Migraine is defined as a very severe and recurring attack of headache accompanied by a feeling of nausea. The frequency of migraine headaches varies from one person to another, and so does their severity. In addition, there is a vast difference in the types of pains that are felt during attacks of migraine. Generally, the headaches in migraine are felt only on one side of the head.
Migraine has become a common disorder owing to modern lifestyle. From the perspective of Ayurveda, migraine headaches are due to a disorder in tridosha (Three functional energies ) migraines frequently occur when systemic pitta moves into the cardiovascular system, circulates, and affects the blood vessels around the brain. The blood vessels dilate due to the hot, sharp quality of pitta. This, in turn, creates pressure on the nerves, resulting in migraines.

Busy and hectic lifestyle Excessive smoking
Sudden changes of climate Continuous exposure to loud sound
Improper sleep pubertal changes in girls
Pregnancy in women Starvation
Continuous and prolonged exposure to toxins and chemical pollutants, including smoke and fumes

Causes Related to Diet
Monosodium glutamate, i.e. ajinomoto in food
Fermented foods
Excessive consumption oily- spicy food, dairy products, Tea, coffee and colas
Flesh foods that are not fresh
Dry fruits such as nuts and peanuts
Alcohol, etc

Causes Related to Medication
Excessive consumption of painkillers, withdrawal from painkillers
Birth control pills
Aminophylline, used by asthmatic patients
Reserpine, nifedipine and diuretics used by high blood pressure patients etc

What triggers migraine?
Stress, sleep disturbances, fasting, hormones, bright or flickering lights, odors, cigarette smoke, alcohol, aged cheese, chocolate, monosodium glutamate, nitrites, and caffeine. For some women, the decline in the blood level of estrogen during the onset of menstruation is a trigger for migraine headaches
The treatment of Migraine by Ayurveda follows a very systematic synergic pattern. The treatment is a three-point process, which is as follows:- Controlling the migraine attack, Reduce the exposure to triggering factors , Medication to prevent the future attacks.

Treatment Includes-
1. Purgation therapy (Virechana) – Regulates increased Pitta, Kapha and to increased over all health of vascular system.
2. Nasal infusion therapy (Nasya)- Regulates proper function of nervine system.
3. Dhara therapy- To reduce stress related issue responsible for severe headaches.
4. Breathing exercises
5.Diet according to body type and disease condition.
Ayurveda aims not only to cure the severity of the migraine attack, but also prevents the recurrence of attacks in the future.

Dr.Mangesh Mudgal
Resident doctor at Ayurveda Kenya