Migraine Treatment in Ayurveda: Ayurvedic Therapies & Home Remedies

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migraine treatment in ayurveda

Migraine is described as a Shiro roga in Ayurveda. It is a tridoshaj vyadhi of the head, according to Acharya Sushrut. Other Acharyas and Vaidyas of Ayurveda hold Vata and Kapha Dosha responsible for migraine, which they call Ardhavabhedaka. Vatakaphaj and Vataja are the other terms used for Ardhavabhedaka. [1]

During a migraine attack, pain is felt in half of the head. It is a churning and cutting pain. The temporal part, eyebrows, cervical area, frontal head, eyes, and ears are affected by this pain, which may vary in frequency and last for 2 hours to nearly 72 hours. The pain may come with nausea and vomiting. Mood disturbances and sensory and motor malfunctioning may also be experienced during a migraine attack. [1]

The actual cause of Migraine headaches is still unclear, but it has been discovered that when there is an inflammation in the nerves and veins surrounding the brain, one gets a migraine attack.

The reason behind this inflammation is hidden in one’s genes and is also influenced by certain environmental factors and triggers.[1]

Ayurveda attempts to treat migraines through some highly effective Ayurvedic therapies and home remedies. In this article, we will look into the genre of migraine treatment in Ayurveda

Migraine treatment in Ayurveda

The various Chikitsa or therapies Ayurveda offers for migraine are:

migraine headache treatment in ayurveda

Aushadh Chikitsa

Aushadh Chikitsa for migraine treatment in Ayurveda involves using the Panchakarma procedure and oral Ayurvedic drugs. Panchakarma is a therapeutic shodhana aiming to eliminate the causative factors behind migraine. Panchakarma may be classified as follows:

Shirovirechana Karma (Nasya therapy)

It involves administering drugs through the patient’s nostrils. The drugs used could be Ayurvedic oils, the paste of herbs, or powder juices that may irritate the nasal mucosa, draining out toxins through the nose. The commonly used Taila or Ghrita for nasya therapy include Lakshadi Taila, Anu Taila, Shadabindu Taila, Gunja Taila, Dashmoola Taila, Goghrita, Kumkumadi Ghrita, Devadarvadi Ghrita, etc. The commonly used powder juices are anshamooladya Avapeeda, Shirishadya Avapeeda, etc. Even the paste made out of Shweta Aparajita fruits and roots, black Tila and Vidanga powder paste, and Madanphala paste mingled with cow milk and mishri may be used in the Nasya therapy. [1]

Basti Karma (Medicated Herbal Enema)

This procedure includes Niruha Basti prepared with Vatanashaka medications and Anuvasana Basti prepared with Taila, Ghrita, etc. [1]

Upnaha (Use of Poultice)

This involves tying a bandage containing Vatanashaka herbal paste around the head, such as Mustard Seeds, Cotton Seeds, Dashamoola, etc. These herbs need to be mixed with hot milk to make the paste. [1]

Shiro Basti

For Shiro Basti, a cuff or pouch is placed, and medicated oil is fed into the pouch and poured over the head for about 48 hours. Dashamoola Taila is mainly used for this therapy. [1]

Dahana Karma (Cautrization)

When the patient doesn’t respond to the above procedures, Dahana Karma is applied at last. Godanta, Pippali, or Sharkandagra may be used during the Dahana Karma. [1]

Shamana Chikitsa

This is a pacifying pain management treatment involving the following therapeutic approaches:

  1. Ghritapana (Drinking Mayuradya Ghrita or Mahamayura Ghrita) [1]
  2. Kwatha or decoction (Use of Dashmoola Kwatha, Pathyadi Kwatha or Dhatryadi Kwatha) [1]
  3. Shiro Abhyanga or head massage (Massaging head with Mahamayura Ghrita, Dashmoola Taila, Papondrikadi Taila) [1]
  4. Shiro Lepa or Head pack/mask (Applying calming head packs with Sarivadi Lepa, Kumkuma Ghrita Lepa, Jatamansi powder and Kala Tila paste lepa, bhringraja swarasa lepa) [1]
  5. Rasa Aushadhi (Use of Rasa medications like Mahalaxmi Vilasa Rasa, Chandrakanta Rasa, Shirobajra rasa) [1]

The various home remedies for migraine treatment in Ayurveda are:

  1. Prepare a natural pain relief solution by combining Menthol crystals, Eucalyptus oil, and camphor. Use this solution to massage your head for reduced pain. [2]
  2. Apply a lep or head pack of sandalwood powder or nutmeg powder to relieve migraine pain. [2]
  3. About five drops of Brahmi Ghrita may be used in the nostrils to relieve migraine headaches. [2]
  4. Juice extracted from the Agastya leaves may be administered through the nostrils to relieve migraine headaches. [3]
  5. Make a smooth paste of Changeri leaves and apply on the head to get relief. [3]
  6. Drinking Durva grass decoction twice daily can relieve you from migraine headaches. [3]
  7. A lep or mask made out of Hing, pepper, camphor, and dry ginger mixed with milk may be applied on the head to relieve migraine attacks. [3]
  8. Massage your head with the oil extracted from Dronapushpi flowers to experience relief from headaches. [3]


• What are the different types of Migraine headache in Ayurveda?

The different types of migraine headache are:
1. Pitta-type migraine (Pattija)
This headache affects the temple or retro-orbital region.
2. Vata-type migraine (Vataja)
This headache affects the occipital or cervical regions.
3. Kapha-type migraine (Kaphaja)
This headache affects the frontal head. [4]
Learn more about the three doshas

• What is the migraine treatment in Ayurveda with the application of essential oils?

Essential oils can relax the nerves, and the aroma of these oils helps in reducing the inflammation in the nerves and veins. The commonly used essential oils for migraine headache treatment in Ayurveda are Eucalyptus oil, Sage oil, Camphor oil, Clove oil, Basil oil, Lemon balm oil, Sandalwood oil, Gotu Kola oil, Calendula oil, Peppermint oil, etc. [2]

• What foods to avoid when you have a migraine?

Ayurveda advises you to stay away from Ruksha or Dry Bhojana and Viruddha bhojana; i.e. food that is contaminated, unhealthy, stale, and poisonous. Also, Atimadyapana or excessive alcoholism needs to be avoided. [1]


Migraine is a prominent cause of excruciating headaches. Timely diagnosis coupled with prompt treatment improves the sufferer’s quality of life. With the migraine headache treatment in Ayurveda, as discussed in this article, you can prevent episodic bouts of migraine headaches from converting into chronic migraines. The ancient healing system of Ayurveda promises excellent results in managing migraine headaches.


This article is written from a health and wellness perspective and is not medical advice. Kindly seek the help of a certified medical practitioner before initiating any treatment.


    Migraine and its ayurvedic treatment
  2. Migraine and its ayurvedic treatment
  3. Ayurveda Offering Herbal Healing
  4. Ayurvedic approaches to treatment of migraine headache

Dr. Jyoti Lakhani

Dr. Jyoti has 15 years of experience in Clinical Practice, Research & Education in the field of Ayurveda with competency in acute & chronic conditions like Arthritis, Spondylitis, Osteoporosis, Sciatica etc. She has also expertise in treating Female Infertility disorders, other Gynecological Problems & General disorders.


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