Ayurveda on Migraines: Chocolate, Cheese, Relief & Prevention
Do chocolate and cheese really cause or aggravate migraines? And if so, why? According to Ayurveda (India's 5,00 year old system of natural medicine). All migraines occur due to an imbalance in the doshas, the 3 key body/mind types labelled in Ayurveda as vata, pitta, and kapha.
While migraines can be a manifestation of disturbance in any of the three doshas, they are most commonly due to aggravation of pitta, the hotter energy of the three.
Migraines often occur when the disturbed pitta energy moves through the circulatory system and makes its presence felt by affecting the blood vessels around the brain. These fine blood vessels are caused to dilate by the sharp and penetrating force of aggravated pitta, and this dilation causes pressure on the nerves which leads to the intense pain of a migraine headache.
Chocolate and cheese are both aggravating to pitta dosha, and that is why some migraine sufferers consistently notice a connection with eating these two foods and suffering migraine headaches.
Other foods that aggravate pitta and may increase incidence of migraine headaches are spicy foods, fermented foods, alcohol, sour foods and citrus fruits, and also sugar as it increases acidity in the body.
Natural Migraine Prevention
This simple breakfast snack taken for Dr Vasant Lad's book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies is an effective protection from midday migraine attacks.
Take one ripe banana and chop it up, then add a teaspoonful of warm ghee (clarified butter available from most grocery stores), 1 teaspoonful of date sugar and a pinch or powdered cardamon.
This combination helps keep pitta in check and prevents it from rising to the point of causing migraine headache pain.
Ayurveda also recommends keeping out of direct sunlight, keeping your body and emotions cool and taking walks in nature when possible, walking by water is particularly soothing to pitta types.
Keeping hot water off your head when showering and running cool water over your lower legs and feet can also help.
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