How to Treat Migraines with an Herbal Tincture

KJ Barber
By KJ Barber October 19, 2018 06:57

How to Treat Migraines with an Herbal Tincture

For those who suffer from migraines, it’s often difficult to make others understand that it’s far more than just a headache. I’ve had both, and the treatments are unfortunately not the same.

A migraine isn’t touched by simple over-the-counter aspirin or pain reliever, and it isn’t always relieved by a prescribed medication either. Some people are looking for a different approach, such as a herbal remedy.

The reasons vary, from wanting to go all natural to the preppers that want to have something on hand right when the first sign of a migraine appears. Regardless of your reason, the following information is a great alternative solution for an ancient problem.

Let’s take a look at an easy and effective tincture for migraines, as well as other ailments that will be discussed later in the article.

What Is a Tincture?

A tincture is a herbal remedy made by soaking selected herbs in alcohol, which often takes weeks before it can be used. The alcohol is an excellent solvent for the herbs, because it is safe to digest and works much better than other options to extract the true benefits from the herbs.

When the herbs have soaked for a few weeks, the mixture is then strained to remove the herbs or plants that were soaking, leaving the concentrated liquid to use as a remedy.

Some tinctures utilize multiple herbs, while others might use just one. You can either use fresh herbs right out of the garden or dried herbs. For this article, I used dried herbs because I made this in early fall in a northern and cooler region. Fresh herbs weren’t readily available at the time. If you prefer fresh and you also live in a cooler climate, you can grow your own herbs or wait until spring to make the tincture.

Herbs Used

This migraine tincture only calls for two herbs, so it’s a very easy one to make. But, first, what about these herbs makes them unique to this type of tincture?

Lemon Balm

Not only does it have an amazingly fresh aroma to it but lemon balm is an herb that is easy to grow and that has incredible healing traits, not just for migraines. If you are considering growing some healing herbs for yourself, make sure to add lemon balm to the list.

Lemon balm has been linked to treating the nervous system as well as having the ability to do the following:

  • Protect and heal skin and wounds
  • Relieve irritability in children
  • Diminish symptoms and outbreaks of cold sores
  • Calm symptoms of the common cold
  • Reduce anxiety and insomnia and help depression

And of course, it’s been helpful in reducing the severity and longevity of migraines.

Related: Homemade Hot Pepper Cream for Arthritis & Joint Pain


Just like lemon balm, feverfew also is a great choice in helping to combat headaches stemming from all sorts of ailments as well as severe migraines. And just like lemon balm, it’s easy to grow in a home garden.

An Easy Recipe for a Migraine Tincture

How to Treat Migraines with Herbal Tincture

Even though it will take weeks before it’s ready to use, this tincture for migraines is very easy to make, as well as easy to use. First, let’s take a look at the supplies you will need:

  • A solvent, such as 100 proof alcohol (I used 100 proof vodka)
  • 2 parts lemon balm
  • 1 part feverfew
  • Mason jar

Note: If using dried herbs, you will need about half the amount as freshly chopped herbs.How to Treat Migraines with Herbal TinctureIf using fresh herbs, make sure to chop them finely, then follow these simple directions:

#1. Measure out the herbs (two parts to one part) so you have enough to fill the Mason jar and can leave two inches of space at the top.

#2. Add the herbs to the Mason jar. (If using dried herbs, you can make a paper funnel to prevent spilling.)

How to Treat Migraines with Herbal Tincture#3. Pour the vodka over the herbs until the jar is nearly full, but leave enough space that you can shake the mixture. Place the lid on the jar then shake the mixture until it is well mixed.

#4. Set the jar in a sunny spot, such as a window sill, where it can steep for two to six weeks.

#5. Shake the jar daily.How to Treat Migraines with Herbal Tincture#6. After it has steeped, strain the mixture with cheesecloth or paper towel, keeping the liquid and discarding the herbs.

The photo from the right is the finished product, after steeping for two weeks. I did not place it in a dark bottle or place for the sole purpose of the photo, so you can see the color of the finished tincture.How to Treat Migraines with Herbal TinctureYou can compost the discarded herbs or toss them out. Store the tincture in dark-colored bottles, or in a cool and dark place. The shelf life for this particular tincture is up to five years.

Recommended Dosage for Adults

When you feel the onset of a migraine coming on, start by taking up to a half teaspoon of the lemon balm tincture. Repeat this dosage every 30 to 60 minutes until you feel that all of your symptoms are gone.

Due to the use of alcohol, please seek the advice of your child’s physician before administering the tincture to a minor child.

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KJ Barber
By KJ Barber October 19, 2018 06:57
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  1. Dupin October 19, 16:20

    I am a little confused on this. You appear to be using dried herbs (lemon balm and feverfew leaves are green), and you say to use half the amount that you’d use from fresh herbs, but you filled the mason jar most of the way to the top. Is your recipe for fresh herbs or dried herbs? If dried (as shown), how do you get enough fresh herbs into the mason jar? Thanks!

    Reply to this comment
    • Cindy October 20, 01:57

      You should only fill jar halfway if using dried herbs…they will plump up and you need to be sure and have enough alcohol left to cover the top of the herbs after they swell up.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Cj October 19, 17:05

    I want to try this but don’t want the alcohol. Is there another medium that can be used instead?

    Reply to this comment
  3. Carol October 19, 17:38

    We don’t have alcoholic beverages in the home. Is there an alternative

    Reply to this comment
  4. DMC October 19, 19:47

    I, too, would like to know the answer to the above comments.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Lizzy October 19, 23:45

    Glycerin can be used instead of alcohol. It’s great for Non- Alcohol homes & Children’s Tincture.

    Reply to this comment
  6. PecanJoe October 19, 23:50

    There are several methods to extract the active ingredients in a herb, herbalists over a great deal of time have determined the best method depending on the herb and its use. You’ll have to consult some of the plentiful websites and books on the subject for specific preparations, but very effective extracts can be made using cold or warm oil infusion (olive oil is most often used), or by cold soaking herbs in water, and of course by boiling herbs to make tea. The important thing to remember is that almost all herbs are many times more effective if the active ingredients are extracted in one of these age old ways.
    As a long time sufferer of frequent migraine (and one who does not let it run his life) I have to add that good old Excedrin Migraine is still the most effective migraine treatment there is, giving good relief to 50% of us.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Rydaartist October 20, 06:41

    I have been studying and using herbs for close to 50 years. This is MEDIENCE! Make no mistake. Therefore I recommend that you run this by your Doctor.

    2nd if you plant Feverfew in your garden be aware you will lose your bees. At least that is what happened to me. Had to hand pollinate my garden that summer, even after pulling the plant out.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Rydaartist October 20, 06:49

    Sorry hit the “Done” Key by dog nose. Remember Poppies make Heron, St. John’s Wort in a much lower dosage of Prozac (Depression), which has a wonderful side effect of possible Sucide, Willow Bark is Aspirin.

    Reply to this comment
    • Eowyn October 20, 15:28

      Yes, poppies are used to make heroin. But, straight across comparing St. John’s Wort to Prozac and Willow Bark to aspirin is unfair. Prozac and aspirin are tweaked and adulterated forms of just an “active” ingredient, while the herbs contain a wide variety on components which act together and ameliorate those wicked side effects.

      Reply to this comment
      • Rydaartist October 20, 16:35

        What I was saying is that people have an idea that “natural” is safe, period. Using herbs has benefits and Dangers. Most people do not care to look at this side of herbs. Medicinal Herbs should be explored, referenced, cross referenced and possibly used only with the aid of a Medical Professional. What alamed me was the people going “oh Wow! I want to use this.” With no understanding of what they are looking at. I will add another herb. Borage can be used as a culinary herb and for Bronchitis. It can also cause liver damage. Please don’t read into me too deeply.

        Reply to this comment
        • JustanRN August 23, 04:25

          I just wanted to add a note that medical professionals are not taught holistic medicine AT ALL. Therefore they will not be useful in guiding or assisting what is and is not effective in herbal medicine. I’m an RN and have heard so many doctors go on and on about how “ineffective” herbs are. When asked they admit to not have any knowledge on herbs aside from the ones pharmaceuticals are derived from. Seek assistance from a trainer herbalist or do research. Most herbs have very few side effects. Two known deaths attributed to herb in 2017 vs over 2000 deaths a week related to pharmaceuticals.

          Reply to this comment
  9. Jo May 3, 18:14

    Would it be possible to just make a tea out of both to cure migraines?
    I don’t have migraines anymore but a friend of mine her husband does.

    Reply to this comment
  10. KJ October 19, 17:28

    Could you use essential oils or must it be fresh or dried herbs?

    Reply to this comment
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