Shirovasthi is the procedure where in the medicated oil is retained on the head for a prescribed period. For this purpose a bandage is run round the head of the patient over the forehead going over the ears and eye brows. A clean cloth is used for bandaging and both sides of bandaging is smeared with a paste of black-gram powder prepared with hot water.
Over this placed twelve finger high cap- like contraption without top, made of moderately flexible skin of ox or buffalo freed of hairs. This cap must fit perfectly well round the head of the patient with the smooth side of the skin for its inside. And another cloth is wound over the first to fix the skin cap in position and to prevent the oil from leaking out at the junctions.
The prescribed medicated oil is warmed to body temperature and poured into this cap This process is done with the patient sitting on a comfortable chair.
Thus the oil can be retained until the patient develops discharge from the nose and mouth or for a maximum 45 minutes. Oil is then removed from the head by bending the head slightly and making a small opening in the bandage .The palms, soles, shoulders, ears. .etc. must be made warm by gentle rubbing. Fresh oil is applied on the body and head and made to bath.