Does drinking tea help with migraine? Herbal tea can help manage symptoms of migraine and can improve digestion, sleep, stress levels, and pain/histamine management.
How should I use tea with migraine? For maximum benefit, sip on 2-3 glasses per day. *Check with your doctor before starting a new herbal supplement/ tea.*
The Basics: Tea with Migraine
Tea has been used in ancient medicine dated back to the beginning of time! Herbal tea can help manage symptoms of migraine and can improve digestion, sleep, stress levels, and pain/histamine management. It is important to note that herbal teas can improve your overall health, but they also have the potential to interact with certain medications and conditions.
*We highly recommend checking in with your doctor before starting a new tea*
The Science: Tea and Migraine
One of the reasons why tea is so is so beneficial is due to its high concentration of antioxidants.
Antioxidants help counteract oxidation, which is a natural result of energy production in your body that can have a destructive effect on your cells. Free radicals are a byproduct of oxidation that may play a part in cancer, heart disease, stroke, and other diseases of aging.
Foods like berries, nuts, and dark chocolate are all rich in antioxidants- but tea is also packed with antioxidants!
Before we discuss tea, it is important to remember that there are technically two types of tea:
Traditional tea: True tea is made from the leaves of the plant camellia sinensis, which is the latin name for the tea plant. This includes black tea, green tea, white tea, and oolong tea
Herbal tea: Herbal teas, also called herbal infusions or tisanes, are typically caffeine free and made using spices, flowers, bark and/or leaves belonging to non-tea plants.
Let’s talk about my top 3 teas that my clients love for migraine management!
Tulsi Tea: Stress Management
Tulsi tea is one of my favorite teas for stress management. You may also see this tea referred to as Holy Basil, as it’s a part of the basil family and has a lovely bright, slightly bitter flavor to it!
Holy Basil is an adaptogenic herb which is thought to help the body adapt to biological or chemical stressors. Adaptogens are a class of herbs used to support the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis—our central stress response system.
Because of this, adaptogenic herbs like Tulsi can be helpful in supporting healthy stress levels, an important part of migraine management. This tea is also naturally caffeine-free and can be a nice one to sip while winding down for the day!
Nettle Tea: Histamine Management with Migraine
Nettle tea is rich in antioxidants and shows promise for histamine management and histamine overload.
People with histamine issues will frequently suffer from symptoms like mystery rashes/hives or frequent sinus issues. Histamine is also a potential migraine trigger, especially when it occurs in excess in the body.
In vitro studies show that nettle inhibits pro-inflammatory enzymes that act on histamine and mast cell receptors that trigger immune system responses to allergens.
This is another naturally caffeine-free tea that has a lovely grassy, earthy flavor.
Slippery Elm Tea: Gut Health with Migraine
Have you ever picked up a box of throat coat tea during cold season? If so, you have had slippery elm before!
Slippery Elm tea is made from the bark of the Slippery Elm Tree. This tea is unique because it contains mucilage, a substance that becomes a slick gel when mixed with water. This substance is rich in antioxidants and can be traced back to traditional Indigenous American medicine. Slippery Elm was and is still used to protect wounds and promote healing, and can be taken orally to relieve sore throats and stomach issues.
Because of this, I love slippery elm as a way to support good gastrointestinal health, an important part of migraine management due to that gut-brain connection! Slippery elm can take some getting used to because of its intensely sweet flavor but pairs nicely with a wedge of lemon.
Honorable Tea Mentions with Migraine:
- Ginger tea – anti-inflammatory, anti-nocioceptive (helps with pain management), anti-emetic (helps with nausea)
- Dandelion tea – liver support, good source of potassium (an important electrolyte)
I want to hear from you – do you have a tea that you swear by with migraine??? Let me know in the comments below!
Want more support managing migraine using a gentle, holistic approach? Click HERE to learn more about how I can help!
Medically Reviewed by Kelli Yates, RD, LD, CLT