Science and Development
The origin of Migraine Escape® lies in a question that our founder Michael Dale found he was constantly asking himself:
"Does nature offer a better solution for my sister in the treatment of her chronic and debilitating migraines?"
What started out as an exercise of interest, grew into a project with international collaboration in developing an alternative approach to treating migraines. Initial research online uncovered a multitude of scientific documents, supporting the discovery that zingiber officinale, commonly known as ginger, was used in some parts of the world to treat migraine headaches. In fact, traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine has been using ginger for 5,000 years for relieving the discomfort associated with headaches, such as migraines, cluster, recurrent and tension headaches.
Ancient medicine to modern treatment
Whilst ancient medicines typically used ginger poultices applied to the forehead or site of pain, the scientific and medical advisory team at Innovative Herbal Products (IHP) looked at adapting the treatment for today’s fast-paced society. The migraine solution had to be convenient to use anytime, anywhere and offer fast, effective relief comparable to existing migraine medications. A motto the team used regularly was, ‘to help migraine sufferers escape from their debilitating pain and experience a normal life’. Thus Migraine Escape® was born and trademarked as the new approach to potentially helping millions of migraine sufferers around the world.
The development of an ‘extract’ that was highly efficacious, proved to be a bigger challenge than the team had originally expected. Three years were spent in the laboratory, perfecting the extract. To create a pure extract, free from any solvents and one that represented the complete plant profile of ginger, supercritical fluid extraction techniques, using only carbon dioxide as the solvent, were used. The process resulted in an extract unlike any other essential oil or oleoresin/extract that currently exists.
A complete biological representation of ginger
Ginger from around the world was trialled and it was Australian Queensland variety ginger that proved to be the most efficacious. What IHP created in the end was a complete representation of the plant material, comprising of both the volatile and nonvolatile components of ginger. In Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine (Second Edition), authors Kerry Bone and Simon Mills state; "Synergy is an important hypothesis in herbal pharmacology in the context of the advantage of chemical complexity. It applies if the action of a chemical mixture is greater than the arithmetical sum of the actions of the mixture’s components: the whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts." What this means is, Migraine Escape® brings you the combined synergistic benefits of all of ginger’s two hundred chemical components; its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-nociceptive and neuroprotective properties working together to maximise the pain-relieving efficacy of the product.
Development and testing
IHP's advisory team consisted of both medical and chemistry experts in their respective fields from around the world. Professor M Angela A Meireles from UNICAMP University, Brazil lent her incredible expertise in Supercritical Fluid Extraction to the project, along with Ashley Dowell from Southern Cross University Plant Laboratories in providing world class analysis of all the extracts. World renowned Professor Alan Bensoussan, Head of Complementary Medicine at University of Sydney and recipient of many awards in recognition of his life-long contribution to Complementary and Alternative Medicine, provided guidance on how to proceed with the trials.
Pilot clinical trials were conducted in three phases on a total of 97 patients both male and female, ranging in age from 10 to 78 years of age. Migraine Escape® demonstrated the ability in the majority of cases to prevent the migraine developing when applied at the first sign of an impending migraine, giving IHP the confidence that this was a product worth bringing to the rest of the world.*
Migraine Escape® subsequently went on to win approval for use in Australia, and is Listed by the Australian Government Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) as a complementary medicine (listing code AUST L 231904).
Meanwhile the proprietary extract and topical application for the treatment of pain have been submitted for patent approval which is currently pending.
At the present moment, Migraine Escape® is only available for purchase in Australia and New Zealand. However we have sought legal and regulatory advice to sell the product in other countries and it is expected Migraine Escape® will become widely available during 2018.