Five of the most effective natural remedies for headaches are magnesium, buttebur, feverfew, griffonia, and white willow bark. All five of these natural products have been shown to reduce headaches and the frequency of some. MigraDefense (from KAL) combines these five elements in one easy-to-swallow pill. In my article today, I will provide a product review of the nutritional supplement called MigraDefense.

MigraDefense combines magnesium, butterbur, feverfew, griffonia, white willow bark, and other elements. The serving size is 2 tablets. It is better if they are not taken at the same time. The packaging also says that you can take up to 4 tablets as needed. Realizing that some of the ingredients are used as a preventative, this tends to indicate that MigraDefense can also be used for immediate relief.

This is interesting since most headache medications are one or the other, immediate relief or prevention. Aspirin, BC powder, candy, or just about any of the other over-the-counter headache medications make very little (if any) claims that their products can be used for prevention. Immatrex, along with other prescription drugs, you can say yes, but in my experience, many of them lead to terrible rebound headaches and do a poor job of treating the causes of headaches. Whereas most herbal, nutritional, or homeopathic medications tend to work towards the long-term benefit of frequency reduction and have a limited effect on immediate pain.

The ingredients in MigraDefense (followed by the amount per serving and% Daily Value) are as follows:

Magnesium (as Magnesium Oxide): 200mg (50%), Guarana (Paulinia Cupana) (Seed): 200mg (Percent Daily Value Not Established (NE)), Feverfew: 350mg (NE), Butterbur: 100mg (NE), White Willow (bark): 100 mg (NE), Griffonia: 50 mg (NE), ActiSorb Base (BioPerine [Black Pepper Extract], Ginger Root Extract, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Turmeric Root Extract and Cayenne Extract): 10 mg, (NE), Total Carbohydrate: 1 g (Magnesium Studies have been conducted showing a relationship between magnesium and headaches. A. Trauninger showed magnesium deficiencies to be common in those suffering from migraines (Oral Magnesium Load Test in Migraine Patients, Headache, 2002, 114-119). A. Bianchi found sufficient evidence (but not conclusive) of magnesium’s ability to help treat migraines (Vitamin Horm, 2004, pp. 297-312).

Feverfew, butterbur Feverfew is used primarily for the treatment and prevention of frequent and severe migraines. From a “well-designed clinical trial, 170 German patients took a placebo pill or feverfew extract for 16 weeks. Those taking feverfew had significantly fewer migraines (Natural Heath, 2007-03-01).” Butterbur is very popular in Europe as a way to minimize neurological discomfort.

White willow In 1829, scientists in Europe identified what was believed to be the active ingredient in white willow bark, a compound called salicin. The extraction of salicin from herbs was considered expensive and time consuming, so a synthetic version of salicylic acid was developed in Germany in 1852 and quickly became the treatment of choice (salicin is converted in the body to salicylic acid ). The problem was, it was harder on the stomach. In therapeutic doses, people using synthetic salicylic acid developed stomach ulcers and bleeding.

The German company Bayer eventually created a less aggressive, synthetic derivative of salicylic acid, called acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), and mass produced it under the name aspirin. Despite this, aspirin is still known to irritate the stomach lining. People take white willow bark instead of aspirin because it doesn’t seem to be as irritating to the stomach lining. It may be because the salicin naturally found in white willow bark only converts to the acidic form after it is absorbed by the stomach.

Researchers have also suggested that white willow bark is more effective than aspirin because of other active compounds found in the bark but not in the drug. Animal research at Cairo University compared a willow bark extract with ASA and found that a willow bark extract was as effective as aspirin in reducing inflammation, although the salicin content was less than an equivalent dose by AAS.

Griffonia Griffonia seeds are used as a herbal supplement for its 5-hydroxytryptophan content. 5-Hydroxytryptophan, also known as 5-HTP, is an important component for the human body to produce serotonin. Serotonin plays an important role in the body, especially as a neurotransmitter to carry signals between neurons in the nervous system. Griffonia seeds have also shown an ability to alleviate both the frequency and severity of attacks from migraines in many clinical trials. The 5-HTP content was found to be as effective in treating and preventing migraines as beta-blockers or methysergide.

All of the ingredients in MigraDefense have a strong track record in fighting headaches. If you suffer from frequent headaches, rebound headaches, chronic migraines, or occasional migraines, MigraDefense seems like a supplement well worth trying.

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