Turmeric Curcumin For Migraines and Headaches

Turmeric has studies showing its effectiveness for:
– Ulcerative colitis(1)
– Skin health(2)
– Lupus(3)
– Alzheimer’s(4)
– Metabolic syndrome(5)
– Liver toxicity(6)
– Depression(7)
– Cardiovascular disease(8)
– Low serotonin(9)
– Chronic fatigue syndrome(10)
– Post surgery healing(11)
Turmeric is a super star in the natural health world and for good reason.
It’s shown to be an even stronger anti-inflammatory than aspirin and ibuprofen.(12)

But what can it do for migraines?

In this article I’m going to talk about turmeric curcumin for migraines and how you can use it in your own health program.
Migraines can be incredibly tricky because they can be caused and triggered from so many different areas.
From hormones going out of whack,
To tension in our musculature,
To missing sleep and meals,
Migraines have one of the broadest ranges of triggers and causes of all diseases.
But luckily for us, they have one common connection behind them all…
Oxidative stress.
This prospective study found that nearly all migraine triggers are associated with oxidative stress. (13)
Lucky for us, Dr. Borkum explains that, “it seems likely that migraine attacks are not simply triggered by oxidative stress, they actively protect and repair the brain from it.”(14)
So we want to support this process.
Lower oxidative stress so that it doesn’t trigger a migraine and help protect and repair the brain from it.
Turmeric is amazing for oxidative stress. (15, 16, 17)
What makes the body create oxidative stress?
There are 3 areas we need to look at:
– Mitochondrial dysfunction(18)
– Excitotoxicity(19)
– Inflammation(20)
These all play key roles and turmeric curcumin is an all star for each of them.

Mitochondrial dysfunction

Every single one of our brain cells has mitochondria which we use to take the building blocks from our food and create energy.
If we aren’t receiving enough nutrients or our mitochondria are becoming dysfunctional from things like:
– Poor circadian rhythms
– Antibiotics
– Chemical toxicity
Then the chain of conversions our mitochondria has to go through to create energy gets cut off.
If the chain is going:
And it runs out of the necessary nutrients to go from C=>D then it will start to create byproducts which can create oxidative stress and start to damage the cell and the brain around it.
This means we want to keep nutrients flowing and dysfunction down.
And guess what?
Turmeric is there for us in the study titled, “Curcumin alleviates oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in astrocytes.”(21)


Regularly, our brain cells go through periods of being excited and periods of being at baseline.
This is needed for them to properly conduct messages, repair and clean out any waste build up.
But when a brain cell gets a signal from something like glutamate that causes it to excite, if the glutamate doesn’t eventually leave or if too much shows up at once, this excitement can lead to excitotoxicity.
We want to avoid this because excitotoxicity can end in brain cell death and the creation of migraines.(22)
This little spice that’s used so liberally in eastern cultures is actually protective for our brain cells against excitotoxicity.(23)


Inflammation is a big buzzword and one of the most well-known benefits of turmeric curcumin.
It’s a natural reaction created by our body to prevent infection, heal and repair.
Small acute amounts of inflammation are absolutely necessary.
But long-term exposure to inflammation on a chronic scale can become very detrimental to our brains and tissues.
Even the next generation migraine drugs that target CGRP are doing their part to reduce the inflammation caused by CGRP.(24)
It’s a no brainer when you suspect oxidative stress, inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction or excitotoxicity…
Turmeric is one of your best tools.
Cognitune covers 10 of the largest benefits from turmeric curcumin in their article 10 health benefits and uses for turmeric curcumin supplements here.

So how do we use turmeric curcumin for migraines? + recipe

The indian culture has used turmeric for over 4000 years in every dish imaginable.
But there are a few rules to get a strong therapeutic effect:
– Combine it with a healthy fat
Having a good fat source with turmeric helps the body absorb some of its nutrients as they are mostly fat soluble.
– Make sure to add some fresh cracked black pepper
One of the active ingredients in black pepper called piperene has been shown to increase the bioavailability of turmeric by 2000%.(25)
– Heat it for a short period on low
Heat has the amazing ability to release nutrients from hard bonds that make them less absorbable by the body. Using a low temperature for a short period gives it a good boost without destroying the beneficial nutrients.
– Use the whole turmeric root when possible
There are many beneficial nutrients that all work synergistically to create the effects of turmeric apart from just curcumin so whenever you can, use the entire root as opposed to an extract.
The best way to get turmeric’s benefits:
This recipe is from the turmeric user group and has been tested by thousands of people.

It’s really simple.
Take the turmeric and water, bring it to a simmer and simmer it down until it gets thick.
When it’s no longer very hot but still warm, add in the oil and fresh cracked black pepper.
Keep in the fridge and start with a quarter teaspoon twice a day.
If needed you may work your way up to 3/4-1 teaspoon 3 times a day.
Always check with your doctor before making any lifestyle changes and see Webmd for interactions.
The benefits of turmeric are high and its safety profile is great making it a strong addition to any brain health protocol not just migraines.
For more awesome information about migraines or headaches join the Migraine Professional Community here.
To understand how food can affect both migraines and headaches read our post on the migraineur food pyramid here.
Let me know below if you’ve ever tried turmeric and your experience with it. Share with someone else going through migraines or headaches with the links below.

Sharing is caring!

Mark Canadic

Mark Canadic

Holistic Health Practitioner

Mark Canadic is a writer, speaker, holistic health practitioner and migraine community leader. Read Mark’s inspiring comeback story, “My Burnout and Brain Fires that Lead me to the Root.” Feel free to send Mark a message here.

Comments are closed.

The FREE 5 Most Common Mistakes Of Hormonal Migraines E-Guide teaches you:

– Why hormones are the most important focus around why your migraines and headaches keep triggering

– How PMS is common but NOT normal and why it needs to be addressed to be pain free in the long term

– The 5 most common mistakes why hormones stay broken, why so many women become migraine free with pregnancy and why birth control is not a solution