers of these drugs.
Anti-Sickness Drugs (these drugs are not named and any adverse reactions to these drugs are not mentioned).
Combination Medicines (described as a combination of painkillers and anti-sickness drugs).
Pregnant women are told by NHS Choices to limit all treatment, no doubt because of the harmful DIEs of these drugs.
There are literally hundreds of homeopathic remedies that can be used in the treatment of headaches and migraines, and a qualified and registered homeopath will seek to match the sufferer with a remedy that will work for the individual. Homeopathic remedies work by stimulating the body’s own healing mechanisms. The following are just a few relevant remedy descriptions taken from “The Desktop Companion to Physical Pathology” by Roger Morrison, MD.
Nat Mur. The main remedy for migraines and headaches in general. Bursting pain. Sensation of small hammer in one spot. Vise. Favours right side. As headache stops on one side it comes on the opposite side. Worse morning, on waking; from grief; in sun, heat, during menses. Better cold applications, perspiration, for pressure, closing eyes; must lie down in dark room. Visual disturbances and vomiting from headache.
Belladonna. Excellent remedy for both acute and chronic headaches and migraines. Intense pain, throbbing, exploding, maddening; pressing outward sensation ‘as if eyes will pop’; pain comes and go suddenly, or start slowly and end suddenly. Right sided. Worse night, going down steps, coughing, sneezing, shaking head, motion; light, sun, heat. Better lying in dark, quiet room, cold applications, closing eyes; hard external pressure, sitting up in bed. Bounding pulse in head; sharp pain with each throb. Vomiting with headache; eyes bloodshot; hands and feet icy.
Sanguinaria. Congestive migraine headaches.Right side starts should or neck radiates to right forehead, eye. Throbbing, burning.. Worse: daytime, light, noise, odours, jarring, Better: for sleep, after vomiting, passing wind; pressing head against something hard. Vomiting with headaches. With indigestion, burning in stomach. Flushed face.
Iris Versicolor. Classic migraine. Begins with visual aura and ends with vomiting. Spots before eyes, shimmering, blurry vision. Weekly, especially at weekends.Right sided. Worse in cold air, sitting or resting; relaxing after study, for cough. Better; in open air, standing, walking, constant gnetle motion. Blindness or blurry vision with headache.
Spigella. Severe migraine headache. Left forehead above left eye. Pain extends back into head. Stitching or neuralgic pain. Violent pain. Usually in one spot. Worse, morning, comes and goes with sun; for motion, jarring; for cough, pressing at stool, for touch, stooping, standing; for cold or open air; for wind, smoke, noise. Better for heat or hot bathing; keeping eyes closed; lying down, with head elevated. Headache associated with palpitations or other heart problems.
Bryonia. Chronic migraine headache, acute fevers. Pain beings over left eye, extends to whole head, sometimes to shoulders and back. Dull heavy pains, stitching pains. Increases slowly with heaviness congestion, fullness. Worse: morning on rising, slightest motion, jarring, for cough, exertion, for ascending steps; when constipated; for heat, sun, eating, for walking. Better for pressure, lying on painful side; in dark; washing in cold water; for cool air. Nausea or vertigo on attempting to sit up.
Lachesis. Congestive headache with pulsation, fullness and pressing outward. Left side or forehead; begins on left side, moves to right. Frontal headache extending to nose. Bursting sensation, as if brain will burst or eyes will pop out. Worse morning on waking; heat; sleep; tight collars; anger; excitement; menses. Better for pressure, cold air and cold applications; for menstruation, and all discharges; for vomiting. Headache associated with hypertension.
Sepia.Headaches associated with nausea; sick headache; periodic coming in waves or sometimes sudden shocks. Left forehead and above left eye. Worse, for menses, pregnancy, menopause; for light, mental exhaustion, stuffy room, motion sickness. Better for open air, vomiting, eating, sleeping; lying in dark; vigorous exertion; for pressure. Empty sensation in stomach during headache.
Glonoinum. Intense pounding headache as if the head would burst. Face flushed and pulse bounds in carotids. Pain increases and decreases with the sun’s rise and fall. Worse, sun and heat. Menopause or before menses; jarring, motion, tight collars. Better for pressure, lying in dark room, cold applications or cold washing; bending head forward; betting into shade. Faintness during congestive headache.
Calc Carb. Chronic headaches and migraines from stress and over-worry. Worse for cold, damp; getting head wet; mental exertion; for light, menses, exertion, ascending, lifting heavy weights, shaking head, stooping. Better for pressure or binding the head
Gelsenium. Severe and exhausting headache. Heaviness in head, especially in forehead, with droopy eyelids; can scarcely hold head erect or eyes open. Headache alternating with abdominal pains.. Hammering in head; maddening headache; dull, stupid headache. Worse 10am, 2am; for wine; lying flat; motion of head; exertion; mental exertion. Better, for urination, for vomiting; lying or reclining with head elevated. Pupils dilated, cold feet and cold perspiration during headache. Weakness, prostration and trembling during headache.
Phosphorus. Migraine headaches with burning or pulsing pains. Headache every other day. Worse for fasting, lying on left side; for hot food or drinks; menses, light, mental exertion, before storms, sneezing, motion. Better after sleeping, eating running; for cold air or cold applications. Markedly hungry during headache.
Silica. Chronic headache and migraines. Start top of head and extends for forehead or eye. Headache with chronic sinusitis above root of nose. Worse for cold, or drafts; for light, jarring, noise, fasting, exertion, mental exertion. Continuous daily headache. Better for covering head; warm applications, for pressure, after urination. Clammy sweat on forehead during headache.
Ignatia. Migraine headaches, especially after grief and sorrow. Headache associated with back or neck spasms. Pains increase gradually and cease suddenly. Pain as if from nail, especially on side of head. Worse for emotions, grief, anger, fright; studying or concentration; for odours, smoke and fumes; for light; for stooping; for straining at stool. Better for lying on painful side; for alcohol, for warm applications. Empty sensation in stomach with headache.
Ipecacuanha. Headache with severe nausea and vomiting. Sensation as if head or skull brised. Worse standing. Better Open air.
Kali Bich. Blindness before headache. Sight returns as headache increases. Headache in small specific spots. Wandering pain. Worse, exactly same hour each day. Lying on painful side; cold wet weather; with sinusitis.
Mag Phos. Migraines and facial neuralgia, often on right side. Headache extending into face. Worse, cold. Better, hard pressure.
RANDOMISED CONTROLLED TESTS (RCTS)
RCTs are the third, and decidedly the least important type of evidence supporting Homeopathy as a medical therapy.
Homeopathic Treatment of Migraine in Children: Results of a Prospective, Multicenter, Observational Study. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. February 2013, 19(2): 119-123. doi:10.1089/acm.2011.0821.
Conclusion. “The results of this study demonstrate the interest of homeopathic medicines for the prevention and treatment of migraine attacks in children. A significant decrease in the frequency, severity, and duration of migraine attacks was observed and, consequently, reduced absenteeism from school”.
Straumsheim P, Borchgrevink C, Mowinckel P, Kierulf H, Hafslund O
British Homeopathic Journal, 89:4–7. 2000
“The neurologists' trial evaluation showed a statistically significant reduction in attack frequency in the homeopathy group (P= 0.04) and non-statistically significant trends in favour of homeopathy for pain intensity and overall evaluation”.
Whitmarsh TE, Coleston-Shields DM, Steiner TJ
Homoeopathic treatment of migraines: a randomized double-blind study of sixty cases (homoeopathic remedy versus placebo).
Brigo B, Serpelloni G .
Berlin Journal on Research in Homeopathy, 1:98–106. 1991
“An analysis of the homoeopathically-treated patients demonstrates a significant reduction in the periodicity, frequency, and duration of migraine attacks”.