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Ayurveda in Migraine management

 A migraine headache is throbbing, moderate to severe pain on one side of the head. It usually worsens by physical activity, light, sounds or smells and is associated with nausea and vomiting. Migraine is an episodic primary headache disorder. Symptoms typically last four to seventy two hour and may be severe.

Symptoms of migraine

• Throbbing type of pain is typically felt on one side. The pain may be moderate but is often severe and incapacitating.

• Physical activity, light, sounds or smells may make the headache worse.

• The headache is often accompanied by nausea, sometimes with vomiting.
• The migraine attack often involves more than a headache. It may include a prodrome, an aura and a postdrome. The prodrome is a change in mood or behavior, which can precede the rest of the migraine by twenty four hours. People may become depressed, elated, irritable or restless.

• Nausea or loss of appetite may also occur.

The Aura

• Above 20% of people experience aura. The aura involves temporary reversible disturbances in vision, sensation, balance, movement or speech. Commonly people see jagged, shimmering or flashing lights or develop a blind spot with flickering edges.

• Less commonly, people experience tingling sensation, loss of balance, weakness in an arm or leg or difficulty in talking. The aura occurs within an hour before the migraine and ends as the migraine begins. About 25% of people experience a post drome which involves changes in mood and behavior after the migraine. Migraine attacks may occur frequently for a long period of time but then may disappear for many weeks, months or even years.

• No procedure can confirm the diagnosis. If the development of headache is recent or if the pattern of symptoms changes, perform a CT or MRI of the head to exclude other disorders.

Ayurvedic treatment for migraine

• Herbal medications to pacify vitiated vata and pitta and to balance kapha
• Herbs of bitter taste can balance the vitiated doshas in migraine
• Cardamom with milk can be used in migraine
• Herbal decoctions, tablets, medicated ghee
• Panchakarma treatments such as virechana and nasya
• Shiropichu, shirodhara, takradhara can be beneficial.