migraine headache treatment in ayurveda

Migraine In Ayurveda

Learn how Ayurveda has the remedy to treat Migraine

Migraine is a burning health problem of modern age, affecting more than 1 in 10. Migraine is caused by excessive stimulation of brain and blood vessels. Migraine headache is usually associated with side sided throbbing headache, with nausea (tendency to vomiting) and sensitivity to light. Migraine sufferers have a higher chance of having depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, other pain conditions and fatigue.




Aura is a combination of sensations that occur before and sometimes during the pain of migraine. Aura means “wind” and just like the wind often is a sign of an approaching storm, an aura serves as a warning of an approaching migraine. Auras may include blurry vision, blind spots, bright flashing lights, temporary vision loss, wavy or jagged lines, numbing or tingling of the skin and muscle weakness.

Migraine without aura

This type of migraine is very common and does not have any warning signs but some people may still feel some symptoms that indicate a migraine is coming. The pain of the migraine attack is still severe and nausea or vomiting might happen.

Signs and Symptoms of Migraine

excessive yawning in migraine

Usually migraines are initiated by aura – visual disturbances. These disturbances can be:

  • Blind spot in front of eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Seeing bright light
  • Zig zag lights
  • Lines etc.

Some may get pre-migraine signs such as:

  • Excessive Yawning
  • Mild confusion
  • Vomiting sensation etc.

Nature of Migraine Headaches

two sided migraine headache
  • Pain over the eyebrows
  • Headache gets worse on exposure to sunshine
  • Throbbing pain
  • Pulsating pain, pain increasing with every pulse
  • One sided or two sided headaches, lasting for a few hours to up to 2 – 3 days.
  • Pain may radiate to neck and even to the shoulder of same side.


Headaches in Ayurveda are classified based on doshic involvement (body-mind-spirit). Ardhavbhedaka has been explained as Vata and Pitta predominant Tridoshaja Vyadhi, but it can also be triggered by any one of the individual doshas. Ayurveda considers headache occurs because of two primary reasons – a sensitive nervous system and impaired digestion. The sensitive nervous system lowers the ojas which is the essence of all body tissues and provides strength to the nervous system and body. Similarly, improper diet and lifestyle causes aggravation of Pitta in the body which impairs digestion leading to the production of metabolic impurities called ama. This ama mobilized to the head and neck region by vata and other Doshas causing headache.


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Ardhavbhedaka is of 3 types mainly:

  • Vataja headache - caused by Vata prakopak ahaar (diet) and vihar (lifestyle) like sleeplessness, hurry, worry, indigestion, fasting, irregular food habits, fear, stress, extreme cool condition, suppression of natural urges, etc. 
  • Pittaja headache- caused by Pitta prakopaka diet like hot spicy food, junk food, beverages, sunlight, heat, profuse sweating, stress, etc.
  • Kaphaja headache- caused by Kapha pakopaka practices such as guru ahara having high calorie foods, processed canned food and drinks, dairy products, fermented foods, meat products, lack of exercise, excessive sleep at day time, etc.  

Symptoms of Migraine according to Doshas.

  • Migraine due to Vata dosha has constipation, dry skin and acute pain; Pitta dosha has Irritability, sensitivity to light, burning sensation in the eyes and Kapha dosha has Headache with throbbing pain, nausea and fatigue.
  • Pain is usually Ardha shira (unilateral) in Manya, Bhru, Shankha, Karna, Akshi and Lalaata.16 Intensity of pain is severe stabbing or cutting type and increases with every pulse. It may radiate to the neck and shoulder of the same side.
  • Migraine attacks are more often during the time of depression, irritability, menstrual period and loss of appetite. People with migraine get it at the frequency of once in aweek or fifteen days or once in amonth. The headache lasts for three to four hours but in worst cases the pain lasts for two to three days as well.

Treatment of migraine through Ayurveda

In contemporary science, management of Migraine is prophylactic only. But in Ayurveda, there are various treatment protocols explained by acharyas. Treatment can be achieved by:
1. Avoiding triggers and prescribing doshic-specific diet.
2. Stress management (meditation, relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, yoga and mantra)
3. Herbal formulations
4. Lifestyle modification
5. Panchakarma
6. Other holistic modalities to create a balance between body-physiology and body- mind to bring complete relief to migraine patients.

Treatment plan is considered according to Shiroroga Chikitsa and Vatvyadhi Chikitsa. Only herbal medications or other topical procedures are not enough for the treatment. 
First of all, Shodhana karma is required for pacification of vitiated Doshas such as:
> Mridu Shodhan
> Nasya
> Basti
> Shirobasti
> Shirolepa
> Shirodhara
> Kavala Graha
> Other internal medications are planned as per vitiated Doshas.

According to Ayurveda, maintaining a good diet and Lifestyle are essential to restore stability and balance in the body. Depending on the symptoms, frequency and intensity of the attack, a healthy diet can manage migraine headache.


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