Ginger and Migraines

Maghbooli et al. Comparison Between the Efficacy of Ginger and Sumatriptan in the Ablative Treatment of the Common Migraine. Phyotherapy Research: 2014
  • This is a double-blinded randomized controlled clinical trial comparing the efficacy of ginger to sumatriptan in the treatment of the common migraine without aura. 
  • 100 people who were sufferers of the common migraine were assigned to 2 groups, one blindly given ginger powder and one given sumatriptan.
  • Inclusion criteria used (International Headache Society Classification ICHD-II, Migraine, nd): (i) Confirmed diagnosis of migraine without aura by a neurologist,based on IHS criteria (ICHD-II), (ii) Aged ≥18 years, (iii) Education level high school diploma or higher, (iv) Headache frequency between 2 and 10 days/month.
  • After completion of an introductory questionnaire, one sealed box containing five capsules (sumatriptan or ginger powder) was randomly delivered to each subject. Subjects were instructed to take only one capsule upon headache onset. Each ginger capsule contained 250mg powder of ginger rhizome, while each Imegraz capsule contained 50mg of sumatriptan.
  • With each migraine subjects were required to fill out a questionnaire revealing: time of headache onset, headache severity (rated on a visual analog scale), timing of drug taking, response self-assessments following 30, 60, 90,120 min and 24 h. Subjects also included any clinical adverse drug reactions within the questionnaire
  • The study was conducted for one month after which subjects evaluated overall treatment efficacy and satisfaction
  • Mean headache severity 2 hours after drug use revealed a similar effectiveness for sumatriptan and ginger. There was a 4.7 unit reduction (on VAS) in the sumatriptan group and 4.6 reduction in ginger group.
  • 70% of sumatriptan-treated and 64% of ginger-treated patients showed favorable relief (≥90%
  • decrease in headache severity) at 2 h following drug use
  • The current study reveals that both sumatriptan and ginger powder decrease mean severity of common migraine attacks in within 2 h of use. A comparison of efficacy in headache alleviation and patients’ contentment does not show any significant difference amongst the two drugs. However, subjective side effects due to ginger powder were significantly less than sumatriptan.
  • In this study, 2 h after ginger intake, 44% of subjects became pain free with 56% reporting a headache of only mild severity. Clinical adverse reactions occurred in 4% of ginger group, and 88% of patients rated headache relief as great or excellent, and 72% preferred this drug for
  • long-term therapy.