Shiro basti (शिरोबस्ति): A superlative therapy for brain


Body, mind and soul are the three components of life that are closely coupled with each other. But why should they interact with each other...? What happens if they don't show harmony...? Why these three aspects of of life are crucial...? All the answers related to these queries are given in ayurvedic texts. In ayurveda all these concepts are covered completely hence ayurveda is designated as the universal life science.

Ayurveda states that these three layers can’t exist without each other or we can say that these components are strongly dependent upon each other because body is the source for bonding and mind is for meditation to connect with the divine soul.

आत्मेन्द्रिय मनोर्थाणाम सन्निकर्षात् प्रवर्त्तते व्यक्ता तदावे या बुद्धि प्रत्यक्ष सा निरुच्यते च.सू ११/१९

To have a good cognizance of the world you need competent connection of soul to the mind, mind to sense organs, sense organs to the object.

Suppose you are sitting in in your classroom and indulge in enjoying your imaginations no matter what is happening in the class and momentarily your teacher put up a question to you, what happens then...? You are definately not able to reply because at that time your mind is not in connection with the sense organs (ears) and ears are not showing any interest in the activities of the classroom. So hence we can say that the connection of all three components of life are very important not only for information but also to achieve the salvation.

So health is also not only the physical entity it is a combination of physical, mental and spiritual health as per ayurveda that is also accepted by W.H.O. Health does not just mean the physical well-being of the individual but refers to the social, emotional, spiritual and cultural well-being of the whole community. Ayurveda took a forward step to make you more physically, mentally and spiritually well that’s why shiro basti is expounded here for you...!

Shiro basti: surpass salubrity

The word shiro means “head” and basti means “to retain” hence the process of retaining the medicated/herbal oil with the help of a leather cap over the shir pradesh (head region) is known as the shiro basti.

Actually the the word basti is connected with the shiro but it doesn’t mean that it is a type of basti because in earlier days to carry out the basti procedure the urinary bladder of animals are used to hold the basti dravyas (drugs) similarly in shiro basti the skin of animals is used to hold the the oil on the head region which is called as the shiro basti yantra therefore it is called as the shiro basti.

Things to become a savvy of shiro basti

Former actions:

Albeit shiro basti treatment comes under the former actions of panchakarma i.e in snehana but the one who is elected for shiro basti, his snehan, swedan and shodhan must be carried out according to requirement. The most important thing is that before going for the procedure the person should attain mental and physical rest.

  • In the morning prayers are done to recall the almighty so that whole of the procedure must go on without any hinderance.
  • Then in afternoon or in evening execute the shiro basti, for this instruct the patient to sit on the asan (the seat) which is approximately at the level of knee joint which is approximately 1 feet.
    Note: If you want to take the full advantage of shiro basti then you should go for complete removal of the hairs from the head.
  • Now adjust the leather appliance (length of the shiro basti yantra is 12 angul) over the head with help of a bandage (it is adjusted according to the circumference of the head region).
  • Then apply the dough made up of black gram powder around the circumference of the cap so that a vacuum is build in it and medicated oil shouldn’t flow out of the cap, over it the bandage should be applied in such a way that it fully covers the circumference of the cap fully in 7-8 rounds to prevent the leakage of oil.
  • Then physician leisurely pours the lukewarm specified oil (for different disease or prakriti mentioned as per ayurvedic texts) with the help of the spoon or cotton on to the head region of the patient over the sides of the shiro basti yantra.
  • The oil should be filled about 2 angul above the roots of the hairs and if the oil in the shiro basti yantra turns to cool then eventually removes the oil and fill it again with the lukewarm oil.
  • Hold it till there is subsidence in the pain of the head region or till mucous comes out of the nose and mouth because it is the sign of accomplishment of the shiro basti procedure.
Time limit

Shiro basti kal maryada (काल मर्यादा) or time limit for shiro basti depends upon the constitution of the body as well as the type of disease i.e vattaj, pittaj and kaphaj disorders.

When the procedure of shiro basti is accomplished then tilt the head of the patient and collect all the oil into the bowl afterwards remove the bandages along with the shiro basti yantra and clean the head by tapping the head with the towel.

After actions

Massage should be done all over the body i.e over the head, neck, shoulders and on the back, then ask the patient to take the bath with the warm water. Subsequently the patient is advised to take rest for at least an hour and commanded to follow the dietary regime as advised by the ayurveda acharya.

Shiro basti gifts sapience

Shiro basti is very beneficial in all ailments related to the head region and favourable for sense organs as discussed below

  1. Brain: Improves memory and mental abilities, helpful in cranial nerve disorders, stress and neurological disorders.
  2. Head: Scalp dryness, hair loss, headache, burning sensation of scalp and other diseases of skull.
  3. Face: Facial paralysis, leave a remarkable lustre and glow on face.
  4. Eyes: Eyes related problems like cataract, optic atrophy and vision impairment.
  5. Nose: It benefits in nostril dryness.
  6. Skin: Shiro basti makes skin soft and shiny.
  7. Ears: Earache, Deafness, tinnitus.
  8. Others: Insomnia, sleeplessness, skin disorders such as eczema & psoriasis.

Shiro basti is a short cut to achieve the salubrity as it showers the peace on your senses. It is with Indians since the vedic period till today that can't be destroyed by anyone and still exist as the way of enlightenment for our soul. It's a treasure for your so don't let it go from your hands.

“Life is today only, so live it fully... :-)”


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