Shirovasti: An Ayurvedic Therapy for Headache and Stroke Recovery

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What is Shirovasti?

Shirovasti is derived from two Sanskrit words: shiro, meaning head, and vasti, meaning container. In this therapy, a leather cap with an open top and bottom is placed on the head of the patient, covering the hairline. The cap is secured with a cloth bandage to prevent any leakage of oil. Then, warm medicated oil, usually sesame oil infused with herbs, is poured into the cap until it reaches the level of the forehead. The oil is maintained at a constant temperature by adding more oil or removing excess oil as needed.

The oil is allowed to stay inside the cap for about 45 minutes or until the patient experiences signs of relief, such as sweating, calmness, clarity or reduced pain. The oil is then drained out and the cap is removed. The patient's head is wiped with a clean cloth and massaged gently. The patient is advised to avoid exposure to cold, wind, dust and sunlight for some time after the therapy.

What are the benefits of Shirovasti?

Shirovasti is said to have multiple benefits for the health and well-being of the patient. Some of them are:

  • It relieves headache, migraine, sinusitis, insomnia, stress, anxiety, depression and other psychological disorders.

  • It prevents hair loss, premature greying, dandruff and scalp infections.

  • It rejuvenates the facial skin and improves its complexion and glow.

  • It helps in recovery from stroke, paralysis, facial palsy and other neurological disorders.

What are the general conditions where Shirovasti is indicated?

Shirovasti is indicated for a variety of conditions that affect the head region along with additional therapy and medications. Some of them are:

  • Chronic headaches

  • Migraine with or without aura

  • Insomnia and sleep disorders

  • Stress, anxiety, depression and other mood disorders

  • Memory loss and cognitive decline

  • Facial paralysis and Bell's palsy

  • Hemiplegia and paraplegia

  • Parkinson's disease and tremors

  • Alzheimer's disease and dementia

What are the types of medicines used in Shirovasti?

The type of oil used in Shirovasti depends on the condition and constitution of the patient. The oil should be chosen according to the dominant dosha (vata, pitta or kapha) in the patient's body. Some of the common oils used in Shirovasti are:

  • Bala taila

  • Brahmi taila

  • Balahathadi 

  • Karpasasthyadi 

  • Ksheerabala taila

  • Mahamasha taila 

  • Yashtimadhu taila

  • Dhanwantaram taila

  • Bala Ashwagandhadi taila

Our professional consultation before undergoing Shirovasti

Before undergoing Shirovasti, at Dr. P. Alikuttys Ayurveda & Modern Hospital Kottakkal we will assess the patient's condition, constitution, medical history and suitability for the therapy. 

We also advise on the type, quantity, temperature and duration of oil to be used in Shirovasti for you, as well as the frequency and number of sessions required for the best results.

At the end, we recommend oral medications, dietary and lifestyle modifications and other supportive therapies to enhance the effectiveness of Shirovasti.

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