By Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu), PhD
Application oil to the scalp was a regular custom in most of the Indian houses today including India in several countries this custom is reduced. The reason they point out that it makes the dress ugly, oil drops even to the face, due to sweating it gives bad odour to the scalp and hence too the body etc.
In fact for few it is not suitable to their hair style because Gelling to the hair, straightening of the hair etc gives them discomfort to them.
But Ayurvedic texts emphasize to apply to the scalp every day. The reason behind this (shiro abhyanga ) is emphasized as below-
It means that oil application in general (body part) keeps the body young and energetic and helps to overcome the tiredness and prevents from aggravation of Vata dosha. Also it gives good lustre to the skin and replenishes the tissues.
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More specifically, regular oil application to the scalp-ears and sole helps to achieve good visual acuity, nourishment to the nearby vital organs, deep sleep, gorgeous skin and stability of the sense organs.
Benefits of Shiro basti (retaining the oil in the scalp by constructing a wall around the scalp-built by a leather) itself is obtained if Shiro abhbyanga (oil application to the scalp) is carried.
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This is explained well in Charaka samhita as below-
Regular application of the oil to the scalp helps to prevent head ache. The complaints like baldness, greyness of hair, hair fall etc can be prevented by this. It makes the scalp strong and even the mind too. The hair root becomes stronger, hairs will be longer/thicker and darker (black) too. All the sense organs are active/stimulated /revitalised and the facial skin also gets good lustre. Good and deep sleep is also achieved by this.
I am very sure that this information will initiate one to appreciate towards application of hair oil and its rationality as per Ayurvedic view. Greatness of the great people is not in adopting the great matter but in advocating the great knowledge even in simple things too. Is it not a worth example for it? I am eagerly waiting for your valuable inputs.