migraine is more common in women, and people usually have their first attack before age 30. first attacks rarely occur in people over age 40, but they can occur in children as young as 3 years old. migraine headaches recur at intervals of varying length. some people have attacks several times a month; others have less than one a year. most people find that migraine attacks occur less frequently and become less severe as they get older.
According to Ayurveda, the humour called “Vata” controls the nervous system and brain activity and it is the imbalance of this Vata that causes the diseases. So in Ayurveda Migraine is known as "Ardhavabhedak"
there are two major types of migraine headache: migraine with an aura and migraine without an aura. an aura is a group of symptoms, mainly visual, that develops before the onset of the main headache. migraine with aura accounts for about1 in 5 of all migraine cases. some people experience both types of migraine at different times.
The underlying cause of migraine is unknown, but increased blood flow as a result of widening of the blood vessels in the brain is known to occur in the brain during a migraine. about 8 in 10 people who have migraine have a close relative with the disorder. stress and depression may be trigger factors, as may the relief of stress, such as relaxing after a difficult day. other potential migraine triggers are missed meals, lack of sleep, and certain foods, such as cheese or chocolate. many women find that their migraines often occur around the time of menstruation
Migraine headaches, either with or without aura, are sometimes preceded by a group of symptoms that are collectively known as prodrome. these prodrome symptoms tend to appear about an hour before the main symptoms begin.
The prodrome often includes:
• anxiety or mood changes.
• altered sense of taste and smell.
• either an excess or a lack of energy.
people who have a migraine with aura experience a number of further symptoms before the migraine, including:
• visual disturbances, such as blurry vision and bright flashes.
• pins and needles, numbness, or a sensation of weakness on the face or on one side of the body
the main symptoms, common to both types of migraine, then develop. these symptoms include:
• headache that is severe, throbbing, made worse by movement, and usually felt on one side of the head, over one eye, or around one temple.
• nausea or vomiting.
• dislike of bright light or loud noises.
a migraine may last from a few hours to a few days but eventually clears up. after a migraine, you may feel tired and unable to concentrate.
Ayurvedic treatment of migraine consists of the following
1. TRIVUWANKRITI, SHRASHOOLADIVAJRA RAS, CHANDRAKANT RAS, ARDHANARINATESWAR RAS and PATHYADI KWATH are good medicines for migrane.
2. GODANTI BHASMA or Praval Bhasma
This is a rather inexpensive but effective Ayurvedic medication for patients suffering from migraine.
Dose: It is given in the dose of one gram thrice daily. The medication is to be taken with honey.
3. SHADBINDU TAILA
This Ayurvedic medicated oil is quite effective in treating migraine. This medication irritates the nasal mucous membrane. However, it effects instant relief.
Dose : Only six drops are to be taken in each nostril daily and till the symptoms persist.
4. ANU TAILA
Proper use of this oil brings about instant relief to acute and chronic migraine instances.
This medicated oil needs to be inhaled deeply to induce forced sneezing. It removes the nasal blockages from the sinuses and their passages. The nerves in the nasal routes are soothed.
Even as the mental strain is removed, the heaviness in the head is also relieved. The patient will be able to sleep soundly. Above all, there are no side effects.
The Panchakarma therapy
They are meant to flush out the toxins, They are classified as pre-purification, main purification and post purification phases and include various types of therapies like oil massages, fermented liquid massages, medicinal enemas, herbal purification methods.
(i) "Swedan" (local fomentation) (ii) "Nasya" (medicated nasal drops) (iii) "Basti" (Medicated enema) (iv) "Shirobasti" (scalp treatment with medicated milk or oil)
Local fomentation is done by a procedure called "Naadi swedan". In this procedure, a jet of medicated steam is directed at the forehead and around the temple area, usually after local application of some medicated oil. A decoction of Nirgundi (Vitex negundo) is usually used for this procedure.
Nasya or medicated oil drops used for the treatment of migraine is of two types. The first is called "Shirovirechan", in which strong, irritant medicines are instilled as nasal drops, which induce sneezing and watery discharge. The second is called as "Avapidak nasya' in which a paste is prepared of a herb or several herbs, and the liquid is inserted in the nostrils. Usually, herbs like Vacha (Acorus calamus) and Pippali ( Piper longum) are used along with honey. Both procedures are aimed at removing the cause of the headache and the pain.
The medicated enema used in migraine is called as "Anuvasan Basti". Small quantities of medicated oils, usually about 50 ml. are given at regular intervals, on an outpatient basis. Oil of Sesame and Mahanarayan oil (containing mainly Asparagus racemosus) are usually used for this purpose.
Shirobasti is a special procedure in which a special cylindrical cap is fitted on the shaved head and sealed all round to prevent leakage of medicine. Medicated oils and milk are poured into this cap, so that the medicine remains in contact with the scalp for a specific time. This is done at regular intervals till improvement is seen.
Sirodhara In this process herbal oil, medicated milk, medicated butter milk etc, are poured on the forehead in a special method for about 45-50 minutes. Highly effective in providing both temporary and permanent relief from Migraines and Headaches. Ingredients used in Sirodhara include gooseberry,sandalwood..
Takradhara :This treatment involves continuous pouring of medicated buttermilk on the forehead. It cools the head and gives immediate relief from headaches. It also has a soothing effect on the eyes. Amaltas, nut grass tuber and staff tree are the medicinal herbs used.
By: Dr Raja Ram Dhungana