Migraine : Ginger for Migraines

By Michael T. Murray, ND

A new study demonstrated that ginger is as effective as the leading prescription medication for migraines, but without the side effects. The study, conducted in Iran, included 100 men and women who had suffered migraines for an average of seven years. The participants were randomly assigned to receive either ginger supplements or the drug sumatriptan.

For each headache that occurred during a one-month period, participants recorded the time the headache began, headache severity before taking the drug or ginger, and the degree of pain relief at 30, 60, 90, and 120 minutes, as well as 24 hours, after taking it.

Results showed that ginger was equally as effective as sumatriptan, providing 90 percent relief within two hours after ingestion. While a small percentage of participants reported side effects with ginger (4 percent experienced minor digestive symptoms), 20 percent of patients taking sumatriptan reported dizziness, drowsiness, or heartburn.

The dosage of ginger used in this study was very low (250 mg dried ginger root). Higher dosages more than likely would have produced even better results. Most clinical studies have used a dosage of 1 gram powdered ginger daily. Fresh ginger at an equivalent dosage would likely yield even better results because it contains active enzymes and higher levels of other, more active constituents.The equivalent dosage would be about 10 grams (one-third ounce) fresh ginger, roughly a quarter-inch slice.

The best way to get the benefits of fresh ginger is to juice it. Ginger is a great addition to virtually every fresh fruit and vegetable juice. You can also juice or grate fresh ginger and add it to sparkling mineral water for some real ginger ale.

This article is reprinted with permission from Dr. Michael Murray's Natural Living News. For more articles like this one, visit www.DoctorMurray.com/NLN.

Dr. Michael T. Murray is one of the world's leading authorities on natural medicine and the author of more than 30 bestselling books, including The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. He is a graduate and former faculty member, and serves on the Board of Regents, of Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington.
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