Dhara- A Special Treatment in Ayurveda

Dhara is regarded as one of the most pleasant treatments in ayurveda.  It is pouring of warm decoctions or oil or other medicated preparations like dhanyamla or ksheera locally to one area of the body like the head or whole body.

Types of Dhara

  • Shirodhara
  • Sarvanga dhara/Pizhichil  
  • Netra dhara

These are again sub divided into different types based on the medicated decoctions or oils used.

  • Kashaya dhara
  • Thaila dhara
  • Takra dhara
  • Ksheera dhara
  • Dhanyamla dhara 


Shirodhara is considered as a wonder therapeutic marvel which helps to revive, rejuvenate and live a wholesome life. It is often said as wonder treatment since it is beneficial for the body  both as preventive and curative aspects.

A thin steady stream of warm medicine is allowed to fall directly on the forehead of the patient who lies steady with ears and eyes closed. 


  • Purifies mind
  • Relieves anxiety
  • Reduce headaches
  • Beneficial in mental orders
  • Helpful in insomnia
  • Good for premature greying of hair
  • Relieves stress and tension
  • Beneficial in all kinds of psychosomatic ailments

Mode of action

Shirodhara reduces the levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline which is called stress hormones thereby reducing stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia etc.   


Sarvangadhara also called kayaseka or pizhichil is a special treatment procedure in which the whole body is bathed with streams of herbal oils or decoctions with simultaneous soft massage. This treatment was done and offered only to the king and only to royal family and so often it is nicknamed as ‘treatment for aristocrats’.


  • Helps in healing bone injuries
  • Improves skin complexion
  • Promotes muscle mass
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Relieves muscle pain and spasm


  • Neurological disorders
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Rheumatoid diseases
  • Arthritis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Burning sensation of the body
  • Paralysis 

Mode of action

Warm medicated liquids of suitable choice are allowed to fall from a height of 2-4 angula the potential energy gets transferred to kinetic energy which improves the cellular metabolism from the heat produced. It reduces the inflammation of the affected area and thus pain and swelling of the area is reduced.


Nethra dhara is a compelling ayurvedic treatment which is very beneficial for the eyes. It enhances visual perception and is advantageous for all types of eye diseases to remove aamatwa. 


  • Kledahara
  • Aamahara
  • Removes fatigue
  • Helps in maintaining normal IOP
  • Enhances vision


  • Ptosis
  • Myopia
  • Hypermetropia
  • Night blindness
  • Glaucoma
  • Hordeolum
  • Blepharitis
  • Injury to eye 

Dhanyamla Dhara

Dhanyamla dhara is considered as a special treatment in ayurveda that treats various inflammatory diseases and vata disorders. It is very beneficial in eradicating various metabolic waste products that get stored in the body which is called ama.

Dhanyamla is a fermented liquid that is made from cereals and medicinal herbs. The whole process includes pouring this liquid from a certain height, temperature and rhythm.


  • Reduces stiffness & inflammation
  • Removing toxins from the body
  • Relaxing muscles
  • Reducing body aches
  • Enhances immunity
  • Promotes nourishment

Mode of action

During the dhanyamla dhara the temperature is maintained constant which promotes vasodilation which leads to an increase in the blood flow to the affected area. This regulated flow of blood will carry all necessary nutrition to the areas affected and remove toxins. It also helps in maintaining metabolism. It also helps in normalizing the ESR rates.

Thakra dhara

Thakradhara involves pouring medicated buttermilk over the patient’s forehead which has cooling properties that helps to relax the body and mind. 

  • Enhances vision
  • Reduces stress
  • Cures premature greying of hair
  • Relieves fatigue
  • Reduces burning sensation in palm and sole

Mode of action

Continuous pouring of takra over the forehead has got a tranquilizing action and it induces sleep by regulating the mana and prana. The circulation will takes place in a proper way thus eliminating the toxins of the body.


  • Psoriasis 
  • Hypertension
  • Paralysis
  • Depression
  • Urinary disorders
  • Migraine 
  • Hemicranial headache
  • Anorexia 

Ksheera dhara

Ksheera dhara is a continuous flow of herbal milks over the body and is similar to all other dhara procedures. It has a cooling effect on the body and is effective in hypertension, anxiety, stress etc.


  • Helps boost up memory
  • Provides relief from fatigue
  • Reduce migraine frequency
  • Improves mental clarity, physical strength and energy

Mode of action

The herbal preparations poured to the body act as moisturizer and enhances skin glow and relieves stress and fatigue and induces sleep by its cooling action. It is much beneficial in people with vata-pitta predominance.

Thaila dhara 

Thaila dhara is pouring streams of medicated luke warm herbal oils with simultaneous soft massage. It is often called pizhichil; which includes simultaneous snehana and svedana. It is very beneficial in rheumatic complaints, neurological disorders and paralysis.


  • Prevents aging
  • Nourishes skin
  • Regulates blood pressure
  • Promotes proper circulation
  • Rejuvenates body
  • Combats depression

The thailam is used depending upon the conditions, but dhanwantaram, prabhanjanam, bala thailam, sahacharadi thailam etc are commonly used.

Kashaya dhara

Kashya dhara is a rejuvenating procedure by which the body is allowed to perspire by means of pouring warm decoctions to the body. The decoctions are allowed to fall from a certain height in a rhythmic manner and are gently rubbed to the body.


  • Reduces the pain and stiffness of the joints and muscles
  • Beneficial in skin problems
  • Prevents hair fall and scalp lesions
  • Beneficial in psoriasis and eczema





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