Can Curcumin Stop Migraines?

It’s estimated that around 10 percent of the world’s population suffers from migraines. While there are many potential causes of migraines, including food choices, medications, and anxiety or depression, there are few effective choices for treatment or prevention.

Fortunately, research shows that curcumin, a primary compound from turmeric (Curcuma longa) may provide an answer.

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study, women suffering from migraine received either 500 mg of curcumin twice daily or a placebo for eight weeks. Researchers examined serum inflammatory markers commonly associated with the condition, along with symptom reports, including headache severity, duration, and frequency.

By the end of the study period, serum levels of inflammatory markers, peptides, and headache severity and duration were reduced in those taking the botanical supplement, an outcome that researchers attributed to the herb’s anti-inflammatory actions. While relief was noticed by study participants about two hours following curcumin supplementation, the study authors mention that taking curcumin preventively may also reduce symptoms, frequency, and the overall conditions that can lead to migraines.

Because curcumin is a fat-soluble compound and can be difficult for the body to absorb, the researchers in this study advised patients to take the supplement with meals. However, for a more consistent level of curcumin, taking a supplemental form that is combined with turmeric essential oil for enhanced bioavailability can increase absorption by 700 percent compared to plain standardized extracts.



Rezaie S, Askari G, Khorvash F, Tarrahi MJ, Amani R. Effects of Curcumin Supplementation on Clinical Features and Inflammation, in Migraine Patients: A Double-Blind Controlled, Placebo Randomized Clinical Trial. Int J Prev Med. 2021 Dec 1;12:161. doi: 10.4103/ijpvm.IJPVM_405_20. PMID: 35070194; PMCID: PMC8724631.

Background: Migraine is a prevalent health condition associated with significant pain and disability. Neurogenic inflammation has a key role in migraine pathophysiology. Curcumin is a well-known herb compound with anti-inflammatory function. This study was aimed to evaluate the effects of curcumin supplementation on clinical features, as well as on serum levels of calcitonine gene-related peptide (CGRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6).

Methods: This randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial was carried out on 44 women with migraine, receiving either 500 mg curcumin twice a day or placebo supplements for 8 weeks. Serum CGRP and IL-6 concentration, and clinical symptoms including headache severity, duration and frequency were measured at the baseline and end of study.

Results: After 8-week intervention, compared with placebo, curcumin supplementation led to significand reduction in CGRP (P < 0.001), IL-6 (P = 0.041), severity (P = 0.001), and duration of headache (P = 0.007). Headache frequency showed marginal improvement in curcumin group, compared to controls (P = 0.052). Within-analysis indicated significant decrease in CGRP and severity (P < 0.001), frequency (P = 0.014) and duration (P = 0.003) and no significant decrease in IL-6 (P = 0.454), compared to baseline in curcumin group. There were no significant changes in body mass index (BMI), weight, percent body fat (PBF), and percent body muscle (PBM) between the two groups.

Conclusions: Curcumin supplementation improved the pro-inflammatory markers and clinical features of migraine headaches and that could be contributed to could be to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Here is a link to the complete article: Effects of Curcumin Supplementation on Clinical Features and Inflammation, in Migraine Patients: A Double-Blind Controlled, Placebo Randomized Clinical Trial