Headache is defined as a pain in the head or upper neck. Headache can be a symptom of an underlying serious disease or it can be a disease itself. Headache can be due to many causes. Common benign causes of headache include: migraine, refractory error, mental tension, sinusitis, flu, viral fever, typhoid, etc. Some of the serious and lifethreatening causes of headache include cerebral haemorrhage, subarachnoid haemorrhage, intracranial space occupying lesions (tumour), acute and chronic meningitis, brain abscess, etc. Trigeminal neuralgia can be a difficult and intractable cause of headache though not life threatening. Sudden and severe headache associated with symptoms like high fever, vomiting, convulsion, visual symptoms, stiffness in the neck and loss of consciousness warrant urgent medical attention.
Mild to moderate headache without any specificity can be managed with simple remedies such as Pippalimoola, which is specifically documented for the management of headache in Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia, Ayurvedic formulary and in various classical texts.
Dose and mode of administration
Dose of the powder for adults is 2 to 3 grams and for children it is 250 mg to 500 mg, to be taken twice daily, preferably on an empty stomach mixed with 3 to 5 gm of ghee or butter or honey and followed by warm water or milk.
Precautions and safety aspects
(1) No toxic effect or adverse reaction is reported with recommended dose of Pippali root powder.
(2) Pippali root should be used with caution in the first trimester of pregnancy. However, it is safe for the baby if a nursing mother is taking this medication.
(3) Pippalimool is hot in nature, so should be used with caution in summer and by hot temperament individuals and menstruating women.
(4) During medication with Pippalimool, diet should be simple, easily digestible and free from spicy and pungent-bitter-astringent food items.
Reference – Traditional Herbal Remedies for Primary Health Care