Blog: MigraDefense Headache Medication – Product Review

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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 headache pain and frequency for some. MigraDefense (by KAL) combines these five items into 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 plus other elements. The serving size is 2 tablets. It is best if they are not taken at the same time. The container 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 as most headache medication is one or the other, immediate relief or prevention. Aspirin, B.C. Powder, Goodies or almost any of the other over-the-counter headache medications lay very little (if any) claim that their products can be used for prevention. Immatrex, along with other prescription medications may claim they do, but from my experience, many of them lead to terrible rebound headaches and do a poor job at treating the causes of headaches. Whereas most of the herbal, nutritional or homeopathic medications tend to work toward the long term benefit of frequency reduction and have limited effect on the immediate pain.

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

Magnesium (as Magnesium Oxide): 200 mg (50 %), Guarana (Paulinia Cupana) (seed): 200 mg (per cent daily value not established (N.E.)), Feverfew: 350 mg (N.E.), Butterbur: 100 mg (N.E.), White Willow (Bark): 100 mg (N.E.), Griffonia: 50 mg (N.E.), ActiSorb Base (BioPerine [Black Pepper Extract], Ginger Root Extract, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Turmeric root Extract and Cayanne Extract):  10 mg, (N.E.), Total Carbohydrate: 1 g (Magnesium There have been studies showing a relationship between magnesium and headaches. A. Trauninger showed magnesium deficiencies to be common in those who suffer from migraines (Oral Magnesium Load Test in Patients with Migraine, Headache, 2002, 114-119). A. Bianchi found sufficient (but not conclusive) evidence of magnesium’s ability to help treat migraines (Vitamin Horm, 2004, p. 297-312).

Feverfew, Butterbur Feverfew is mainly used for the treatment and prevention of frequent and serious migraine headaches. From a “well-designed clinical trial, 170 German patients took a placebo pill or an extract of feverfew for 16 weeks. Those taking feverfew had significantly fewer migraines (Natural Heath, 2007-03-01).” Butterbur is very popular in Europe as 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. Extracting salicin from herbs was considered to be expensive and time-consuming, so a synthetic salicylic acid version 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 that it was harder on the stomach. At therapeutic doses, people using the synthetic salicylic acid developed stomach ulcers and bleeding.

The German company Bayer eventually created a synthetic, less harsh derivative of salicylic acid, called acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), and mass-produced it under the name aspirin. Despite this, aspirin is still known for irritating the stomach lining. People take white willow bark instead of aspirin because it does not appear to be as irritating to the stomach lining. It may be because the salicin found naturally in white willow bark is only converted to the acid 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 that are found in the bark but not the drug. Animal research at Cairo University compared a willow bark extract to ASA and found that a willow bark extract was as effective as aspirin in reducing inflammation, even though the salicin content was lower than an equivalent dose of ASA.

Griffonia Griffonia seeds are used as a herbal supplement for their 5-Hydroxytryptophan content. 5-Hydroxytryptophan also known as 5-HTP is an important building block for the human body to form serotonin. Serotonin plays an important role in the body esspecially as a neurotransmitter to transport signals between neurons in the nervous system. Griffonia seed have also demonstrated an ability to relieve both the frequency and severity of attacks of migraines in many clinical trials. The 5-HTP content was found to be as effective in treatment and prevention of migraines as beta-blockers or methysergide.

The ingredients present in MigraDefense all have strong records in fighting headaches. If you suffer from frequent headaches, rebound headaches, chronic migraines or occasional migraines MigraDefense looks like a supplement that is very well worth a try.

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