Migraine affects 15% of the total population in the world which is a huge number. Major causes of migraine are considered to be genetic and environmental. Unfortunately, migraine is not a fully understood disorder. Modern science does not have a specific reason for this disorder.
The main line of migraine treatment is mostly focused on pain management. However excessive use of allopathic painkillers might trigger a lot of side effects in the long run. This factor is specifically important in the case of people suffering from migraine as they might have to use painkillers very frequently.
Migraine is characterized by a recurrent severe headache. These headaches have a lot of autonomic system symptoms – like the malfunctioning of sense organs like eyes ears nose, feeling of dizziness, headache, etc.
Causes of migraine according to modern medicine
- One of the major reasons for migraine is hormonal changes. This cause of migraine is more prevalent among women.
- Some food like aged cheese excessively salty food processed food also can lead to migraine
- Artificial food additives like food colors flavors are considered to be a probable cause for migraine
- Stress is one of the main causes of migraine as it leads to hormonal imbalance
- Improper sleep or haphazard wake-sleep pattern is one of the most important causes of migraine
- Alcoholic beverages especially wine or coffee can cause migraines
- Excessive physical labor or sexual activity can also lead to a migraine attack
- some of the medications like oral contraceptives have exhibited the migraine-triggering effect.
- A change in weather or air pressure can also lead to a migraine attack.
There are four phases of a migraine
- Prodrome – This stage occurs before the migraine starts.
- Aura – This is a phase that comes immediately before the headache or commencement of proper migraine.
- Attack – This is a phase of severe headache
- Postdrome – This page includes the effects a person experiences after a migraine attack ends
Migraine in the light of Ayurveda
Causes of migraine in Ayurveda are very much similar to the causes mentioned above.
According to Ayurveda, there are four major kinds of Shiroda or disorders of the head that resemble different types of migraines.
Causes of ardhavabhedaka
- Consumption of excessive dry food
- Eating food before proper digestion of the previous mail
- Excessive exposure to easterly winds or morning dew
- Excess sexual activity Fossil control of natural urges like urination, defecation, burping, hiccup, etc.
According to Charaka Samhita, all these causes trigger vitiation of vata and kaphadosha. Excess kaphadosha blocks the natural pathway of vatadosha.
This vatadosha, stuck in the channels, causes pain in the temporal (Shakha Pradesh) head region, ears, Eyes, forehead. This pain is compared to friction that occurs when you rub two pieces of Wood together.
Suryavarta is a kind of migraine that starts with the rising of the Sun. The pain gradually increases as the day progresses. The pain is highest during the afternoon time and gradually comes down with the sunset.
The main causes of Suryavarta are unnatural control of natural urges and constipation. Rest of the causes are similar to those of ardhavabhedaka.
The primary symptoms of this type of migraine is pulsation in the cheek, eye disorders, and lockjaw. Other symptoms are similar to ardhavabhedaka.
Primary Causes of an anantavata are excessive fasting, depression, and consumption of extremely dry and cold food.
The fourth disorder is called Shankhak. This disorder has extreme conditions like excessive inflammation pain and redness swelling in the entire head region. It is considered to be incurable in most cases.
Migraine Prevention with Ayurveda
Prevention for migraine is one of the best approaches in Ayurveda. Even if you have a migraine, you can prevent attacks and reduce the intensity of pain during the migraine through simple changes in food and lifestyle.
The fundamental preventive measure in Ayurveda is NidanParivarjanam (avoidance of the cause). Therefore, as the first step towards prevention, you must avoid excessive fasting, postponing your natural urges, etc.
Vata vitiation is the main cause of all kinds of Shiroroga (shir-head;roga-disease) according to Ayurveda. Vata is a dosha that controls the Nervous system in the body and any kind of pain cannot happen without vata vitiation. Therefore preservation of vata balance in the body is the main Central focus for effective prevention of migraine.
According to modern science as well, there is no cure of migraine as of now. However, improvement in lifestyle and food habits can significantly improve symptoms of migraine.
Ayurveda offers a huge range of remedies as well as treatment lines for the treatment of migraine. Some of the classical Ayurvedic treatments are
- Modification of food and lifestyle
- Nasya (Nasal drops)
- Snehapaan (intake of medicated oils)
- Panchakarma detoxification
However, the most important line of treatment in for migraine is nasal drops. According to Ayurveda, the nose is a door of the head region. Any medicine, taken through the nasal passage, effects “Shringatakmarma” located in the head region near the nasal passage. This Marma is connected to all the sense organs and the brain.
Nasal drops pacify all the dosha affecting Shringatakmarma and all other marmas in the head region. It is good to take nasal drops under the supervision of a trained Ayurvedic physician. Anutailam is a classical Ayurvedic preparation that is available as an otc product and is extremely effective for the prevention as well as treatment of migraine.
However, medicinal fumes, fragrance, or herbal smoke are a safer and convenient option as compared two nasal drops or any other Ayurvedic treatment.
Nasal drops cause a little discomfort in the nasal passage. in case of migraine, Aromatherapy is especially convenient for children and other people who are not able to bear the pain caused by nasal drops.
3 pronged Ayurveda prevention for Migraine
Ayurvedic prevention has three important factors mind, food, and lifestyle. A combination of these three can help you effectively prevent migraine.
Ayurveda supports the law of attraction in case of diseases. Negative emotions like worry, stress, anxiety, sadness, fear, etc. imbalance the nervous and hormonal system of the body. As a result, the normal biorhythm gets disrupted. So if you are worried about something, you are bringing more problems in your life; probably in the form of migraine attacks!
Now, you might get worried about defects of worry or stress! But we cannot fight darkness, it is a negative approach. The best way to remove darkness to light a lamp! So, relax and focus on things that make you happy.
Meditation is one foolproof way to actively control migraine. All the scientific research on the effect of meditation in migraine suggest that meditation definitely improves pain tolerance and helps to modulate the pain experience. The intensity and frequency of migraine attacks can significantly decrease in people practicing mindful meditation.
American migraine foundation recommends meditation to all people suffering from migraine.
People suffering from migraine can also try art therapies like music, dance, fine arts, etc. to create a sense of pleasure and peace. The body heals itself if only we let it do so. This sense of peace and joy will help to regulate and normalize all kinds of imbalances in the body.
According to Ayurveda, you must avoid all vata vitiating food like green peas, brinjal, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, broccoli, etc.
In the summer season, you must avoid all non-seasonal green vegetables, including the leafy vegetables like spinach, methi, Lal saag, etc. This vegetables cause excessive water vitiation in the body.
Try to have a specific time for all your meals. Irregular meal timing jeopardizes the bio clock all the body and vitiates vatadosha.
Try to avoid excessive fasting. In fact, zero food or zero water fasting is not recommended for people suffering from migraine. In case you are dieting, you must ensure that you never skip a meal.
Unquenched hunger or thirst vitiates vatadosha in the body. Make sure that you keep yourself adequately fed and well-hydrated.
Try to avoid mid-meal snacking. Midday meal snacking results in indigestion and creation of toxins in the body. This digestion can aggravate the intensity and frequency of migraine attacks.
Avoid you must avoid excessive exercise like weightlifting, kickboxing, rock climbing, etc. Simple exercises like yoga, jogging fast working are best for migraine prevention.
You must never forcefully suppress your natural urges like defecation, urination, burping, hiccups, sleep etc. This separation of natural causes causes imbalance in the body metabolism and vitiate water dosa.
It is important not to over-exert the body with Excessive sexual activity. Unmoderated sexual intercourse causes an increase in vatadosha and might lead to a migraine attack.
Preventive herbal remedies for migraine
Try to put 5-6 drops of warm A2 cow ghee in each nostril after your bath in the morning. You can use a dropper for this process. Keep the head lower than the shoulders in order to ensure that the nasal drops reach the bottom of the nasal passage.
This is a very safe, easy to practice and effective home remedy for prevention of migraine attacks.
Sushwasa Breathe Easy Diffuser Oil is one of the safe Ayurvedic remedies for migraine. Sushwasa contains a unique combination of camphor Ginger Basil black pepper and eucalyptus.
The primary cause of migraine is an obstruction of the vata channel in the head region. This obstruction is caused due to Excess kaphadosha.
Camphor is an excellent Herb that helps to clear the mucus from the channels in the head region. Ginger, Basil, and black pepper are some of the best kapha pacifying herbs. All these herbs have a hot temperament and help to dilute the excess mucus in the head region. Sharp action of Eucalyptus helps to push out the solidified mucus in the head region.
Another product which can be very useful in case of migraine prevention, as well as pain relief, is breathe-easy eye mask. This herbal eye mask contains aromatic herbs like lavender and, chamomile which bring a calming effect and help in speedy pain relief.
Migraine is a seriously debilitating disorder, but there are ways to prevent it from affecting your life. You totally deserve a healthy and happy life. Once you convince yourself of this fact, all the ways to complete migraine elimination will become visible to you!