Shiro Vasti (Herbal Oil Head Bath Therapy)

The head is an integral component of our bodies and runs the administrative system in the most efficient way. What would happen if this system were to fall out of balance?

Imagine an unhealthy roof of a house. It would certainly be difficult for it to withstand extreme conditions and subsequently crash one day. Shiro Vasti is an Ayurvedic therapy that focuses on the “roof of the human body.”

What is Shirovasti?

Shiro Vasti or Shiro Vasti is sometimes referred to as Shiro Basti. Shiro means head and vasti means container. This procedure is aimed at relieving neurological ailments and diseases. If the patient seeks strong immunity both mentally and physically, Shiro Vasti is highly recommended.

Shiro Vasti is the process of servicing your body, just as we do with automobiles. This servicing rejuvenates, enhances the life span of cells, boosts immunity, and increases metabolism in the human body. Depression, chronic headaches, migraines, and many other conditions are successfully treated in Ayurveda by Shiro Vasti.  

How is Shiro Vasti Performed?

Shiro Vasti involves an intensive herbal oil application that is essentially an herbal oil bath for your head. Before the procedure, it is crucial to follow a proper examination from an Ayurvedic practitioner and have an accurate diagnosis of ailing conditions.

The patient first sits upright on a wooden stool. The head is secured with a leather cap so that oil does not leak out, creating a container to hold the medicated oil. The oil stays on the head for roughly 45 minutes and is then drained out. The practitioner is expected to examine the wait time until the appropriate signs of treatment manifest. The head is then cleaned with a cloth and afterwards, the medicated oil is massaged into the patient’s head, forehead, shoulders, palms, and soles.

Rasnadi choornam, an herbal powder for pain, is then rubbed over the head. The patient should rest for at least an hour before proceeding to a warm water bath.

Oils Used in Shiro Vasti

When Shiro Vasti is administered, the selection of oil plays a vital role in the effectiveness of the treatment.

Tila tailam (sesame oil), Bala Tailam, Brahmi Tailam, Chandanabala Lakshadi Tailam, Ksheerabala Tailam, Mahamasha Tailam, Yashtimadhu Tailam, Dhanwantaram Tailam, Balashwagandhadi Tailam, and Karpasasthyadi Tailam are the preferred oils for performing Shiro Vasti.

Duration of the Procedure

Based on health conditions and body doshas, the duration of Shiro Vasti for respective disorders may vary:

  • 50 minutes for vata
  • 40 minutes for pitta
  • 30 minutes for kapha

Shirov Vasti is normally performed over a period of 7 days, but in the case of persistent health conditions, the treatment may extend to up to 2 weeks.

Conditions Treated by Shiro Vasti

  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Deafness
  • Facial paralysis
  • Burning scalp sensation
  • Optic atrophy
  • Schizophrenia
  • Dryness of nostrils
  • Insomnia
  • High blood pressure
  • Hemicranias
  • Migraine headaches

Benefits of Shiro Vasti

  • Prevents psychosomatic diseases
  • Promotes intellect
  • Balances the brain and skull
  • Alleviates pain as marma points are stimulated
  • Promotes sleep, calms the mind, and reduces anxiety and depression
  • Nourishes the roots of hair resulting in healthier texture
  • Helps balance the vata and kapha in the brain
  • Eases disorders related to the eye
  • Relieves sinusitis problems
  • Improves skin complexion

Shiro Vasti enhances one’s state of well-being. The extremes of life such as stress and strain are inevitable; however, therapies such as Shiro Vasti can help overcome health-related issues that arise from neurological imbalances, adding an ageless and “feel good-look good” aspect to your health.

Reference Links

  • http://www.ayurvedicvillage.com/shirovasti-treatment.php
  • https://easyayurveda.com/2016/05/09/shirovasti-shirobasti-benefits-procedure-limitations/
  • https://www.ayurtimes.com/shirovasti/
  • https://www.panchakarmakerala.com/shirovasti-ayurvedic-treatment.php