This article is written in partnership with Root Logic. They make USA-grown and-manufactured supplements formulated based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and we’re honored to work with them. ~ Marisa, ed.
“Okay, let’s not do that again,” the doc said with an entertained but also concerned grin on her face.
I’d come in complaining of a ringing ear that had been stubbornly sticking around a week after I’d taken—within six hours—four aspirin, four ibuprofen, then a couple different sinus pills; you name it, if It had a pain reliever in it, I took it. All to get rid of a migraine that didn’t go away that night.
That ringing ear? Minor, likely reparable nerve damage—as long as I didn’t continue to pump myself up with random meds.
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But if you’re anything like me and the 47 million mostly female American migraine sufferers (1), you know that you’ll do just about anything to escape the debilitating pain of a migraine:
You’ll sit or lay completely still in a dark room for hours when you won’t even attempt the torture of 15 minutes of meditation in the mornings. You’ll even put your phone away and on silent, which—let’s face it—seems impossible to do on any normal day.
The doc “prescribed” me a pretty simple OTC concoction, and it’s pretty much always “worked,” but, honestly? I hate meds, and only take them when I’m downright miserable—which, unfortunately, when it comes to migraines, has sometimes meant daily for a couple weeks straight. I don’t like doin’ it, but I have to. Or, do I?
Traditional Chinese (inspired) Migraine relief.
I’ve always taken treatments as a response to migraines, and clearly, that hasn’t been doing much for my occasional (at least once a year) long, drawn-out stretches of almost-constant migraines.
So, when I heard of Root Logic Migraine Defense, a natural supplement formulation based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) intended to assist in the reduction of tension headache and migraine occurrence, I was curious, albeit a bit skeptical.
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I mean, this approach is quite different from my “drug” category painkillers that target pain only after its onset. Root Logic’s Migraine Defense aims to treat our imbalances before our tension headaches and migraines can even happen. Here’s how:
According to TCM, stagnation of Qi (energy) and Blood are commonly present with migraines, so the goal of the Migraine Defense formulation is to get those forces moving within the body.
Migraine Defense works to restore the body’s natural rhythm so that our Yin and Yang energies are balanced, thus reducing the frequency and intensity of our migraines through organic, US-grown ingredients (2) like magnesium, angelica root, reishi mushroom, and red mulberry. Here’s what they do:
Magnesium is used in more than 300 biochemical reactions, so you can imagine that if you’re short on it, you might end up on the struggle bus in one or more of those 300 ways.
In TCM, magnesium is used to treat a variety of conditions including tense muscles and blood stasis, or blood not flowing as well as it could be, which can cause (you guessed it!) migraines and tension headaches. Magnesium has been scientifically found to serve as an acute treatment of both (3).
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Angelica Root (Dong Quay)
In TCM, Angelica root helps dissipate cold and enhance the meridian flow of the head, which both relieves headaches that are already present and prevents migraines from occurring (4).
Organic Reishi Mushroom
Reishi is classified as a tonic herb in TCM and is used to treat headaches as well as inflammation and stress, which can cause headaches (5).
Morus Rubra (Red Mulberry)
Mulberry is classified as a blood tonic in TCM. Blood stasis and deficiency can cause headaches, so tonifying the blood is a key way to prevent them. Studies support that mulberry is a powerful antioxidant, and antioxidants in general help to prevent migraines (6).
PS: all of the above ingredients are grown in the US on primarily family-owned farms. They’re then tested in a 3rd party American lab, and manufactured in an American GMP-certified facility, making it a truly Made-in-the-USA product. That’s just a different dose of “feel-good.”
Down the Hatch!
Although Root Logic can start to work its magic in as little as a week or two, it usually takes about three months of consistent use to see its full effects. Seeing as my migraines are pretty consistent and predictable (my triggers are changing weather/seasons, hormonal fluctuations, and stress), I started on a 3-month dose that I’m still working my way through.
Now, it just so happened that I was under a lot of stress when I got my supply of Root Logic, so I was getting daily tension headaches. Perfect…in a way.
I swapped Root Logic for my usual acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and coffee shot OTC concoction, put my hands together, and prayed.
Within a week, we were entering PMS territory, which is usually when my migraines move on into my brain to start the torture party that comes complete with flashing neon Vegas lights in my visual periphery, a tingling or numb hand and forearm, the inability to find words like “spatula” in my vocabulary, and always, always a good day or two mental hangover.
This time? Not a metaphorical peep from my premenstrual party poopers. The tension headaches were gone, too. That menstrual part is probably due to Root Logic’s inclusion of magnesium in Migraine Defense, which has even been proven in Western medicine to support women’s health.
I received the stuff mid-April, and until mid-May (during a week-long lapse of taking Root Logic) I got my first tension headache (hello random May Colorado snowstorm) and you know what happened when I did? I reached for Root Logic, took that instead of my standard drugs, et voila! It did the trick.
But there are others that have it far worse when it comes to the migraine monsters.
Does it work for them?
My coworker Molly just might be a great (or horrible, depending on how you look at it) example.
She deals with intractable migraines that occur 12-15 times per month (ooof!), and on average, at least one of them will have the potential to send her to the hospital for a treatment that leaves her unable to work or perform tasks of daily living for a day or two.
On our side, what this looks like is Molly working her patootie off as usual, and then sending us a Slack message warning that she has a migraine coming on, when what she really means is a super duper bad one since she champions through many each month. For another day or two she’ll push through it like a total bad*ss (I don’t know how anyone can look at screens as much as she has to with a migraine going on), and then, on a weekend, you’ll see on her Instagram account that she’s at the hospital again for another cocktail of injections, hoping that this time something will (please God) work.
She’s been trying to find a migraine solution that works for her for nearly 20 years, and can confidently say that she’s tried a lot to try to calm her migraine monsters—nearly every meditation on the market and everything from teas to supplements to wearable devices.
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When we asked her if she wanted to try Root Logic with me, she simply said “Nothing could hurt,” and then gave it a shot (with her neurologist’s approval). After about a month, I figured it was time to follow up. I knew she’d still been having migraines, but I wondered if there’d been any let-up in pain or frequency for her since I’d definitely seen that on my side.
As someone who’s watched her suffer through these things from afar, I was jazzed about her response:
“Root Logic is really interesting to me. I mentioned it to my neurologist and told him I’d let him know what I think after three months. But so far, I’m invested in getting to that benchmark because I think it might be helping—even if slightly.
I’ve had migraines since I began taking it so it isn’t a magic potion, but if I had to describe the last month and a half, I’d say that the severity of the headaches I have had have been lower. My day-to-day feels less besieged.” ~ Molly Murphy, Co-Director, Elephant Academy
Granted, she is on other medications, so there could be something in the mix that is partially to thank for that improvement, but, as Molly said, “I can say that they seem to be doing something perhaps symbiotically. And for me? I’m happy with that.”
Getting Down to the Root of it all
Whether you’re someone who is looking to find a natural, holistic substitute for your traditional, tried-and-true migraine drug treatment, or just a boost for a more complicated regimen that seems to be helping at least a little, Root Logic seems to legitimately do the trick.
As I write these final paragraphs, the headache I started writing this with is gone with two natural Root Logic capsules when normally I’d be reaching for two or three ibuprofen. My shoulder muscles feel less rigid, my neck feels warm and loose, and with that, I can feel my whole body relax, and my breath flow more deeply and fluidly.
As I continue to take this, I’m still surprised at how effectively it works, and in the case of my week-long lapse, how quickly it kicks in on any current pain. And that’s a very pleasant experience—especially for someone who was so reluctantly dependent on OTC pain meds before.
I guess you could say that’s what happens when we get to the root logic of our ailments—efficacy.
Start your Root Logic journey today for 30% off using code EJ30. I beg you. You won’t regret it. ~ Marisa, ed. >>
More Traditional Chinese Wisdom on Migraines:
1. Relief via Tradition.
2. Pinpoint the Imbalance.
3. Regulation is Key.
4. Reduce Stress & Anxiety.
5. Tonify to Harmonize your Hormones.