Natural Ayurvedic Treatment for Migraine and Headache
Ever experienced throbbing, one-sided pain in the head that wouldn’t go for hours together? Migraine is a common disorder which according to WHO affects nearly 10 % people worldwide.  It is a type of primary headache, which means there is no underlying disease causing the headache. Upto two-thirds of those affected are women.  In Ayurveda, a disease named ‘Ardhavbhedaka’ bears resemblance to modern day description of migraine. It is a disease caused by the vitiated vata dosha, pitta dosha and kapha dosha according to Acharya Susruta. Avoiding triggers, lifestyle modifications, management of attacks and Ayurvedic regimen lessen the severity and frequency of attacks and improve the quality of living. Now we are going to explain Migraine in detail and its management with ayurveda.
Understanding Migraine-Modern and Ayurvedic aspect
Migraine is a complex disease which is characterized by overstimulation of the nervous system and changes in blood flow in the brain. It has genetic susceptibility and about 70 % of all people who suffer from migraine have at least one close relative who also suffers from it.  The disease peaks in persons aged 15-24 years. Women are predominantly affected with their ratio to men being 3:1. 
Although a specific cause of migraine is not known, there are certain triggers that cause the onset and worsening of the disease. Hormonal changes, stress, certain medications, strong light, smell, noise and certain foods trigger the attacks. The triggers can be different for different individuals and can be identified by the person in subsequent attacks.
Ardhavbhedaka is described in Ayurveda as being a type of headache that affects one side of the head and is severe in nature. Faulty food(Ahara) and lifestyle(Vihara) such as Dry food, overeating, irregular sleep pattern, suppression of urges, stress, psychological imbalance, strenuous exercise, sexual activity etc. disrupt the balance of the three doshas, namely vata, pitta and kapha with vata and pitta being predominant. The vitiated doshas then reach the head and obstruct the rasa and rakta strotas (blood vessels) thus producing ardhavbhedaka.
Features of migraine – The presenting symptoms
A recurrent, pulsating or throbbing pain in one or both sides of the head presenting often with associated symptoms such as nausea and increased sensitivity to light and sound is Migraine. Migraine attacks initially affect the front, side and sometimes back of one side of head. The pain gradually increases and can persist upto 4 – 72 hours. The pain is moderate to severe in intensity sometimes severely affecting the overall quality of life.
Migraine may or may not present with the preceding symptoms also known as Aura. The Aura sometimes presents itself before the attack, along with the attack or sometimes skipping the main attack altogether. The stage of Aura generally goes for less than an hour. The Aura consists of visual disturbances like flashing lights, appearance of lines or defects in the field of vision. Light-headedness, ringing in the ear, weakness in the muscles can also occur.
Diagnosing Migraine – Evaluation and Testing
Diagnosing migraine is mainly dependent on history. Since there is no identifiable underlying cause of migraine, tests such as blood tests and scans are not definitive diagnostic tools in migraine. Therefore, keeping track of the frequency and duration of attacks of migraine, associating symptoms, and triggering factors help reach the diagnosis.
- A blood test, brain and body scan and medical examination may help rule out any other condition that may be the cause of headache.
- A psychological examination is also needed sometimes to identify stress factors.
Treating Migraine – The Approach
The short-term objective of the treatment is to provide relief during an acute migraine attack. And the long-term objective of the treatment is to reduce the severity and intensity of the attack. Acute attacks are treated symptomatically. Pain-relieving drugs are used to relieve pain and are most effective when the pain is mild. Drugs named ‘Triptans’ are useful in migraine. 
Ayurveda helps achieve long-term treatment goals. It helps reduce the severity and frequency of migraine attacks. Modification of lifestyle, avoiding the triggering factors, and treating with Ayurvedic medicines make for the main treatment of migraine.
Pacifying the vata and pitta dosha predominant tridoshas, improving the ‘Agni” or the digestive balance of the body and strengthening the brain and the nervous system are the goals to be achieved in an Ayurvedic treatment plan.
Home Remedies for Migraine
You can Include the Following Home Remedies
- Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
- Include Mild to moderate exercise, yoga, and meditation in your daily regimen.
- Get adequate sleep and nutritious food.
- Identify triggering factors and avoid them.
- Drinking Ginger Tea a few times a day helps relieve the symptoms of migraine
- Take coriander powder and soak it overnight. Drink it in the morning to get relief from the pain.
Ayurvedic Medicines for Migraine
In ayurveda, below are the treatment protocol which should be followed
1. Restoring the balance of agni : In shodhana therapy of ayurveda , the toxins of the body are removed with the help of panchkarma and function of agni is restored. Agni or the digestive power needs to be restored before giving the curative medicines. Agni restoring herbs are haritaki, triphala, amalaki, chitrak etc. In polyherbal formulations, Arogyavardhini vati works very well on agni.
2. Balancing the tridosa : Shaman therapy follows the shodhana therapy. It targets the specific dosha, and dosha or disease specific medicines are given. In this vata dosha is balanced by giving vata-pacifying herbs such as ashwagandha and pitta dosha is pacified with the help of anti-pitta herbs such as Praval pishti, mukta shukti etc.
3. Nervine Strengthens : There are certain nervous systems strengthening herbs like brahmi, shankhpushpi, ashwagandha etc. Which help in boosting the health of the nervous system and brain.
Planet Ayurveda Migraine care pack
Planet Ayurveda is a trusted, famed and renowned GMP certified company offering herbal products across all over the world. These products are prepared using the standardized extract of herbs and are 100 % safe. Herbal formulations prepared in the house of Planet Ayurveda are free from additives, chemicals, preservatives and binders by following the strict ayurveda principles under the guidance of MD ayurveda experts. Planet Ayurveda brings forth a wholesome Migraine Care Pack which are as follows
- Arogyavardhini vati
- Ashwagandha churna
- Pitta balance
- Medhya churna
- Brahmi capsules
1. Arogyavardhini vati
Ashwagandha capsules is a single herbal formulation in capsule form prepared using stanadardized extract of Ashwagandha root (Withania somnifera). This capsule is very efficacious in sustaining nervous health and a wonderful anti-inflammatory, analgesic, immune booster and a rejuvenator. It is considered as an antidepressant and adaptogenic tonic. Thus, it shows very good results in migraine.
Dosage– 1 capsule twice daily with plain water after meals.
2. Medhya churna
This is a polyherbal formulation in powder form prepared using Vacha (Acorus calamus), Ajmoda (Carum roxburghianum), Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Shwet Jeerak (Cuminum cyminum) etc. This enhances the memory and aids in reducing the associated symptoms of the disease like nausea, vomiting, pain in the head etc. This balances all the doshas and sustains normal health.
Dosage– 1/4th tsp once a day with plain water after meal
3. Arogyavardhini vati
This is a classical herbal formulation prepared in the house of Planet Ayurveda in tablet form prepared using
- Bibhitaki (Terminalia bellerica)
- Haritaki (Terminalia chebula)
- Chitrak mool (Plumbago zeylanica)
- Amalaki (Emblica officinalis) and some other herbs
This formulation removes all the endotoxins from the body and sustains health cells. It also helps in reducing the pain in head, nausea, vertigo and other related symptoms of migraine.
Dosage– 2 tablets twice daily with plain water after meals.
4. Pitta Balance
As the name indicates, this formulation balances the pitta dosha and prepared using Praval Pishti (Coral compound), Akik Pishti (Agate compound), Mukta Pishti, giloy (Tinospora cordifolia) etc.This formulation assist in reducing the symptoms of migraine because of its pitta balancing property. It also keeps the mind and body calm and provides a soothing effect to them.
Dosage– 2 capsules twice daily with plains water after meals
5. Brahmi Capsules
Brahmi capsules are safe and prepared using the standardized extract of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri).Classically this is mentioned as Medhya (nervine tonic), thus reducing the pain in head occurring due to migraine. It is one of the best herbs to be used in nervous system disorders as it contains alkaloids like Bacopasides which aids in nourishing the neurons and improves retention ability.
Dosage– 2 capsules twice daily with plains water after meals
At last, we can console that the above mentioned herbal formulations are very much safe and effective in migraine. So use these formulations without any worry and keep yourself healthy. For more queries you can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
- AYURVEDIC MANAGEMENT OF ARDHAVBHEDAKA ROGA (MIGRAINE) – A CASE REPORT; Gupta Asherfi Lal ewt al, World Journal of pharmaceutical research, 2019