Alternative therapies, Ayurveda

Shirodhara: A guide to the unique ayurvedic therapy

Ayurveda way of living and healing has become extremely popular these days. Highly stressful times, unhealthy and unbalanced lifestyle, hormonal changes, environmental effects and many more have become the root cause to divert people towards natural treatments. Shirodhara is one of them. Deriving its name from Sanskrit, it literally translates into “flowing overhead”. Shiro (or head) dhara (or flow), is an Ayurvedic technique where a stream of herbal oil /liquid is poured over the forehead. The liquid drips slowly on your forehead from an overhead vessel made of copper or earthen material. The medicated liquid or oil is specifically dropped in the center of the forehead between the eyebrows, referred as the “third eye” in Ayurveda which is believed to be a point of human consciousness.

Calm your mind with Shirodhara!

The liquid dripping down your forehead and hair is collected in a vessel at the bottom. The collected liquid is recycled or reused till the procedure is complete consuming all of it.  The entire process lasts for 25-30 minutes.  As the warm oil is allowed to drip on your forehead, it calms the stressed mind and promotes relaxation to mind as well as body. Depending on the type of liquid and the condition that is treated, there are different types of Shirodhara as follows:


 Translated as “water flow”, coconut water is the main ingredient in jaladhara. Since coconut water is cool and imparts soothing effect, jaladhara is usually done to get rid of excess body heat.  


 Tail meaning oil, a combination of medicated oils is used in Tail Dhara.


 Also known as “ksheerdhara”, this technique uses milk as the chief ingredient.


 In this technique, medicated ghee is used to treat blood (rakta) or pitta doshas. In such kind of doshas, the liquid needs to be cold instead of hot.


 Buttermilk is used in this process.

Kwatha Dhara

Depending on what the person suffers from, a herbal infusion of all herbs is prepared and used in this technique.
By now, you are aware of what Shirodhara is and the various types. Let us share the benefits of the same and who all can opt for this technique:

  1.   Reduces mental stress and anxiety
  2.   Helps calm mind and emotions
  3.   Strengthens head and neck
  4.   Controls mood swings and signs of depression
  5.   Extremely beneficial for insomnia or sleep disorders
  6.   Promotes good quality of voice
  7.   Stimulates the nervous system and provides firmness to body
  8.   Quite useful to treat nervous disorders, facial palsy, paralysis or drooping of eyelids.
  9.   Improves digestion and overall skin health
  10.   Revitalizes pituitary glands and cools the body
  11.   It balances the mind & body and increases immunity.
  12.   Used in spas to relax your body and balance energy level
  13.   Rejuvenates face and softens the worry lines.
  14.   Helps erase post-traumatic stress disorder
  15.   Helps spiritual awakening and increases instinct or intuition

Even if you do not face any of the above conditions, you can still go for Shirodhara in a spa to rejuvenate your body and relax your mind. This technique has been in practice since ages! Do give it a try at least once and share your experience with us. We bet you would feel relaxed, calm and energized.

3 thoughts on “Shirodhara: A guide to the unique ayurvedic therapy

  1. This is the most epic and powerful way to bring peace of mind. I am really interested in this therapy. No such a treatment is as good as Shirodhara because peace of mind and brain is the most important thing. I must say this is Ayurveda’s great gift to us. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

  2. Vipul Sharma says:

    This is very powerful therapy for whole body balance. Please let me know that will it work for knee pains? I really impressed by all the therapies. Thank you for sharing such a valuable information. I really appreciate your Kerala Ayurveda Treatment.

    1. admin says:

      Thanks for the appreciation!
      Ayurveda does have solutions for knee pain treatment, but Shirodhara doesn’t have knees as the focus area. If you’d like to avail any treatment, we have few ayurvedic retreats coming up. Please share your email id, we can help you get on them.

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