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Ask the Herbalist--Migraines

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My best friend suffers from horrible migraines. He has gone through the smattering of medical exams to ensure that his headaches are not caused by anything life-threatening. Do you have any suggestions for the prevention or treatment of migraines?

ANSWER:  There are two herbs which have been used for migraines, Feverfew and Ginkgo.  To tell which is best for your friend, Ginkgo is used when the pain feels like it is pressure going into the head, or a vise on the head, can be relieved with warm compresses.   Feverfew is used when the person says their head is going to blow off, there is pain coming out their eyes, or out the top of their head and cold compresses works to relieve it.  If they cannot describe it in these ways, and they try one of the two herbs and the symptoms get worse the other is indicated.  Ginkgo is a vessel dilator while Feverfew does the opposite.