Karna (ear) Purna (fill up)—part of panchakarma (treatment using five purifying actions)—is the art of oiling the ears by gently pouring drops of warm medicated oils into each ear canal.

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How to Practice Karna Purana

Here’s a step-by-step guide to ear oiling;

  1. Lay down on your side, and using a dropper, fill the ear canal with warm herbalized oil (recipes below).
  2. Gently massage the ear canal by applying medium pressing on the ear flap in a circular. (Stop immediately and visit your doctor if you experience any pain while doing this.)
  3. Gently massage the cartilage of the ear (the whole ear) using the thumb and index finger, rubbing out any tender areas.
  4. Gently massage around the entire ear where the ear meets the skull.
  5. Leave oil in for 5-10 minutes. Use tissues or paper towel over the ear and roll onto the other side so the oil runs out of the ear.
  6. Repeat steps 1–5 on opposite ear.

What are the benefits of Karna Purna?

As mentioned earlier, ear oiling is believed to be effective in treating infections of the ear, ringing in the ears, and some forms of hearing impairments. It helps cleanse the ear canal and middle ear by pulling out any impurities in that area. It also

  • Supports healthy production of earwax
  • Prevents the small ear bones (ossicles) from drying out
  • Relaxes and grounds
  • Calms the mind and soothes the nervous system
  • Helps deal with sleep disorders and anxiety
  • Relieves headaches originating in vata imbalance
  • Reduces pain in the neck and jaws.

Balanced vata means clarity, calmness, balanced energy and intelligence.

Avoid this practice if you have an ear infection or swelling, a damaged eardrum, or excess ear wax. Consult with your Ayurvedic practitioner or doctor if questions.

RECIPE: Karna Purana Mustard Seed Ear Oil

Make fresh each time; do not store.

2 tbsp Mustard seed oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
¼ tsp turmeric
2 cloves (optional, no need to crush)


  1. Heat mustard oil over medium.
  2. Add garlic and saute until it browns.
  3. Add turmeric and clove.
  4. Remove from the heat, sieve, and cool down until comfortable to touch the bottom of the pot. (Remember—the ear is very sensitive!)

RECIPE: Karna Purana Garlic & Sesame Ear Oil

1 1/2 tbsp of sesame oil
1 clove of garlic, peeled and lightly bruised.


  1. Put the oil and garlic glove in a small pan.
  2. Warm gently for fiveminutes on low heat.
  3. Remove from the heat, cover, and let the tonic sit for approximately five minutes. You can let the tonic sit for longer until the oil has cooled to an optimum temperature to be put in the ear. The comfort temperature will vary amongst body types, so be sure to check before putting the oil into your ear.
  4. Remove the garlic clove and pour the warm tonic into a small bowl.


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