Meetings. Presentations .Deadlines. Traffic jams. Mortgages. Tuition fees. Partying. In the midst of today’s pressure cooker lifestyle, we sometimes forget that it takes its toll on the human body. One of the steepest prices that we pay for stress and tension is sleeplessness. Ayurveda helps you to get the sound sleep that is essential for a healthy mind and body with a therapy known as Sirolepa.
Sirolepa is one of the unique therapies of the Ayurveda as it is practiced in Kerala. Kerala, the sun kissed southernmost state of India, has nurtured this ancient system of medicine for over 5000 years. Its lush green landscape abounds in the medicinal herbs and plants that are the foundation of Ayurvedic medicines, and its balmy climate is ideal for its procedures. Sirolepa as a form of treatment has been described in the ancient Ayurvedic texts, and the vaidyas or Ayurvedic physicians of Kerala have refined and fine-tuned the protocol for maximum effectiveness.
Sirolepa is basically a therapy based on the healing and soothing power of herbal pastes applied to the scalp and head. The most commonly used herb is the pericarp of the fruits of the Indian gooseberry. 200 or 250 grams of dried pulp are boiled with half a litre of pure buttermilk made with cow’s milk and mixed with an equal quantity of pure water. When the liquid has almost evaporated, the boiled pulp is taken from the vessel and is ground into a fine paste, without adding any water or liquid. The patient must sit on a stool facing east. A prescribed oil is applied on the head and body, and a piece of cloth is tied around the head above the eyebrows. The paste is applied on the head, except on the forehead and face, in a uniform thickness of about an inch. A gap is made at the center by removing medicinal paste from that part. Banana leaf softened over a gentle fire or a lotus leaf is place on the head. After one or one and a half hours the covering and the paste are removed and the head is wiped with dry cloth and the oil is applied again. Mild massage is done on the patient’s body and neck during the treatment. The treatment ends with a bath. Ideally the head should be shaved for maximum penetration of the medicinal effects of the paste, but if this is unacceptable, the hair can be just cut short. Sirolepa treatment improves vision, cures headache, migraine and insomnia. It is also beneficial for mental diseases, hair fall and dandruff.
Ayurveda also has other tips to ensure sound sleep. Try to sleep at the same time every day and wake up at the same time too. This will stabilize the sleep-wake cycle of your body. Drinking plenty of water during the day is also a good way to get a better sleep. Water therapy has been described in Ayurvedic texts in support of promoting natural sleep.Therapies like yoga, meditation and breathing exercises also ensure quality sleep and are highly recommended. Diet also plays an important role. A light meal is best at night. Avoid eating spicy and fried foods for dinner. So follow these simple guidelines, enjoy the soothing powers of the herbal pastes employed in Sirolepa therapy… and sleep well!