Dealing with headaches
Headaches are known as Shiro (head) Roga (disease) in Ayurveda. According to Ayurveda, there are 11 types of headaches and these can be caused by various factors. Stress, trauma, strain, tension, migraine, caffeine withdrawal, illnesses like inflammation of the meninges, encephalitis, cerebral abscess, hypertension, cerebral haemorrhage, acidity, metabolic disorders, climatic conditions, Alcoholic hangover, untimely food intake, difference in sugar level – these are just some of the reasons for the onset of a headache.
In Ayurveda, one of the most effective treatments for persistent headaches is Siro Dara with medicated oils and relaxation massages with Vatta balancing medicated oils. In terms of diet, when suffering from a headache, it is a good idea to have something sweet (even a tsp of sugar would do) as sweet and mild tastes relieve headaches. Cow’s milk and ghee are also helpful. However spicy and fried foods should be avoided. Ayurveda also recommends yogurt, sesame seeds, almonds and watermelon to help the body fight headaches. Avoid pickles, meats, canned soups, cocoa, cheese and cold cuts.
Healing is achieved by natural remedies like the paste of betel leaves that provide immediate relief when applied to the center of the forehead. Henna leaves, ginger and garlic also help achieve the same effect.
Ayurveda also considers lifestyle while looking at the cause of headaches, especially those of a persistent nature. It recommends meditation, stretching exercises, dining in a quiet environment, consuming organic food as much as possible and going to sleep early.
Nuts about nuts
If you are a Vata body type, all nuts, in moderation, work for you. For a Pitta body type, it is good to limit to blanched and peeled almonds and coconuts. Kapha body types are advised to avoid nuts as they increase the dosha.
Consume fresh nuts and ones in season as rancidity, even in a mild form, is considered toxic. Nuts are heavy to digest, therefore, it is important to cook them lightly, as in boiling them or soaking them in water for a few hours.
Almonds are best they are Sattvic in nature and energise and balance the mind. However, it is important to eat almonds the Ayurvedic way, which is to blanch them and soak them overnight. Removing the skin does away with Pitta intensifying qualities and soaking them makes them lighter and easier to digest.
The number of almonds Vata or Pitta types can eat a day.
How many almonds to have per day?
For Vata or Pitta types: Upto 10.
TOP TIP: Have nuts along with raisins as they are more easily digested.