How To Make Ayurvedic Herbal Bath Powder At Home?

I recently published a reader’s opinion about how he quit soap and found out tremendous improvement in skin health – here. This is to further add to that post.
Soaps and shampoos – how so ever herbal, the marketer may claim, they cannot be 100% natural and totally chemical-free.
Here are different combinations of herbal body wash powders that you can try at home. So, if you wish to stop soap and try something herbal, then give it a try.

General considerations

Gram flour (also known as basen powder) is the general base for any bathing powder combination. It is good for skin and provides scrubbing action.
A small percentage of people may be sensitive to basen powder, who can use Green gram powder as base.
Overall this powder can be used as 50 % ingredient of the formula. The rest 50 % is composed of different combinations of herbal powders.
This combination of herbal powders can be made based on desired effect and availability of herbs.
The below mentioned combination is good to use even in kids.
There are three basic purposes behind use of below herbal powders is

  • Improvement in skin health and complexion.
  • Ability of the herbs to heal acne, skin scars and minor skin lesions.
  • Relieving body pain and inflammation.

Bathing powder contents

Gram flour or green gram powder – 10 spoons.

Neem powder – 1 spoon – Neem is very good for skin. Heals wounds, relieves acne and relieves minor skin lesions with ease.
Manjishta  (Indian madder – Rubia cordifolia) – 1 spoon – Very good for skin, used in many herbal medicines to improve skin health.
Turmeric  – 1/2 spoon – 1 spoon – Relieves skin lesions and allergic skin complexion. Improves skin glow.  Quantity can be little less – say, half a spoon only. Too much of it, may leave yellow colour on skin, if not washed with water properly.
Amla (Indian gooseberry) – dry powder – 1 spoon. It is rich in anti oxidants, has a coolant effect over skin and calms Pitta.
Ginger – 2 pinches – Improves blood circulation and relieves inflammation.
Rose petal paste made with water – has calming effect, relieves any burning sensation in skin and improves glow. If you do not get rose flower, you can use a few drops of rose water. – 1 teaspoon
Almond – rich in natural vitamin E, excellent skin moisturizer – 1 teaspoon
Khadira – (Acacia catechu) – A very good Ayurvedic herb, useful in many skin diseases. There is also a reference in Ayurveda that people with recurrent skin diseases should take bath by adding this powder into hot water.Hence it is very good for skin, even on external application – 1 teaspoon
Vacha (Acorus calamus – sweet flag / calamus) – useful to relieve skin inflammation.- 1/2 – 1 spoon
Rasna (Pluchea lanceolata) – Relieves body aches and pains. 1 spoon

In the above combination of herbs, you can use as much as available, depending on purpose.
If you want to relieve skin problem, use more of Manjishta, Khadira, Vacha and Neem.
If you want to relieve body aches and pains – use more of ginger, Rasna.
If you have burning sensation, use more of rose water  / paste, almond and Amla
If you have skin allergy and non healing wounds, add more of turmeric and neem powder.

Use of fragrance:
If you have any problem with the aroma of your final combination of bathing powder, you can use any natural fragrance of your choice.

Liquid additive options

To the above herbal body wash powder, you can add
Eucalyptus oil – 1 drop per 5 grams of powder mix. It is a good anti inflammatory oil, good for respiratory healthy.
Rose water – Good for skin, coolant. 1- 2 spoons.
Kumkumadi Taila – 1 – 2 drops. Relieves acne, improves skin glow.

How long can this powder be stored?
If stored in an air tight container, the bath powder can be stored safely for up to 1 year. If there is more moisture in the air or if the storage was not air tight, then it may hold its good qualities for up to 4 – 6 months time.

Other optional herbs that you can add to the above combination:
Reetha powder (soapnut) – add 5-10 grams to 100 gram powder mix. This gives you the frothing and feeling of soap naturally. It is also used for washing cloths!

More options

A reader by name Vin writes –
In addition to washing body, i have been using Reetha powder decoction (prepared by heating Reetha powder in water) to wash clothes, and they wash as good as any detergent, of course without polluting the sewage water. Even the most dirty stains can be removed by applying a little coconut oil on the grease or dirt before washing.

Chigare and Shikakai in powder form is much better in cleaning vessels than any dishwashing chemical and are safe for body as the harmful chemicals of dishwashing soap will not be ingested into the body.

Same thing will cleaning floor, even if you spill oil on floor applying a little shikakai powder on floor before wiping with water will clean even most tough stains.
And these soap powders are much much cheaper than detergents, and are eco firendly!!

104 thoughts on “How To Make Ayurvedic Herbal Bath Powder At Home?”

  1. wow, 12 min video!!. i predict this video to be a huge hit in youtube (simply based on the keywords) in about 1 years time.

  2. Sir, in addition to washing body, i have been using Reetha powder decoction(prepared by heating Reetha powder in water) to wash clothes, and they wash as good as any detergent, of course without polluting the sewarage water. Even the most dirty stains can be removed by applying a little coconut oil on the grease or dirt before washing.

    Chigare and Shikakai in powder form is much better in cleaning vessels than any dishwashing chemical and are safe for body as the harmful chemicals of dishwashing soap will not be ingested into the body.

    Same thing will cleaning floor, even if you spill oil on floor applying a little shikakai powder on floor before wiping with water will clean even most tough stains.

    And these soap powders are much much cheaper than detergents, and are eco firendly!!

    • Thank you Dr Hebbar for posting such great info I was looking for.

      Also thanks to Mr Vin for posting such useful info on herbal powders for daily household requirements. Those I found on the internet before this were mainly Borax, Vinegar and lemon based cleaners & detergents. It remains to be seen how effective these herbal powders are. I can tell only after trying.

  3. What is green gram flour – powder of green channa or green gram (mung dal that is used to make pesarattu)?

  4. my son was born with a good complexion but within 2 yrs he’s getting a dark complexion. Is it because of soap? If I switched to this herbal bath powder, will it help recover his complexion. More importantly, why is there a change in complexion? I’ll appreciate your response

    • May because of Sun exposure, or due to Pitta activity, there might have been colour change. Skin colour change is a natural process in anyone.
      Switching to herbal bath powder would surely help.
      Add more of sandalwood powder, turmeric and Almond in the bath powder, to serve the purpose better.

  5. Dr Hebbar
    Can you give the list of ingredients in absolute terms. I mean, can you specify the amount of each ingredient, say for 500gms of gram flour powder.That way we can mix all the ingredients at a time for everyday use and not go through the process everyday.Also,I found rose petal powder.I am assuming I could use it instead of fresh rose petals.

    • You can use rose petal powder in stead of fresh.
      The ratio of each ingredient is just arbitrary. Try your own combinations and enjoy.

  6. hi sir,

    very good post. much awaited topic to be discussed.
    i heard few shampoo and conditioners from a reputed herbal company (Hima****)
    is free from harmful chemicals such as paraben, sulphate and silicon and made up from the ayurvedic text reference such as bhavaprakasham.

    is that products also harmful. i use a shampoo which is made up of the following ingredient.

    Tea Tree oil(Melaleuca leucodendron): Natural anti-dandruff agent.
    Grape Seed: Effective anti-dandruff and anti-microbial action.
    Indian Sarsaparilla & Aloe (Aloe vera): Nourishes and moisturizes hair and scalp.

    Please shed some light on this.

    i agree to your point that they use very low quantity herbs and more chemicals. but if it mild when comparing to the other HARMFUL shampoos. is it safe to use.

    • Compared to regular shampoos, the herbal ones, from reputed companies are less evil. 🙂

  7. Namaste Dr. Hebbar, i want to know how to make powder of above mentioned herbs as i get these in raw form. also tell for neem powder i would use neem leaves or any othr part of the tree

    • You can use neem leaf or bark, whichever you get.
      To make powder, just use a mortar and pestle or a mixer / grinder.
      It will be ideal if you get fine powder of raw materials directly. That way, the only job that you have to do is, to mix them at home.

  8. Hi Dr J V Hebbar,i make the paste of the powder with water that ok?? or any other options i can try?

    • Water, rose water, kumkumadi Taila (a couple of drops), Aloe vera juice extract – you can try any of these.

  9. Hello Dr.,
    I’m very impressed with your effort on web. I have a question regarding a bath powder one of my friend suggested. Below is the receipe I was told and I have been using it. I have an oily skin with a little acne on face. Would you please let me know if this is a good combination for me?

    chanaga pappu/ besan………………1 kg
    Bavamchallu……………. 3 tablespoon
    Mudha karrporam/ camphor…………….half inch
    Katsuri turmeric kommulu………..10to15
    Kumkumma puvvu / safron 4 -5 strands
    Vativellu ..handful

    I will look forward to your reply,
    Thank you,

  10. Dr, With the help of your video i made this herbal bath powder,its very nice to use. But i didnt get manjistha at my place. One more doubt, i have is regarding hair care, indigo powder for dyeing hair black.I got neeli aavuri from herbal shop, but its not turning hair black; but people in many you tube videos say, indigo turns grey hair black;What is the herbal name of the indigo in tamil? or they simply add some dye colour saying its herbal powder? please answer me;

  11. Sir , I am not able to find Khadira and manjishta powder anywhere .. even in all good Ayurvedic shops here ..
    But they are available in liquid form( manjishta ras ) .. can powder be replaced with ras ?? will it do the same job in herbal bath powder ??

  12. my daughters skin is oily so after applying this she has a pimples so which ingrident not suit her? pl tell me.

    • It may be the case that the powders were infected. Try to remove Vacha and Rasna from the list.

  13. hello.. i have read all your articles .. they were very useful… can you please guide me how to make a (1) body massage oil for smooth skin n healthy skin. (2) also oil for hair… for dealing with damage hair and increasing hair growth.

  14. Thank you for your articles. I have two questions regarding bathing powders – 1. Can roasted gram flour also be used? 2. Can the herbal powder replace soap after swimming in a public swimming pool? Will gram flour be able to deal with the chlorinated water? Thank you!

    • Hi, you can use roasted gram flour.
      After swimming in a public pool, I think it is good to have a soap bath. I think this herbal powder is for general once a day bathing.

  15. Dear Sir,

    Thank you very much for giving information on Natural bath soap, hair oil, massage oil etc. I would also like to know
    for dry hair, how to make homemade shampoo & conditioner
    Also a moisturizer for a very dry skin.
    Is there way it can be made at home?
    Please give me recipes for shampoo, conditioner & moisturizer to be made at home. Thanks

  16. sir.. i found your information very effective..your website is very appreciable.. i have a doubt. after applying herbal bath powder on my body, after how many minutes should i wash it ?i work in hospital. so is it good to fight infection if i use it daily? thank you..

    • Thank you.
      Pour some water on to body. Make a paste of herbal bath powder with water and apply it. Wait for just two minutes and wash off. If you wish to fight infection, better to add some neem powder into this bath powder mix.

  17. Thank you very much for your information.!! I love Ayurveda and your website has been very very helpful. I appreciate your big work, the more I read, the more I want to learn from you. I want to try this herbal bath powder, I hope to get the ingredients that are not available in my Country.

  18. Hello Sir,
    Great Recipe Thank you Very Much. I tried and It gives Best result. How many days this recipe Can stay (Shelf life) ?

  19. Hi read the article. .ggonna prepare the way can you tell me on reducing belly caused by c section. ?

  20. Hello Doctor.

    Thank you very much.

    I really liked the recipe and tried it albeit with fewer ingredients. Sir, I have a question. This mixture is really difficult to remove because of body hair (I have got plenty). Now, I don’t have any skin issues. I just think soaps are not good as I get very dry skin after bathing and I use soap daily. My mother suggested to replace Gram flour with multani mitti (fuller’s earth). Is multani mitti ok with this mixture? If not, how to remove it after bathing without getting entangled in the body hair?

    • Hi, multani mitti is very fine to use with these ingredients. But multani mitti becomes quite sticky when in contact with water? If you do not have any problem with m mitti, then I too do not.

    • Chigare is – botanical name – Albizia amara
      Marathi names – lali, lulai, lullei, thugli
      English name – Krishna Siris, Oil cake tree

  21. Dear Dr Hebbar,

    Thanks for this useful article.

    Can this herbal powder be used

    1. by people with any constitution (vata, pitta, kapha) ?

    2. in any season (vasantha, greeshma… etc.) ?

    Please let me know.

    Thanks you.

  22. Respected Doctor, Thank you for sharing such valuable knowledge with us. I really appreciate your efforts. I want to make a hair wash powder (Similar to Meera Herbal hair wash powder) using Shikakai, Amla, Henna, Bringhraj, Brahmi, Fenugreek seeds, Curry leaves, Aritha, Hibiscus leaves and flower, neem leaves, tulsi, rose petals, green gram powder, vetiver and sandalwood powder. Can you please let me know the right proportion? Is Aritha too alkaline and does it ruin the hair similar to laureth and lauryl sulphates? Many thanks in advance!

    • Hi, I would recommend all in equal quantities, green gram powder, hibiscus leaves and Henna – in 2 times quantity.
      Having just a little higher Aritha than others will not make the overall combination alkaline.

  23. Hi Doctor,
    Very nice article on bath powder, sir I have made my own bath powder , it suits my skin, also, my skin has become very soft. My combination powders are : besan/rice powder/multani mitti/neem/tulsi/kasturi haldi/amla/babchi/manjishthe/rose petal powder/orange peel powder. Is this a good combination Doctor? Pl. do reply sir.

  24. Dear Doctor,
    Khadira powder is really difficult to get. Can you Please suggest an online store to buy myself a powder.

  25. Hi Doctor ,
    Your information is very useful , pls advice which herb i can add for waightloss in above body massage ingridiants.

  26. You can make a paste and store it up to 1 month time.
    Try with a trial batch with small quantities, just to check how long it holds its qualities.

  27. hello doctor,i need a remedy for tan ,since i travel under the sun my skin has become tanned and dull.home remedies specially lemon;tomato and scrubs makes skin more sensitive to sun on exposure and my skin is already thin. since i frequently go under the sun i want a remedy which doesnt make thin my skin or make my skin more sensitive and of course it must completley remove my stubborn tan which i am having it for the past three years .thank you so much in advance.i am a very big fan of your blog

  28. Dr.Hebber,
    i have little facial hair and was suggested to use bath powder containing red sandalwood,white sesame seeds powder,kasturi manjal and gram flour. does it really help in reducing facial hair and lightening my complexion?Also tell me a good herbal shampoo for hair growth preventing dandruff and hair loss

  29. You can add orange peel powder, licorice and saffron to this mix. No problem.
    You can make apste of this powder with milk / curd / green tea. Please note that, once after making it paste, you have to refrigerate it, or else it may get spoiled easily. You can refrigerate the paste for 1 week time.

    You can replace this face wash powder with another home made aloe vera face wash for 1 or 2 times. No problem.

    It is fine to use different facewash combinations at different times of the day.

  30. Hello Sir. Very informative website. Can you please suggest where I can buy pure Indigo powder to be used after henna application?
    Thank you!

  31. Seeking a few clarifications…

    For the following ingredients in the article, the quantity is not listed, could you please update it?

    Rose petal paste made with water
    Vacha (Acorus calamus – sweet flag / calamus)
    Rasna (Pluchea lanceolata)

    Is the 10 spoons of Green Gram = the ‘base’ 50%? Or is it part of the “remaining 50%” after 50% base of Besan?

    Almond – Is this in powder form?

    • Hi, almond, Khadira, Rasna – 1 spoon each. – All in fine powder form.
      Vacha can be 1/2 spoon – 1 spoon. It has a strong odor. Hence the advice to add a bit less.
      10 spoons of besan powder (green gram powder) + 10 teaspoon of other ingredients.

  32. In general, how is the powder to be applied? Should a paste of it be made and applied on the body after first rinsing the body with water? Or should dry powder be applied to dry body, and then the body washed with water? Also, for how long to keep it on body? How long to rub it after applying?

    • Hi, a paste is made with water. It is applied after first rinsing the body with water. Ideally, leave it for 5 minutes, then wash off.
      Rubbing – only till the powder is removed from the body.

  33. Namsthe Guruji

    Even I had quit using Soap using herbal powder for bathing

    I had done this powder with following ingredients

    Orange Peel, Mosambi Peel, Pomogrante Peel and Lemon Peel (usually we will purchase these fruits for daily consuming), will dry all these peel, and given to machine for fine powder, after getting it will add basen powder and Little shikkakai powder.

    It is very good, I am having Oily skin, after started using this mixture powder for bathing, my oily skin is reduced, till evening I am looking fresh


  34. Sir,
    Your articles are really great and informative. I am using this recipe of bath powder.
    Please also write an article on hair wash powder.

  35. Hello , can you suggest one for hair? Because I wanted to stop using shampoo and want to apply a solution which will treat dandruff

  36. Sir
    I have heard so many comments about bath powder.Because bath powder acts like a scrub,some skin doctor told me that u should scrub your skin everyday.So I’m little confused.
    1.Is there no harm in using it everyday?
    2.Can v use it both morning and evening?
    Because people say that u should cleanse ur
    skin twice a day.
    3.If v completely stop using soap and replace it
    with ,will it take out the dirt and pollutants
    from the skin?We are exposed to so much
    pollution these days.
    Please explain in detail.Thank you.

  37. Then what to do for the second time doctor?????because we wash once in the morning and evening after coming from the outside polluted space rite?If bath powder is better for once then in da evening what to use to remove all da dirt?

  38. Doctor instead of these soaps is there any home remedy for wash?Like people say raw milk is a good cleanser.Also yogurt ,honey or a combination of two.What do you recommend generally? something for all skin types?

  39. For the second time, you can use any other soap.
    If the powder you prepare is fine, then you can use it with milk twice a day.

  40. Sir I want to buy the books on ayurveda products for making small products at home if you have any books send me the list along with the price list. DEV DATT

  41. Sir, could you disclose making process of ‘Pearl Face Soap’, which I want to try. It is not displayed elsewhere, so I have to ask you. Does it use normal Lye as alkali or is there some other organic process involved? I would like very much to know. Thank you for your work.

  42. Hello Doctor Hebbar,

    Is there a recipe for skin moisturising oil prescribed in ayurveda (just like hair oil recipes)?


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