Herbs are processed with oils to prepare Ayurvedic oils. Most of these oils are used for massage, as ear drops, nasal drops, eye drops etc. Some are used even for oral intake – for example Ksheerabala taila 101.
Oil base as per Dosha
Massage oil bases and Doshas –
Sesame oil – Slightly hot. Ideal for Vata Dosha, can also be used in Kapha. Read Sesame oil benefits
Coconut oil – Coolant – Ideal for Pitta dosha (or during summer or in high temperature and humid places such as Kerala, India. Not good for Kapha. Read Coconut oil benefits
Castor oil – Slightly hot. Has deep penetrating activity. Useful in Vata and also in Kapha. Read Castor oil benefits
Mustard oil – Very hot. Ideal for Kapha Dosha, okay for Vata Dosha. But not good in high Pitta. Read Sesame Oil, Coconut Oil, Castor Oil, Mustard Oil – Comparison
It makes sense for Pitta person or in summer or for people living in high temperature climates to choose herbal oils prepared with coconut oil. These kinds of oils usually have kera tailam as their last name.
Ayyappala Keratailam – used in tinea infection, psoriasis etc.
Kayyanyadi Keratailam – used in the treatment of split hairs, grey hairs, hair fall, eye and teeth disorders.
Except for Pitta, for rest of the people, sesame oil based herbal oils are beneficial.
Massage oils for Vata Prakriti
Ideal Ayurvedic massage oils for Vata persons –
High Vata means rough skin, weak muscles, nerves, joints and bones.
Ksheerabala taila – a very good nerves soothing oil
Balaswagandhadi taila – a very good oil for nerve, muscle, bone strength
Lakshadi taila – for bone and joint care
Mahamasha taila – usually Vata persons will be very weak. This oil is useful to improve muscle strength and bulk.
Read related: Diet And Lifestyle Advice For Vata Dosha Body Type
Massage oils for Pitta Prakriti
Ideal Ayurvedic massage oils for Pitta persons –
Usually suffer with excess body heat, burning sensation, skin disorders
All oils with coconut oil base.
All skin disease oils such as Manjishtadi taila, Eladi taila, Ayyappala Kera tailam etc are very good for high Pitta people to use for daily massage.
Read related: Ideal Time Duration For Oil Massage – Abhyanga Kaala
Massage oils for Kapha Prakriti
Ideal Ayurvedic massage oils for Kapha persons –
Oils made with castor oil, sesame oil, mustard oil bases suit Kapha persons.
High Kapha may lead to joint and muscle stiffness.
Sahacharadi taila is very useful.
Ginger and such other spice containing oils such as
Lavana taila etc are very useful in high Kapha persons / disorders.
Massage oils for Tridoshas
Ideal oils for balancing all the three Doshas –
Read related: Foot massage: Ayurvedic Benefits, How To Do, Importance
Amount of oil
Amount of oil used for different Doshas –
For high Vata patients, usually large quantity of oil is used for massage.
For Pitta, medium and for Kapha, less quantity of oil is used.
Heating of oil
Heating the oil before massage –
Hotness is against Vata and Kapha doshas. Hence, for these two Doshas, oil is taken in a bowl, heated on a water bed to just above room temperature and then used for massage.
Steam therapy after massage –
For Vata and Kapha patients, usually strong steam therapy is given for longer periods, 10 minutes or so.
For Pitta persons, mild steam therapy for only a few minutes is administered.
Bath after massage
Hot or cold water bath after massage –
For Vata and Kapha, hot water bath is good. For Pitta, lukewarm water.
Read related: Hot water bath or cold water bath?