Ayurvedic OilsPanchakarma

Ayurvedic Massage Oils

How should we choose ayurvedic massage oil for body massage? Which is the best ayurvedic massage oil for daily use? Which oil does ayurveda recommend for regular use? These are the most common question asked by people. In this article, we will check which ayurvedic oil is best for everyone. Then I also talk about a few medicated ayurvedic massage oils that you use based on specific conditions.

सार्षप गन्ध तैलं च यतैलं पुष्पवासितम्। अन्य द्रव्य युतं तेल न दुष्यति कदाचन॥५५॥ (Yoga Ratnakar, Nitya Pravriti Prakar)

Ayurveda recommends three types of oils for regular massage:

  1. Sesame Oil.
  2. Coconut Oil.
  3. Castor Oil.
  4. Mustard Oil.
  5. Fragrance Oils: Oils derived from aromatic flowers and herbs.
  6. Medicated ayurvedic massage oils.

Sesame Oil

According to Sushruta Samhita, sesame oil is beneficial for the skin. He uses the word “TWAK PRASAADANAM (त्वक्प्रसादनं)”, which means it is soothing and gratifying for the skin. So, it has demulcent (emollient) action on the skin. You can take sesame oil internally and apply externally. (S. S. Ch. 45, Verse – 112).

Suitability of Sesame Oil

Who should use sesame oil for massage?

Vata Body Type Most Suitable.
Pitta Body Type Not Recommended.
Kapha Body Type Suitable.

When should I use Sesame Oil for Massage?

You should use sesame oil in a massage before taking a bath. Keep at least 30 minutes gap between massage and bath.

Sesame Oil Processing for Massage

In Ayurveda, we use Murchita Tail. Tail Murchana is an ayurvedic way to make oil suitable for external application. It is useful for improving the overall qualities and efficacy of an oil. However, Bhaishajya Ratnavali gives a difficult process, which you might not follow at home. Here, I am going to provide an easier method that you can do at home.

  1. Bring sesame oil to a boil on medium heat.
  2. Remove it from the stove.
  3. Add a pinch of turmeric powder in it.
  4. Leave it for about 24 hours.
  5. After 24 hours, filter the sesame oil and use it in a daily massage.

Coconut Oil

According to Raj Nighantu, coconut oil is strengthening. It is beneficial for hair (stimulates hair growth and prevents hair fall). It is also very useful for the skin. It reduces itching due to its antipruritic action. It also prevents and treats skin diseases.

It is the best oil that everyone can use without thinking about any dosha. It is suitable for each type of body. However, it is most suitable for people with pitta body type. You can use this oil in cooking as well as an external application.

Suitability of Coconut Oil

Vata Body Type Suitable.
Pitta Body Type Most Suitable.
Kapha Body Type Suitable.

हृद्यं रुच्यं नवं प्रोक्तं, पुराणं गुरु वातनुत्।।

Note: According to Raj Nighantu, old coconut becomes heavier to digest, but becomes more efficacious to pacify vata dosha. Fresh coconut is a cardiac tonic and improves interest in food. It also applies to coconut oil. Coconut oil kept more than 6 months also becomes very heavier to digest than fresh coconut oil.

When should I use Coconut Oil for Massage?

You can use coconut oil for a massage before and after taking a bath. There are no such restrictions on this oil.

Castor Oil

Then Sushruta has written about castor oil. He uses word TWACHYAM (त्वच्यं), which means beneficial for the skin. It also means restorative for the skin. So, it restores the natural health of the skin. (S. S. Ch. 45, Verse – 113-114).

Suitability of Castor Oil

Vata Body Type Most Suitable.
Pitta Body Type Not Recommended.
Kapha Body Type Suitable.

Mustard Oil

Then Sushruta has talked about several oils including Mustard Oil. For mustard oil, he says KRIMIGHANAM  (कृमिघ्नं), which means anthelmintic (kills parasites), KANDU KUSTHA HARAM (कण्डूकुष्ठापहं), which means antipruritic (reduces itching) and treating skin diseases. According to the description, mustard oil is highly useful for people suffering from itching and skin infections with Kapha dosha dominance. You should also note it has warming nature. Therefore, mustard oil is not suitable for people with Pitta Body Type and Pitta Dosha dominance in their skin. (S. S. Ch. 45, Verse – 115 & 117).

कृमिघ्नं सार्षपं तैलं कण्डूकुष्ठापहं लघु। कफमेदोऽनिलहरं लेखनं कटु दीपनम्।। (S. S. Ch. 45, Verse – 115).

Mustard oil is the best ayurvedic massage for daily use in Abhyanga or full body massage. It has warming potency and reduces Kapha Dosha and alleviates Vata Dosha. It may increase Pitta Dosha.

Suitability of Mustard Oil

Vata Body Type Suitable.
Pitta Body Type Not Recommended.
Kapha Body Type Suitable.

Based on dosha effect of mustard oil, it is best for people with vata body type, kapha body type, and vata and kapha body type. You should not use it if you have the pitta body type.

Check Your Body Type: Prakriti Dosha Test

When should I use Mustard Oil for Massage?

Ayurveda advocates massage 2 times – before exercise and after exercise, but always before taking a bath.

It especially applies to mustard oil. Because mustard oil might cause skin irritation and pinning type sensation in the skin in some people if they go under the sun. Therefore, you should not apply mustard oil after taking a bath.

The best oil that you can apply after taking bath is coconut oil. It acts as a moisturizer and protects your skin from sunburn, irritation and several other skin conditions.

Mustard Oil Processing for Massage

To reduce mustard oil’s irritating nature, you should process it in turmeric powder in the following way:

  1. Before using mustard oil, boil it once. Remove it from the stove.
  2. Then added a pinch of turmeric powder in it when it is hot.
  3. Leave it for 24 hours.
  4. After 24 hours, filter the oil and use this oil for daily massage.
  5. This process is not required for oils processed with other herbs.

Contraindications

Who should not use mustard oil as massage oil?

People having sensitive skin, prone to sunburn or have reddishness on the skin should avoid mustard oil. These symptoms belong to people with Pitta body type.

In people with Pitta body type, it can lead to the following side effects:

  • Skin Irritation.
  • Pinning type sensation or pain on the skin.
  • Redness.
  • Itchiness with burning or heat sensation.

The most of allergic reaction of mustard oil are found in people with pitta body type.

Fragrance Oils

Aromatic oils are called fragrance oils. These are plant-based oils extracted from aromatic flowers and herbs. These oils are also called aroma oils, essential oils, and aromatic oils.

However, you cannot use these oils directly on the skin. You require base oil for making it more suitable for your skin. Because these oils are stronger, sometimes irritant to the skin.

Coconut Oil 100 ml
Fragrance Oil 1 ml

The best base oil for fragrance oils is coconut oil. You should add 1 ml of fragrance oil in 100 ml of coconut oil.

Which fragrance oils can you use?

According to your body type, you can use the following fragrance oils:

Vata Body Type & Vata Skin Type

  • Allspice oil
  • Anise oil
  • Basil oil
  • Bay leaf oil
  • Caraway oil
  • Cardamom oil
  • Carom seed oil
  • Cilantro oil
  • Cinnamon oi
  • Clove oil
  • Coriander oil
  • Cumin oil
  • Dill oil
  • Fennel oil
  • Garlic oil
  • Ginger oil
  • Mace oil
  • Marjoram oil
  • Mint oil
  • Nutmeg oil
  • Oregano oil
  • Peppermint oil
  • Rosemary oil
  • Saffron oil
  • Tarragon oil
  • Thyme oil
  • Turmeric oil
  • Vanilla oil

Pitta Body Type & Pitta Skin Type

  • Sandalwood oil
  • Rose Oil
  • Cardamom Oil
  • Coriander Oil
  • Cumin oil
  • Fennel oil
  • Mint oil
  • Neem oil
  • Peppermint oil
  • Spearmint oil
  • Vanilla oil
  • Wintergreen oil

Kapha Body Type & Kapha Skin Type

  • Allspice oil
  • Anise oil
  • Basil oil
  • Bay leaf oil
  • Caraway oil
  • Cardamom oil
  • Carom seed oil
  • Cinnamon oi
  • Clove oil
  • Cumin oil
  • Dill oil
  • Fennel oil
  • Fenugreek
  • Ginger oil
  • Mace oil
  • Marjoram oil
  • Mint oil
  • Neem Oil
  • Nutmeg oil
  • Oregano oil
  • Peppermint oil
  • Rosemary oil
  • Saffron oil
  • Spearmint oil
  • Tarragon oil
  • Tea tree oil
  • Thyme oil
  • Turmeric oil
  • Vanilla oil
  • Wintergreen oil

You can select any of above aromatic oil. However, each oil has different recommendations. We will share the detail in articles on these specific oils.

You can check Ayurvedic skin type: Ayurvedic Skin Type Test

Medicated Ayurvedic Massage Oils

After talking about mustard oil and fragrance oils, then Yoga Ratnakar discusses the use of medicated ayurvedic massage oils. He says oils medicated with herbs and natural ingredients are safer to use as massage oils. These oils do not cause any problem or side effects. According to skin type and body type, you can use any of the following oils:

Vata Body Type

Pitta Body Type

Kapha Body Type

Also Check: Ayurvedic skin type: Ayurvedic Skin Type Test

Benefits of Ayurvedic Massage Oils

Ayurvedic massage oils have the following benefits:

  • Delay aging.
  • Tonify the skin and muscles.
  • Release accumulated toxins.
  • Improve blood circulation.
  • Nourish hair roots.
  • Calm mind.
  • Revitalize the whole body.
  • Induce deep relaxation.
  • Relieve tiredness.
  • Alleviates pain.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Soothe the skin.
  • Prevent Vata diseases (neuromuscular diseases).
  • Nourish the skin.
  • Improve appetite.
  • Activates metabolism.
  • Improve hair growth.
  • Increase skin glow.
  • Some oils improve complexion.
  • Some oils burn fat.

Dr. Jagdev Singh

Dr. Jagdev Singh (B.A.M.S., M. Sc. in Medicinal Plants) is an Ayurvedic Practitioner and Herbalist. He has successfully treated thousands of patients with Ayurveda (including Herbal Ayurvedic Medicine and Ayurvedic Diet). Ayur Times is an initiative of his efforts to bring quality information on Indian Medicine with the highest level of relevancy and scientific evidence.

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