Trigeminal neuralgia (TN), is a condition of chronic pain which is associated with the brain. Our brain is occupied by various types of nerve cells among them is 5th cranial nerve or trigeminal nerve. It is a chief nerve associated with sensation for face and motor nerve controlling chewing or mastication. The trigeminal nerve is originated from the brain and distributed into three regions of face which are classified as ophthalmic, maxillary and mandibular nerves.
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WHAT IS TRIGEMINAL NERVE?
There are 12 nerves associated with trigeminal nerves which are attached to the brain. It contains three branches (ophthalmic, maxillary and mandibular ) which conduct sensations from whole face covering upper, middle, and lower portions along with the oral cavity to the brain. These three branches are classified as;
  • Ophthalmic nerve: It supplies sensation to scalp, forehead, and front of the head.
  • The maxillary nerve: It supplies sensation to the cheek, upper jaw, top lip, teeth and gums, and to the side of the nose.
  • The mandibular nerve: It supplies nerves to the lower jaw, teeth and gums, and bottom lip.

FUNCTIONS OF TRIGEMINAL NERVE
  • Helps in mastication: the motor nerve of mandibular region (V3) controls the movement of eight muscles responsible for mastication or chewing eatable
  • Sensation: It controls two types of basic sensations called as touch position and temperature sensitivity.
  • Sensor pathways: It triggers the sensory pathways from periphery to cortex (brain) to analyze the stimulus and do the response.

TRIGEMINAL NEURALGIA (TN)
The problem associated with trigeminal neuralgia result in the conditioning of sensory nerves and motor nerves. Problems associated with sensory part of the nerve results in pain or loss of sensation in the face. On the other hand problems in motor root causes deviation of jaw toward the affected side and problem in chewing. Thus, TN is a form of neuropathic pain which is associated with nerve injury or nerve lesion.

Causes of Trigeminal Neuralgia
  • Demyelination of nerve
  • Inflammation of nerve
  • Injury in the Head or face
  • Genetic
  • Commonly observed in female at older ages

Symptoms of Trigeminal Neuralgia
  • Electric shock sensation on the face, eye, mandible
  • Frequent attacks
  • Aggravated with cold food, laughing and excessive talking
  • Headaches and vertigo

Herbal Treatment of Trigeminal Neuralgia
In Ayurveda, TN is classified as a disease of Vatta Dosha, which signifies the Air element of the body. Thereby to treat the Trigeminal neuralgia Vatta pacifying herbal remedies are advised. The best herbal remedies for Trigeminal neuralgia are;
Mono-saturated fatty acids: Including mono-saturated fatty acids in diet is very beneficial in reducing inflammation. Omega 3 fatty acids are very effective in strengthening the cranial nerves such as trigeminal. The Mono-saturated fatty acids rich natural food are grape seed oil, avocados, sesame oil, corn oil, almond, cashew nuts, and peanuts.
Vitamin B: Vitamin B complex is a critically essential to the body. Vitamin B3 is the best vitamin to strengthen the neurons of brain. Vitamin B5 helps in synthesis of steroids. Vitamin B6 keeps nervous system active and strengthen the immunity. Folic acid also provide immunity and corrects neural tube defects.
Omega 3 and Vitamin B rich fruits and vegetables are milk, soymilk, yogurt, egg, oatmeal, walnuts, flaxseed, kale , mint , parsley, pumpkin seeds, legumes, Brussels sprouts, nuts, whole grains, leafy greens, cheese, etc.
Vitamin A and C: Vitamin A boosts the immunity and fastens the healing capabilities. Vitamin C induces the release of anti-stress hormones. Thereby, adding vitamin A and C rich diets will helps in reducing the stress and boosting the immunity which will result in proper functioning of nervous system.
Vitamin A and C rich foods are apricots, carrots, Amla, spinach, frozen peas, broccoli, cabbage, kale, mango, parsley, tomatoes, sweet potato, etc.
Almond milk: Drinking almond milk is like a nectar from heaven. It has number of essential nutrients which make body capable to fight trigeminal neuralgia. Preparing fresh almond milk in home is far much better than purchasing from the market. Drinking almond milk provides nutrient vitamin B, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, biotin, vitamin E, iron, and potassium.
Cayenne pepper: In cayenne pepper capsaicin is reported which has the capability to block the pain causing signal between the nerves. You can mix a pinch of cayenne pepper with olive oil. It should not be taken by hypersensitive people. It contains anti-inflammatory activity thus alleviates the inflammation and is very beneficial for trigeminal neuralgia.
Ashwagandha oil: It contains anti-inflammatory activity and very quickly relieves from the pain. Application of Ashwagandha oil relieves from neural pain.
Rose merry oil: the rose merry oil can be applied on the body as it contains anti-inflammatory molecules which prevents inflammation and reduces pain. It also contains nervine properties which strengthens the cranial nerves thus very useful in treating trigeminal neuralgia.

Foods to be Avoided
  • Avoid diet rich in saturated food, Trans-fats, high glycemic index. The presence of fats stop the repairing of damage nerves in face
  • Avoid butter, ghee, tallow, lard, coconut oil, palm kernel oil, dairy products, and cottonseed oil suet.
  • Avoid soft drinks, bread, potatoes, beer, cake and commercial creels as they contain high glycemic index.