Traditional Chinese Medicine Treatment for Migraine

Migraine is headache with intense pain, usually one-sided and throbbing. It's often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light or noise. From the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine, migraine is caused by invasion of wind and fire which lead to meridian obstructions and disturb the flow of blood and qi in the head. Migraine can also be caused by psychological factors such as stress and emotion. Stress can have physical and emotional influences on the body, which are thought to influence migraine. TCM treatment for migraine aims to relieve pain, dispel the pathogens and unblock the meridians.

Over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers are effective, but long-term use can cause side effects. Also, prescription medications may be addictive and have adverse effects. Chinese people have used herbs to treat relieve headache and migraine for centuries.

Chinese Herbs for Migraine

1) Xiao Bai Ju (Feverfew) is a Chinese herb which is commonly used in treating migraine and its accompanying symptoms such as nausea, anxiety, pain, dizziness, light and sound sensitivity.

Where to buy: Feverfew

How to use: Feverfew is available in many different forms including tea, liquid extract, powder and capsules.

2) Yan Hu Suo (Corydalis) can be used to treat migraine in Chinese medicine. Studies suggest that an alkaloid found in corydalis, is effective to relieve pain.

Where to buy: Corydalis

How to use: Corydalis is available in many different forms including liquid extract, powder and capsules.

3) Xiao Yao Wan (also known as Free and Easy Wanderer) is a Chinese herbal formula which can be used to treat migraine caused by stress. It is often used to enhance mood and reduce stress.

Where to buy: Xiao Yao Wan

How to use: Xiao Yao Wan can be used in the form of pills.

Acupuncture Treatment for Migraine

Studies suggest that acupuncture can reduce the frequency of headache in patients with migraine. Patients who receive acupuncture experience reduction in migraine days, frequency and intensity. Some headache specialists believe that acupuncture should be the first choice of treatment for migraine. Some of the acupuncture points which help to treat migraine are located on the head. If you want to give Chinese medicine a try, but have a bit of hesitation about having needles inserted into your head, you can try to use only Chinese herbal formula first. Also, you can try stimulating acupressure points for migraine on your own.

Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment for other health conditions

Learn Chinese
HSK Test