Doctors' Notes

5 Quick Fixes For Migraines

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Welcome to Doctors’ Notes, our newest contribution from Urban Health correspondents and husband and wife physicians Dr. Rob and Dr. Karla Robinson.  The dynamic duo will be fielding questions about health, as it relates to African Americans.  Please feel free to send them questions via digitalpitches@ebony.comWe promise to keep it anonymous. 


June is National Migraine Awareness Month and what better time to bring attention to the fact that many of us–at one time or another–have suffered from these often debilitating headaches.  In fact, close to 30 million people in this country report suffering from migraines on a regular basis.  What makes migraines different from other headaches is the fact that often times migraines cause pain on one side of the head and can be accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, light and sound sensitivity, flashing lights, blurry vision, and fatigue.

Anyone who has ever experienced the discomfort of a migraine knows that anything offering relief is a welcome suggestion.  Well, it turns out that there are some things in your pantry, freezer or local health food store that just may do the trick in curbing the pain.

Check out this list of home remedies and contact your doctor to find out which treatment is safe for you:

Ginger: Ginger root has long history of being effective as a medication for nausea and upset stomach.  Among its many other uses, it has also been shown to improve migraine symptoms when taken at the onset of the headache.  Ginger comes in many formulations and is popularly used in tea, smoothies, or taken as a supplement.

Riboflavin: Also known as Vitamin B2, riboflavin has been shown to decrease migraine headache frequency, severity, and duration when taken at doses of 400mg daily.  This seems to work best for those chronic migraine sufferers, as the effects seem to improve when taken for three months or more.

Feverfew: Traditionally known as a fever reducer as the name implies, this herb has also been used in the prevention of migraines.  It has shown its best results when taken as a daily supplement and works to decrease the frequency of migraine attacks.

Magnesium: Some studies have found that chronic migraine sufferers have low magnesium levels.  As a result, magnesium supplements sometimes work wonders in these individuals.  If you suffer regular migraines, make sure you have had your magnesium levels checked.

Ice Cream: That’s right, ice cream! A welcome prescription to most, it seems like a bowl of ice cream, when eaten at the very first signs of a migraine, helps to stop its progression immediately.  By stimulating its own temporary “ice-cream freeze,” the dessert will literally stop the symptoms of a long term migraine.

While these home remedies may help in treating your migraine symptoms, always notify your doctor if you are experiencing new or recurring headaches, or headaches that don’t improve despite treatment.

YOUR TURN: What is your favorite migraine remedy? Let us know in the comments! 

It’s a health thing…we’ve got to understand!

About the Doctors:

Dr. Karla and Dr. Rob are the founders of Urban Housecall, a multimedia health and wellness resource, and also hosts of the Urban Housecall Radio Show.  For more from the doctors, visit their website at, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter @urbanhousecall!