Benefits of abhyanga :
- In Tamil, there is a popular saying which illustrates the importance of the abhyyanga which is: “Vaidyarruku kodukura panathe , vanniyanakku kodu” – give the money you plan to spend on the physician to the vanian (the community which traditionally extracted and sold oil)The abhyanga or the traditional Indian oil bath is one of the unique, health affirming and rejuvenating dinacharyas (daily routine. The word “abhyanga” is derived from the Sanskrit root, “Abhyanj” which means to anoint or to smear.
- Charaka, Sushruta and Vaghbatta are unanimous in their use of the abhyanga to promote good health.
The Charaka Sutra, Chapter 5V-86 says this:
“Susparsopachitaan gascha Balavaan
Priyadarsanah. Bhavati Abhyanga
Nityatwaat Naro Alpajara eva cha”.
“A man who constantly (daily / regularly) takes abhyanga, possesses limbs which are smooth to touch and which are well developed (Upachita). The man will also be strong, be lovely to look at and will have very little appearance of old age on his person.”
- Charaka further says this:
Vikaaram bhajat atyartham balakarmani
“A man who habitually takes Abhyanga is not affected by external injuries; even if he has to perform very heavy and tiring work, he will not be affected by any illness after this work.”
- Vata vitiation (an excess or a reduction of vaayu) is one of the chief cause of disease in ayurveda – nearly 50% of all diseases can be traced to vata vitiation. Seemingly disparate complaints from cervical spondylitis, joint and back aches, dry skin, dull and lifeless hair, emaciation, irritability and poor digestive capacity can all find its roots in vitiated vata.
- Urban cities with the high level of stress, travel and noise are considered to be vata vitiating according to ayurveda. Almost all urban dwellers who go to work could also be considered to have vata vitiation.
- If you eat at erratic times, drink plenty of tea and coffee, take frequent flights (mostly at odd times) and work in a stressful environment, you will probably have vata vitiation. This will be seen internally in the form of fatigue, niggling aches and pains in the joint and bone system and a reducing appetite. You may find yourself reaching for extra cups of tea and coffee to get you through the day and your sweating level should be much lower than normal.
- Externally, your skin will display signs of cracking where it is thinnest – around the mouth, soles of the feet, knees and elbows. Your hair will usually look dull and lifeless, and your skin should be without luster, dry and flaky. You may also experience itchy flaky skin on your scalp – this kind of dandruff will have “air / vaayu” like qualities – it will be dry, light and unsubstantial.
- One of the primary treatment for vata vitiation is abhyanga with “tila taila” , sesame based oil. This abhyanga balances vata and helps draw ama and toxins out through the skin. One of the first symptoms of this toxin removal will be increased digestive activity, better elimination and an improved appetite.
- Even if you are just looking for external cosmetic benefits, you could do no better than to start with a regular oil bath. By oiling your body everyday or atleast regularly, letting it soak and then cleansing it with a mixture of prescribed lentils and grains, you efficiently draw out and remove the accumulated dirt and toxins form the millions of pores on your skin. When you perform the full abhyanga – head to toe oil bath (as prescribed once or twice a week) , you help double or treble the action of your hair follicles resulting in healthier hair.
How the Krya Skin massage oil with Carrot & Winter Cherry is made:
- The Krya Skin Massage Oil with Carrot & Winter Cherry is made using a classical 3-part Ayurvedic method, called Sneha Kalpana, combining Taila ( oil ) , Kashayam ( Aqueous Extract ) and Kalpa ( paste) .This is a method unique to Indian traditional medicine, where the nutrients inside herbs are extracted in both water and oil - this ensures that every part of the herb is extracted into the oil, giving you an oil which is both powerful and "sookshma" (capable of penetrating even the minute cells). This process alone takes us between 6 - 8 hours of constant manual stirring to ensure the oil maintains a perfect consistency and the herbs do not get burned.
- After processing the base oil and base herbs, we further add raw, cold pressed ,organic oils and more herbs to infuse their properties into the oil. This second set of herbs added are usually delicate herbs like flowers and highly aromatic leaves which cannot tolerate high temperature. This cold infusion process takes us a further 7 days as we allow the nutrients from the first and the second set of herbs to fully be transferred into the oils. So every batch of this oil takes us 8 days to manufacture.
- At the end of the hot processing and the cold infusion process, the texture of the oil changes and the oil is extremely dfferent from its basic nature - so even though heavy oils like sesame and coconut are used, the end oil is much lighter, less sticky and penetrates hair and scalp much faster than the base oil.
- Herb Infused Oil 1 - Organic Carrot, Organic Thyme, Forest collected Winter Cherry, Organic Vitex leaves, Forest collected Indian liquorice, Organic holy Basil, Organic Ajwain processed in cold-pressed organic sesame oil, cold-pressed organic coconut oil , cold-pressed organic tamanu oil
- Herb Infused Oil 2 - Organic Palmarosa & Organic Thyme infused in cold-pressed organic sesame oil, cold-pressed organic coconut oil , cold-pressed organic tamanu oil
- The Krya Skin massage oil with Carrot & Winter Cherry is designed as a frequent (can be used daily), pre-bath moisturizing product.
- The texts advice a complete oil bath (head to toe ) on Tuesdays and / or Fridays for women and on Saturdays for Men. The other days , a simple “Samvaahanam” or a massage to the body leaving out the head, is advised for good health.
- After the abhyanga, the texts recommend a soaking time depending upon the capacity of the individual. The process of self massage is itself quite taxing, and you will find yourself expending a lot of calories if you decide to give yourself an abhyangam everyday. The soaking process allows the oils to get absorbed by the deeper layers of the body; however, the texts advice that the body’s strength be built up gradually to get it used to this process.
- Using the oil warm helps it penetrate your skin faster, reduces aches and pains and is very soothing and relaxing. Do not warm this oil directly as it will deplete the delicate natural fragrances and natural volatile oils from the herbs in the product. Warm in the bain-marie method, by putting the product in a stainless steel (plastic and aluminium free) container and putting this in a larger container with hot water.
- Apply generously all over your body and gently massage into skin. Pay attention to the limbs, and joints. Oiling is best done in a closed room with the fan switched off. After oiling wrap yourself in a towel if soaking , and do not expose yourself to any draughts of wind until you have a bath.
- After the abhyanga and the oil soaking, the texts advice a “snana” or a bath in warm to hot water. If you are washing your hair, the texts advice using water at the same temperature as the rest of your body above the shoulder. Hot water should not be used on the head (except in rare cases when advised by the physician). This is said to be damaging to the nerves and it is of course very weakening for the hair.
- Ayurveda prescribes the use of lepas or pastes made from special combinations of grains, lentils and herbs. This further cleanses skin, increases micro circulation and cleanses without stripping skin of moisture.