The ayurvedic procedure of instilling medicated oils or clarified butter (ghee) in the ears is called Karna Purana. It is beneficial in ear diseases, including hearing loss, tinnitus, Meniere’s disease (characterized by main vertigo), swimmer’s ear, and other ears’ conditions. Karna Purana is the Sanskrit term for the Ayurvedic technique of administering warm oil into the ear canals. Performed daily, this self-care ritual works as preventative medicine to maintain optimal health of the ears and jaw.

Ayurvedic ear cleaning can also be done in a more therapeutic sense to pacify certain imbalances often caused by excess vata accumulation and aggravation brought on by cold and windy weather, overstimulation and travel. According to Ayurveda, the ears are a physical place in the body where vata resides. Vata dosha is considered to be highly mobile, cold, dry and rough, and these qualities are easily unbalanced through the daily pressures of modern life. The antidote for this is Karna Purana, which calms Vata Dosha by bringing in opposing qualities – warm, moist, stable and smooth.

Ayurvedic doctors and therapists choose Karna Purana when Vatta conditions are high and in the related manifestations as:

  • Earache
  • Earwax blockage
  • Wax removal or excess wax
  • Ear congestion
  • Tinnitus
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Hearing loss
  • Swimmer’s ear
  • Headache
  • Migraine
  • Neck pain
  • Jaw pain
  • Pain disorders
  • Acoustic nerve weakness
  • Vertigo
  • General body aches
  • Vata diseases (Neurological disorders)
  • Depression
  • Body balance disorders

Generally, ayurvedic practitioners use Karna Purana therapy for purifying the ear canal and ear structures.

Which oils are used in Karna Purana?

The following medicated oils are beneficial in Karna Purana therapy:

  1. Bilva Oil
  2. Nirgundi Oil
  3. Kshara Tail
  4. Badhiriya Nashak tail
  5. Karna Bindu Oil (Tail) 

Indications of Bilva oil in Karna Purana

  • Tinnitus
  • Earache
  • Hearing loss

Indications of Nirgundi oil in Karna Purana

  • Ear infections
  • Pus in ears
  • Swimmer’s ear
  • Ear congestion
  • Earwax blockage
  • Wax removal or excess wax

Indications of Kshara Tail (oil) in Karna Purana

  • Ear infection with discharge
  • Otitis Media
  • Otitis Externa
  • Worms in ears
  • Earache but with pus discharge
  • Tinnitus associated with excess wax in the ears

Indications of Badhiriya Nashak oil in Karna purna

  • Hearing loss
  • Earwax blockage
  • Wax removal or excess wax
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Ear congestion
  • Swimmer’s ear

Indications of Karna Bindu Oil (Taila) in Karna Purana

  • Blockage of ears due to earwax

The following steps are followed in Karna Purna Therapy.

  1. Do a head massage of the patient for 15 to 30 minutes before the procedure. The Brahmi oil can be used for head massage.
  2. Ask the patient to lie down in the lateral position.
  3. Take medicated oils as per disease and indications of the oils.
  4. Pour a few drops of medicated warm oil in the affected ear and let the patient stay in the lateral position for 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Ask the patient to rest for half an hour after this procedure.

The procedure should be followed continuously for a week for better and desired results.

If the patient has not got the desired results, repeat the Karna Purna procedure after a month.


2 to 15 drops of medicated oils are instilled in the ears during Karna Purana therapy.


Karna Purana has many benefits in ear disorders. It helps to treat incurable diseases such as tinnitus. It improves hearing quality, helps in hearing loss and reduces frequent ear infections. Other benefits of Karna Purana are given below:

  1. Medicated oils are used in Karna Purana. These oils have strengthening properties for ear structures. These oils nourish all parts of the ears, including the external ear, middle ear, inner ear and eardrum.
  2. It is beneficial for Balance Disorders. Balance disorders are characterized by vertigo, dizziness and loss of balance.
  3. If you are suffering from frequent earaches, then it is good therapy for your ears. The ayurvedic oils used in Karna Porana are beneficial for reducing inflammation and pain of the ears.
  4. Karna Purna also improves hearing capacity and quality. It nourishes the acoustic nerve and enhances signal quality to the brain. It also enhances better interpretations of sounds by the hearing center in the brain.
  5. The mind disturbs due to many reasons such as depression, sleeplessness, emotional trauma etc. The Karna Purana helps to calm the brain and mind as well.
  6. It increases the sense of sound by enhancing ear functions.
  7. If Karana Purana is taken regularly in six months, it helps prevent frequent ear infections.
  8. Karna Purana helps with headaches and migraines that are associated with body balance problems.


Karna Purana therapy is contraindicated in the following cases:

  1. Eardrum rupture
  2. Ear injury
  3. Cuts in the skin of ears
  4. Ear wounds
  5. Burns that affects ears
  6. newborns


There are infrequent side effects with Karna Purana. These are:

  • Ear infections if the medicated oil is not appropriately preserved or infected with microbes.
  • Some people may experience some discomfort in the ears after the procedure, but it will be only for a bit of time.

Ear routines at home:

Karna Pratisaranam is a basic, efficient, and simple technique you can do every day at home. When used regularly, it is known to bring some comfort to the neck and jaw muscles, help to maintain normal production of earwax. When practiced regularly, it provides relief and comfort in the neck and jaw muscles, helps the body produce and maintains a healthy amount of earwax, and supports the healthy balance of all three doshas (tridoshic). This daily ritual is often recommended during the Vata (fall) and Kapha (winter) seasons. 


Warm the ear oil to your body temp. Insert the bottle in a glass of hot water. Using the dropper, place 1–2 drops in each ear, with your pinky or a cotton ball. Gently lubricate and massage the inner ear opening and outer ear canal. Just rub the ears with your pointer finger (on the front of the ear) and thumb (on the back of the ear) starting from the center moving outward to include the entire outer ear (auricle), squeezing and pulling the entire rim of the ear and tugging on the ear lobe. A daily auricular massage feels great and is a nice way to wake up or go to sleep.

This practice can be done during the day, although I highly recommend it as an evening bedtime ritual to relax and wind down for sleep and deep rest. 

Karna Purana is a deeply nourishing and supportive practice that can be done once per month or as directed by an Ayurvedic practitioner. The ears are filled with the warmed oil for 5-10 minutes, and the process is repeated on the opposite side. This bedtime ritual is a favourite of mine since it’s uniquely nurturing with a calming and grounding effect. When the ears are filled with the oil, it creates a comforting barrier to sound, thus quieting the mind and letting the ears rest. Our vata ear (vibrational sensory organ) is laid to rest as it tunes out the outer world and brings one back to their ownness and essence.


Warm ear oil to your body temp by inserting the dispenser bottle in a mug of very warm water for 5 minutes. Test a drop of the oil temp on your outer ear lobe before using.

Bring one small hand towel and two old washcloths to bed 

Set a hand towel on the pillow. Tilt your head to expose the upper ear. Place a washcloth behind the upper ear to catch any drips.

Lay on your side with the opposite and lower ear on the covered pillow. Hold the warm bottle in the lower hand. Use the other hand to place 5-7 drops of warm oil in the external ear canal, so the ear is full but not overflowing. 

Gently massage the outer ear area to provide a soothing and nourishing rest. 

Set a timer if you like for 5-10 minutes. 

Enjoy the lush sound of deep, unctuous silence. 

Use the washcloth on the upper ear to catch any extra oil as you sit up. Tilt the head in the opposite direction allowing the oil to drain out of your ear onto the washcloth. 

*Repeat on the other ear.

Contact our ayurvedic team for assessments, treatments and purchases of oils.