A headache is a symptom rather than a disease and may be caused by high blood pressure, insomnia, weak eyesight, sinusitis, hunger, anemia, listening to loud music, studying in improper light, emotional strain, overwork, constipation, and flatulence. In Ayurveda, headache is known as shirehshool. Headache may be accompanied with watering of the eyes, bleeding from the nose or giddiness depending on the body energy that is aggravated. 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 humour 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. 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.
Ayurvedic treatments for Headache:
- Shirodhara – Shirodhara therapy that involves gently pouring liquids over the forehead is one of the steps involved in Panchakarma.
- Shirolepa – Shiorolepa is a specific technique through which herbal pastes are applied over the patients head. Firstly. Medicated oil is applied over the head and body, then finely grounded herbal paste is kept over the head(vetex) and the area is covered.
- Oral medication