Headaches are an extremely common problem for human beings. Migraine or Ardhavabhedaka, as called in Ayurveda are pulsating headache, often on one side of the head accompanied by nausea. Bright lights or loud noises can worsen the condition. The headache can last for two hours or even up to two or three days.
According to Ayurveda, migraine headaches are mainly caused due to imbalance in the Pitta dosha. When too much heat builds up in the blood vessels, they can dilate and create pressure on the nervous system, leading to migraines. Improper food habits and lifestyle is responsible for migraine attacks.
Other causes of migraine attack can be, excessive work, lack of sleep, excess intake of alcohol, smoking, nutritional deficiency, exposure to loud noises, certain odor, allergic reactions, during menstruation, menopause, excess sleep or no sleep or continuous sleep, consuming food before digestion of previous food, suppressing tears, weeping, emotional stress or physical stress, skipping meals, consuming dry foods often etc.
The symptoms of migraine along with pain on one side of the head can be pulsating sensation behind the eye, cold hands and feet, constipation or diarrhea, increased urination, depression, excessive sleepiness, carving for certain food items, sensitivity to light etc.
Lowering energy (ojas) in the body causes migraine. If you have a strong nervous system, you are able to fight against problems and carry on with your work with a healthy mind. Pacifying pitta dosha and restoring digestive functions in the body can help in reducing the frequency and intensity of migraine attacks.
Here are few self-care treatments using Ayurveda herbs to cure migraine headaches:
- Add 1teaspoon of sandalwood paste in 1 cup of water and mix well. Drop slowly about 4-5drops into each nostril. Irritation may occur and water starts flowing out of the nose. Do this immediately when headache starts.
- Take 2 tablespoon of ginger powder with warm water before the pain intensifies and for sinus congestion take 1teaspoon of fresh ginger juice with 1teaspoon honey 2-3times a day.
- Mix ginger juice and the same proportion of milk together and keep it under sun for few minutes. After sometimes, drop about 3-4drops into the nostril (to that side of nostril where the head ache persists). It may irritate at the beginning. Continue for some days. Pain will reduce within 4-5days. During this, take castor oil to avoid any side effects.
- Mix equal quantity of carrot juice and spinach Mix well and consume this to cure migraine.
- Crush fresh cabbage leaves and place it on forehead. Tie with a soft cotton cloth and sleep for some time.
- Heat ghee adding pinch saffron. When warm, drop this slowly into each nostril and inhale deeply.
- Mix 1tsp cinnamon oil with ¼ tsp clove Apply this paste on the affected area and leave it for 15-20 minutes. This gives relief from migraine.
- To a glass of water, add 1tsp coriander seed powder and mix well. Cover the glass with a lid and keep it overnight. Drink this the next morning on an empty stomach.
- Durva grass is one of the herb which helps to relieve migraine. Take a fistful of doorva grass and extract juice by pounding them. To this juice, add a pinch licorice/yashtimadhu powder and mix well. Consume this for about a month continuously in the afternoon.
- Get few tender jasmine leaves and crush them. Add little rock salt and extract juice from it. Take about 2-3 drops of this juice and instill into both nostrils early morning (on an empty stomach) and in the evening around 6pm.
- Soak 5-8 raisins and almonds in water overnight. Eat them the next morning.
Few tips to follow:
- Migraine patients often suffer from constipation and digestion related problems. Treating constipation and related issues may reduce the intensity of migraine attack.
- Woman with menstrual problems may have migraine attacks. Do take treatment for hormonal imbalances.
- Try to get up early and go for a morning walk. Take fresh air, this will lower the intensity of migraine.
- Do not take more often pain killers for migraine/headache. It may worsen the problem.
- During migraine attack, lie down in a quiet, dark room and sleep for some time.
- Avoid eating spicy, hot foods, excess sugar, salt, refined foods, tea, coffee etc. as they aggravate pitta in the body.
- Include fresh vegetables, greens and lentils (dals) in the diet. Few recipes; palak pulav, methi pulav, methi paratha, moong dal fry, aloo methi fry, aloo palak gravy, mint pulav, parippu rasam.
- Avoid direct exposure to sunlight or any other bright lights.
- Drink more water and fresh fruit juices to keep yourself well hydrated.
- Massage your head gently with bhringaraj oil or coconut oil. This gives a calming effect to your nervous system.
- Include spices like ginger, cinnamon, pepper, cardamom etc. in your diet. Try pepper rasam.
- Do not bathe in either too hot or too cold water.
- Massage your whole body with oil and take bath in warm water. Do this at least once a week.
- Practice Yoga and meditation for a healthy and stress free life.
Ayurveda remedies for migraine are very effective. Give up unhealthy habits like eating foods that have MSG (Monosodium glutamate), oily, chocolates, fermented cheese etc. Start taking cooked vegetables without/less oil, fresh juices, fresh fruits, butter milk, salads etc. more often.
- Sandalwood: known as chandana, is a coolant used in Ayurveda for burning sensation and gastritis. The tree is considered sacred and has an excellent fragrance. Sandalwood powder has antibacterial properties which fight against acne, pimple, sunburn, wrinkle, blemishes, dry skin etc. Chandana/sandalwood in India is used for all auspicious occasions as it is considered as holy/pure.
- Ginger: known as adrak, ginger is a well-known spice used all over the world as a food and medicine. Eating ginger before food helps in digestion. It helps to reduce fever, headache, cleanse the body, improve digestion, relieves from acidity etc.
- Cinnamon: one of the oldest spices used in Ayurveda medicine to enhance the functioning of other herbs. Cinnamon is very flavorful, aromatic, sweet and pungent. It pacifies (alleviates) vata and kapha and aggravates (increases) pitta. Cinnamon is used in the treatment originated due to vata like paralysis, nerve weakness etc. it can also be used in the treatment of lungs, tuberculosis, diabetes, cough, chest congestion etc. As cinnamon alleviates kapha, it can be used as a fat burner and hence effective in weight loss too
- Clove: known as lavanga, laung etc. is a wonderful Ayurveda herb as well as a spice. Clove enhances blood circulation, improve digestion, metabolism, increases appetite, help relieve stomach bloating, gas, nausea etc. As per Ayurveda, lavanga/laung increases Agni (digestive fire) and naturally heats up our body and hence widely recommended to use this herb during winter.
- Coriander seeds: popularly known as dhaniya/dhanyaka, is an important spice in Indian cooking. Coriander seeds aids in digestion, helps in acne and pimples, stimulates hair growth, cures skin disorders, improves eye vision, reduces itchiness in eyes, detox our body, prevents anemia etc.
- Carrot: is an excellent fruit and vegetable also referred as gajar, garjarah etc. It is sweet, bitter, slightly pungent and warm in nature. Carrot refreshes your breathe and whole body with its aromatic taste. They are rich in nutrients like protein, vitamin A, B, C, K, iron, fiber, calcium, phosphorus, fat, carbohydrates, water etc.
- Spinach: known as palak, is a nutrient rich green leafy vegetable. Spinach is high in vitamins, minerals, water, carbohydrates, protein, fiber etc. It is an excellent source of antioxidants and low in calories. Ayurveda recommends daily usage of green leafy vegetables in the diet as they are good for skin, hairs and also removes toxins from the body.
- Cabbage: is a nutrient rich vegetable rich in antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, low calorie etc. As per Ayurveda, cabbage has a sweet, dry and cold quality. It pacifies pitta and kapha and when consume in raw form it will aggravate vata as it is difficult to digest.
- Ghee: clarified butter is known as ghee or ghrita in Sanskrit. According to Ayurveda, ghee is beneficial to the whole body and boosts our immune system. Ghee is one of the sacred element which calms pitta and vata. It is sweet in taste and has a cooling effect on our body. Ghee improves digestion, nourishes body, increases intelligence, increases strength and longevity. It can be helpful to gain weight and also improves reproductive system.
- Saffron: also referred as kesar, is an Ayurveda herb used mostly in the treatment of skin diseases, diarrhea, impotency, immune enhancer etc. Saffron helps to improve skin complexion, cleanse wounds and balances tri dosha (vata, pitta and kapha). Saffron in used in the medication to cure headaches, migraine, eye disorders, hiccups, vomiting and poisoning.
- Bhringaraj: an important Ayurveda herb widely used in the treatment of hair fall, liver disorders, skin diseases etc. Bhringaraj balance kapha and vata doshas. This herb can be found easily everywhere in India and the whole plant is used in Ayurveda.
- Coconut oil: considered healthiest oil on earth, coconut oil is beneficial in skin disorders, weight loss, to increase immunity, metabolism, hair care etc. Coconut oil contains lauric acid which is extremely beneficial and is found in mother’s milk. Coconut is considered one of the most balanced foods which provides excellent source of energy. It helps in digestion, maintains cholesterol levels, blood sugar, thyroid and improves blood circulation.
- Durva grass: also referred as brahma grass, shataparva, garike, goriya gaddi, harali etc. is a small herb which spreads on ground. This grass is considered sacred and is used in the worship of lord Ganesh. As per Ayurveda, durva grass is a skin friendly herb useful in the treatments of skin diseases like psoriasis, wounds, allergies, rashes etc. It improves fertility in females, strengthens uterus and fights against PCOD.
- Yashtimadhu: also known as Licorice and is one of the commonly used herbs in Ayurveda medicine. This herb can be found in almost all houses in India. It has a sweet root and stem. Usage of this herb helps to promote longevity, heals wound, improves skin complexion, relieve vomiting, improves voice, relives itching, improves eye sight/vision, strength, immunity etc. The herb manages vata and pitta.
- Jasmine: known as chameli in Hindi and jati in Sanskrit, is an Ayurveda satvik plant useful in the treatments like ulcers, wounds, headaches, fever, ear problems, skin infections, flatulence, depression, labor pain, cancer, insomnia, intestinal worms and reproductive problems. Jasmine flowers, leaves and roots are extensively used in the treatment of many diseases. Jasmine has a beautiful fragrance and spreads joy and happiness to all.
- Raisins: As per Ayurveda, raisins contain a great amount of nutritional benefits and considered it as one of the healing foods. Raisins balances vata and pitta, lubricates respiratory system, improves memory, supports fertility, lowers blood pressure and improves bowel movement. Raisins are rich in vitamins, minerals, iron, potassium and calcium.
- Almonds: known as Badam, Badami, vaadumai etc. is one of the oldest and widely used nuts. Eating nuts is good for health and it contains unsaturated fatty acids and other nutrients. Almonds can be consumed raw or can be soaked in water overnight and can be consumed. But do not eat it in an empty stomach. You can mix it with raisins or dates before eating it on empty stomach. Almonds are used in the treatment of nerve disorders, memory power, sexual vigor and eye vision. It pacifies and reduces vata dosha.
The information & Remedies provided on the website is for informational purpose only and has to be approved by your doctor before proceeding for self-medication. Any remedies and its benefits and uses given are believed to be accurate, however, should not be relied on in any way in making a decision whether to treat any common ailments you or your family members may suffer without consulting a certified Ayurvedic practitioner or Doctor.
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