Shirovasti is an ancient Ayurvedic treatment that involves pooling herbal oils or ghee on the head using a leather cap. The word Shirovasti means holding oil on the head for a specific period of time. This treatment is said to have many benefits for the head, brain and nervous system, such as relieving stress, headache, migraine, depression, insomnia, hair loss, facial paralysis, and neurological disorders

Shirovasti: An Ayurvedic Therapy for Headache and Stroke Recovery

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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Treats the root cause of the disease rather than the symptoms by using only herbal and organic ingredients that are safe and effective. It does not have any harmful side effects or adverse reactions that are common with synthetic drugs and chemicals. Ayurveda is preventive and educates the individual on the proper diet and lifestyle habits that can prevent diseases and elevate your health.

- Outpatient and inpatient services, where patients can consult with qualified and experienced ayurvedic doctors and receive personalized treatment - Panchakarma therapy, which is a five-fold purification process to cleanse the body of toxins and restore health. - Ayurvedic pharmacy and dispensary, where patients can get access to high-quality and authentic ayurvedic medicines, herbs, and oils that are prepared according to the classical texts and formulas of ayurveda. - Diet preparation and counseling, where patients are provided with nutritious and delicious vegetarian meals that are suitable for their health condition. - Emergency services, where patients can get immediate and adequate care in case of any medical emergency or complication. The ayurvedic hospital is equipped with modern facilities and trained staff.

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