In Ayurvedic Abhyanga massages the use of herbal oils play a central role. Typically, one would use base oils for a massage treatment, such as Sesame Oil, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, or Neem Oil, but it’s also rather common to apply enriched herbal oils, also labeled medicated oils or medicated herbal oils.
Medicated oils are base oils to which a variety of herbal components have been added to enhance healing properties of the oil used. Popular medicated oils used in Ayurveda massages are, for instance, Mahanarayan Oil and Ashwagandha Bala Oil. We’ll discuss both oils here below.
Ashwagandha Bala Oil
The main ingredients of Ashwagandha Bala oil are Sesame oil (used as a carrier oil or base oil), Ashwagandha (Withania Somenifera) and Bala (Sida Cordifolia). The two latter herbs have a long history of use in Ayurvedic Medicine.
Ashwagandha Bala oil is notably used in therapeutic massages to nourish and strengthen muscles, improve muscle mass, restore damaged muscles, increase vitality and energy levels, strengthen bones, soothe joins affected by arthritis, alleviate swellings and pains.
Additionally, this oil makes the skin more toned, supple, firm and glowing. Ashwagandha Bala oil also helps to relieve stress, and it provides a calming and rejuvenating effect.
Seen from out an Ayurvedic perspective this oil has warming qualities and balances all Doshas, but particularly Vata Dosha.
Mahanarayan oil is an ancient warming massage oil, also usually mixed with Sesame base oil, and supplemented with a broad variety of herbs.
One of its main working ingredients is derived from the Shatavari (Asparagus Racemosus) plant, found in abundance throughout India and the Himalayas. Some other common ingredients are Cardamom, Camphor, Clove, Fennel, Ginger, Licorice, Neem, Turmeric, and Valerian, among other herbs.
In Ayurvedic massages, it’s typically applied to pacify an aggravated Vata Dosha. The oil can be applied locally to relax specific muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, or nerves, or utilized more generally for full-body massages. Mahanarayan oil is usually positioned as a relaxing and rejuvenating oil.
Some other benefits of this oil are:
- Nourishes and tones the skin;
- Alleviates arthritis;
- Stimulates the blood circulation;
- Alleviates stress, anxiety, and insomnia;
- Promotes better range of motion;
- Reduces pains and inflammations;
- Alleviates neck pains, back pains, and headaches;
- Alleviates digestive disorders.