The traditional science of Ayurveda considers headache to be caused because of two primary reasons – a sensitive nervous system and impaired digestion. Improper diet and lifestyle causes aggravation of Pitta (Ayurvedic humor representing Fire) in the body. In an aggravated state, Pitta impairs digestion, leading to production of digestive impurities (known as ama). This ama gets stored in the manovahi strotas (mind channels), thereby becoming the cause for headaches.
A sensitive nervous system lowers the ojas (energy) in the body. Ojas is the essence of all body tissues and provides strength to the nervous system and body. If you have a strong nervous system, you are able to fight against problems and carry on with your work with a healthy mind. Lowering of ojas causes migraine-like problems.
Ayurvedic treatment of headache does not focus on simply alleviating the pain but aims at treating the root cause. Herbal preparations are administered to balance aggravated body energies and restore the digestive function.
Diet & Lifestyle Advice
Have warm and easily digestible foods, boiled and steamed vegetables, soups, vegetable juices, porridge, brown rice and whole-wheat flour.
Eat fruits like apples, papayas, mangoes, grapes and pears.
Buttermilk, salads, and boiled rice sautéed with cinnamon, cumin seeds and garlic or asafetida are good in the daytime.
Also, 5-6 almonds or walnuts and some raisins can be eaten each day.
Avoid refined, oily, spicy, cold and stale food.
Avoid yogurt, especially at night.
Avoid working for long hours continuously; take short breaks. Have a good night’s sleep in a dark room.
Avoid overexposure to cold or hot weather. Cover your head with an umbrella, or wear a hat or cap when you go out.