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Don't Use Salt for Migraines. Do This Instead.

Salt for migraines?

You've probably seen blog articles or Facebook posts touting salt as a miracle migraine cure. I'm very skeptical about this purported "cure." To be fair, I haven't tried it. So, I won't say that it absolutely doesn't work.

As far as I can tell, people who propose using salt to stop migraines claim that sodium deficiency leads to migraines. I don't know of any research that suggests this is true. I suppose it could possibly be a culprit in some cases.

Any type of imbalance in your body, including a sodium imbalance, could affect your brain cells and begin the migraine process. But if you look at the typical American diet, it seems very unlikely to me that many of us are suffering from a sodium deficiency. Probably just the opposite -- most of us are getting too much sodium. And too much sodium can raise your blood pressure to unhealthy levels.

I think a lot of people have shared this "salt cure" in a helpful spirit. Migraine pain can be devastating leading to a sense of desperation and willingness to try anything new. But in my research I've also seen a lot of web pages with outlandish claims.

One webpage, for example, tells us:

"This salt can help in reducing migraine’s acting, thus reducing headaches, strengthening the immunity, increasing levels of energy, balancing levels of serotonin in the bloodstream, restoring body’s electrolyte and alkaline balance and so much more."

A lot of these websites also have links to buy expensive salts, like Himalayan Pink Salt. If the whole idea is that sodium will stop migraines, then why not just use cheap, regular salt that is packed with sodium. Probably because many of these websites with links to buy special salts make a commission on their sales.

What I Do Instead

Your main focus should be on trying to prevent migraines with natural supplements, prescription medicines, lifestyle changes, etc. Trying to stop a migraine that has already started can be very difficult. There is a home remedy that works, at least sometimes. 

When you have a migraine put an ice pack on your neck. Also put your hands and/or feet in very warm water. Don't hurt yourself, but make the water as warm as you can comfortably stand. This probably won't abort a full-blown migraine, but it might provide some level of relief.

Unlike the salt cure, and so many other home "cures," there is a sound explanation for why this works. When you have a migraine headache, the blood vessels in your head and neck dilate. This is one of the main causes of the excruciating pain. The ice pack on the neck can cause the blood vessels to constrict back down to normal and the warm water has the opposite effect on your hands and feet drawing blood to them and away from your neck. 

Let us know what you think! Scroll down to leave a comment.

 

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6 comments

Sep 04, 2016 • Posted by Laura

A packet of ready salted crisps at the starylt if a migrain works for me

Apr 15, 2016 • Posted by piroska

No! If keeping hands and feet in warm water is helping with your headache, then its most likely not a migraine. For migraines you should place hands and feet in chilled water…as cold as you can safely tolerate. Plus keep the ice pack on your head and neck as it will help in constricting blood vessels in the brain which is what you need when having a migraine attack. if all else fails, zomig should help!

Dec 31, 2015 • Posted by Ang

“Why not just use regular salt?” Logic tell us that the 2 are different. Why are they different? Science and capitalism tells is that: Table salt and natural salt are 2 different substances. Regular table salt is sodium chloride. They take natural sea salt and break it down in a basic form and subtract all the minerals from natural sea salt to make table salt. They then sell you salt and then make more money off the minerals they extracted by selling the 2 separately.

Refined salt/ iodized salt /table salt IS an un-natural chemical substance. Our natural sea salt /UNREFINED salt has 84 minerals that help the body function properly. Natural Sea Salt can when mixed with spring water and allowed to dissolve create an electrolyte water solution. This salt has 84 minerals and the electrolytes they create does wonders for your nervous system. Why do we soak our body in himalayan salt or epsom salt when are out muscles are contracted? When we feel fatigued? Need relaxation and healing? Salt in it’s NATURAL states has minerals that help heal the body. Inside and out (our skin delivers salt and minerals from baths to our blood stream trans-dermally.)

Now, I’ve been suffering for migraines for 15 years and I have had a low “table salt” diet I stuck to because my mom had high blood pressure. I’ve been on every medication you can think of and they all stopped working. Medical Industry wants to keep you sick so they don’t study functional medicine and how the body works as a whole entity. They specialize in 1 area and don’t understand how the rest of the body works.

I realized that water and natural sea salt are essential to work together in the body. I added salt back to my diet in its natural form. My migraines have been under control for the first time ever without medicine. We’re taught that our bodies are comprised mainly of water. Yet, medical doctors don’t tell you the another major component of our bodies is SALT…NATURAL SEA SALT. The “Sole Water” remedy for migraines can be very helpful.

Natural sea salt reduces blood pressure, helps your muscles, provides electrolytes to the body, assist your nervous system and more. Look up sole water and its benefits and studies on it for the truth.

Oct 31, 2015 • Posted by Tessa

Hi, my migraine medication sumatriptan works by constricting the inflated blood vessels in my head. Strong espresso coffee has the same effect for a while (not as long as the medication).

Salt also constricts blood vessels. While too much salt is a long term bad dietary choice, causing high blood pressure; short term it can provide relief of a migraine by constricting the inflated blood vessels.

I found out by accident. I snack during a migraine as I can’t eat meals, and discovered plain or sweet biscuits didn’t help, but after having very salty soy crackers, my migraine eased up and if I ate sufficient salt it would go away for a while. Enough to get a bit of sleep. Someone with high blood pressure may not get the same results. I’ve got low blood pressure 96 over 59. I’m in agreement with this article that it’s nothing to do with any nutritional content of salt. Plain old salt works.
Look up salt and constrict and there’s a bit of information.
The biggest cure is rest and sleep, though.

Oct 20, 2015 • Posted by .

salt CAUSES headaches for me. i get both migraines & headaches. johns hopkins research has proven that salt causes headaches. we get way too much sodium in food today. caffeine helps my migraines but doesn’t help my headaches (it can actually cause a headache). migraines are when cerebral blood vessels are dilated. caffeine constricts blood vessels. “ice cream brain freeze” also constricts blood vessels (for a few seconds) & when i’m desperate for some relief i sometimes resort to eating something frozen quickly to cause that brain freeze.

Aug 04, 2015 • Posted by Maite

Hi there ,
I do suffer from migraines and I do have to say that salt works wonders most of the time
I didn’t learn this on fb .I just realised one day that I always had a headache after eating bananas more than two days in a row and that I always got a migraine after homeopathy class .. I always had a potato salad for lunch . Somehow something lit up in my brain and I started to see a connection with high potassium foods and me having migraine … So I made myself a salad packed with salt and the migraine disappeared …
I only use Himalayan salt .. It has more minerals and oligoelements than any other , so I imagine it must be better for electrolyte balance

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