Katu (Sarshapa) Taila Murchana: Special Processing Of Mustard Oil

Mustard oil (Sarso ka tel) is used as dietary ingredient and also as base for many Ayurvedic medicines. Ayurveda products with mustard oil as base are called herbal Sarshapa taila. In any herbal mustard oil preparation, mustard oil is added with herbal powder paste and liquids. This combination is boiled in mild fire till only the oil remains. Then it is filtered. 

Usually, herb decoction (herbal tea) is used as the liquid in herbal oil preparation. But as per formula, on some occasions, milk, buttermilk, herbal juice extracts etc are also added to it, while cooking.
The formula is already told in traditional Ayurvedic text books and we juts follow them.
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Synonyms of this procedure:
Sarshap Murcha, Sarshaba Moorchanam, Sarshapa Moorchanam.

Concept of Sarshapa Moorchana

The text book Bhaishajya Ratnavali explains, first the mustard should be subjected to Murchana process. This Murchita Sarshapa taila is used as base oil along with herb paste, decoction etc to prepare the final herbal oil.
The book explains that doing Murchana process on the oil helps to improve digestibility of mustard oil and makes it more potent. It also adds good colour, aroma and better qualities to the oil.
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Sanskrit verse


Ingredients of Sarshapa Taila Murchana:
Sarshapa taila – Mustard oil – 1 Prastha – 768 ml
Vayastha – Amalaki – Indian Gooseberry – Phyllanthus emblica – 1 Karsha – 12 g
Rajani – turmeric – 1 Karsha – 12 g
Musta – Cyperus rotundus – 1 Karsha – 12 g
Bilva – Bael – Aegle marmelos – 1 Karsha – 12 g
Dadima – Pomegranate – 1 Karsha – 12 g
Keshara – Nagakeshara – Mesua ferrea – 1 Karsha – 12 g
Krushna Jeeraka – Black Cumin – Syah Jeera – 1 Karsha – 12 g
Hribera – Pavonia odorata – Netrabala – 1 Karsha – 12 g
Nalika – Naluka – Hibiscus cannabinus / Nelumbo nucifera – 1 Karsha – 12 g
Bibhitaka – Terminalia bellerica – 1 Karsha – 12 g
Aruna – Manjishta – Rubia cordifolia – 2 Karsha – 24 g
Water – 3.072 liters


Procedure of Sarsapa Moorchanam:
Mustard is taken in a clean wide mouthed iron vessel. Heated gently for 3 – 5 minutes, taken out of fire.
Take fine powder of herbal ingredients mentioned above. Add a little water to make paste.
Add this paste to the oil
Add water.
Start heating this mix till only the oil part remains. Filter. The final product obtained – is called Murchita Sarshapa taila (The mustard oil which has undergone Murchana process).

At the end stage of heating, the regular signs of herbal oil preparation (Taila Paka Lakshana) should be observed. These signs are –
good aroma, good colour
Profuse frothing
Lack of sound when the oil or the paste is put on fire.
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To give a good colour and aroma to the oil.
The final product will have reddish yellow colour.
As per Bhaishajya Kalpana, mustard oil is said to have ama dosha, especially if it is exposed to moisture. This means, the oil can cause indigestion on higher Doses. The author explains that if Sarshapa Murchana is done, then this Ama dosha (potential to weaken digestion strength) will be removed from the oil.
This oil is used as base on for all herbal oil preparation.

Practical utility

In practice:
This procedure is mentioned only in Bhaishajya Ratnavali and not in ancient Samhitas.
This method is not practiced widely. Generally mustard oil is taken as base to prepare herbal oils.
Read related: Tila Taila Murchana

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