The ear is the organ of sound and equilibrium with the function of the transmission and transduction or the conversion of sound waves into electrochemical impulses to the brain. It also maintains equilibrium or the sense of balance (middle ear). This is done through the parts of the ear: the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear. But what other sensory functions do the ears provide?
Of course, the primary task of the ear is to detect, transmit and convert sound waves. This is a fantastic sense that never stops functioning. Even when we are sleeping, the sense of hearing is active.
Before we die, our five senses leave the body, one by one. The Upanishads (Vedic literature ) mention that the sense of touch, taste, eyes, smell and hearing disappears. Hearing is the sense that is active in the womb and is the most direct way to travel towards our resonance self. It is an exquisite design we take for granted.
We are resonance; the different tones and melodies make our identity unique. Our trough chakra has many secrets regarding resonance. For example, a balance resonance can heal and correct the whole energy field of an individual through the voice. It is our center of communicating our mind, intellect, memories, and identity. This chakra has a relation to our ears and our sense of hearing.
Ayurveda links vatta dosha with the sense of hearing, and the yoga text associates this sense with the vishuddha chakra. The throat chakra acts as the body’s communication hub. It’s where you find your voice, speak your truth, and sing praises – for yourself and others. So this chakra is associated with speaking up and expressing yourself, but also with hearing and being heard.
The prana vayu, a sub-dosha of vatta, helps us maintain tranquillity and presence and is intimately associated with the sense of hearing. Ayurveda provides nourishment to the ears using warm oil, which can balance the flow of prana vayu, enabling us to stay balanced at a deeper level.
The name of the Ayurvedic treatment for the ears is Karna Purna. This treatment fills the ears with medicated oils to pacify Vatta and bring grounding. This treatment is helpful in conditions of feeling spacey, inability to focus or concentrate, anxiety, excessive thoughts, insomnia, earache, loss of hearing, vertigo, and ringing in the ears. However, this therapeutic treatment needs to be conducted by a practitioner because it cannot be performed with ear punctures and other ear conditions.
However, there is also a lighter treatment that you can do at home daily: simply putting the medicated oil around the ear’s surface. This prevents infections and provides lubrication, and extra protection from noise and environmental pollution.
Ears are also connected to specific tissue layers in the body, including asthi dhatu (the bone tissue layer) and majja dhatu (the nervous tissue layer). Oleating (lubricating) the ears offers a simple and direct way to bring supportive Ayurvedic herbs deep into these tissue layers, where they can promote comfort and tranquillity that resonates throughout the body.
Ayurveda provides an accessible practice for ear care that takes a few seconds to complete and is well worth every second—ear oiling.
My preference is to practice Karna Purna before bed. Also, before I travel by air or car, I do Karna Purna. Doing this treatment once a month with a practitioner or when vatta is high is enough. Otherwise, a few drops in the external ear daily is enough to achieve stability and grounding.
Here is the simple procedure to do light ear oiling.
1. Warm the oil to your body temperature and place 1 to 2 drops of the oil on your pinky finger or a piece of cotton and gently lubricate the ear passages or
2. Tilt your head, and using the dropper, place 1 or 2 drops of the oil in each ear, gently massaging it.
My favourite oil is Bilva oil, an Ayurvedic herbal formulation, or Brahmi oil. You can also do a maceration of garlic, ashwagandha, calamus, and onion in sesame and olive oil.
These simple daily routines aid the process of detachment from the senses, maintaining the vatta dosha at bay and keeping our compassion alive and active.