Ayurvedic Oils

Which Base Oils should I use for making Medicated Oils?

In classical ayurveda, three base oils are used for making ayurvedic oils or medicated oils.

  1. Sesame Oil.
  2. Coconut Oil.
  3. Mustard Oil.

From these three oils, which oil should you use for getting maximum results? Let’s discuss in detail one by one.

Who should use Sesame Oil?

Sesame oil is warming in nature. So, it produces heat in the body when it consumed internally. It produces heating sensation when applied on the scalp or on the skin. Its appropriate processing with other ingredients cure all diseases. It is the king of all oils. (Ref. As. Ch. 6, 94-96)

It is Yogavahi (योगवाही), according to ayurveda. It means it also adopt characteristics of ingredients which are processed in it. So, it carries the qualities and benefits of substances which are processed in it and leaves its own characteristics. For this quality, it is best than all other oils. Therefore, Vagbhata calls it King of all oils.

Secondly, it has a penetrating nature. It penetrates deeper into the tissues. It spreads throughout the body fast. It can enter into minute pores. Due to this reason, it is used as base oil for preparing medicated oils that are used orally and for external application.

Therefore, it is the best oil for making any ayurvedic medicated oils, which you can consume internally or externally. There is no doubt regarding this, it is the best oil. Due to this reason, all ancient classical texts recommend using sesame oil as a base oil for making all types of ayurvedic oils. Therefore, sesame oil as a base oil is the best and excellent choice.

As Vata dosha acts as Yogavahi (योगवाही) for other dosha – Pitta Dosha and Kapha Dosha but it preserves its own functions. Vata dosha can act independently, but other two doshas cannot act without Vata. In a similar way, sesame oil still preserves its intrinsic properties. Based on this concept, you can choose the perfect oil for making ayurvedic oils for yourself based on the following points:

  • You should process sesame oil with other ingredients if you are going to use it for skin and hair.
  • Sesame oil has warming potency. Therefore, people living in colder places should make medicated oil with sesame oil.
  • If your scalp has white flakes, itching, and dryness, you should prepare it with sesame oil.
  • Sesame oil as base oil also has stronger anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties than other oils. If you are making oil for any pain disorder, joint pain, bone disorders, muscular problems, then you should make it with sesame oil.
  • If you suffer from headache and feel pain comes out from inside the head, then you should make medicated oil with sesame oil.
  • If you have severe itching, dryness and white flakes on scalp or skin, you should prepare medicated oil with sesame oil.
  • Some medicated oils are recommended to consume internally. You must prepare such oils with sesame oil.
  • If some fluid oozes out from the skin, then you should use sesame oil.

Who should use Coconut Oil?

Coconut oil is best for the skin and hair. It has cooling potency. Internally, it is heavier to digest than sesame oil and mustard oil. Therefore, medicated oils prepared using coconut oil are not recommended for oral use. You should use them only for external application. However, if your digestion is very good and you are having pitta type body, then you can eat coconut oil. But don’t process it with other ingredients. Because processing it with other herbs make it heavier to digest.

  • Itself coconut oil (without and with processing) is best for the skin and hair. You can use it on a daily basis.
  • Making hair oil and making skin care oil that you want to use on a regular basis in healthy individuals, you should prepare oil in coconut oil as base oil.
  • As coconut oil is cooling in nature, people living in warmer places can prepare medicated oil with coconut oil.
  • It produces a cooling sensation on the skin and scalp. If you have burning sensation, heat sensation and tenderness, then you should use coconut oil.
  • If your scalp has yellowish flakes, dryness, sticky and bad smell, you should make it with coconut oil.
  • If you have scalp tenderness, you experience an increase in pain after pressing the head, pulling hair or during a head massage, and you feel pain comes from the surface of scalp skin, then you should use coconut oil.

Who should use Mustard Oil?

Mustard oil has warming potency. Its main indication is skin infections. It prevents all types of skin diseases. Itself it can be used for a daily massage before taking a bath in the morning.

However, a few medicated oils are prepared using mustard oil. Most of such oils are used for skin diseases, especially skin infections.

Which oils should I use for daily body massage?

Sesame oil (without processing) Less advisable.
Medicated Sesame oil Yes. Definitely.
Coconut oil Yes (Best after bath)
Mustard oil Yes (Best before bath)

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

According to Yoga Ratnakar, mustard oil is best for daily body massage (Abhyanga). He further says oil processed in fragrant herbs and flowers are best. He also says medicated ayurvedic oils are good and never cause any problem. You can use these three types of oils in daily body massage:

  1. Mustard oil (best if it is pre-processed with turmeric).
  2. Mustard oil, sesame oil or coconut oil processed in fragrant herbs and flowers.
  3. Medicated Ayurvedic Oils.

Ayurveda recommends the use of mustard oil before taking bath. Therefore, don’t apply it after taking a bath. It might cause skin irritation in a few people sensitive to sunlight. If you want to apply oil on the skin as moisturizer after taking bath, then use coconut oil.

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.

Also Read: Which Oil should I use for Body Massage.

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Dr. Jagdev Singh

Dr. Jagdev Singh is a qualified Ayurvedic Practitioner and Herbalist with B.A.M.S. and M. Sc. in Medicinal Plants. He has a wealth of experience in using Ayurveda to treat patients, including the use of herbal medicine and personalized Ayurvedic diets. His passion for spreading accurate and scientific information about Ayurveda and Medicinal Plants led him to create Ayur Times, a trusted resource for those seeking reliable information on the topic. Through his dedicated work, Dr. Singh has helped thousands of patients find relief and improve their health with Ayurveda and Herbal Medicine.

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