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Adjustable leather cap for Ayurvedic Shirovasti therapy, India, 2005

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Ayurveda is an ancient Indian medical tradition still practiced widely. In shirovasti therapy, the patient wears cylindrical leather headgear such as this into which medicated oil is poured onto the scalp. The time the oil remains on the head relates to the severity of the illness. Shirovasti treats illnesses of the head such as insomnia, deafness and facial paralysis. It even treats baldness. The word Shirovasti literally means ‘head enema’.

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Glossary: Ayurveda

An Indian medical tradition. Literally translated it means ‘Life Science’ and promotes mental and physical health through balancing biological elements. Ayurveda focuses on exercise, massage, yoga and meditation.

Glossary: cap - headgear

Brimless head covering, usually made with a visor.