Ayurvedic Lifestyle for Migraine

Before we jump to the migraine specific lifestyle, you must familiarize yourself with

Ideal Ayurvedic Lifestyle

Migraine Special Lifestyle

What to Avoid

A migraine patient should avoid vata vitiation at all costs. And therefore he should avoid the following factors –

  • Excessive exercise
  • Excessive indulgence in sexual activity
  • Heavy manual labor
  • Controlling natural urges like defecation, hunger, sleep, burping etc.
  • Exposure to extreme temperature fluctuations
  • Cold water bath
  • Excessive use of a hairdryer
  • Exposure to harsh sunlight, strong wind, etc. for a long duration.
  • Eating extremely cold/hot food together in a meal – e.g., ice-cream with soup/hot chocolate.
  • Frequent mid-meal snacking
  • Cold food like Ice-creams, soft drinks, etc.
  • Eating excessive amount of dry food
  • Digging nose (if you do)
  • Alcohol intake
  • Any intoxicant – drugs, weed, etc.
  • Sleeping in the day time or daily light transition period (sunrise/sunset)
  • Eating heavy food after sunset or before sunrise
  • Misery/sadness/depression

All these factors disrupt the healthy metabolism of the body. They can trigger excess mucus production and clog the channels (ice creams, soft drinks), create dryness and lose of moisture (manual labour, alcohol etc.) and thus vitiate vata dosha as a result.

You might also have your unique triggers for migraine stimulation. I know a person who gets a migraine attack whenever he consumes Ashwagandha (an Ayurvedic medicinal herb). Be careful about your triggers and try to avoid them till the treatment protocol is over.

What to Do

Some of the Lifestyle changes highly recommended for migraine patients are –

Brahma Muhurata Jagarana

Waking up early morning before sunset can solve more than 50% aggrarvation problems in migraine. However, as stated earlier, you should take it easy and go for a gradual change over a few months.

Waking up early

Usha paan

Usha Paan is a traditional morning ritual of drinking water. Ideally, you should store water in the copper vessel overnight and drink it in the morning. You can drink water normal or lukewarm according to your comfort and the external climatic condition.

Ushapaan

The above link for ushapaan is the primary method. The advanced form of Usha paan drinking water in the morning is done not through the mouth but the nasal passage. Before the advanced stage, you must practice neti kriya, which is another important migraine prevention factor. I will have a future post on this procedure.

In this method, you insert the lukewarm water through the nasal cavity(nostrils) instead of the oral cavity (mouth).

After regular use practice of Advanced ushapaan. After daily use of advanced ushapaan, You will notice a definite decrease in the intensity and of Migraine within one month.

After you are comfortable with the basic stage, you can move to drink water through the nose, just like an elephant. Just like yoga, Ayyurvedic procedures also emerge from the nature. And elephants have the most remarkable memory among all animals, even better than humans!

Kill the Pain

Try to avoid pain killers for migraine pain. They don’t kill the pain. Pain killers hide the pain and kill our liver and kidney in exchange. Here are some alternatives that might help you combat the pain in a simple manner –

Nasya (painkiller nasal drops)
According to Ayurveda, the nose is the entrance to the head. And nasal drops are the primary treatment for all kinds of head disorders, right from the common cold to facial paralysis. Nasal drops can also effectively bring down the migraine pain without any side-effects. They have a faster action as compared to the medicines that go through the oral route.

Precaution – all nasal drops should be used at an average temperature, except cow’s Ghee. Solidified cow’s Ghee should be heated to a mildly high temperature to make it liquid again, before using it as a nasal drops.

For use in mild migraine pain or a pre-migraine aura
Almond oil: 5-6 drops
Cow’s Ghee: 5-6 drops

For severe migraine pain
Anu tailam: 5-6 drops
This Ayurvedic preparation might cause pain in the nasal passage. However, it effectively clears the mucus and reduces swelling in the nasal vessels. In fact, initially the pain is so sharp that it will put aside your migraine pain, ha ha ha, just kidding! I have personally used it many times and have found it incredibly useful. But yes, it does pain initially. To get used to the pain, you can start with 1-2 drops and gradually increase the dosage.

It is beneficial in short term pain control as well as long term migraine relief. In fact, Acharya Charak recommends use of Anu Taila everyday as a prevention of all imaginable disorders in head region, right from hair-loss to dementia. If you are fine with the piercing feeling, you can use it even before the migraine starts.

Shat-Bindu Tailam

This is the savior preparation for all migraine patients. Shat-bindu Tailam is a stronger and more effective option than Anu Tailam. And it also pains a little as Anu tailam.

You can safely use these nasal drops SOS in case of migraine pain. In future posts, I will cover their systematic intake for complete relief from migraine.

I sincerely hope that this information brings you the best of Ayurvedic benefits.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti!

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Ayurvedic Self-Healing Migraine Protocol – Diet

If you are reading my migraine post for the first time, please refer to following links for more details –

What are Dosha?

Ayurveda on Migraine

Ayurvedic Detox for Migraine

I hope that the week one detox plan helped you gain some momentum. If possible, try to stick to Ghee detox as much as possible throughout this treatment protocol as it will eliminate the very foundation of migraine disorder.

However, mental satisfaction is the very essence of Ayurvedic treatment. Therefore, if you are not able to stick to the Ghee Detox, you can switch breakfast and lunch to a regular diet. However, I would advise you to still continue with an exclusive ghee diet at least for dinner (in a minimal amount enough to quench hunger).

In this blog, I am going to help you choose the best food options that will prevent vata dosha and migraine aggravation. However, the sutra remains – whatever you eat, cook it in Ghee (except fruits).

Fruits
In fruits, you already know what to avoid. Please refer to the fruit detox plan.

Soaked Almonds

Besides, organic almond soaked overnight in water are very good for migraine. After soaking the almonds overnight, peel off the cover, and slow grind them to a very fine paste. Mix brown sugar or powdered rock candy in 1:1 ratio. Eat the paste and drink lukewarm organic milk (optional) after that , for better absorption.

Avoid eating anything for next 30 min or when you feel hungry, whichever is earlier.

Vegetables
Migraine patients must avoid following vegetables – brinjal, green peas, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, puli broccoli, mustard leaves, spinach, and all kinds of green leafy vegetables like spinach, bitter gourd, potatoes, water caltrop, etc.
However, vegetables cooked in Ghee are less harmful.

Spices
Avoid the use of red chili powder, mustard seeds,

Grains
Wheat and rice are the best options for migraine patients. However, avoid fine flour (maida) bread, white bread, cookies, cakes, and other sweets made out of any grain.

Migraine patients should avoid all kinds of pulses, lentils and millets unless advised otherwise. All these grains are very dry and cause vata vitiation in the body. Daily consumption of the above grains can aggravate migraines in intensity. However, lentils/millets tempered with Ghee are not very harmful. Only moong dal (green gram) is a lentil that does not cause vata vititation and can used safely in migraine condition.

Migraine patients must also avoid urad dal (black gram) at all costs, except south Indian dishes prepared from fermented urad dal.

Meat
Non-vegetarian fat from pig, deer, buffalo, bison, sheep, goat, horse, chicken, turkey crab, all kinds of the mollusk is highly recommended in the soup form for all migraine patients.
All kinds of fish and marine animals are also perfect for all migraine patients. Specially rohu fish is the best for migraines. It is essential to temper these soups with digestive herbs like black pepper, black cardamom, cumin, etc.

Avoid meat of rabbit, primarily fruit-grain eating small birds like the sparrow, parakeet, etc.

However, if you are a vegan, please avoid all meat as they will only add to migraines. Veganism itself is enough to cure not only migraines but all kinds of physical and mental problems!

Cooked food
Please avoid Idli/raw radish/curd at night, according to Ayurveda.
Try to avoid grain-based meals at night. Stick to fruits/boiled vegetables/meat soup at night.

Processed Food
Try to avoid eating all processed/packaged/ready to eat/ready to cook and ready to kill food. If you have a problem cooking or have no access to freshly cooked food, better stick to the ghee-fruit diet. You can mix and match between ghee and fruit diet to satisfy your taste buds.

Fats

Pure ghee is highly recommended in migraine treatment. Other oils like cold-pressed sesame, mustard oil are also edible. However, if you have any kind of congestion, or kapha related disorders like chronic cough and cold, try to avoid

Appetizers –

It is important to ensure that you have good amount of appetizers and digestive Herbs to adequately digest and absorb the oily food recommended in migraine. Therefore, it is advisable to use a good amount of black pepper, Hing, cumin seeds, bay leaves, black cardamom, star anise, cinnamon etc. in your food. Appetizing soups also can be very helpful if only they do not contain flatulence-causing vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower etc. Also exercises will help the oil to spread throughout the body and relieve dryness.

Some recommended recipes for migraine patients

Fried Radish

  • Take 500 grams of diced radish. Heat 50 ml ghee Sesame/mustard/olive oil in a frying pan.
  • Add a pinch of asafoetida, 1/2 tsp ajwain(caraway),1/2 tsp seeds cumin seeds and let them crackle for 10 sec.
  • Add diced radish and fry them till they turn soft. Add salt to taste.

You can The same procedure can be used for making Fried Arabi (colocasia), carrot, jackfruit, green banana, and air potato.
Please avoid the use of jackfruit if you have a weak digestive system. Raw jackfruit is an absolute no in Migraine. Also, avoid eating all raw vegetables.

Home remedy for Migraine relief for week 2

I have come across a home remedy that has helped me treat 6-7 migraine patients myself, without any medicine. This week you can start with this home remedy and see if it works for you too. Also, please share your experience with me, it will be helpful for everyone to know the effectiveness of this combination.

Mix equal amount of powdered almond, rock candy (misri), white pepper, cow’s ghee. Consume one tsp of this paste with normal water, everyday early morning empty stomach. Avoid eating anything for next 1 hour. You can also mix the ingredients and store.

In the next blog, I will share important lifestyle tips for migraine management.

Hope this information helps you to gain better control of your life.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti!

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General Body Detox

Now, as we know no about how migraine happens according to Ayurveda, we can look at the Ayurvedic treatment of migraine.

This migraine self-healing protocol is derived from following classical Ayurvedic text – Charak Samhita, Ashtang Hridya, Bhaishajya Ratnavali, and Yogaratnakara. The treatment methods like nasal drops, ear drops, etc. have been used in the Indian traditional healthcare regimen for many centuries. They are safe and tested. However, I do not have a scientific data-based support this claim right now. Therefore, kindly use this information after consulting your physician.

Ayurveda considers prakrati or body type as one of the fundamental factors for any treatment. Your body is unique, and it may have individual requirements. This treatment provides suitable options for various body types. However, most of the practices are safe and effective for all. The medicines suggested are classical preparations and have a significant effect on all prakrati.

Ayurvedic migraine treatment is a two-pronged as it works on two dimensions mental and physical. Ideally, the migraine treatment must start with counseling and mindfulness training. However, I won’t expect you to meditate when you are reeling with pain. So let’s start with the easiest, practical, and effective procedures that you can follow at home. I assume that after a few weeks, you would in a better position to handle a post on Ayurvedic manas chikitsa (mind treatment) for migraine. Meanwhile, you might like to check some posts on mindfulness.

So, let’s kick-start the migraine self-healing protocol. I will cover the following parts in each blog with sufficient details.

  • General Detox
  • Diet Change
  • Lifestyle Change
  • Ayurvedic Nasal Drops
  • Ayurvedic Ear Drops
  • Ayurvedic Smoking
  • Ayurvedic Head Massage
  • Ayurvedic Mouth Filling
  • Neti Kriya
  • Ayurvedic Mini-Panchkarma
  • Ayurvedic general medicines and home remedies

Now food is the basic input that decides the output in the form of health or disease. And migraine needs a careful selection of foodstuff.

First of all, it is crucial to know what not to eat –
Please more details in these links –

Toxic food according to Ayurveda

Food to avoid

Food not to be eaten regularly

Food to eat very rarely

Food to be eaten in small quantities

And what to eat –

Best Food according to Ayurveda

All the above recommendations work for migraine patients as well as for healthy people. However, I would like to stress the idea of “Satmya.” You are the best judge of what suits you and what does not. Listen to your body, and it will help you to make the best choices.

Migraine Special Diet

With the above indications, let’s dive deep into a diet that will help you to balance your dosha. Vata dosha vitiation is the fundamental cause of migraines and all similar disorders. Therefore, a comprehensive treatment of migraines is based on achieving a vata balance. And vata balancing diet is the first step towards an effective and permanent migraine relief.

Week 1 – Basic Detox

I assume that you have reasonable stamina to follow the essential detox. Also, I assume that you are not suffering from severe lifestyle disorders like diabetes, Hypertension, etc. In case of any severe disease, kindly consult for a personalized regimen.

The most crucial sutra for a migraine patient is to eat only when hungry (unless you are extremely weak).

Option 1

Basic Fruit Detox –

Fruit detox is applicable for summer, and spring only. It is best for the obese, people suffering from compulsive eating disorders, excessive hunger, anorexia, and depression.

One of the best food for migraine patients is fruits (plant products that can be consumed raw, without any cooking). Try to stay on fruits for this week, if possible. You can boil, bake, fry, or simply eat them raw. Local, seasonal, and organic fruits are the best for consumption. In case you are not able to get fresh fruits; you can also try dry fruits like raisins, dates, cashew, almond, dried berries, etc.

Recommended fruits (naturally ripened and organic) – mango, spondias, banana, coconut water, fresh coconut, watermelon, melon, cucumber, elephant Apple, jujube, emblica, pomegranate, apple, pears etc

All the foods must be consumed; you must ensure that the food that you eat s adequately ripened. Consumption of raw fruits can aggravate the migraine problem. Also, do not make them into juices, shakes, etc. Eat them along with their fiber content for the best results. Avoid making milk shakes. Keep your diet strictly limited to fruits.

The use of Almonds is very beneficial for migraine patients. You must soak the elements overnight, peel their coat in the morning and eat with Rock Candy for the best benefit. You can also similarly use walnut and raisins.

Alternatives to Fresh Fruits: Some people have kapha problems like cold, stuffy nose, congestion, etc. if they consume fruits at night or early morning. However, this is abnormal metabolism, and one should try to correct the same. But before you fix it, the alternatives for dinner are – warm milk (A2 organic milk, preferably), dry fruits, boiled potatoes/sweet potatoes/beetroots, tapioca, carrots, etc. Also, these options might be useful to people who have meager availability of edible fruits.

Fruits to avoid – raw (unripe) or artificially ripened fruits, non-seasonal, exotic fruits, inorganic fruits, Artocarpus lacucha, (also known as monkey fruit, or Monkey Jack or barhar), water caltrop, grapes,and tamarind

Fruit Detox Routine
Day 1 – Normal breakfast and lunch, change in dinner
Day 2 – Change breakfast and dinner, Normal Lunch
Day 3 – Change all three meals
Day 4 – Only fruit/boiled vegetable meals
Day 5 – Only fruit/boiled vegetable meals
Day 6 – Normal Lunch, Fruit-based breakfast and dinner
Day 7 – Normal Lunch, breakfast, fruit-based dinner

I would suggest that you follow this detox once a week after the first week, throughout the migraine treatment protocol.

Option 2:

Basic Ghee Detox

Ghee is Indian Clarified butter than helps to normalize all the body functions. It is THE BEST GENERAL SOLUTION for migraine pain in Ayurveda. It is especially applicable for winter and autumn. However, it can be safely used in all seasons and body types. Ghee detox is best for weak, underweight, recuperating(from physical trauma), people with low stamina, and high hunger.

Ghee: Ghee is Deepan, pachan(appetizer, digestive) in nature. It helps to balance all three dosha in the body. Ghee is one of the best anti-toxin in Ayurveda. Ghee detox will ensure that that dryness in your intestine and overall body is reduced, and your nerves are less hyper excited.

Consumption of ghee at esp. at night time helps to balance Prana vayu, a subtype of vata dosha, which is primarily involved in migraines. For more information on how the timing of a medicine affects performance, please visit How to use Ayurvedic Supplements

Ghee Detox Routine
Day 1 – Normal breakfast and lunch, 10-20 ml Ghee in dinner
Day 2 – 20-40 ml Ghee in breakfast/dinner, Normal Lunch
Day 3 – Change all three meals (20-50 ml depending on the hunger, e.g you might be hungrier in winter than in summer)
Day 4 – Only Ghee meals
Day 5 – Only Ghee meals
Day 6 – Normal Lunch, Ghee-based breakfast and dinner
Day 7 – Normal Lunch, breakfast, Ghee-based dinner

Ghee intake is such a reliable and powerful procedure that it can eliminate migraine in the long run, without any other effort or medication.
People with obesity can also practice this method. However, they must ensure to eat only when truly hungry and consume only 1-2 tsp of ghee at a time. Consider this Ghee detox as a mini keto diet that will help to rejuvenate your body.

Later, as you heal, you can also use Ghee for cooking purposes.
Please ensure that it is A2 organic ghee for the best results. If not, then go for whatever ghee is available. Salted Indian butter available online also produces reasonable cleansing effects.

You can also consume good quality medicated ghee or Ayurvedic oils. Some good options are Baladi thailam, Mahanarayan tail, Brahmi ghrita, kalyanaka ghrita, Ashwagandhadi ghrita, puran ghrita et cetera. However, consult your physician before trying any of these.

These two detoxes can help to make a good foundation for further treatment. However, please make sure that you choose the detox according to the season, and your body condition. Also, it is important to avoid eating anything else during this detox. If you find it very tough, keep the lunch intact and change breakfast and dinner for 30 days to achieve the same result.

Also, you can choose to go for fruit detox and then try ghee detox as well. However, ghee detox is superior to fruit detox.

It is vital to ensure that you have the right amount of appetizers and digestive herbs to digest and absorb the oily food/Ghee recommended in migraine treatment. Also, mild yoga exercises will help the lubrication from Ghee to spread throughout the body and relieve dryness.

Some good classical digestives are –

  • Hinguvadi/Hinguashtaka churna (powder/tablet form)
  • Dadimashtaka Churna
  • 1/2 tsp Ajwain (carom seeds) with a pinch of black salt (esp. for bloating)
  • 1 tsp roasted cumin seeds powder + 1/2 tsp ajwain seeds (whole and raw) + 1 pinch of black salt, rock salt, roasted asafoetida each

There is a possibility that you neither like fruits or ghee. But fear not, there are so many ways to detox the body, depending on your health conditions. Kindly contact for more details.

In my next blog, I will specify on the kind of general diet you should follow to prevent migraine aggravation.

Hope this information helps all people in need!

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

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Migraine in Ayurveda

Migraine is a severe disorder without a permanent cure according to modern science. The exact mechanism of a migraine is unclear. However, it is co-related with abnormal brain activity.

Migraine attacks may be triggered by any of the following:

  1. Hormone disturbances
  2. Irregular sleep patterns
  3. Alcoholism
  4. Exercise or other physical stress
  5. Loud noises or bright lights
  6. Active or passive smoking
  7. Irregular meals, Missed meals
  8. Caffeine withdrawal
  9. Perfumes, Air fresheners etc.
  10. Stress and anxiety

There are primarily 3 disorders n Ayurveda that resemble migraine. But before trying to understand them, we should try to decode the concept of dosha, esp vata dosha.

It is said that dosha are the systems that work in harmony to run the body metabolism. Now these dosha are said to be invisible, however their effects can be seen.

All ancient Indian sciences are based on the concept “yatha pinde tatha brahmande” – the particle is like the universe. For this reasons, one sanskrit word is used can have innumerous meanings depending on the context.

This sutra helps indian sciences to extrapolate the concepts of one science in the other. Let’s us remind ourselves that these sutra are by the sages who formulated the decimal system, the value of zero and pi.

The whole truth is never a fact, it is a context. I can try to explain the concept of dosha with the replicating it in a more material context.

What is dosha?

The dosha system is everywhere. Let us take the context of an organization for a lucid understanding.  Most of us must have worked in some or the other organization. All the modern organizations have these departments which work in coordination to run the organization. Every organization has a finance, sales and marketing and HR department. These are the basic ones.

However, it is important to note here that the marketing or any other department is not a section of the building or a block of some cubicles. It is not a bundle of files or a set of computers either. The marketing people, the machines and the place together constitute what we can call a marketing system. Thus it is not a physical thing, it is a concept. Similarly vata is a conceptual system that is supposed to be responsible for certain functions in the body. It is not visible but its functions can be experienced.  

What dosha do?

Dosha is a universal phenomenon. Its effect also can be seen everywhere. Every entity, living or non-living is said to work under the dosha. The 3 dosha are responsible for motion related to change in kinetic energy (vata), chemical transformation and heat generation (pitta) and inertia/stability (kapha). This is one of the dimensions of dosha.

Let’s again take a very simple example of an automatic car.

The first condition of the car is when it is moving. All 3 dosha work in harmony to get the car moving. There is the combustion which provides the energy to run and the steering motion that guides the overall movement of the car. At the same time, car also has a certain degree of inertia, which keeps it moving in a single direction. The body works in a similar but more comprehensive manner.

One dosha becomes dominant in certain conditions. In this manner, there can be 3 possible conditions for a car –

Let’s take the first position to be stationary. When car is standing in one place, inertia is the dominant force working on it. It is a certain amount of force that has to be overcome in order to get the car moving. This is the same force that provides stability to a standing car. This is kapha dominant position of the car – stable. Stability is one of the many functions of a very comprehensive system called kapha. In a living entity, kapha also promotes anabolism and growth.

Another position of the car is when it is in the process of getting started. The primary force working in this situation is the combustion engine which produces the energy to overcome the standing inertia of the car. Right now the car is not moving and it is not stationary either. It is in a transformation state with respect to its physical position. This transformation produces a change – chemical change (combustion), and heat change that leads to the movement. This position is dominated by pitta. In a living being, pitta changes the food into energy and provides fuel and building blocks to the body.

In the 3rd position, the car is running. While driving, we change the speed of the car, change directions etc. Here, dominant force is change in its kinetic energy as it moves from one place to the other.  All these are mechanical changes are backed by the chemical combustion. However, what the energy produced will do is governed by the system of vata. Vata is related to vayu or the wind. It is the initiator and controller of all kinds of movements in the body, right from the batting an eye-lid to fast running.  

In all the 3 conditions, all 3 dosha work together. But the condition is dominated by a single dosha. Now we are sitting in this automatic car that works on its own. Our body works every second to produce the comprehensive experience called life.

This concept of dosha is not applicable to only human beings; it is applicable to all living being. For this reason sister sceiences of Ayurveda – vrikshayurveda (Tree healing science), Ashwaayurveda (veterinary science focused on treatment of horses), goayurveda (focused on treatment of cows) and many more sciences that were lost with the time.

The concept of steering wheel is interesting in the sense that a hand is there for occasional control. This hand has over-riding power over the systems of the automatic car.  This hand resembles the mind. Vata dosha is directed related to the mind. When the hand on the wheel is not able to handle driving, it can lead even an automatic car astray. When we are anxious, stressed or frustrated, vata is the first dosha that gets vitiated.   

Let’s focus on vata as it is the dosha which is said to be responsible for migraine according to Ayurveda.

Dosha in Simpler Terms

More on Tridosha

Vata in Migraine

Every dosha has a special place the body. Let’s take the example of the car again. There is a specific central point for every activity, engine for the combustion to take place, wheels to run and brake to stop the car. Similarly, dosha also has abodes or specific physical departments in the body. They work all over the body, but they have a specific part which is their centre of all functions.

The main centres of vata are –

Basti – Urinary bladder

Pureeshaadhaana – rectum,

Sakthi – waist,

Padau – thighs, legs,

Asthi – bones

Pakvashaya – colon

All these organs are basically movement based organs. There is no major chemical change that happens in them.

Both the sensory reception and motor response is attributed to vata dosha. Since vata controls the movement of the body, nerves are under controls of vata. Therefore,  health or disease in the nervous system is  under the control of vata.     

In case of migraine, vata is the dominating dosha we can look at. According to most of the modern research on migraine, the main reason appears to be excitable nerves and brain cells. Hyperactivity of nervous system appears to be the main contributing factor to migraine. At types blood supply, hormones, and other chemicals present in the body fluid might contribute to the pain and duration of migraine. Hyperactivity, over-excitation or any kind of abnormal activity in the body is said to be due to vata vitiation.

Stress is also on of the main contributing and triggering factor for migraine. Stress is an influencing factor for vata.

Shiroroga (head disorders) in Ayurveda

In Ayurveda, there are 4 disorders that resemble the symptoms of migraine. These 4 disorders are the 4 prominent diseases of the head (Shiro-roga). It is interesting that 3 out of these 4 diseases are said to be easily curable.

They are –

Ardhavabhedaka

This disorder resembles migraine without aura. Vata alone or in combination with kapha is the dosha responsible for this disorder.

In this disorder, vata dosha effects half part of the head and causes terrible pain (described as pain caused by friction equivalent to that produced by rubbing of two wooden planks (arani manthan) in the back of the neck (manya), region around eye brows, temporal region, ears, eyes, forehead. Since this disorder affects half of the head, it is called ardhavbhedaka (piercer of half the head).

If this disease gets complicated, it can cause loss of vision or hearing power.

Causes of Ardhavabhedaka

  • Excessive consumption of dry food items
  • Eating again without proper digestion of the previous meal
  • Excessive exposure to easterly wind
  • Exposure to morning dew
  • Excessive indulgence in sex
  • Forceful control of natural urges like urination cough burping at cetera
  • Physical labour beyond individual stamina
  • Excessive exercise

One or a combination of several of these factors lead to vitiation of vata Dosha in the body and this vata Dosha combines with kapha Dosha and affects the half part of the head, manya (back of the throat), bhukuti(region in the middle of two eyebrows), temple, ear, Eyes and forehead on one side of the head.

Suryavarta

This disorders has most of the symptoms of migraine with aura. Vata and impure blood is responsible for this disorder.

This disorder is related to the movement of the sun. this disease increases with the sun rise and increases with the heat of the day. The pain and other symptoms begin to decrease as the sun goes down and ends generally with the sunset.

This disorder causes redness, inflammation, extreme pain that starts gradually and stays for first half of the day. It can result in black-outs, impaired vision and hearing sensation.

Some researchers in modern medicine believe that migraine happen because of fluctuations in the blood supply to the brain. This type of migraine should be researched more for suryavarta symptoms.

Causes of Suryavarta

The causes for suryavarta are almost same as the those of ardhavabhedaka.

Unnatural control of natural urges like urination, fecal excretion, cough, burping etc seems to be the primary cause of suryavarta. Vata vitiating reasons like indigestion, constipation etc. also can cause this disease.

All these all the above reasons cause vata vitiation in the body. This vitiated vata vitiates rakta dhatu (blood) . This contaminated blood and vata pollute marrow of the brain. According to Acharya charak the day heat causes destabilized majja Dhatu (brain marrow) to melt (decrease in solidity and stability.) as the day progresses. This causes increasing pain during the daytime.

Anantavat

This disorder resembles the migraine without headache. It is primarily caused by vata dosha.

In this disorder, there is extreme pain that generally starts with neck region. This pain increases and spreads to eyes, eye brows, and temporal region and stabilizes there. After that, there can be distortion in vision, or jaw-locking might occur as complications.

Causes of Anantvata

  • Excessive fasting starvation
  • Excessive misery/ sorrow
  • Consumption of excessively dry, cold and little amount of food

Because of the above factors all three dosha get vitiated and cause pain in throat region initially. However, vata is the primary dosha in this disease.

All the above disease descriptions are in line with Charak Samhita.

Another head based disorder that is described along with the above 3 is –

Shankhaka

This is a terminal disorder that is said to be able to kill a patient in a duration of 3 nights. The classical symptoms as described in Charak Samhita are –

Extreme pain,  inflammation, redness, and excessive swelling in the area around the temporal bone. This swelling increases rapidly and disrupts the normal functioning of the brain and throat region.  According to Charak Samhita, a patient with this disorder cannot survive more than 3 nights. If the patient survives after 3 nights, the physician can have some hope of recovery.    

These symptoms might occur due to accident or as a complication of severe head trauma.

This description of Shankhaka needs some research and evidence base.

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