Just three drops to kill a Migraine Attack

Many of you have heard of taking oil of Oregano for colds or the flu.  Some people claim they can take it at the first sign of sniffles, and wake up the next morning feeling great.  Others take it every day, and claim they’ve been able to avoid the flu all year.

But have you heard of using oil of oregano for migraine?  Many people do.

Oil of Oregano for Migraine

Just three drops under the tongue at the first sign of a migraine attack, and that’s it.

I’ll warn you, it’s pretty strong.  And it’s not just the oregano you put on your pizza (although it’s still oregano – you’ll recognize the smell).  This is a kind of oregano known as origanum vulgare.

Two of the key ingredients occurring naturally in this type of oil of oregano are carvacrol and thymol.  We don’t know exactly why oregano seems to work for some people, though we do know it has anti-inflammatory properties.

If you want to give it a try, make sure you get a reputable brand with 70% standardized carvacrol.  A good option is Source Naturals Oil of Oregano (it’s also available in capsules, but for migraine you want the liquid to drop under your tongue).

As well as being well known as being an anti-inflammatory, oregano is being studied for its antiviral and antibacterial properties, and for such diverse issues as metabolic syndrome, colon cancer and respiratory illness.  It is a powerful herb packed with health benefits, and I’m sure we’ll see more studies on it as time goes by.

I have some friends who have found oil of oregano helpful as a migraine killer.  Have you tried it?  Leave a comment!

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17 comments… add one

  • Lizzie Jul 27, 2009

    Hi James,

    Interesting article, but I’m not sure about this bit:

    “And it’s not just the oregano you put on your pizza (although it’s still oregano – you’ll recognize the smell). This is a kind of oregano known as origanum vulgare.”

    Origanum vulgare is the Latin name for oregano. vulgare = vulgar = common, so the name just means regular old normal oregano. This is opposed to Origanum majorana which is the Latin name for marjoram. The two plants are closely related. To be honest, it sounds like the manufacturers are trying to impress people with important-sounding names!!

    As I understand it, oregano oil is extracted by distilling the dried leaves of the oregano plant. And it’s the dried leaves that you put on your pizza.

    So basically this isn’t any special different type of oregano, it’s just a plain and simple herbal extraction. Which means it’s good because it’s all natural!

    I’ve never heard of using the oil for migraine before, I might just go get me a bottle.

    All the best
    Lizzie

  • James Jul 27, 2009

    As I understand it, I could have put it this way,”It may not be the oregano you put on your pizza”. There are actually many different types of oregano, and often the kinds that are sold are not the kind that have the health benefits you need.

    So in this case, I don’t think it’s a matter of manufacturers making it sound fancy (although I’m sure using the latin name helps!). Origanum vulgare is not always the kind used on pizza, and if you’re not careful you can end up buying a variety that has no evidence of migraine fighting properties.

    So you can call it “plain and simple”, but the fact of the matter is there are many other varieties than just “plain and simple”, so look for the 70% standardized carvacrol (oops – I saw a typo there in the original post – fixed) origanum vulgare, not just a bottle that says “oregano oil”.

  • Lizzie Jul 29, 2009

    I stand corrected.

  • James Jul 29, 2009

    Oh no, you don’t need to be corrected. Actually, we’re both right. :) How politically correct is that? ;)

  • Suzie Aug 12, 2009

    James,
    I saw your article on oregano oil aborting migraine attacks so I went right out and bought myself a bottle. What a lifesaver! It didn’t take the effects of migraine away completely but it helped enough that I didn’t have to take any other rescue meds.

    Taking the oil is a real trial for me. The first time I dropped some under my tongue and I thought, “oh, that’s not so bad.” Then it hit me. I was running all over the kitchen trying to find something to get it out of my mouth. I put water in my mouth and spit it in the sink. I wadded bread up in my mouth then spit it in the trash. I drank a little milk and that helped a bit. My kids think it’s funny to watch me and keep urging me to take more oregano oil so they can videotape me and send it in to one of those funny video shows.

    But within minutes I was feeling better. It’s worth the horrible, burning!

    Both of my daughters have tried oregano oil with the same good results. Friends of my children have purchased some to try for their next migraine. We’re spreading the word. It is worth trying.

    Thank you for all the research and time you put into this website. You are my go-to guy for migraine information!

    Suzie

    • Bec Sep 12, 2010

      Suzie,

      I swallow it fast and follow it with as much water or juice as I can to kill the taste. I wonder if you would get a better result if you swallowed it rather than spitting it out after a few minutes.

      Best wishes

  • Ann Oct 28, 2009

    I wonder if oil of oregano in liquid capsules would work just as well. My gag reflex is seriously not good enough to allow me to try the dropper kind ever again!

  • Aurora Oct 29, 2009

    I am familiar with another type of oregano, Coleus aromaticus, I have used it for coughs by squeezing the juice out of the leaves. And yes, headaches when my migraine was still in its early stages. This oregano made me sleep…When I don’t have a headache and just plain want to sleep, but can’t, because migraine has destroyed the normal body clock, I take oregano tea…I’ll see if they have this oil at the health store. I bet I’ll also scratch my tongue like Suzie.

  • Bec Sep 12, 2010

    James,

    Interesting! I suffered migraines my entire life. It was my earliest memory. I am no 48 years old.

    I tried a variety of remedies, dealt with allergies to avoid triggers, and even underwent a hysterectomy to lesson the instances and intensity. Surgery helped but didn’t cure them.

    Several weeks ago, I began treatment for parasites which calls for 3 drops of Oregano Oil 4 times a day for 9 days, 2 week break, followed by another 9 days of the above.

    I noticed that I didn’t experience a migraine at all while I took the Oregano Oil. I thought, “Wow, did the parasites cause the migraines, too?”

    After being off Oregano Oil 6 days at the break of parasite treatment, I had another migraine. On the 3rd day of the attack, I decided to try Oregano Oil. The first dose significantly reduced the pain within 20 minutes. Six hours later, I took another dose. Each does improved my condition. After 3 doses 6 hours apart, the migraine was gone.

    Is it safe to take Oregano Oil as a migraine preventative? How much should I take? How often? Daily?

    Thanks,

    Bec

  • Cleo Sep 13, 2010

    Is it really true that Oregano oil helps, I am a suffer of both Menstrual migraine and weather related migraines and I have tried a lot of different things. I currently take prescription 10 mg Maxalt but that does not always help and then it makes me feel so sick afterwards,

    I have been suffering from an attack since Saturday the 11th due to the weather. If anyone can confirm that oregano oil works I will definitely try it. Is it something you take only when you sense an attack or do you just take if daily?

    • Deanna Oct 27, 2013

      Ive had menstrual and weather migraines my whole life also. The menstrual is worse, lasts for 15 hrs and nothing gives relief. I recently heard of a friend who discontinued dairy bc she found her migraines were linked. I was a major dairy fan, consuming raw milk and Greek yogurt. I’ve eliminated both and migraines are decreased by 80 percent. I could not be more surprised. I still use heavy cream and butter with no issues. I’ve had 2 cycles, and numerous storms with no migraines. Mi have had some small headaches that go away by themselves,or with 2 Advil.

  • Bec Sep 16, 2010

    Cleo,

    Everything I read so far says Oregano Oil helps. I also spoke with a Doctor of Chinese Medicine and an Acupuncturist. Both Doctors stated it is important to take it only as a reactive and not a preventative. If you take it daily to prevent, it will become less effective over time.

    The Doc of Chinese Medicine expressed concern that daily preventative use may create a situation where the tissues could absorb too much thus creating a toxic situation. I performed numerous web searches on Oregano Oil toxicity. I was unable to substantiate nor deny the possibility that one could overdose by using it daily.

    I normally take Imitrex Nasal and Fioricet (a narcotic) when I get a migraine.

    In the handful of days since I wrote the above post, I had 2 migraines start. Before they got a foot hold, I took 3 drops each time. In both instances, it stopped the migraines. Usually, I take Imitrex at the same point but the migraine still proceeds even with the drugs on board. Wish I had 2 years worth of data behind me to make it conclusive for you.

    I suggest you buy a bottle and give it a try. I bought “Oreganol” by NAH&S Co from my local Health Food store.

    Best Wishes

  • Janet Sep 24, 2010

    This is fascinating for me, because when I get a “common cold” which I have now, I almost always end up with a multi-day migraine that my regular migraine killer drug (recently changed from Zomig to Axert) won’t touch. Of course that just magnifies the misery of the cold by many times! So I am thinking that oil of oregano might be just the ticket as it might relieve cold symptoms too. Even if it is too late to help my cold, it probably can’t hurt it and it might help the headache. (In fact, my new specialist here in Toronto recommends Benadryl extra strength for times when the migraine killer doesn’t work, and I find that if I take it at bedtime, it usually helps. But during a cold, the migraine comes right back again during the day!

    (BTW, a friend/colleague of mine took oil of oregano quite a bit as a cold preventive, and ended up with chronic horrendous burping that disturbed everyone around him in the office. He finally stopped using it so much because of our complaints.)

  • Jessi Jan 16, 2011

    Thank you so much for this information. I am going to try it soon, when I get the money because I suffer from migraine headaches and missed about probably half of the school days out of the year because of them. I hope this works!!

  • SARAH Mar 29, 2012

    CAN OIL OF OREGANO HELP ME FALL A SLEEP?
    HOW MANY SHOULD I TAKE

  • Lejla Mar 6, 2013

    What about the idea of putting those drops on the sugar cube and let it melt instead of taking them just raw!?

  • Lisa May 10, 2013

    I have been known to use any extremely spicy food at the start, and have similar effects (not always, and not the bad ones, and not the nauseated, can’t eat anything ones). Hot and Sour soup, chili paste, even garlic vinegar.
    I would venture to say it has the same effects of the oregano oil.(since I have tasted it and know it BURNS) I know capsacin (the active ingredient in the hotter peppers) has been shown to affect the nerves that cause migraines, by changing their messages to the brain.

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