Migraine sufferers treated with a homeopathic preparation of ginger and the herb feverfew may find some pain relief, according to a preliminary study. Feverfew, which is derived from a flowering plant, has long been thought to be a remedy for headaches. It might offer an alternative to standard migraine medications, which are costly, have side effects and don’t always work, according the new report. About 12 percent of Americans get migraines, and the problem has been estimated to cost the U.S. some $20 billion annually in lost productivity and medical care.
In the new study, researchers funded by PuraMed Bioscience, which makes the feverfew/ginger treatment, randomly assigned patients to take a preparation containing miniscule amounts of the two plants or a dummy treatment. The patients were asked to treat themselves — by putting a little sachet with the preparations under their tongue — as soon as they recognized the signs of an approaching migraine. Forty five people took the homeopathic treatment and 15 took the placebo. About a third of those who took feverfew and ginger were pain-free after two hours, compared to only half as many in the placebo group.