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Curcumin Might Prevent Migraines, Too


Studies have linked curcumin, deemed the “King of All Spices,” to a host of wide-ranging health benefits. Although very little research has been conducted on curcumin’s ability to prevent or alleviate migraine headaches, because of its proven anti-inflammatory effects, some health practitioners are prescribing it to their patients with the condition.

Migraines aren’t merely bad headaches. They involve severe pulsating or throbbing pain that is frequently accompanied by vomiting, nausea and sensitivity to sound and light, reports Mayo Clinic. The symptoms are often so incapacitating that those experiencing them have to miss work and other commitments.

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Dr. Sean McCaffrey, D.C., I.H.S., L.D.H.S. of McCaffrey Health Clinic is a health and wellness professional who specializes in integrative health. In an interview with Live in the Now, he shares how curcumin has helped the migraine sufferers in his care.

Why Take Curcumin?

McCaffrey: “Curcumin, which is found in the spice turmeric, has been used for hundreds of years in indigenous medicine. It’s very effective in alleviating migraines due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown it reduces pain sensitivity and is also an antioxidant.

“More and more studies are linking inflammation to migraines, with some research indicating that anti-inflammatory diets can help prevent them. I use curcumin to prevent migraines in my patients who are prone to getting them. Moreover, I also use turmeric/curcumin in general because of all its other medicinal benefits, including pain relief, cancer fighting properties, depression management, gut health, weight loss, etc.”

How Do You Recommend Taking Curcumin?

McCaffrey: “I prefer to use curcumin from a whole food standpoint. Studies show that if not combined with another food, such as black pepper or a carrier oil, it will not be absorbed properly and will not have the healing benefits you would expect. Just simply taking a capsule is relatively ineffective. You are better off mixing curcumin/turmeric into your food chain. You will see it used a lot in Indian and Chinese food. Use it as a spice regularly in salad dressings, soups and as a spice in general.”

What Dosage Do You Advise?

McCaffrey: “You need between 500 and 1,000 milligrams of curcumin per day, which you can get in capsule form. As I mentioned, I prefer working with the whole food, and there is about 200 milligrams of curcumin in 1 teaspoon of turmeric. I look for the cumulative effects rather than a quick fix.”

“It will alleviate the pain from an existing migraine, but taking it regularly will prevent the migraines. When a migraine occurs, blood vessels tighten and we have inflammation. The curcumin relaxes the arterial wall, increases blood flow and reduces the inflammation, thus alleviating the pain and reducing the frequency of migraines going forward when taken consistently.”

What Feedback Have You Received From Your Patients?

McCaffrey: “My clients have expressed that the frequency of their migraines has lessened by adding curcumin to their daily diet. It has also helped to alleviate the pain during a migraine. The pain has not been as intense. Since we look at treating the root cause of the migraines, the focus is always on preventing the migraines from occurring, and this is where my patients have really experienced its benefits.”


Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.

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