Our senses and their functions are precious. However, when all goes well, we often take our sense of sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch for granted. Yet, Ayurveda teaches that by tending to and caring for our sense organs—eyes, ears, nose, and skin—they are more likely to stay healthy in the long run. In Ayurveda, there are practices of ear oiling, of applying ghee in ears or other oils. It may sound curious to those new to Ayurveda, but if you have ever visited an Ayurvedic clinic or spa you know that Ayurveda uses oil almost everywhere on the body. Let’s learn more about the importance of the ears and how ear oiling can benefit you.
Vata Dosha and the Ears
In Ayurveda, the ears are closely linked to ether and Vata dosha (1). All cavities are ruled by Vata dosha as Vata consists of ether and air. Hypersensitivity to sound, earaches, jaw tension, and hearing loss are typically caused by aggravated Vata dosha. Also, remember that Vata dosha is characterized by coolness, lightness, roughness, and dryness. Therefore, oil in general is very beneficial for Vata dosha. It makes sense then to apply special oils, such as ghee in ears, to help pacify Vata dosha and Vata issues. This is especially important as we age and enter the Vata time of life. Applying ghee in ears is also beneficial during the windier, colder months to protect us against the outdoor elements.
Ghee in Ears: How It's Done
You may be wondering how to apply ghee in ears. If you have ever used oil in your nasal passages, the principle is quite similar. Like applying nasya oil, just a couple of drops of ear oil or ghee in ears is all that is needed for daily self-care. Karna pratisaranam is the simple daily practice of oiling the ears (2). To do this, all you need to do is gently warm the ghee or oil so that it is slightly warm yet comfortable to the touch. Then, using a clean finger or a cotton swab, gently massage a drop or two of ghee or oil into the outer ear passages. This practice should feel pleasant. You can then massage your outer ears and jawline. The use of ear oil and ghee in ears can soothe jaw issues and jaw tension as well as ear issues.
Ghee For Daily Self-Care: Practical Tips
Ghee is ghee and the same ghee that you cook with is that which you use to oil your ears. However, since you will want to keep your ear oil clean, you may want to set some aside in a sterilized glass dropper bottle. This will make it easier to warm the oil you want to apply to your ears. Also, it will make the application process easier.
Ear Oiling: Daily Care and Therapeutic Usages
In this post we have described a simple practice of daily application of ghee in ears or ear oiling. In addition, there are deeper therapeutic practices of applying larger amounts of ghee or oil to the ears for specific reasons. However, it is a good idea to seek out the guidance of an Ayurvedic practitioner for this purpose. Here’s to your ears and the many usages of ghee!
(1) Frawley, D. (2000). Ayurvedic healing: A comprehensive guide. Lotus Press. (2) Banyan Botanicals. (2021). Why you want to put oil in your ears every day. Retrieved from https://www.banyanbotanicals.com/info/blog-the-banyan-insight/details/ear-oil-feature/