Painful and debilitating, migraine — according to the World Health Organization — affects at least 1 adult in every 7 in the world. Also, it is up to 3 times more common in women than men. Often, the first instinct to deal with migraine pain is to pop pills, however, Dr Dixa Bhavsar Savaliya, an Ayurveda expert, suggests switching to natural ways to relieve the symptoms.
As such, the expert listed some commonly found ingredients in our kitchens that can help manage migraine. “So, stop popping pills for migraine symptoms and switch to these Ayurvedic migraine healers found in your kitchen,” she captioned a post on Instagram.
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After drinking a herbal tea (made with 1 tbsp coriander seeds, 1 tsp fennel seeds, 5-7 mint leaves, and 10 curry leaves in 1 glass of water and boiled it for 3-5 minutes on a medium flame) first thing in the morning, have 10-15 overnight soaked raisins. It works wonders in relieving migraine headaches. When taken consistently for 12 weeks, it reduces the excess pitta in the body along with aggravated vata and pacifies all the symptoms associated with migraine like acidity, nausea, irritation, one-sided headache, intolerance to heat, etc.
This can be taken one hour post lunch or dinner or whenever migraine symptoms are prominent. This works bests for relieving nausea and stress. Recipe: Take half a glass of water, add 1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera) in it along with 1 cardamom. Boil it for 3 minutes, then strain and sip on this migraine pacifying tea.
“Undoubtedly, cumin and cardamom tea do help with migraine pain,” said Reema Kinjalkar, a nutritionist at Urban Platter.
Explaining how the combination helps manage migraine pain, she said that the condition is associated with elevated oxidative stress and neurogenic inflammation in the brain, hence food that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties is important to counter this stress and inflammation. Antioxidants, particularly, reduce oxidative stress and limit the generation of free radicals, thereby reducing tissue inflammation.
“Cumin contains flavonoids including apigenin and luteolin, whereas cardamom has α-terpinyl acetates, which are antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory effects. Furthermore, cardamoms have an antispasmodic effect that relaxes muscle tissues and aids in headaches and migraines,” added Reema.
“Nothing works better than cow ghee in balancing excess pitta in body and mind — a cause for migraine,” Dr Dixa added.
The best way to consume ghee is:
*In meals (on roti, in rice or sautéing veggies in ghee)
*Can be taken with milk at bedtime
*Ghee can also be consumed as nasya (instilling 2 drops in nostrils)
*It can be consumed with medicines as well. Certain herbs for migraine like brahmi, shankhpushpi, yastimadhu, etc can be taken with ghee.
Additionally, she suggested following healthy food habits, practicing breathwork, and avoiding migraine triggers to heal migraine from the root.