Ayurvedic herbal oils so unique, healing and with a great ancient craft.
What Is a medicated Herbal Oil?
Creating an herbal oil is no haphazard, random selection of ingredients—it’s a careful selection of herbs paired with the right base oils to cook into the perfect finished product, often with a specific healing property or intent in mind.
Ayurveda recognizes that everything comes with its own set of energetics, and understanding the energetics of the herbs and oils and how they will interplay is key. When the right combination of ingredients are chosen, they interact synergistically, enhancing the power and benefit of the herbal oil.
Oils are also considered anupans, or carrier substances, meaning that when they are infused with the qualities of the herbs, they will carry those qualities deep into the 7 tissues.
Making Ayurvedic herbal Oils
Traditionally, making herbal oils could take days to complete. It took time to prepare the herbs that would eventually go into the oil. Herbs had to be chosen, cooked, drained, added to water, boiled down, cooled overnight, drained again—all before the carrier oil came into play.
All cooking happened over a low flame, which demanded constant supervision. Oil makers would devote their full attention to the process, often chanting over the mixture as it brewed. This careful attention and devotion to the process added to the energetics of the final product.
The Sanskrit word for oil is sneha which also translates as love. Ayurveda considers oil as the ultimate carrier of love, and the daily practice of self-massage with oil as one of the best ways to nourish and love your own body, mind, and spirit. Ancient oil makers knew they were creating important vessels for self-love, so it is no surprise that they devoted their utmost care and attentiveness to the process.
One day in ascending moon
To make an herbal oil infusion, we start by preparing the key ingredients, which include herbal powders, leaves, and sometimes other plant parts. These ingredients are then turned into what is referred to as a “decoction” or “ a very strong tea.” Then we turn on the heat, boiling the mixture until almost all of the water has cooked off. We have made our own measuring sticks to help determine when enough of the water has evaporated, but it is safe to say that this part of the process usually takes the rest of the day to complete.
Once it’s ready, we remove the tea and let it cool for the night.
Now it is almost time to add the decoction to the carrier oil or oils. But first we check to make sure that no sediments or extra water particles will wind up in the finished product.
This step would traditionally take several hours of picking out sediments and cooking off more water,
Then it’s back to the kettle with our mixture of herbs, which will now be mixed with the carrier oils. They will cook slowly for approximately twelve hours—sometimes longer..
While the oil cooks, Ayurvedic specialists stir the mixture with a big spoon, removing any last dregs and sediments. The sediment isn’t harmful, but it can alter the relaxing experience of using your massage oil!
One last check for sediment happens before we apply the finishing touches. Depending on the blend, this might involve adding special ingredients like extra hints of flowers or natural essential oils.
After these last refinements, the oil is finally ready for us externally or internally for different treatments. This is the luxury of these medicinal oils.