Posted by: Rhett Hatfield | March 30, 2009

Making an Ayurvedic Herbal Massage Oil

Making an Ayurvedic Herbal Massage Oil

Traveling in India and studying Ayurveda with several doctors of Ayurveda I encountered a couple of different ways to make an Ayurvedic herbal massage oil. Simply put, you need to use a way to get the herbs into the oil.  This is the one I like the best and I believe it does the best job of getting the herbal properties into the oil.  The method breaks it down into two steps.

We cover herbal oils and also teach how to do a traditional and modern Shirodhara in our Best of Asia Spa Course here at Body Wisdom School.

Step 1:
1) Choose which herbs you want to use based on the primary dosha of the client. I will make some suggestions for herbal blends for the different doshas at the end.
2) Blend the herbs together in the ratio that you want to use, i.e. 3 parts Shatavari, 3 parts Ashwangandha, 1 part Calamus for example.
Use 1/2 ounce of herbs for every 1 cup of water.
3) Boil for one hour and let it stand for one hour

Step 2:
1) Strain the herbs and place the remaining water into a large pan
2) Pour in an equal amount of your carrier oil. Sesame oil is good for Vata and Kapha, Coconut, or Safflower oil is good for Pitta.
3) Cook over a low heat for about 2 hours (approximately!!) DO NOT bring to a boil just simmer it enough so that there are little bubbles coming slowly to the surface which is the water evaporating.
4) Cook like this until ALL the water has evaporated. You can check this by dropping a drop of water into the pan and IF it crackles then it is ready. OR stir it and see if there is any sign of water that floats on the top of the water.
5) After it cools it should be stored in a colored container.
6) Optionally you can add 25 drops of essential oils to harmonize the scent and add to the therapeutic value. The total should not be more than 30 drops per 100ml of water.

Caution: Oil is by its nature flammable. Make sure not to spill it or catch it on fire during the process. Personally when I do this, I stay close by the entire time and check every so often.

You can add any of the following herbs to make the decoction:

For Vata Prakruiti Dosha: Ashwangandha, Gotu Kola (or Brahmi even better), Liquorice, Cloves, Comfrey, Ginger, Ginseng

For Pitta Prakruiti Dosha: Neem, Amalaki, Gotu Kola, Shatavari, Peppermint, Fennel, Liquorice

For Kapha Prakruiti Dosha: Gotu Kola, Neem, Wild Ginger, Rosemary, Sage, Horseradish

Note: These are just some suggestions for herbs according to the Prakruti dosha.  You can look up many other herbal combinations online.

Go here to get an online Dosha analysis if you don’t already know what your Ayurvedic constituition is yet.

Please let me know what you are thinking by commenting on this post


Rhett Hatfield, Owner/Director of Education Body Wisdom School
“750-1600 Massage Therapist Certification Programs, 5 Different Career Tracks.” Create your “custom massage certification program” of anywhere from 750-1600 hours of World Class Massage and Bodywork Education.  CEU Programs available



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  1. […] or most commonly in India they are medicated.  Medication can be added though boiling with herbs (see how to make an Ayurvedic oil) or by adding medicines in power or liquid form. If though boiling extreme care mist be taken to […]

  2. Preparing a ayurvedic oil is quite a task but the results are awesome if the oil is self prepared. Although you may get ready made oil in the market but self prepared oil has the best results.

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