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These days, it is not uncommon to hear of people suffering from a range of physical, emotional, and psychological illnesses that are born out of stressful working style and hectic daily routine. Ayurveda talks about many useful techniques and external applications that are just as effective in treating illnesses as oral medicines
In South India, thalapothichil is a very popular and widely used treatment. ‘Thala’ means ‘head’ and ‘pothichil’ means ‘covering’. In this form of treatment, a medicated paste is applied on the patient’s head. This application is unique, prepared specifically to suit the case at hand and can provide significant relief from many physical and psychological diseases. This paste is known to bring a cooling, relaxing, and soothing effect to the patient.
Banana or lotus leaves
Medicated head massage oil
The process begins with a detailed and careful examination of the patient, so that a paste of suitable composition can be made for him. To prepare the paste, amla powder is soaked in buttermilk and kept in an earthen pot overnight. In the morning, it is ground to make a fresh paste.
Once the paste is ready, the person is seated comfortably on a chair. The head is massaged gently with medicated oil and the freshly prepared paste is applied on the head. It is advised that the thickness of this layer be at least half to one centimetre. After this, the patient’s head is covered with banana leaves. The paste is removed only after 40-50 minutes and the patient is given yet another gentle massage on the head.
This treatment proves to be helpful in the following instances:
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