If you have ever suffered from a migraine, you know how painful the headaches can be. In addition to the debilitating headache – nausea and sound sensitivity are other major discomforts. This health issue is common around the world and women are more vulnerable to it. Typically, you opt for medications that relieve your symptoms for a short period. However, often people try an integrative approach with a complementary system of medicines, like Ayurveda. But is migraine treatment in Ayurveda a reliable and effective approach? Let’s find out.
What causes migraine?
To this day, the exact cause of migraine headaches is not known. However, there are a few factors that lead to migraine. For instance, physical factors like low blood sugar and sleep deprivation can be common causes. Also, if you are constantly anxious and stressed, it increases your chances of migraine. People who have an unhealthy diet are more prone to migraine headaches.
Generally, women are more susceptible to migraines because of hormone fluctuations. Plus, if you are taking birth control pills and other medications, it can trigger migraine symptoms. Some environmental factors like weather changes can also cause migraines.
Often, you experience common migraine symptoms like-
- Nausea, vomiting, and light-headedness
- Increased sensitivity to light, sound, smell, and touch
- Visual disturbances (known as an aura)
- Blurred vision and a pulsing headache
- Tingling sensations in the extremities
Different migraine treatments in Ayurveda
According to Ayurveda, all the ailments occur as a result of unbalanced doshas. The doshas include Vata (air and space), Pitta (fire and water), and Kapha (water and earth). If you have an imbalance of these doshas, you are prone to getting unwell.
Ayurveda says that migraine issues are due to a Pitta-Vata imbalance and accumulation of toxins (ama). Ayurvedic medicine for migraine headaches is prescribed after a detailed history of the patient is obtained. An Ayurvedic practitioner may curate a treatment for you to promote the balance of doshas. Here, we’ll see different Ayurvedic remedies for migraine attacks.
- Body detoxification
While chronic migraine is an issue that starts in the nervous system, it usually accompanies light sensitivity and nausea. These migraine symptoms can affect your day-to-day life. With a detox, you can get rid of the toxins accumulated in your body. Also, it helps you achieve Vata-Pitta balance as well.
- Shirodhara treatment
In this Ayurvedic therapy, you pour oil onto your forehead in combination with a massage. It creates a vibration around the affected area of migraine and relieves your symptoms. Plus, this is a safe approach to soothe and calm your mind and body.
- Oil pulling
An alternative Ayurvedic remedy for migraine is oil pulling (Kavala Graha). You may already be aware of the benefits of oil pulling for teeth-whitening. But there is more to it! When you keep swishing oil in your mouth, it even removes toxins from your body. This detoxification process can offer you relief from migraine. As soon as you wake up, do oil pulling for 15 to 20 minutes and follow up with regular brushing.
Although an ancient practice, yoga is widespread around the world due to its numerous benefits. A study found that incorporating yoga along with regular migraine treatments reduces the severity of migraine pain. As you become more anxious, you are more prone to experience migraine attacks.
Therefore, an Ayurvedic practitioner would suggest you practice yoga to relieve stress. For instance, poses like downward dog and bridge poses can improve your nervous system function.
- Nasya therapy
Often, this treatment is used to remove toxins and clear your sinuses. It involves pouring herbal medicine into your nostrils to relieve any blockage on nerve endings. As a result, it eliminates toxins from your body and balances your Vata.
- Other remedies
Apart from these, you can apply sandalwood paste on your forehead to calm your migraine pain. Even drinking warm milk with turmeric, cardamom, and saffron can provide you relief. You can drink ginger water, which is beneficial for migraine.
Is Ayurvedic medicine for migraine a safe approach?
Despite being an alternative approach to migraines, some Ayurvedic medicines can be harmful. Since they are not well studied, they may contain toxic levels of metals like mercury and lead. If you have an allergy to specific herbs, it’s wise to always consult a practitioner.
However, the basic lifestyle changes and breathing exercises of Ayurvedic remedies are considered safe. It can even provide relief from the gruesome symptoms of migraine.
Do’s and Don’ts of an Ayurvedic remedy for migraine
To prevent migraines from becoming severe, you must avoid certain things. It can prevent the occurrence of recurrent headaches.
Avoid eating foods that trigger headaches, such as junk food. Also, reduce your exposure to the scorching sun and the cold weather. Plus, stay away from alcohol and smoking for better health.
When it comes to migraine relief, a brisk walk and relaxation technique can help reduce your symptoms. Apart from these, remember to stay hydrated and eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Ultimately, migraine needs appropriate timely care and management. Also, there is limited evidence on migraine treatment in Ayurveda. So, before settling into Ayurvedic medicines for headaches, talk with your doctor to discuss the potential risks and benefits.