Migraine Pain and Ayurvedic Solutions
Migraine is not just a regular headache; it is far more than that. It is a disabling neurological condition that affects 213 million people in India, out of which 60 percent are women.
If you often get migraines, you've probably taken painkillers and made lifestyle changes to find relief. But these things might not work for everyone. Migraine triggers vary from person to person, so there's no one-size-fits-all treatment. Relying on painkillers without understanding the exact triggers of your migraines won't provide long-term relief.
Ayurveda is emerging as a very safe and effective way to treat migraines. Ayurvedic treatment for migraines begins with identifying the specific cause behind each individual's migraines, correcting it, and then proceeding with appropriate herbal remedies. In this blog, we'll learn about migraines, explore Ayurvedic solutions, and discuss some Ayurvedic medicines that are best for migraines.
Let's understand migraines
A migraine is a common neurological disorder that causes a number of symptoms, the most noticeable of which is a throbbing, pulsating headache on one side of your head. This headache can become worse during physical activities or exposure to bright lights, loud noises, or strong odours. It can last for at least four hours, but sometimes it can go on for several days.
Migraine is often accompanied by other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, fatigue, mood changes, and vision problems. The exact cause of migraines is not known but researchers believe that this complex neurological disorder involves multiple factors such as:
Genetics: Migraines often run in families. About 4 out of 5 people with migraines have someone in their family who also experiences migraines.
Hormonal changes: Hormonal fluctuations, especially in women related to the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause can trigger migraines. This is why migraines occur more commonly in women than in men.
Lifestyle factors: Certain lifestyle factors, psychological stress, drinking too much caffeine, fasting, sleep deprivation, and irregular eating habits can trigger migraines.
Environmental triggers: Environmental factors like weather changes, exposure to bright or flickering lights, and certain smells or odours, can also trigger migraines.
With the conventional approach, migraines are treated using pain relievers and migraine abortive medications. But, long-term use of medicines can lead to side effects and medication overuse headaches. These headaches may cause more complications.
On the other hand, Ayurveda uses natural methods that do not involve the use of prescription drugs. So there is no risk of side effects or medication overuse headaches.
Ayurvedic Treatment for Migraines
As we discussed, migraines get triggered by certain factors. So according to Ayurveda, whenever there is some sort of change,—like in the environment, monthly hormone shifts, or bigger shifts like menopause, or moving to a new place— the body's natural energies, called doshas, become imbalanced.
While vata, pitta, and kapha doshas can all contribute to headaches and migraines, they are mainly caused by an excess or aggravation of Pitta dosha. Migraines, in particular, are thought to have a Pitta dosha imbalance, while Vata and Kapha can also play a role.
Ayurveda uses natural methods to promote rebalancing of the doshas holistically and systemically to treat migraines.
Here are some of the best Ayurvedic treatments commonly used for managing migraines:
It is a way to cleanse and detoxify your body, helping to get rid of harmful substances that can cause migraines. Some treatments used in Panchakarma therapy for migraines include:
Nasya Karma: This involves putting special oil into your nose. It helps clear your nasal passages and is good for relieving migraine symptoms.
Shirodhara: This therapy involves pouring a continuous stream of warm, medicated oil on your forehead. The therapy calms your nervous system and relieves migraine pain.
Whole Body Oil Massage: Massage with herbal oils helps reduce stress, improve blood circulation, relieve muscle tension, and release toxins. It helps balance your body's energy flow and promotes better sleep, all of which contribute to minimizing migraine triggers.
Ghee Swarna Prashan: Consuming a small amount of ghee (clarified butter) in the morning on an empty stomach is believed to aid in migraine management. Ghee is rich in healthy fats and nutrients, and it helps to lubricate and nourish your brain and nervous system. This reduces the frequency and intensity of migraines.
Sweating Therapy: This involves activities that make you sweat, like being in a steam room or sauna. Sweating helps in reducing muscle tension and stress, common triggers for migraines. The detoxification achieved through sweating eliminates toxins that could contribute to migraines.
Ayurvedic Medicines and Herbs
Shatavari: Known for its calming properties, Shatavari can help manage migraine symptoms, especially when related to hormonal imbalances.
Butterbur: This herb acts as a vasodilator (widens blood vessels) and anti-inflammatory (reduces swelling and redness) agent which can be extremely helpful in reducing the frequency and intensity of migraines.
Ashwagandha: This is an adaptogenic herb that helps in reducing stress and anxiety, both of which are common migraine triggers.
Triphala: It is a great Ayurvedic solution and a revitalizing tonic for various conditions. Taking Triphala every day can help balance your doshas and support your overall health, both inside and out.
Lavender Oil: Lavender oil can be inhaled directly or after dilution with carrier oil. Applying this oil to your temples and gently massaging can also ease a migraine headache.
A study found that three months of lavender treatment reduced the frequency and intensity of migraines.
Ginger: Ginger is a natural home remedy that can help ease nausea caused due to migraines. Consuming ginger tea in moderation helps in controlling migraine pain and its related symptoms such as nausea and dizziness.
One of the best Ayurvedic medicines for migraine treatment is Migraine Care Juice. This juice is a combination of 9 natural herbs that are excellent ayurvedic medicines for migraine relief. The medicine relieves headaches, promotes restful sleep, and boosts brain functioning.
Another ayurvedic medicine for migraine that has shown effective results is Jatamansi Powder. It promotes brain health and helps in maintaining stress levels.
Yoga practice can be really helpful in reducing migraine symptoms. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins. These are chemicals that naturally relieve pain, reduce stress, and improve your sense of well-being. This is particularly good if you often feel stressed or anxious, as these emotions can trigger migraines.
The following poses are believed to be very effective for migraine relief:
- Bridge pose
- Child’s Pose
- Downward-Facing Dog
Other Ayurvedic methods involve lifestyle modifications such as avoiding migraine-triggering foods like alcohol, caffeine, and chocolates. You should also avoid skipping meals, stay hydrated, and get enough rest to avoid stress. Ayurveda also includes relaxation techniques like meditation and deep breathing, which help improve overall brain and body health.
When it comes to treating migraines, simply relying on medications isn't enough. To effectively treat the condition, it's essential to address the underlying causes. Ayurvedic treatments not only help in reducing the pain and severity of headaches but also play a crucial role in preventing migraines in the long run. While Ayurveda provides a holistic approach to managing migraines, it's important to seek these treatments under the guidance and consultation of a qualified doctor.