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8+ Teas that Help with Headache and Migraine Relief

Managing Migraine

April 16, 2024

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Photography by Martí Sans/Stocksy United

Photography by Martí Sans/Stocksy United

by Katie Mannion


Medically Reviewed by:

Katherine Marengo LDN, R.D.


by Katie Mannion


Medically Reviewed by:

Katherine Marengo LDN, R.D.


Herbal teas like lavender and peppermint may help with migraine because they can reduce pain, muscle spasms, and inflammation. Here are several options.

As someone who experiences migraine, I’m constantly on the lookout for new headache relief hacks.

While there are plenty of tried-and-true treatment methods, like over-the-counter pain relievers or prescription meds, there are also times when I’d rather not reach for a pill bottle.

Like many other migraineurs, I’m always interested in trying natural or complementary remedies that promise to reduce pain and episode frequency. Some of these trends actually do seem to work for me, whereas others just — don’t.

Either way, if it’s safe and backed by evidence, it’s worth a shot.

One popular home remedy is a warm cup of tea. According to many, drinking tea can also help provide migraine relief.

Read on to learn the science behind several types of herbal teas and how they may help with migraine.

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Herbal teas that can help with headache

Herbal teas aren’t technically tea, which comes from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Herbal teas come from herbal infusions or tisanes, which are herbs boiled or steeped in hot water.

Of course, not all herbal teas have the same benefits.

Some of the best teas for headache and migraine include:

  • peppermint
  • chamomile
  • feverfew
  • ginger
  • turmeric
  • willow bark
  • Szechuan lovage
  • lavender

1. Peppermint tea

Peppermint is known to suppress muscle spasms and reduce inflammation. The active ingredient in peppermint leaves is menthol, which may help relieve nausea, pain, and stomach upset.

A 2020 review noted that menthol could be an effective acute treatment for migraine, though more high quality research is needed to confirm this.

Although this 2019 study didn’t focus on peppermint tea, it found that peppermint oil was effective at reducing headache intensity and frequency in migraine sufferers.

The aroma of peppermint tea may have a similar effect to the cooling sensation of menthol, but more research is needed.

Another 2024 study found that peppermint showed promise in reducing headache intensity, particularly when applied to the nasal passages. However, this study didn’t look at peppermint tea.

2. Chamomile tea

Chamomile tea is another hugely popular choice for many people thanks to its calming effect. It contains a wealth of antioxidants that may help reduce stress and promote better sleep.

The results of a 2020 review of 19 studies suggest that chamomile may be a beneficial, short-term treatment for migraine, though the study authors called for the need for higher quality research.

In a 2018 study, chamomile oil was found to help with a number of migraine symptoms, including pain, nausea, and sensitivity to light.

3. Feverfew tea

Feverfew, a wildflower from the same family as chamomile, is a medicinal plant used as a natural remedy for fever, headaches, and menstrual pain. Unsurprisingly, feverfew is often touted as the top anti-migraine tea.

Indeed, some 2024 research suggests feverfew may help reduce headache and migraine pain, and 2023 research mentioned feverfew as a potential treatment for migraine.

However, other findings have been mixed.

4. Ginger tea

Walk into almost any kitchen, and you’ll likely find a jar of ground ginger. It’s one of the world’s oldest and most commonly used spices made from the flowering plant’s “root” (technically the rhizome).

Research from 2022 suggests ginger can help alleviate nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy, chemotherapy, and motion sickness. Since migraine and nausea often go hand-in-hand, it’s no surprise that ginger is a staple for many migraineurs.

According to research from 2021, ginger may help reduce migraine pain and nausea associated with an attack.

5. Turmeric tea

Turmeric is another popular kitchen staple that is thought to have strong medicinal properties.

Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which contribute to its potential as a migraine remedy.

In a 2021 double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of 44 women with migraine, a daily curcumin supplement significantly reduced migraine frequency and duration.

In a 2023 interview of multidisciplinary experts, curcumin/turmeric received the most recommendations for the treatment of general pain.

The same research review mentioned above suggests curcumin could be used as a preventive treatment for migraine.

6. Willow bark tea

Willow bark comes from several varieties of willow tree and has earned the nickname “nature’s aspirin.” That’s because it contains salicin, an active ingredient chemically similar to aspirin.

According to a 2023 study, willow bark has natural anti-inflammatory properties and is frequently used to ease joint pain, menstrual cramps, and headaches.

Inflammation plays a key role in migraine attacks, so it’s not a stretch to say willow bark might be a beneficial treatment.

It was also noted as a potential migraine treatment in the same 2023 expert interview noted above.

7. Szechuan lovage tea

In traditional Chinese medicine, Szechuan lovage root, or Ligusticum chuanxiong, is considered one of the 50 most fundamental herbs thanks to its ability to help reduce inflammation, indigestion, and pain.

Traditionally known as Chuan Xiong, it’s used in Chinese medicine to treat cardiovascular diseases and headache disorders.

In a 2018 systematic review, researchers found that Szechuan lovage was effective at reducing migraine frequency, duration, and pain.

8. Lavender tea

Lavender may be one of the most popular essential oils around.

Known for its calming properties and soothing scent, lavender oil is often used in aromatherapy to help with anxiety, depression, and sleep.

Similarly, lavender tea boasts several health benefits. In addition to improving mood and sleep, it’s said to help with digestion, menstrual cramps, and headaches.

A 2023 review strongly supports the use of lavender for several neurological condition, including migraine. It’s known to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and suppress muscle spasms.

Review authors found it reduced migraine symptoms like nausea and vomiting and reduced attack severity and frequency. However, the study examined lavender aromatherapy, not tea.

Other teas

According to anecdotal evidence, a handful of other herbal teas may provide migraine relief.

These include:

However, more research is needed.

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Other beverages to help with migraine

Aside from tea, other beverages may be beneficial for migraineurs. Dehydration is a common migraine trigger, so drinking anything hydrating may be a good way to prevent and treat attacks.

Of course, not all drinks are equally hydrating.


Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it increases urination and can lead to dehydration. However, the link between caffeine and migraine is complicated. Caffeine may help relieve migraine for some while triggering migraine for others.

“True” tea

Green tea and white tea are equally high in antioxidants and may help boost metabolism, immunity, and hydration levels. Research suggests that antioxidants can help reduce migraine frequency and severity.

Still, more research is needed to determine whether white and green tea can prevent migraine attacks.


Research from 2021 has also found magnesium to be beneficial for migraine prevention, so magnesium-rich drinks, like coconut water, almond milk, and pumpkin seed milk, are another great option.

Drinks to avoid

On the other hand, it may be best to stay away from sugar and alcohol, another diuretic.

This includes:

  • juices
  • cocktails
  • wine and beer
  • sports drinks
  • energy drinks
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The bottom line

If you’re looking for a natural way to prevent or help relieve migraine pain, curling up with a cup of hot tea just might be the answer.

Of course, tea isn’t a magical migraine fix, but some evidence suggests it’s worth a shot.

Medically reviewed on April 16, 2024

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About the author

Katie Mannion

Katie Mannion is a freelance writer based out of St. Louis, Missouri. She works as an Occupational Therapy Assistant. Through both her professional work and her writing, she’s passionate about helping people improve their health, happiness, and activities of daily living. You can follow her on Twitter.

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