How to Make Ayurvedic Oil

by Ayurveda Therapist on September 4, 2011

Traditional Ayurvedic Oil Making Process
Ayurvedic massage oil is made from a process that is both an art and a science. It contains the vital energy of plants as well as the spiritual energy from the way in which it was produced. The plants are carefully selected and harvested at varying times of the year to optimize their health benefits. Ranging from 2-7 days, this highly spiritual process involves not only the purity of nature but the wisdom, tradition, and dedication of those involved.

This video shows the base oil being heated in a copper pot over a wood fire. The decoction is then added and stirred. At a later stage the paste is added in. It took 3 days for this oil to be complete.

How is Ayurvedic Oil made?
To begin, a plant is selected and harvested in the season of its maturity. It is used whole or in part (seeds, flower, leaf, stem, root) depending on the formula required.

The plant is made into a decoction and a paste. The decoction is made by brewing the plant (1 part plant to 16 parts water) until it reduces to 1/4 the original volume. The remaining plant parts are then used to make a paste created by grinding the plant into a fine consistency.

Once prepared, the decoction and paste are then mixed with a base oil (typically black sesame oil or coconut oil) and stirred continuously over a wood fire. With time, the paste changes consistency as the moisture evaporates. The result is 3 stages of Ayurvedic oil which have different uses.

1st Stage – sticky & wax like – For nasya (nasal oil)
2nd Stage – Rolls into ball – For internal medicine i.e. enema
3rd Stage – Fine sand-like consistency – For Ayurveda Massage Oil

This combination of tradition, art, & science blends together to produce an oil that is considered to be the most therapeutic for the individual needs of the client. The precision of the method and the purity of the plants are two of the main factors determining how well the oil will be received by the individual and how deep the effects will reach.

The Benefits of Ayurvedic Oils
Traditional Ayurvedic medicine is based on Vedic philosophy and is guided by the idea of creating a long, healthy, and fulfilling life. The basic principles of Ayurveda are set to encourage longevity, vitality, and optimal health.

Unique from Western medicine, Ayurvedic medicine is based on prevention and health maintenance instead of cure. Ayurveda prescribes a daily health regimen and diet specific to the individual that best enables a person to thrive in their health and prevents the diseases and illnesses to which a person is most susceptible.

Integral to the daily regimen and health maintenance is daily self massage, known as abhyanga. Massaging daily with Ayurvedic oils can rid your mind and body from the various stresses and toxins that have built up inside the body or integrated into the min. Routine self massage restores and renews your body’s tissues and structures as well as optimizes mental rejuvenation.

Ancient Indian texts, known as the Vedas, elucidated that “A person with a view to preserving and promoting positive health should use massage therapy every day”.

How do Ayurvedic Oils enhance wellness?
Daily self massage (abhyanga) with Ayurvedic oils is a powerful tool used to wake up the body’s innate healing ability, renew the body, and bring clarity and focus to the mind. By adopting this daily regimen you empower yourself to maintain your body’s optimum health.

Modern day society is a fast-paced world in which we place more deadlines, pressure, and stress on ourselves while finding less time to unwind and re-balance. The result can be overwhelming and the mounting stress is liable to seep into the other facets of our lives ultimately settling into our bodies and mental wellbeing. Taking time, even 5 minutes a day for a self massage can help alleviate this stress and bring more balance into one’s life.

We now know that touch is one of the most important components to health. Our skin, the largest organ of the body, contains billions of nerve endings that through therapeutic message can help balance the endocrine and nervous systems. This healing form of touch enlivens the vital energy points, known as marma points, and sends a cascade of healing messages to all ares of the body including the brain and other vital organs.

Through therapeutic massage and the use of Ayurvedic oil, damaging toxins are released from the bodies tissues and eliminated. This leaves entire mind, body, spirit with a sense of being deeply balanced and nourished.

What conditions are Ayurvedic Oils used for?
Back and joint pain
Nourish dry skin
Muscular pain

The benefits of self-massage (abhyanga)?
Balances the endocrine system
Calms the nervous system and reduces anxiety
Rejuvenates the skin
Tones muscles
Eliminates impurities and toxins
Lubricates the joints
Increases mental alertness and focus
Promotes youthful skin
Promotes longevity
Stimulates the internal organs

How does Ayurvedic Oil Massage work?
Although Ayurvedic massage originates in India, it has become a lifestyle for an ever-increasing number of Westerners as well. Many people trying it for the first time have found it to be so nourishing and calming that it easily becomes a natural and well received daily regimen.

Performing Ayurvedic oils massage is a powerful way to maintain health, harmony, and balance. The tiny oil molecule (seeped in the healing plant properties) is able to penetrate the skin easily and transports the healing properties of nature, directly to the cells in the body. As it does this, it delivers the healing elements of the dosha-specific plants and helps to awaken the innate healing systems of the body.

What time is best for Ayurvedic Oil Massage?
Traditionally, Ayurvedic Oil Massage is performed after you wake up but before your bath or shower. This process helps to to facilitate the release and gentle elimination of toxins that may have built up during the preceding day and night.

Also recommended is a mini self massage at the conclusion of the day. A gentle massage to the soles of the feet with warm Ayurvedic oil helps to promote rest and reduces the occurrence of insomnia for those prone to poor sleep.

Ayurvedic full-body massage

Abhyangam, the most famous of Ayurvedic massages, is a whole body massage that uses warm oil, specific to your dosha to rebalance the energy of the body. It helps to drain the lymphatic system, increase energy, and rejuvenate the whole body while nurturing the body, mind, and spirit.

Indications: This treatment is very useful in poor blood circulation, loss of skin luster, insomnia, fatigue, and osteoarthritis. It helps to tone muscles, relieve muscular cramps and reduces stress and anxiety.

Abhyangam is an important component of Panchakarma therapy and is given to a client daily for 7-14 days consecutively. The oils selected are based on the patient’s dosha and current state of imbalance, known as Vikruti.

Contraindications: Rheumatoid arthritis, acute fever, diarrhea, varicose veins, after heavy food.

How it Works: Oil is a fat soluble compound → quality of herb in the oil is absorbed through skin pores → entering the dermal and epidermal layer → stimulating the nerve terminations on the epidermal layer → activating sympathetic / parasympathetic system → balancing and regularizing functions on the body.

o Anti-aging
o Adds lubrication to body, joints, and tissues
o Relieves stiffness
o Balances Vata-related insomnia, stress, and anxiety
o Improves sexual vigor
o Increases immunity towards environmental changes and diseases
o Improves white blood cells count
o Increases self confidence and will power
o Promotes good vision
o Hydrating

Herbal oils:
Vata Oils – Dhanwanthram thailam, Sesame oil, Almond Oil, Flaxseed Oil
Pitta Oils – Balashwagandadi thailam, Dhanwanthram thailam, Olive oil, Coconut Oil, Sesame Oil
Kapha Oils – Kottamchukadi thailam, Dhanwanthram thailam, Sunflower oil, Mustard oil, Sesame oil

Recommended Pressure:
o Vata – A slow speed and light, gentle pressure
o Pitta – Moderate speed and pressure
o Kapha – A moderate to fast speed and deep pressure.

Rest for at least 30 minutes. Then hot water shower, enjoy tea, and relax.

This is a quick and easy self-massage that is very beneficial when performed as part of a daily routine. The most important parts to massage daily are the top of the head, inner ears and soles of the feet.

➢ Applying oil to the head and body: Gently rub warm oil over the head and body. Daily oil massage of the scalp brings happiness and prevents headaches, as well as baldness, graying and receding hairline, it also prevents aging.
➢ Oil drops in the ears: Conditions such as ringing in the ears (tinnitus), excess ear wax, poor hearing, locked jaw, are all due to Vata in the ears. Putting four drops of warm sesame oil on each ear can help and prevent these disorders.
➢ Rubbing oil on the feet: Induces sound sleep due to location of marma points.

For Vata you can use sesame oil (externally VPK), sunflower/coconut for Pitta sunflower/mustard oil for Kapha

For more information on Abhyangam massage, including formal steps and full massage outline click here.

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