Handling Headaches Ayurvedically
At some point or another, we’ve all had a headache. And now that we know about Ayurveda, we have more tools we can use to manage this common condition. Headache is a wake-up call: Pay attention to your body, your mind, your emotions. Headaches can be caused by indigestion, constipation, colds, muscle tension, stress, anxiety, anger – lots of different things. And they can be aggravated by the weather, genetics, and other factors.
Ayurveda classifies many headaches according to which is out of balance in your body-mind: Vata, Pitta, or Kapha.
A Vata headache is extremely painful, and anxiety and/or depression are usually present. To treat this headache, try taking some Triphala, drinking Vata tea, and resting. Gently massage your neck with warm oil, lie down with your nostrils parallel to the ceiling, and put five drops of lukewarm sesame oil in each nostril for a vata-calming nasya treatment (nasal oil therapy).
A Pitta headache is one where the eyes are sensitive to light, and you feel hot, angry or irritable. Sometimes this is accompanied by a nose bleed. A beneficial treatment is to apply sandalwood oil to the third eye area, the temples, heart and under the nose to additionally benefit from the aroma. Because these headaches are related to imbalances in the stomach and intestines, eat pitta-pacifying foods like cucumbers, cilantro, and dates. Take two tablespoons of aloe vera gel three times a day, and put three drops of plain, warm ghee (clarified butter) in each nostril at bedtime. Then rub warm coconut oil on the soles of your feet and scalp and enjoy a deep, rejuvenating sleep.
A Kapha headache is dull and heavy. The pain starts in the upper frontal area of the skull, moves down to the forehead, and can creep into the sinuses. You feel tired and nauseous. Phlegm may be present. For this condition, basil is helpful, as an herb on food, or as a tea. The aroma of eucalyptus oil is also beneficial. Put one drop of eucalyptus oil in a bowl of hot water, cover your head with a towel, and inhale the steam to clear your sinuses.
Shirodara, a very warm oil head massage, is beneficial for overcoming any headache.
P.S. to your continued Health & Happiness