Ayurveda and Migraine: Understanding, Remedies, Medicine
Migraine is a painful health concern that can make your day-to-day life challenging. Whether one is dealing with migraine, at some point in time, they might have heard about it and how inconvenient it can be to manage.
The nail-biting, nerve throbbing headaches it causes usually scares most people. However, there’s more to it.
If untreated for long, the pain can start shifting to other areas of your head. Plus, the pain keeps growing severe, and in the worst cases, this neurological concern may leave you in bed for days.
Fortunately, with the proper treatment and remedies, it’s possible to manage migraines.
In this blog, we discuss migraine treatment in Ayurveda, along with a few home remedies for migraine.
What is Migraine?
Modern medicine defines migraine as a neurological disease resulting in a throbbing headache that can cause severe pain accompanied by a pulsating sensation, usually on one side of the head. In most cases, migraine can also result in nausea, vomiting, and unusually high sensitivity toward sound and light.
Most of the time, the pain areas are the eyes, neck, nose, head, and face.
Moving further, modern medicine categorizes migraine pains into the following eight types:
- Migraine with aura
- Migraine without aura
- Migraine without head pain
- Hemiplegic migraine
- Retinal migraine
- Chronic migraine
- Migraine with brainstem aura
- Status migrainosus
When a migraine headache crops up, it may last between four to 72 hours or more.
Ayurvedic medicine for migraine takes a holistic approach to treating and managing them. In the next section, let’s try to understand how Ayurveda perceives migraine and how it offers remedies.
Causes of Migraine
The exact cause of migraines is not fully understood, but research suggests that they are complex neurological disorders involving multiple factors. Some factors that may contribute to migraines include
- Genetics: Migraines tend to run in families, suggesting that there may be a genetic component to the condition.
- Environmental triggers: Certain environmental factors, such as changes in weather, exposure to bright lights or loud noises, and certain smells or odors, can trigger migraines in some people.
- Hormonal changes: Changes in estrogen levels, particularly in women, can trigger migraines. This is why migraines are more common in women than in men.
- Lifestyle factors: Certain lifestyle factors, such as lack of sleep, stress, and irregular eating habits, can trigger migraines.
Ayurveda’s take on Migraine
According to Ayurveda, migraine (Ardhavabhedhaka) is a concern that crops up due to an imbalance in the Dosha levels. This shift in the Dosha levels can cause poor eye health, disturbed sleep cycles, inability to concentrate and focus, and loss of productivity.
To manage this concern, Ayurveda takes a more comprehensive approach, covering the symptoms and root cause(s).
Ayurvedic treatment for migraine pain includes:
- Thorough detoxification.
- Home remedies include the purest homegrown ingredients.
- Lifestyle changes.
- Refined diet.
- Relaxation processes help ease the pain.
Also, as Ayurvedic remedies for migraine do not require lab-synthesized drugs, substance overdose can not happen.
Migraine Cure in Ayurveda
Ayurveda has a variety of potential solutions to the problem of migraine. The best thing about these remedies is that they focus on treating the concern from the root. This helps ensure that not only the symptoms are relieved, but the chances of reoccurrence are also thinned down.
In this section, we will discuss migraine Ayurvedic home remedies, and certain Ayurvedic medicine for migraine.
Home Remedies for Migraine
Here are some of the primary home remedies for migraine.
1. Refine Your Diet
The food you eat can largely determine your health. And the same holds while dealing with migraine. While trying to manage a migraine headache, several food items may not be the most suitable to consume. It’s advisable to avoid the following foods:
- Bacon, sausages, and deli meat.
- Cheese containing tyramine – cheddar, feta, blue cheese, etc.
- Limited consumption of alcohol. Red wine should be strictly avoided.
- Extremely cold foods such as ice creams or cold beverages.
- Processed foods.
- Cultured dairy, including buttermilk, yogurt, etc.
- Dry fruits.
2. Inhale Lavender Oil
Lavender oil can help manage migraine pain. For relief, you can inhale it directly or after dilution with carrier oil. Applying the oil to your temples and gently massaging can also help to relieve a migraine headache.
A study conducted in 2016 concluded that three months of lavender therapy helped reduce the frequency and severity of migraine pain attacks.
Apart from this, a review published in 2020 also included studies around lavender oil’ efficacy against migraine. The conclusion suggested that it may help manage migraine. However, more research is due on the topic.
3. Use Ginger
Ginger is a natural home remedy that can help ease nausea caused due to migraine. Consuming ginger tea in moderation may help manage the pain and other migraine symptoms, including nausea, dizziness, etc.
To reap maximum benefits, you can consider adding small quantities of ginger to your food or tea every day.
4. Apply Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil contains the chemical menthol, which can help prevent migraine pain attacks. A research conducted in 2019 compared the efficacy of nasal 4% lidocaine along with 1.5% peppermint essential oil. The motto was to find out the efficacy of migraine episodes.
In the results, researchers found that 40% of the people using lidocaine and peppermint remedies experienced significant relief and considerable improvements in their symptoms.
To use peppermint for your migraine headache, apply peppermint oil to your temples and gently massage.
5. Practice Yoga
Yoga is a form of physical exercise that can help align your body and mind. This can help ease body pains of different kinds, also offering relief from migraine headaches.
A 2015 study suggests that certain yoga asanas can help manage anxiety, release tension, and manage migraine symptoms.
The following yoga poses may help manage migraine and its symptoms:
- Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward facing dog pose)
- Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-legged forward bend pose)
- Shishuasana (Child pose)
- Janu Sirsasana (Head to knee pose)
- Hastapadasana (Standing forward bend pose)
6. Stay Hydrated
When you become dehydrated, your body loses fluids and essential minerals, which can affect the normal functioning of your brain and nervous system. This can lead to a headache, including migraines.
If you experience migraines due to dehydration, staying hydrated throughout the day is the best way to prevent them. Drink plenty of water and other fluids, especially when exercising, outdoors in hot weather, or when you are ill. You can also consume fruits and vegetables that have a high water content, such as watermelon, cucumber, celery, and lettuce.
If you get a migraine due to dehydration, rehydrate as soon as possible. Drink plenty of water, and consider adding electrolyte-rich sports drinks or coconut water to your diet to replenish lost minerals. You can also use a cold compress on your forehead or neck to ease the pain.
Rest can be an effective way to manage migraine, as it can help to reduce stress and tension, which can often trigger or worsen migraines. Find a quiet, dark room where you can rest without any distractions. Lack of sleep can also be a trigger for migraines. Make sure you get enough restful sleep at night, and consider taking a nap during the day if needed.
What Not to Do When You Have Migraine
If you are experiencing a migraine, there are certain things you should avoid, as they can worsen your symptoms. Here are some things you should avoid during a migraine.
- Skipping meals can cause low blood sugar, triggering a migraine. Maintaining a regular eating schedule and consuming nutritious foods is important.
- Certain foods, such as chocolate, cheese, caffeine, and alcohol, can trigger a migraine. It’s important to identify your trigger foods and avoid them.
- Overusing pain medications, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen, can lead to rebound headaches or medication-overuse headaches. It’s important to follow the recommended dosage and not overuse these medications.
- Bright lights and loud noises can worsen migraine symptoms. Finding a quiet, dark place to rest during a migraine is important.
- Strenuous physical activity can worsen the symptoms of a migraine. It’s important to rest and avoid any strenuous activity during a migraine.
- Smoking can worsen the symptoms of a migraine. It’s important to avoid smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke.
Ayurvedic Medicines for Migraine
Here’s a list of some effective medicinal Ayurvedic remedies for migraine.
1. Kerala Ayurveda KM Lepam
Whether it’s a throbbing headache or a pulsating sensation in your head, using KM lepam can help. It’s prepared from the authentic Ayurvedic recipe, including the purest herbs and other ingredients, such as Tugaksheeri and Karpoor.
Speaking of the primary benefits, it can provide quick relief from severe headaches and relieve throbbing sensations. Apart from that, the lepam has a cooling effect that provides instant comfort while dealing with headaches. Also, KM lepam is completely safe to use and offers long-lasting effects.
To use KM lepam, take the required amount of KM Lepam and apply it over your forehead. As it has original beeswax, it can have a greasy texture, which also means it is free from mineral oils or petroleum bases. Once your pain reduces, you can wipe it off with a cloth or wash it with cold water.
2. Pathyashadangam Kwath
This Ayurvedic medicine can prove helpful while managing several health concerns above the neck, including migraine pain. From earache to a sinus headache and migraine pain, Pathyashadangam Kwath can help manage many health conditions.
It’s advisable to take it on an empty stomach, only after you have digested your last meal. For the best and safe results, dosage should be discussed with a professional Ayurvedic doctor.
3. Anu Thailam
Anu thailam is an oil consisting of a few Ayurvedic herbs for migraine. While Anu Thailam primarily helps manage concerns such as sinusitis and mild headaches, regular usage may also help manage the severe headache that comes with migraine. For the best results, it’s advised to use it once every day.
For the best results, lie comfortably on a plain surface with a small pillow under your head. Now, pour one to two drops of Anu Thailam into both nostrils and take a big sniff. Once the oil reaches your throat, spit it out.
Note: It’s not advisable for pregnant or menstruating women and individuals with cold, fever, flu or sinus infections.
Migraine headaches can be one of the most inconvenient and painful neurological health concerns. To keep yourself healthy, taking care of your migraine concern and managing it through suitable treatment options discussed in this blog is crucial.
Let’s look at what we learned:
- Migraine is a neurological health concern that can cause severe headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, and several other symptoms. Modern medicine classifies migraine into eight different types.
- Ayurveda takes a comprehensive approach to treating and managing migraine pain.
- Through Ayurveda, migraine can be managed using various home remedies and Ayurvedic medicines.
Practice the remedies regularly to make sure your migraine headache does not aggravate. If the condition gets more severe, consult an Ayurvedic physician or your family doctor for treatment.