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Kerala ayurveda

Ayurvedic system, the 5000-year-old natural herbal health care system has been recognized the world over as the most perfected body-mind rejuvenation system. Kerala, the tropical paradise on the southwest seaboard, is well known as the heart land of Ayurvedic sciences. Kerala, the confluence of different natural herbal systems, enriched and fine-tuned Ayurveda. While the Ayurvedic system was enriched by Siddha and Marma systems in southern Kerala, it joined hands with Kalaripayattu and Kalari Therapy in northern Kerala. This resulted in the emergence of a new stream of medicine in Kerala, noted for its special procedures and formulations.

Shiro Dhara

Pouring of medicated oil over the forehead is called Shiro Dhara. This is highly beneficial in headache, mental tension, insomnia, stress and disorders of central nervous system. Dhara to the body is pouring of medicated oil on the body and it is beneficial for many neuromuscular conditions and rheumatism and general debility.


Here lukewarm oil is poured in the body by squeezing cotton cloth soaked in oil. This is highly effective for Spondylosis, Hemiplegia, and Arthritis. It immensely helps in body and mind rejuvenation.


Navarkkizhi is the massage using cooked Navara rice in a cotton cloth bundle. It assures health rejuvenation and is especially useful in emaciated conditions like muscular degeneration associated with neuromuscular disorders, rheumatism, burning sensation of body etc.


Medicated oil is poured over a leather cap kept on the head. This is effective for headache, hair falling, burning sensation and treatments of other diseases of ear, nose and throat.


The massage done with medicinal leaves or powdered medicines kept in a cloth bag. This is useful in many musculo-skeletal disorders, degenerative conditions and neurological problems. It improves circulation and restores energy and vigour in health.

It is very much essential to do preparatory health treatments before doing Pancha Karmam.


Here medicated fat materials are taken internally and externally in a systematic way.


Inducing sweating in the whole body by different methods.

Instructions to be followed during treatments

During the period of treatments or the existence of disease, Ayurvedic scholars in Kerala advise total physical and mental health rest to enable quick recovery. This is described in the form of several restrictions and a very strict diet along with a regimented lifestyle. It is very important that this is followed strictly as instructed by the physician in the resort.

The Ayurvedic texts say that the patient who has undergone Pancha karma (purification therapies) will be physically weak with a poor appetite. Hence one should be given proper health care with due precautions against hazards.

  • Usage of warm water for all activities (washing, ablution, bath, drinking etc.)
  • Maintenance of celibacy
  • Keeping the senses under control and avoiding desires, reading, writing and any activity, which strains the sense organs and mind.
  • Allowing the natural urges of the body like passage of flatus, urine, bowel movement, sneezing etc.
  • No exercise
  • Resisting anger, gloom and depression
  • Remaining away from cold, sun or wind
  • Restricted movement of the body
  • Minimum and mild speech
  • Avoiding prolonged static posture
  • Not keeping a very low or a very high pillow under the head
  • Abstaining from sleep during daytime
  • Using footwear at all times so that the feet do not come in direct contact with the bare ground
  • (Ref: Ashtanga Hrudayam Sootrasthanam Ch 16 Verse 25-27)

This regimen is the same generally for all therapies in Kerala and also for all those who are afflicted with disease.

You can check with the health physician in the resort whether all the above restrictions are required for you or whether some of them can be relaxed for you, based on your health condition.