What Are the Different Ayurvedic Migraine Treatments?

Laura M. Sands

Included among the various different ayurvedic migraine treatments is the use of herbs, such as ground sandalwood and ginger, as well as controlling the diet by eliminating foods that may trigger a migraine headache. Other treatments include identifying and completely avoiding migraine triggers, as well as inhaling herbal oils. Stimulating circulation in the head and face is also included among the most common ayurvedic migraine treatments.

Herbal pastes made of ginger or sandalwood are often applied to the forehead as an ayurvedic migraine treatment.
Herbal pastes made of ginger or sandalwood are often applied to the forehead as an ayurvedic migraine treatment.

Certain individuals have used ayurvedic migraine treatments for generations and believe them to be very effective in relieving the pain and nausea commonly associated with this condition. Many of the treatments prescribed in Ayurveda are preventive in nature. Other ayurvedic migraine treatments, however, are believed to be effective even if employed after a migraine headache has begun.

Some individuals are genetically predisposed to migraines, while others suffer them because of food or other environmental triggers.
Some individuals are genetically predisposed to migraines, while others suffer them because of food or other environmental triggers.

One treatment commonly prescribed by ayurvedic doctors and practitioners is an herbal treatment that involves applying a solution of dry ginger and water to the forehead at the onset of an attack. Another similar herbal treatment requires the use of dry sandalwood that is mixed into a paste before it is applied to the forehead region and allowed to completely dry before removing. Experts in ayurvedic medicine warn, however, that merely trying one type of ayurvedic treatment may not be effective. Instead, treatments like these should be combined with other aspects of Ayurveda, which include diet, exercise and energy manipulation, to prevent future migraine episodes.

Different dietary choices may also contribute to migraine headaches. Ayurvedic practitioners often advise migraine sufferers to avoid consuming foods that have been allowed to ferment, as well as those that are very spicy. Certain food additives, such as saccharin and monosodium glutamate, are also believed to contribute to migraine headaches in certain people and avoiding them are recommended as part of certain ayurvedic migraine treatments.

Different types of natural oils are sometimes used in ayurvedic migraine treatments both for massages to improve circulation and for inhalation during a migraine attack. The exact type of oils vary for each individual user as things like body type and size are generally considered before an oil is suggested. Oils for this purpose may be found at an ayurvedic medical center or from retailers who sell ingredients for ayurvedic treatments.

Many who practice ayurvedic migraine treatments believe that improper blood circulation contributes to the development of this chronic condition. In order to eliminate this problem, massages to the head, face, neck and shoulder regions may help. Practitioners also recommend avoiding situations that may cause blood pressure to rise, such as stress, loud environments and cigarette smoking.

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Discussion Comments


@turquoise-- I get migraines often and my doctor hasn't been able to find a cause for it either.

The pain that comes with my migraines are awful. The pain is always at one part of my head, never both and it's a pulsating pain that often also affects my eyes. And it starts so suddenly. One minute I'm absolutely fine and the next minute, there is a sharp pain in my head, followed by dizziness, sensitivity to light and sound, and nausea.

The one ayurvedic treatment that has helped is "blood root" tincture, also called sanguinaria canadensis. It was prescribed to me after I visited an ayurvedic practitioner who did a serious of test and had me fill out questionnaires.

He told me to take this tincture along with another called "ashwagandharista." I didn't work right away but as I took it regularly, my migraines became less and less intense. Now I get them only once in a while and they're more like mild headaches.


@turquoise-- Do you have any Indian grocery stores in your area? They usually carry sandalwood powder or paste. Alternatively, you can use diluted sandalwood oil too. The powder version can be made into a paste by mixing it with water.

Sandalwood is excellent because it treats common symptoms of migraines like sweating and hotness. Apply the paste or oil on your forehead. It cools the skin and the scent of sandalwood has a sedative, calming effect. It's quite a boon, especially for people who get migraines related to stress and tension.

You can eat fresh ginger or ginger candies to treat the nausea that comes with migraines. Ginger is great for the stomach and it's also great for colds and flu. So if the migraines is because of illness, ginger will be particularly good.

For menstrual migraines, I recommend sepia. Sepia is known for treating the most severe migraines, and is recommended for migraines that occur often. It's also good for migraines that also cause nausea. However, you do need to see an ayurvedic practitioner for the correct use and dose of this remedy. It's not safe to take it on your own without approval of a doctor.


I get migraines once or twice a month due to hormonal changes relating to my menstruation. When I get a migraine, I can't do anything the whole day other than lie in bed and hope it goes away. Pain relievers are not enough and I've been checked out by a neurologist who didn't find anything wrong.

A friend of mine recommended that I seek homeopathic treatments. Unfortunately, I don't have an ayurveda center where I live. Are there any safe ayurvedic remedies that I can try at home?

I've already noted sandalwood and ginger. What are some others? I already have ginger at home, where do I get sandalwood?

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