Herbs for Migraines

Herbs for Migraines that are useful

By Veena Deo


In this article I will be discussing herbs for migraines that are helpful to all people.

Migraine is a condition that is marked by recurrent usually unilateral, severe headache often accompanied by nausea. It tends to occur in more than one member of a family, and is of uncertain origin, although attacks appear to be precipitated by dilatation of intracranial blood vessels. The percentage of ‘Migraines’ is more in women as compared to men. In some pregnant women, migraine headache is accompanied with fever.

Some medical experts believe that attack of migraine begins in the brain and it involves various nerve pathways and chemicals. Migraine may affect 10-20% of the general population. According to Headache Classification Committee of the International Headache Society, migraine has been classified as Migraine without Aura (common-migraine), Migraine with Aura, (complicated Migraine).

Migraine without Aura – Unilateral throbbing headache occurs along with nausea and vomiting.

Migraine with Aura – Unilateral throbbing headache that becomes generalized.

Aura – is a group of symptoms including vision disturbances and these are a warning sign of headaches.

Probable Causes are stress, excessive intake of alcohol, certain perfumes, Red wine, eating aged cheese, hot dogs, cured meats, peanut butter, and foods containing monosodium glucomate (MSG). Avocado, bananas are also things which may trigger a migraine attack and pain occurs typically on one side of the head.

Symptoms: A temporary blind spot, nausea, vomiting along with headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, sensitivity to light, sweating etc.

There is no specific cure for migraine. There is no specific treatment for migraine.

Traditional medicine uses Anti depressants, Beta Blockers or calcium or calcium channel blockers. To treat symptoms, narcotic pain relievers and Non steroidal Anti inflammatory drugs also are given.

Triptans are effective for both pain and nausea. The different forms available include oral, nasal spray and oral dissolving tablets. Ergotamin and dihydroegatamin are older medication, but some doctors still prescribe it. The use of anti-inflammatory drugs may be effective in some migraine, but these drugs may have gastrointestinal side effects. Researchers believed that Migraine is the result of fundamental neurological abnormalities caused by genetic mutations at work in the brain.

As per Ayurveda, Migraine headache occurs due to the disturbance in the function of tridosha especially aggravated Pitta Dosha is responsible for this Pranayam and Yoga Asanas like Naukasan, Ardhamsendrasan, and Sarvangasan are recommended. Investigations required for Migraine – EEG, CT- Brain, and MRI.

Research on Migraine is done by Amy Norton. New York Fri Oct 14, 2011, 1:1 7pm, EDT.

Organizations working on Migraines-

1. American Headache society committee for headache education ,19 Mantua Road, Mt. Royal, NJ.
2. Migraine Research Foundation 300 East 75th Street suite 3k New York NY.
3. National Headache Foundation 820 N, Orleans Suite 217 Chicago, IL.

Herbs for Migraines that are useful-

Camellia Sinensis (Tea):- Relieves muscular and mental fatigue and has a muscle relaxant property. Induces tranquility.  It is beneficial in headache, neuralgia and nervous depression. Tea flavonoids possess anti-coagulant and capillary strengthening properties. (Wealth of India, Vol 3 rev, 1992, CSIR 157-160, Nadkarni KM, Indian Materia Medica, I, 1954, 249). Tea Catechol improves the functioning of capillaries and blood vessels.Ref – Indian J Physiol Allied science, 1977, 31, 36

In black tea, caffeine is present up to 1-5%. It is stated that 80% of caffeine is extracted during normal brewing. If one is consuming 6 cup of tea a day, it means the person is taking approximately 0.3g of caffeine. Caffeine and its metabolites do not accumulate in the body. Caffeine stimulates mental alacrity and increases discrimination ability. The stimulating effect of tea does not have subsequent depression or hangover. Excessive dose may cause anxiety or gastric irritation.

Caffeine enhances biosynthesis of catecholamine and polyphenols inhibit their degradation. Many antidepressant drugs act by increasing the levels of catecholamine (Catecholamine – any of various substances (as epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine) that contain a benzene ring with two adjacent hydroxyl groups and a side chain of ethylamine and that function as hormones or neurotransmitters or both. Ref: Agnihothruda V, 1991, Tea – a herbal drink, Recent Advances in Medicinal, Aromatic and Spice Crops, Vol 1, Edr. Raychaudhary SP, 63-68. Indian – Herbal Therapies by C.P. Khare

Convolvulus Pluricaulis (Shankhapushpi) has been found to be effective in reducing different types of stress including psychological, chemical and traumatic. Ref – (Prasad GC et al, 1974, Effect of Shankhapushpi on experimental stress, Jour Res. Ind Med 9(2), 19-27). Shankhapushpi exhibited ant anxiety activity and helps to improve mental functions. Ref. (Singh RH and Mehta AK, 1977 Jour Res Ind Med Yoga and Homoeopath 12(3), 18-25, 1977, (12-4), 108; 1979 14(3-4), 7; 132; 176; Shukla SP, 1981, Probe, 20(3), 201). Shankhapushpi has a tranquilizing effect. Ref. Gupta RC et al, 1981, Anc Sci Life, 1(1) 46-54

Lavandula Stroechas (Ustukhudoos) acts as a tonic for brain. It relieves confusion states related with behavioral disturbances also relieves mental fatigue, anxiety, irritability and depression. (Standardization of Single Drug of Unani Medicine Part II, Central council for Research in Unani Medicine 1992, 287, Nadkarni KM, Indian Materia Medica I, Daljit Singh. Unani Dravyagunaadash II, 1974, 90-91

Prunus Amygdalus kernels act as a nervine tonic and demulcent.

Coriandrum Sativum (Dhaniya) corrects confused mental state and is found useful in dizziness boosts memory. Ref. Wealth of India, II CSIR 1950, 349 Sharma PV, Dravya Guna Vigyan, II, 324, Ayurveda Saukhyam Todarananda, Eng Translation by Bhagwan Dash, 1980, 41).

I hope the above herbs for migraines help all people that are trying to address this condition.

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Dr. Veena Deo is an Ayurvedic Doctor in India. All the information provided above and opinions expressed above are her own and should not be construed as medical advice. This information is provided for educational purposes only. For questions or to consult Dr. Veena Deo, please send an email to veenadeo@herbsbenefits.com


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