Nutraceuticals in migraine

Handb Clin Neurol. 2024:199:125-144. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-823357-3.00001-X.


Nutraceuticals represent substances derived from food or plants that provide medical or health benefits, and are increasingly sought by patients as a means of treating migraine in a natural, effective, and safe manner as conventional therapies often fail, are expensive, and laden with side effects. This chapter reviews various nutraceutical therapies for migraine including phytomedicines (plant-based therapies), diets for migraine management and vitamin, mineral, and supplement-based treatments for migraine with respect to preclinical and clinical evidence. Reviewed herein are a multitude of nutraceutical options for the treatment of migraine including vitamins (e.g., riboflavin), antioxidants, and plants/phytomedicines: feverfew, butterbur, cannabis, St. John's Wort, Rosa x damascena, and Gingko biloba. Dietary interventions for migraine include low lipid, vegan, ketogenic, and DASH (dietary approaches to stop hypertension). Supplements such as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) as well as l-carnitine, pre/probiotics, and melatonin are also discussed. Migraine patients and their caregivers have an armamentarium of nutraceutical options to treat headache. While some therapies such as vitamins harbor stronger evidence with more rigorous studies, patients may also choose dietary therapies that may offer more systemic health benefits while also improving migraine. As cannabis legalization spreads worldwide, care providers must be aware of the limited evidence in migraine. Future studies may explore traditional ancient medicines for migraine at basic science and clinical level, while currently adopted and new nutraceutical treatments may benefit from partnership with industry to engage in larger trials in humans.

Keywords: Antioxidant; Cannabis; Diet; Headache; Herb; Migraine; Mineral; Nutraceutical; Phytomedicine; Supplement; Treatment; Vitamin.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cannabis*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Headache
  • Humans
  • Migraine Disorders* / drug therapy
  • Vitamins / therapeutic use


  • Vitamins