Approximately 12% of the population in the U.S. suffer from migraines. A majority of those are women. Migraines are most frequent between the ages of 18-44.
Common Treatments for Migraines
One of the most commonly prescribed treatments for migraines is sumatriptan, which is widely called Imitrex.
Sumatriptan is in a class of drugs called serotonin-1 receptor agonists. When you get a migraine, your blood vessels expand, and your brain releases chemicals that cause inflammation. Sumatriptan stops the release of these chemicals and also brings the blood vessels down to their regular size.
The drug is prescribed alone or in combination with other medications to help relieve migraines. Sumatriptan may have some side effects such as:
- Change of temperature (either hot or cold)
- Pain or pressure in the neck, jaw, chest or throat
- Tingling sensation in the skin
It also comes with some warnings:
- Heart attack - May cause chest pain, angina, or cardiac arrest
- Arrhythmias - irregular heartbeat
- Brain hemorrhage or stroke - It is unclear whether or not sumatriptan causes bleeding or stroke
Ginger and Migraines
Although there have been no extensive studies on ginger concerning migraines, one study compared ginger to sumatriptan. In a clinical trial of 100 patients, participants took either a ginger supplement or sumatriptan.
The study recorded details such as the time of onset of the headaches, severity, and the time it took for the medication or ginger to start working. The study looked at five different incidences for each person.
After two hours of taking medication or ginger, the severity of the headache decreased. There was very little difference between the group that took ginger and the group that took a sumatriptan. Both groups experienced satisfaction and were willing to continue taking the method either the ginger or sumatriptan.
Taking ginger was comparable to taking the sumatriptan. Ginger has extremely low incidences of side effects and offers a natural alternative to sumatriptan.