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Migraine is a very common but most misunderstood type of headache. There are some patients who derive satisfaction from hearing an uncommon name for their troubles. For instance, if a patient were to be told that he is suffering from one-sided or unilateral headache, he is not satisfied. On the contrary, when he is told that the cause of his suffering is Hemicrania or Migraine, there is a strange kind of satisfaction.

Should the patient be a hypochondriac, he would even boast about his new-found disease trying to make himself the centre of attraction. If, however, the patient is weak in mind and quite ignorant of medical terms, too exhausted to understand the nature of the illness, the moment he hears the word Migraine or Hemicrania, he would get scared out of his wits. The fear itself would add to the suffering and become an obstacle fro recovery.

There is the third type of patient, who wished that this insufferable disease must get out of his system at any cost and thinks that it is his utmost duty to help it get out. Towards this end, he will strive to find out a permanent cure for it.

The first and second type of patients may find it a bit difficult to get a complete cure. But the third type is the one who can get positive results.

The pain of migraine is continuous. The person suffering from migraine displays an extreme sensitiveness to external stimuli. The pain is felt only on one side of the head. If it attacks the left side one day, it is not necessary that the same side will be affected the next day. It may even be felt on the apposite side. But only one at a time.

The pattern may, however, change in individuals. Prior to the attack some patients feel a sort of numbness in their face, lips and tongue and at such times, their speech is unclear. As the pain increases, nausea develops and vomiting starts. Light and noise become unbearable, loss of appetite and irritability are felt. The patient yawns every other minute and the pain increases with it.

Sometimes the attack is preceded by unusual sensations such as, seeing bright or coloured lights. Almost in all cases, severe nausea and vomiting are present as the disturbance in the digestive system is a marked feature in migraine. Sometimes these attacks are experienced daily, for a week or so. In others, it may last for just one or two days. Some get the attack at regular intervals of every 20 days or one moth. The attacks have the tendency to last for several hours, ending spontaneously, leaving the patient extremely exhausted.

Sensitive and emotional persons suffer most

Human beings have emotions and inner feelings which influence their physical well-being. The expression or suppression of one’s feelings reflects in disturbances of his bodily functions. Modern life is very fast, reckless and in some cases even without direction. Today’s lifestyle is full to physical and mental stresses which pose as much a challenge to good health as viruses and bacteria.

Some people are perfectionists, rigid in principles and hypersensitive to criticism. These are prime targets for migraine.

In more than half of the sufferers, migraine seems to be hereditary. Personality characteristics are similar in families and hence migraine tends to affect some families. Such people are prone to get migraine at any age in their childhood. Once established, it may continue for many years. It is also true that migraine occurs more frequently in women than men. It is mainly because of the hormonal imbalance in their system related to menstruation, pregnancy and menopause.

How it is caused

Migraine affects intelligent persons and those who want to do things in the right pattern. The tension which mounts and is ignored as long as they are working, is abruptly replaced by the relaxation born out the relief they feel once the task is accomplished.

When the person is overworked, the muscles become rigid and tight due to which a pressure gets applied to the blood vessels, which reduces the flow of blood. When all of a sudden there is a relaxation after the stress disappears, there is a sudden expansion of the blood vessels. When there is a sudden rush of blood, intense pain is caused giving rise to throbbing pain in the nerves accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

It is also triggered by eating certain foodstuff. In some people, rich fatty and spicy food can cause the distress. Chocolates, milk sweets and cheese can produce severe headache in a person having the tendency for migraine. In such cases the deranged function of the digestive organs proves to be the trigger factor.

A person prone to migraine gets an attack when he consumes sweets along with the regular meals. Thus, faulty eating habits have a definite role in migraine too.

Today we have a number of emotional illnesses, which defy any cure. New drugs are being introduced in the market, particularly pain-killers. These at best give temporary relief. Pain –killers destroy the digestive organs and the digestive system, in addition to causing severe types of anemias. Unless the cause for the pain is treated, pain like that of migraine is unlikely to get cured. But with simple natural methods of treatment migraine can be cured permanently.

Treatment for migraine

General instructions
A cheerful mind and rest can be influenced by moderate diet. So ultimately, it is the food which has to play the vital role in treating migraine too.
Addiction to coffee and tea triggers migraine attacks. Since complete withdrawal from these seems impossible in some cases, it will be of great help if the patient replaces these drinks with herbal tea (see page 214) and adopts a food pattern which will build up his general health to combat the stress.

Diet for specific period
See chapter 27 under diet cure for Migraine.

Hydrotherapy for migraine
Same as for other headaches.

Same as for other headaches.

Breathing exercises
Nos. 1, 2 and 6. (See page 189 & 190)

Household remedies for migraine

  • A glass of grape juice in the morning every day for one month.
  • Grind dry ginger to paste adding water and apply the poultice on the temple.
  • Select other house remedies as given for headaches according to individual requirement.


Accidents are increasing and with them spinal injuries. These injuries damage the spinal cord, intervertebral disc and nerves. Sciatic nerve is one of the thigh and the leg. Its nerve fibres are derived from the spinal cord in the lower back. Any pain in the distribution of this nerve is known as sciatica.

During spinal injuries, the intervertebral disc in the lumbar region pushed through the damaged part and brings pressure against the sciatic nerve causing pain in the legs and thighs.
In females during the later stages of pregnancy, the sciatic nerve sometimes gets compressed to cause this pain. Intra-muscular injection given mistakenly in the sciatic nerve causes extreme pain in the nerve, legs and feet.

The inflammation of the sciatic nerve and the surrounding muscles trigger pain as in rheumatism. Obese persons are more prone to sciatica. The symptoms include painful movement, stiffness, tingling sensation and sometimes, numbness.


Heating compress on low back, hot hip bath, alternating cold spray, hot water bag at bedtime and friction.

Once the severity reduces, do Bhujangasana and Pavanamuktasana.

Household remedies
• Apply mustard oil or oil extracted from garlic on the affected part.
• Take bath with the water in which tulsi leaves are boiled.

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  • About The Author


    Gopakumar Nair belongs to a Hereditary Ayurvedic family of Kerala who were Practising Ayurveda and traditional Medicine for 200 Years . They can be traced back to over six generations. His experience under the guidance of his guru Valiya thampuraan has earned lot of trust and popularity.

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