Alternative medicine

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Because cluster headaches can be so painful, you may be tempted to try alternative or complementary therapies to relieve your pain.

A survey of people with cluster headache who tried a number of alternative therapies — including acupuncture, acupressure, therapeutic touch, chiropractic and homeopathy — found that fewer than 10 percent thought these therapies effective.

Some natural medicines may be worth a try, however. In one study, extract from kudzu, a vine species originally found in Asian countries, was shown to alleviate the intensity, frequency and duration of cluster headache attacks. However, kudzu extract didn't decrease the length of the cluster cycle.

Melatonin also has shown modest effectiveness in treating nighttime attacks.

Jun. 04, 2013