Therapeutic Efficacy and Mechanism of Action of Ayurvedic Shirodhara: An evidence based review


Shirodhara is a form of Ayurvedic snehana procedure, wherein involves gently pouring liquids over the forehead. This procedure can be a poorvakarma (preoperative procedure) to main panchakarma or pradhan karma (Main procedure) depending upon the condition of the patient. Shirodhara is mainly indicated for neurobehavioral and psychosomatic disorders. Recent investigations report that, Shirodhara is effective in management of condition like pediatric attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Cerebellar ataxia, Essential hypertension, Psychological symptoms of Menopause, Premature ejaculation, generalized anxiety disorder and Insomnia. The exact mechanism of its mode of action in not known till date.  But, Preliminary reports suggest that, this procedure has a demonstrable anxiolytic effect evidenced by decrease in Plasma noradrenaline and urinary serotonin excretion, significant decrease in rate of breathing, reduction in diastolic blood pressure and heart rate with lowered sympathetic tone.

Key word: Shirodhara, Ayurveda, Psychosomatic disorders

dr harmohana jan WJAS jan2017