The Charaka Samhita and Ashtanga Hrdaya recommend abhyanga (oil massage) daily, for stamina, flexibility, toned muscles, mental peace, and for resilience against ageing. Oil therapy methodologies and oleation materials are described in the 16th chapter of the Ashtanga Hrdaya, under Sneha Vidhi. Whilst snehana in Sanskrit means ‘oiliness’/lubrication, sneha also means love.
Kama Ayurveda’s Sugandhadi embodies the idea of self-love, and self-care through the therapeutic practice of abhyanga, harnessing the blood regulating, pain-relieving, and psychologically anchoring qualities of its core ingredients. This is a thoughtfully balanced, and aromatic Oil Blend, in a base of detoxifying Whey, and protective Sesame Oil. It is recommended for physical and mental burnout, and daily complaints of exhaustion, stiffness, and pain; but is the perfect accompaniment to your manicure and pedicure massages as well!
Deep Tissue Conditioning, Blood Circulation and Energy Field Cleansing – Indian Sesame Oil (Gingelly), Whey (Mastu), Lavandin
Ayurveda describes how Vata dosha aggravations can be remedied with regular snehana/abhyanga. Early symptoms stem from the colon, the primary seat of Vata in the human body; and including bloating, constipation, bowel movement irregularities, and body pain and stiffness, particularly in the lower back.
Physically, Whey stimulates the gastrointestinal tract. Metaphysically, it cleanses the intricate, and perfectly coordinated system of 72,000 nadis (channels), or energy pathways through which Prana, the omnipresent Life Spark, flows through the body. Cultivated in India since ancient Harappan times, Sesame Oil’s deep-conditioning capacity comes from an abundance of Vitamin E. As a natural sunscreen, it also helps create internal buffer against UV damage.
Fragrant Lavandin Oil derived from a hybrid cultivar of Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula latifolia (Spike Lavender) makes Sugandhadi a boon for those suffering from varicose veins; the result of obstructed Vata. Lavandin boosts blood circulation, and helps release the accumulated blood causing swollen, dilated, and painful/throbbing veins.
Anti-Ageing Rasayanas – Indian Ginseng/Winter Cherry (Ashwagandha), Liquorice (Yashtimadhu), Himalayan Cedar/Deodar (Devadaru)
Ashwagandha occupies a position of supremacy amongst Ayurvedic Rasayanas, or Fountains of Youth. It is a potent adaptogen, in that it helps the Human constitution adapt its responses, to the varying, unpredictable nature and frequency of stress. Its herbaceous earthiness has a soothing, grounding effect, and is beneficial for dry skin conditions and muscular spasms. Ashwagandha root has been used as a life-extending and consciousness expanding herb, for over 3,000 years now. Yashtimadhu’s reputation as a skin lightener and polisher precedes itself; but the efficiency with which it boosts blood circulation helps deal with fatigue, body pain, dizziness, and memory loss.
Oil Extracts of Devadaru, or ‘Tree of the Gods’ is also a potent remedy for arthritis. The Vata-balancing effect of Devadaru on human hormones and digestive processes helps promote a stable, consistent sense of health and well-being, if Devadaru is incorporated regularly in therapeutic regimens.
Physical Detox and Spiritual Detachment; Therapy for Kapha-Pitta Imbalances
With the apt literal translation of ‘red’, Indian Madder (Manjishtha) one of Ayurveda’s strongest offerings for blood detoxification, and lymphatic congestion. The soothing extracts of Jelly Leaf (Sahadeva), Cubeb/Tailed Pepper (Kankola), and Nut Grass (Mustaka) work on turbulent Kapha-Pitta manifestations, like menstrual irregularities, and muscular and joint inflammations. VataRakta, or blood contamination by obstructed Vata, and PittaDaha, or burning and bleeding caused by unrestrained Pitta, are both placated by the anti-inflammatory action, and camphor-like aroma of Indian Sarsaparilla (Anantmool). It benefits the detoxification/excretory capacity of the kidneys; and with reduced build-up of body toxins, skin clarity and smoothness are significantly improved.
Vetiver (Khus/Usheera) is a famed aromatic root for treatment of inflamed, itching, and hypersensitive skin. It is also reputed for its ability to induce Saumanasya Janana, or mental coherence and placidity, as a curative response to impatience, anger, and belligerence resulting from excessive Pitta. Vetiver compliments the spiritual effects of Indian Lotus (Kamal), the quintessential symbol of detachment from, and transcendence beyond burgeoning materialism in the physical world. Kamal encourages spiritual development and helps focus mental faculties. Like the Indian blue lotus/blue water lily (Neelotpana), kamal is a highly absorbent, lubricating, cooling, and tranquilising botanical.
Complexion Correction, Textural Rejuvenation – Turmeric (Haridra/Gauri/Kanchani), Indian Doab (Durva)
When combined, Turmeric and Durva act as strong anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial elements, liberating the skin from accumulated sebum, sweat, and dirt. Curcumin in Turmeric works with glycyrrhizate in Yashtimadhu to inhibit excessive production of melanin, caused by sun exposure, hormonal changes, infections and injuries, or contact with abrasive chemicals.
Directions for Use – Warmth, and Intuitive Movement
For best results, warm the Oil lightly before using. Massage as firmly, or as lightly as you deem fit, depending on the intensity and persistence of pain; all over the body, and concentrating on the most affected parts. Let your skin soak up Sugandhadi for 30-60 minutes, before a long, relaxing bath.