Migraine Ayurvedic Treatment

Severe headache on one side of head is called migraine. The person often feels pulsing sensation or throbbing pain due to this type of headache. It may persist for few hours to days, which often interferes with daily activities. Though the exact cause of migraine is not known, problems with trigeminal nerve, certain chemicals in brain (like serotonin), hormonal changes during menstruation (in women) etc might be a reason. Other triggering factors are stress, alcohol, certain medications, sleep disturbances, excess light or sound exposure, increased physical activity etc. 

Migraine Signs and Symptoms

Headache on one side, nausea, aura (visual disturbances like flashes of light, spots etc before or during the periods of headache), vomiting, intolerance to light or sound, tingling sensation on one side of face/ arm/ leg etc are the most common symptoms of migraine. Generally, the symptoms of migraine develop through 4 stages- prodrome, aura, attack and post-drome. 

Prodrome stage starts 1-2 days before headache and the symptoms during this stage are mood changes, food cravings, constipation, increased urination, frequent yawning and stiff neck. 

Aura is the next stage, and it may not be felt by some people. It often occurs during or before the migraine. Visual disturbances (like flashes of light/ seeing various shapes/ light spots, loss of vision), pricking sensation over arms or legs, numbness of one side of face or speaking difficulty- which last for few minutes are the characteristic features of this stage. 

Next comes the ‘attack’ stage in which severe headache occurs. It often lasts for about 4-72 hours. A throbbing or pulsing pain occurs either on one side or both sides of head. Other symptoms are nausea, vomiting and light or sound sensitivity. 

Postdrome is the last stage followed by attack of headache. The person often feels drained/ confused/ elated. 

Migraine Ayurvedic Analysis 

Ardhavabhedaka is the headache that occurs on one side of the head. It is a type of shirashoola (headache)/ shiroroga by vata. Its characteristic feature is piercing/ throbbing pain over one side of head which occurs in fortnights or once in a month and subsides by self. Other symptoms are sound/ light intolerance, severe pain around eyes, stiffness of neck and jaw etc. 

Migraine Causative Factors (Ayurveda)

The possible causes are exposure to dust, sunlight, mist, cold water, wind, lack of proper sleep/ excess sleep, over sweating of head, suppression of tear/ excessive crying, excess intake of alcohol, infections, looking downwards for long periods, avoiding head massage/head bath, sharp smells, speaking too much etc. 

Possible Complications of Migraine Disease

The main complication is headache due to medication overuse (to reduce pain). 

Other systemic diseases and precautions to be taken 

Consider other conditions like infections/ diseases of brain, stress, medications, alcoholism etc before planning treatment. 

Migraine Disease Management with Ayurveda Treatment

Internal medications along with snehapana (internal administration of suitable ghee); shiro abhyanga (oil massage over the head); swedana with kizhi made up of pasted meat/ grains; shirodhara with medicines that alleviate vata; nasya, dhoomapana (inhalation of medicated fumes), shirotharpana (nourishing therapy to head) and karnatharpana (retention of medicine in ears) with suitable lipid formulation are the treatment options. 


Include more pulses and grains added with ghee/ oil, milk, sesame, black gram in diet. Reduce the intake of bitter/ astringent/ pungent tastes, dry and cold food etc. 


Mild to moderate exercise can be done as per the guidance of the physician. 

Migraine Preventive Aspects in Ayurveda

Avoid the causative factors. Apply suitable oil on scalp and massage gently before bath. Stay away from the triggering factors. 

Importance of diet

Oily and sweet food can reduce the symptom but choose the right food as per the physician’s guidance. Reduce the intake of food and drinks that increase vata. 


Avoid the triggering factors. Apply suitable oil over the scalp and head before bath. Drink more water. Quit smoking and reduce the consumption of alcohol. Avoid stress, looking downwards for long period, extreme sunlight/ noises/ light etc. Eat healthy nutritious diet.

Migraine is a special type of headache with its own characteristic signs and symptoms. The main symptoms include nausea, vomiting tendency, and intolerance to light and sound. The intensity of these symptoms varies from person to person and can be triggered by various factors such as hormonal changes, certain food items, or even pungent smells.

The headache in migraine is often focused on specific areas of the head, such as the temples or forehead, although it can radiate to other areas like the ears, neck, shoulders, or even the eyes. Some individuals may experience associated symptoms like toothache or temporary blurring of vision.

The unpredictable nature of migraine makes it challenging to pinpoint its exact cause. While various hypotheses exist, the underlying cause remains unknown. Treatment in Ayurveda focuses on addressing the imbalance of the Vata dosha, which is responsible for the symptoms.

Managing migraine involves a comprehensive approach that includes internal medications, nasal drops, and external therapies like shirodhara or shirobasti. It’s crucial to consider individual factors such as hormonal changes and stress levels when devising a treatment plan.

Preventive measures may include dietary adjustments, lifestyle modifications, stress management techniques like yoga and meditation, and regular use of medicated oils or ghee for head massage.

In severe cases, where symptoms extend beyond headache to affect other organs like the eyes, ears, or throat, targeted treatments may be necessary to address the underlying weaknesses or sensitivities in those areas.

Treatment should be continuous and aimed at maintaining balance in the body to prevent migraine attacks from recurring. It’s essential to work with an experienced practitioner to tailor the treatment plan according to individual needs and constitution.

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Matha Ayurveda Eye Hospital & Panchakarma Centre

Near Civil Station, Jayaprakash Ln, Kudappanakunnu, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695043

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Eye Hospital Road (Moongode - Meppukada Road), Moongode P O Near, Thachottukavu, Kerala 695573

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Matha Ayurveda Eye Hospital - Eighteenth Stone

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Phone: 9847057575




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