Why everyone is talking about Ayurveda for migraines – 10 tips to regain control of your life

Migraines are more than a bad headache. You’re going about your day when suddenly your eyes start to flicker and you suspect that a new migraine attack will keep you confined to your bed over the next few days. According to the Migraine Research Foundation, migraines affect approximately 1 billion people globally. In addition to the classic, one-sided migraine headache, there is often sensitivity to light, nausea and even vomiting. Conventional medicine does not recognize migraine as causally curable. For this reason, pain management is mainly done with lifestyle changes and medications to relieve pain. But curing migraines with Ayurveda, is that even possible? Alternative natural remedies, unlike conventional medicine, have a different approach and treat the actual cause instead of the symptoms of the disease. For this reason, traditional Ayurveda can also provide effective treatment for migraine. Discover the causes of your migraine from an Ayurvedic point of view and learn what tips you can implement at home to reduce your migraine headaches today in this article.

What are the causes of migraine from an Ayurvedic perspective?

Ayurveda distinguishes a total of 11 different types of pain in the head. While tension headaches are more likely to be caused by an excess of Vata Dosha, migraines are usually caused by a disturbance of Pitta. If you have too much Pitta in your body, then there is an imbalance in your metabolism. Your digestive organs, liver and pancreas accumulate excessive acid. Because of this, your body tries to get rid of heat and acid, which in turn results in migraine attacks.

Even though Pitta is mainly responsible for your migraines, the other two doshas influence the quality of your pain. If you are particularly sensitive to noise during your migraine headaches, feel dizzy and experience a strong, pulsating pain, then a disturbance of your Vata is also responsible for your migraine. Pitta attacks are mainly accompanied by blurred vision, diarrhea, sensitivity to light and seeing flashes of light. If you feel heaviness in your head, sensitivity to smell, or have the urge to vomit during your painful episodes, then a Kapha disturbance is influencing your migraines. According to the Ayurvedic perspective, there is also a connection between too much stress and migraine.

Young woman receiving a traditional Ayurveda treatment for migraines.

Ayurveda for migraines: Science agrees with ancient Indian wisdom

Ayurvedic treatment for migraine headaches is composed of many different therapeutic areas. While Ayurveda first performs traditional cleansing therapies for migraines to rebalance the digestive and metabolic imbalances, patients still need to consider long-term lifestyle changes as well as dietary changes to heal their migraines in the long run. Ayurvedic herbal treatments in the form of herbal preparations or topically applied herbal oils also support the healing of migraine. In 2005, Prakash Balendu Vaidya, Babu S. R. Vaidya and Sureshkumar K. Vaidya investigated in their study “Response to Ayurvedic therapy in the treatment of migraine without aura” on 406 patients over 2 years the regular treatment of migraine by Ayurvedic treatment methods. Thanks to Ayurvedic therapy, the frequency of migraine attacks was reduced in 144 subjects, as well as the intensity of pain. Since migraine is also closely related to your stress level from an Ayurvedic perspective, relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga can help bring more serenity and normality to your daily routine.

Migraine relief with Ayurveda: reduce your migraine headaches with these 10 tips

1. Avoid certain foods when you have a migraine symptoms.

Depending on the dosha that causes your migraine, you should avoid certain foods that fuel this dosha. In general, you should always avoid alcohol, caffeine and nicotine to reduce the frequency of your migraine attacks. Consult an Ayurveda doctor to help determine your personal doshas as well as the doshas causing your migraines.

2. Try herbal remedies.

By taking various Ayurvedic herbs, you can use Ayurveda for migraine healing. Drinking ginger tea, for example, can significantly reduce the frequency of your migraine headaches, as it has a digestive effect and helps to strengthen your digestive fire.

Ginger tea as an ayurvedic herbal treatment for migraines.

3. Integrate relaxation and mindfulness into your daily routine.

Since migraines are closely related to the occurrence of too much stress from an Ayurvedic perspective, you should be sure to integrate regular relaxation exercises into your daily routine. Daily meditation in the morning or breathing exercises before going to bed will help to drastically reduce your stress level and give you inner peace and balance.

4. Give yourself a massages.

If you already suspect that the next attack will hit you, prepare a paste of nutmeg and water and gently massage it on your forehead and temples. This remedy will relieve headaches and have a calming effect, making it easier for you to fall asleep.

5. Adjust your daily rhythm.

In order to reduce your stress and keep your energy levels balanced, it is important that you also adjust your daily rhythm in the long run. Try to go to bed before 10pm and always get up at the same time to support your body’s biorhythm and ease your nervous system through a regular schedule. Regular mealtimes prevent hypoglycemia throughout the day and thus also prevent migraines.

6. Change your diet.

Although dietary changes can be difficult, adjusting your diet according to your dominant dosha type is also essential for the long-term relief from migraines. It is best to consult a trained Ayurvedic doctor to find out which foods are right for you and how you can rebalance your doshas for the best results.

7. Integrate Ayurvedic rituals into your daily life.

By integrating Ayurvedic rituals, such as Nasya, into your daily life, Ayurveda can help against migraine. For example, dripping warm sesame oil into the nose reduces the presence of Vata. To reduce tension in the body, it is recommended to drip four drops of sesame oil into the nostrils on migraine days.

Young woman practising Yoga in her living room at home.
Woman doing yoga and watching tutorial lesson on laptop at home.

8. Get enough exercise.

Yoga is a great form of exercise that helps you relax your blood vessels and calm your mind. By incorporating a yoga routine into your daily schedule, you can significantly reduce the frequency of your migraine attacks. Yoga breathing exercises in particular will help soothe your nervous system you prevent headaches.

9. Inhale essential oils.

Inhaling essential oils will help you to positively influence your migraine attacks. Rosemary, lavender or jasmine oil are good choices for headaches. Simply drop 10 drops of the respective oil into hot water and then inhale with deep breaths.

10. Ayurvedic therapy for migraines.

Traditional Ayurvedic therapy programs help to rebalance your doshas through deep cleansing using elimination procedures and herbal remedies, and put your body in a state of relaxation through external oil and herbal treatments. You will also be given a tailored Ayurvedic diet plan to help make the necessary dietary changes. Professional Ayurvedic programs and retreats that are supervised by trained and certified Ayurvedic doctors and therapists have given many people lasting relief from migraine attacks.

Curious? Here are our offers for Ayurveda for migraines.

Ypsylon Resort
Sri Lanka – West Coast Sri Lanka – Beruwala
Classic Ayurveda Therapy - Panchakarma
14 nights, double room, full-board
Oasis Aramaya Ayurveda Beach Resort
Sri Lanka – Southwest Coast – Ambalangoda
Intensive Ayurveda Therapy
11 nights, double room, full-board
The Leela Kovalam, a Raviz Hotel
India – South-West India / Kerala – Kovalam
Classic Ayurveda Therapy
7 nights, double room, full-board
Oasis Ayurveda Beach Resort
Sri Lanka – South Coast Sri Lanka – Hambantota
Long-term Ayurveda Panchakarma
27 nights, double room, full-board

Looking for other programs for migraines? >> See all migraine programs

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