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Ayurveda has a solution for your Migraine

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Abstract: This case study demonstrates the use of Trailokya Vijaya Vati highlighting its main ingredient cannabis in the treatment or prophylaxis of Migraine. A Migraine is a strong headache that often comes with nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. It can last hours or days. It is a headache of varying intensity and can cause throbbing pain or a pulsating sensation in one particular area. The pain sometimes can be so severe that it interferes with your daily activities.

There is mounting evidence that the endocannabinoid system can directly reduce migraine pain when activated by naturally produced cannabinoids or medical cannabis taken by patients. Cannabis can help to reduce inflammation in the protective dura mater tissue covering the brain and minimize the release of pro-inflammatory substances, both of which contribute to the onset of a migraine. Also, there is a presence of cannabinoid receptors in the brain. These receptors interact with the cannabinoids in the formulation and help to strengthen the body’s ability to reduce pain sensation.

This is a case of a 35 yr old female with a history of Migraines for the last 20yrs (since she was 15-16 yrs old). She has been taking anti migraine medicine every time she has had an attack for relief. Her migraines have changed in nature (intensity has fluctuated) over the last 20 years. In her teens, they were at their worst. She used to panic, her professors in college didn’t really understand the severity of it and often would think that she was trying to get out of the class. She was often misunderstood. After trying out many medicines available in the market for her migraines she decided to opt for Ayurveda / Herbal remedy for her sufferings.

Ayurveda Perspective

According to Ayurveda, migraine is termed ARDHAVABHEDAKA and is mainly caused due to imbalance of VATA DOSHA. The increased VATA DOSHA hence causes SHOOLA. The most defining symptom is ARDHASHIRSHA VEDANA meaning pain in half the region of the head.

Vijaya is having Tikta Rasa Ushna Virya it has laghu Tiksnha Guna and Katu Vipaka. Hence it pacifies the Vata Dosha and helps in the treatment of any kind of SHOOLA. The VATASHAMANA action of Vijaya eases the migraine and the sedative action helps the patient with substantial rest required after a triggered panic.

Introduction

For those who regularly experience migraines, life carries unique challenges. Absolutely harmless sensory stimuli like bright lights, strong fragrances, or loud noises can trigger unbearable pain. Stress or even jet lag can set a crippling migraine in motion too! This agonizing pain can be accompanied by a loss of sensation, nausea, or alarming visual changes. The disruption associated with chronic migraines can be so persistent it can even erode one’s sense of self.

Although drugs commonly prescribed for the prevention and treatment of migraines help some individuals, they don’t offer relief for all the ones suffering from migraine! Similar to many heavy-hitting medicines, a host of unwanted side effects may evolve with use. However, the evidence is accumulating that Cannabis may be an effective treatment for migraines and chronic headaches.

Case Report

Patient description

This is a case of a 35 yr old female with a history of Migraines for the last 20yrs (from since she was 15-16 yrs old). She has been taking anti migraine medicine every time she has had an attack for relief. Her migraines have changed in nature (intensity has fluctuated) over the last 20 years.

Case history

She has had migraines for the last 20 years. The frequency of migraines was more in her teens and gradually decreased and she could go for months without an attack. But in the past 1 year, the frequency of attacks has increased to a minimum of 1 attack per week. For her the worst aspect of migraines has been their unpredictability – “One moment you could be cycling down the street, the next, I can’t see!” she described. She has had aura symptoms and is unable to tolerate light and sound when she had an attack. This was having a huge impact on her professional and personal life. She has been prescribed almost every medicine available in the market from sumatriptan to almotripan to zolmitirpan and even combinations.

Physical examination results

She was brought by her husband just after she got a migraine attack which was the third attack in the last 10 days. She was unable to open her eyes fully and insist on the doctor to speak in a low voice. She was unable to understand the questions asked to her and was dizzy.

Treatment plan

Medicines to be used – Trailokya Vijaya Vati . She was prescribed Trailokya Vijaya Vati only when she would feel migraine-like symptoms were aggravating. She was also asked to keep a tap on the factors that were aggravating her migraines. 1 tablet was to be taken when she would experience even mild headaches for the next month and then only when there is a pulsating or throbbing headache or other likely symptoms.

Expected outcome

It was expected not immediately but over time that the patient would find relief with her migraines and also that frequency of the migraines would decrease gradually.

Actual outcome

The patient came for a follow up after 15 days. There was an improvement in her symptoms. There was a significant reduction in the frequency of attacks and the duration of pain. She took a tablet every time she left even the mildest of the symptoms and would feel relieved within 15-20 minutes of taking the tablet. She has been sleeping well and was not feeling panicky anymore.

Discussion

The treatment was decided on the basis of the predominance of VATA DOSHA involvement. The Vijaya as mentioned has anti-inflammatory properties and is also an effective VATASHAMANA herb. It helps in reducing the pain gradually. The VATASHAMANA action of Vijaya eases the migraine and the sedative action helps the patient with substantial rest required after a triggered panic.

Conclusion

This case study shows that Migraine can be successfully managed with Trailokya Vijaya Vati. While science is supporting the use of Cannabis (Vijaya) in the treatment of migraines, practical knowledge regarding how – how much, and when to dose still requires further research.

Case Study shared by Dr. Radhika Mohite, Consultant Ayurvedacharya Published by HempStreet

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