Migraine patients who do not respond to conventional therapy, develop unacceptable side-effects, or are reluctant to take medicines resort to complementary and alternative medicines (CAM). Globally, patients have been seeking various non-conventional modes of therapy for the management of their headaches. An Ayurvedic Treatment Protocol (AyTP) comprising five Ayurvedic medicines, namely Narikel Lavan, Sootshekhar Rasa, Sitopaladi Churna, Rason Vati and Godanti Mishran along with regulated diet and lifestyle modifications such as minimum 8 h sleep, 30-60 min morning or evening walk and abstention from smoking/drinking, was tried for migraine treatment. The duration of the therapy was 90 days. Out of 406 migraine patients who were offered this AyTP, 204 patients completed 90 days of treatment. Complete disappearance of headache and associated symptoms at completion of AyTP was observed in 72 (35.2%); mild episode of headache without need of any conventional medicines in 72 (35.2%); low intensity of pain along with conventional medicines in 50 (24.5%); no improvement in seven (3.4%) and worst pain was noted in three (1.4%) patients, respectively. In 144 (70.5%) of patients marked reduction of migraine frequency and pain intensity observed may be because of the AyTP. Though the uncontrolled open-label design of this study does not allow us to draw a definite conclusion, from this observational study we can make a preliminary assessment regarding the effectiveness of this ayurvedic treatment protocol.
Keywords: Alternative therapy; Ayurveda; CAM; migraine.