I treat a lot of different kinds of chronic pain at my clinic. The patients most desperate for relief are the migraine sufferers.
If you get migraines, you know they can knock you out for days at a time.
The World Health Organization says migraines are to blame for more lost years of healthy life than multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, ovarian cancer and tuberculosis combined.1
But mainstream medicine knows very little about the cause of migraines or how to treat them. Most doctors prescribe Imitrex. That’s a drug to help relieve headaches, pain, nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound.
But Imitrex can actually cause headaches. They’re called rebound headaches.
And it has other terrible side effects like slurred speech… diarrhea… hallucinations… twitching muscles… vision changes…
And over-the-counter remedies are no better. Aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen can make the pain worse. They can cause an “analgesic rebound effect.” This means your headache can come back when you stop taking them.
And we’re learning more every day about just how dangerous these drugs really are…
In fact, a study published earlier this month in the journal BMJ found that your risk of having a heart attack increased as much as 50% after taking ibuprofen…
Regardless of dose or length of time you take it…
Sometimes, nutrient deficiencies — like a magnesium deficiency — can be behind migraines. But for some patients, making sure they get enough of the right nutrients isn’t enough to stop the pain. Still, that doesn’t mean I resort to Big Pharma’s meds…
Instead, I help them prevent and relieve migraine pain naturally with a powerful remedy I discovered on a trip to Africa.
Herbalists there introduced me to a wild African plant. Its official name is Griffonia simplicifolia. But they called this little climbing shrub “kajya.”
Kajya helps relieve migraines by boosting your body’s supply of serotonin. Mainstream doctors know this ““happy hormone” can help raise mood and lift depression. But most don’t understand the link between serotonin and migraines.
Research shows that when your serotonin goes down, it can trigger a migraine. Low serotonin can also increase how much pain you feel when you have a migraine.2
But if you raise your serotonin level, your migraine pain is decreased. And it can also cut down the number of migraines you suffer each month as well as the severity of your pain.
That’s where kajya comes in…
The seeds of this little shrub are the most powerful producers of 5-hydroxytryptophan or 5-HTP. This amino acid converts to serotonin in your brain. And kajya is one of the world’s only natural sources of 5-HTP.
5-HTP can reduce how often you get migraines by increasing your serotonin levels. It can also reduce the severity of your headaches. And it boosts your endorphins that block pain signals.
In one study, doctors gave 124 migraine sufferers either 5-HTP or the migraine drug methysergide. They found that 5-HTP worked about as well as the drug but with many fewer side effects. They suggested that 5-HTP could be the treatment of choice for preventing migraines.3
I’ve had great success treating my patients with 5-HTP. I usually start them on a 20 mcg dose. Then they gradually increase the dose to between 50 and 100 mcg, depending on how they’re feeling.
But taking 5-HTP isn’t the only way to increase your serotonin levels and relieve migraines.
Here are a few other things you can do:
1. Exert yourself. Exercise gets your heart pumping and increases circulation to your brain. It’s proven to not only boost serotonin, but endorphins, too. You’ll get the best results with a workout like my PACE program. One of the great things about PACE is that it works for people of all fitness levels. And all it takes is 12 minutes a day.
2. Increase your vitamin D. Research shows that vitamin D3 can boost serotonin by anywhere from double to 30 times.4 The three easiest ways to get enough D3 are:
- Spend 10 to 15 minutes every day outside in the midday sun with lots of skin exposed.
- Eat foods rich in D3 like wild salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna.
- Take a supplement of vitamin D3. I suggest taking 2,000 to 8000 IUs every morning.
3. Get a massage. Massage increases serotonin and dopamine — another one of your body’s feel-good chemicals. It also decreases the stress hormone cortisol. I believe so strongly in the healing power of massage that I offer it as one of the wellness treatments here at the Sears Institute for Anti-Aging Medicine.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Todd J. Schwedt, MD, MSCI; Robert E. Shapiro, MD, PhD. “Funding of Research on Headache Disorders by the National Institutes of Health.” Headache 2009 doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2008.01323.
2. Aggarwal M, Puri V, Puri S. “Serotonin and CGRP in Migraine.” Annals of Neurosciences. 2012;19(2):88-94.
3. Titus F, Dávalos A, Alom J, Codina A. ““5-Hydroxytryptophan versus Methysergide in the Prophylaxis of Migraine.” Eur Neurol 1986;25:327-329.
4. P. Patrick, B. N. Ames. ““Vitamin D hormone regulates serotonin synthesis. Part 1: relevance for autism.” The FASEB Journal, 2014; DOI: 10.1096/fj.13-246546.