Turmeric: A Natural Migraine Remedy
Turmeric: a natural migraine remedy? Common migraine solutions involve medicine and other treatments that do more harm than good in the long run. These treatments ignore migraine origins while simultaneously putting your body under extra stress.
Natural migraine remedies – including a healthy diet, chiropractic care, and self-care –assist your body’s ability to care for itself. Turmeric is another way migraineurs can safely improve their health.
What is turmeric?
Turmeric is a plant belonging to the ginger family. It grows in Southern Asia and India. It is a common culinary spice in curry, tea, and other dishes. The plant is often ground into powder. However, some people extract it into a liquid, and it is also available in a capsule format.
Although turmeric is known for its strong flavors, it also has health benefits. Traditional Asian medical practices have included turmeric for centuries due to its anti-inflammatory benefits. Turmeric lowers blood sugar, assists in digestive problems, reduces cholesterol levels, and prevents cancer.
How can turmeric help migraines?
The main component of turmeric is an antioxidant called curcumin. Curcumin is the part of turmeric that provides anti-inflammatory assistance. In fact, studies show that curcumin can lessen the effects of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease.
The same properties in turmeric that improve common inflammatory problems can also lessen migraine symptoms. Here’s how:
- Turmeric may improve your pain. Anecdotal evidence and medical studies show that turmeric works as a pain reliever. When your brain’s sensory neurons are inflamed, you experience migraines. Curcumin works to reduce this inflammation. In fact, one study showed curcumin is more effective at reducing inflammation than ibuprofen and Aspirin.
- Turmeric helps your body produce serotonin. Individuals who experience migraines often have lower levels of serotonin. Turmeric increases the brain’s production of serotonin and dopamine. Because of this, it is often used to treat depression. Learn how to naturally increase your serotonin levels.
- Turmeric protects your body from the side effects of NSAIDs. Common migraine treatment includes anti-inflammatory painkillers that often have negative side-effects, including stomach and cardiovascular problems. I understand that medications are helpful in acute cases or to get a regimen in place, but I recommend that you do everything you can to find alternative practices to treat the origin of your migraines. Turmeric not only helps you avoid side effects, but it can help repair the body from the wear-and-tear NSAIDs cause.
- Turmeric helps to heal leaky gut syndrome. Leaky gut syndrome occurs when the barrier lining in the intestines breaks down, allowing toxins to enter the bloodstream. As we’ve discussed previously, gut problems and migraines are definately related. Turmeric contracts the proteins in the gut lining, reducing gut permeability. As the gut heals, your migraines could improve.
How to incorporate turmeric into your diet.
As a spice, consider mixing turmeric into your stir-fry, rice, and soups. Turmeric pairs well with other South Asian flavors, including ginger, cumin, black pepper, fennel, and coriander. Experiment with flavors that you enjoy.
Turmeric is also a popular spice to add to tea and coffee. Some people even opt to add it to their smoothies. Golden milk, also called turmeric milk or haldidoodh, is a flavorful drink that incorporates the milk of your choice (make sure to go through an elimination diet to discover your food triggers first), turmeric, ginger, and a natural sweetener. This vegan turmeric recipe is a good starting place to make the drink from home.
Finally, some people choose to ingest turmeric in a capsule format. Because curcumin is not water soluble, it is best to take the capsule alongside a meal that contains fat. You may find turmeric supplements labeled as “turmeric” or “curcumin.” Don’t let this concern you. Both provide the same benefits.
Sometimes, migraines dominate your life; however, turmeric protects your body from migraine attacks by reducing inflammation, improving serotonin levels, healing your gut, and lowering your stress. Everybody is different, and only you have control over your long-term health. Experiment with turmeric to see if it impacts your healing process.
Livestrong – Benefits of Turmeric Powder
Livestrong – More about Curcumin and Turmeric
US National Library of Medicine – Turmeric and Pain Relief: Medical Study
US National Library of Medicine – Turmeric and Serotonin, Dopamine
US National Library of Medicine – Turmeric and Depression
Better Nutrition – Heal a Leaky Gut with Turmeric
Urban Vegan – Turmeric Supplements