Body Massage Oils recommended by Ayurveda

Body Massage Oils recommended by Ayurveda

Authored by : Shreya Dalela
  • 12 June 2020
  • 13 mins read
Reviewed by : Dr. Aruna

"Give yourself a full-body oil massage on a daily basis. It is nourishing; pacifies the doshas, relieves fatigue, provides stamina, pleasure, and perfect sleep, enhances the complexion and the luster of the skin; promotes longevity, and nourishes all parts of the body."

The aforementioned phrase from an Ayurvedic textbook captures the many benefits of using a body massage oil daily. Before spas became popular, the art of massaging self with oil, also known as Abhyanga, was practiced extensively by people.

Even today, body massage is considered a powerful healing technique in Ayurveda. A good oil massage releases the accumulated stress and toxins from the body, leaving you feeling energized and rejuvenated. 

body massage oils

Do you suffer from problems like body aches, fatigue, anxiety, joint pain, or flakiness of skin? If yes, then a complete body massage with a suitable Ayurvedic body massage oil will be beneficial for you. Think of an oil massage as a way of oiling the engine of your body. The more often you do it, the better your body functions.

If you’re still wondering how a full body massage will help you, have a look at some of the well-known benefits associated with this traditional Ayurvedic ritual. 

  • Increases circulation and aids joint health
  • Eliminates body impurities
  • Calms nerves and promotes deeper, better sleep
  • Softens and smoothes the skin which reduces the effects of aging
  • Increases mental alertness and the levels of stamina
  • Tones muscles and nourishes the tissues

An Ayurveda Message - Abhyanga

Abhyanga is a unique body massage technique rooted in Ayurveda. It might be fascinating for you to know that ‘Abhyanga’ is derived from Sanskrit root word ‘Sneha’ which means love, which gives an insight into the significance of this technique.

The daily practice of Abhyanga is meant to provide your body and skin with the self-love and nourishment that it deserves. Unlike other body massage techniques, the focus here remains on the skin instead of going deep into the muscles. The pressure remains light and soothing. 

There are many benefits to this practice. It releases muscle tension, promotes lymphatic drainage, and leaves a smooth skin from head to toe. Essential oils are often used during Abhyanga to enhance the overall experience of the Ayurveda massage. 

Another feature of Abhyanga is that it is a form of self-massage. You don’t need to be a massage therapist to give yourself this massage. You can simply massage a suitable Ayurvedic oil gently into your skin, by yourself. 

ayurveda body massage oils

Now the question is, which body massage oil will give you the best benefits and the most pleasing overall experience? Let’s try to answer this for you.

Which Body Massage Oil Is The Best For You?

Good massage oil will not only untangle the knots, muscles, and tissues in your body but also relax your body by melting away all of your stress. It will help your hands glide smoothly and easily over the skin without causing any irritation or rash. 

Just picking any random massage oil will not do the job effectively and is not going to give the right relaxation effect. All types of oils are not suitable for body massage. So, it is better to know the differences between the various Ayurveda massage oils and choose the one that’s best suited to your needs.

Here are some of the best body massage oils recommended by Ayurveda.

1. Sweet Almond Oil Massage For A Deeply Nourished Skin

Is your skin is excessively dry and has Vata dosha? Then, it’s recommended to use a nourishing oil like organic Sweet Almond oil. It is pale yellow colored with a mild and sweet fragrance. It is a bit greasy but is not a heavy oil, so it is absorbed quickly into the skin (which also makes it suitable for balancing Kapha dosha). 

Almond oil nourishes the skin and makes it bright. It usually does not irritate the skin and is suitable for all skin types. In fact, it’s so mild and gentle on the skin that it can be used to massage babies as well.

almond oil for body massage

Benefits of using Sweet Almond Oil for Ayurveda massage:

  • It hydrates your skin and has anti-inflammatory properties. It gives relief from itching and rashes especially in conditions like dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis.
  • Almond oil always keeps you protected from skin damage caused by exposure to UV radiation. It also prevents tanning and sun damage. 
  • It relaxes your muscles and has mild pain-relieving properties. 

Also read - 10 Amazing Benefits of Almond Oil for hair, body, and skin

2. Coconut Oil Massage For A Youthful Glowing Skin

Do you worry about your skin aging prematurely due to environmental pollution and stress? Then, a regular body massage with coconut oil will help you.

Organic Coconut oil is rich in Vitamin E which considered skin’s best friend for bringing out young and healthy skin. Not only this, but coconut oil is also loaded with antioxidants that prevent the skin from wrinkling and sagging. 

coconut oil for body massage

Benefits of using Coconut Oil for Ayurveda massage:

  • Coconut oil will get absorbed in the skin if you let it stay on for some time without turning rancid.
  • It is also full of saturated fats that prevent drying and keep your skin moisturized. It is a stable oil that doesn’t let moisture escape from your skin.
  • The main benefit of coconut oil is that they help in treating mild to moderate levels of xerosis.
  • It also keeps skin healthy and prevents signs of aging as it is very rich in vitamin E and antioxidants.
  • You can add any essential oil to it is a good carrier oil.

Also read - Why is Virgin Coconut Oil so good for your hair and skin?

3. Castor Oil Massage For Pain Relief

Castor oil is known for treating arthritis. It is an ideal massage oil for relieving joint pain, nerve inflammation, and sore muscles as it contains anti-inflammatory properties. To relieve pain, simply massage the joint with castor oil and a place a hot water bag. It doesn’t absorb quickly and gives you an ample amount of time to massage it into the painful joints.

Benefits of using Castor Oil for Ayurveda massage:

  • Castor oil helps in increasing immunity, boosts circulation, and gets rid of moles and cysts. 
  • Castor oil also treats dry, irritated, sunburnt and acne-prone skin.
  • If your skin has minor wounds or bruises, castor oil will not irritate it during the massage and rather heal it due to its antibacterial properties. 
  • Castor oil massage increases lymphocytes in the body which helps in strengthening the body's immune system

4. Sesame Oil Massage For Detoxing And Repairing The Skin

Sesame oil is the most popular massage oil in Ayurveda. Charaka Samhita, one of the most popular Ayurvedic text, lists the many benefits of sesame oil as a massage oil and claims it to be the best of all oils. For this reason, most of the Ayurvedic skin treatments use sesame oil as the base oil. It has powerful antioxidants that fight skin damage by free radicals and repair the skin from the damage caused by the sun.

sesame oil for body massage

Benefits of using Sesame Oil for Ayurveda massage:

  • Sesame oil helps reduce skin damage caused by UV exposure, it treats tanning, fine lines, sunspots and all the marks that are caused by sun damage.
  • Sesame oil is also used to relieve inflammatory pain in the joints.
  • In Ayurveda, Sesame oil is used in Abhyanga which is a powerful massage technique that involves warming the oil and then mixing it with herbs before massaging it on your body. One such skin treatment is Jwalini Retexturising Skin Treatment Oil which works as an excellent after-sun remedy for sunburn, tanned or hyper-pigmentation when used as a body massage oil.

body massage oil to remove tan

Jwalini is a classic Ayurvedic treatment for the face and body that re-texturizes dry, irritated, and sun-damaged skin. An all-natural formulation of Ayurvedic herbs in Sesame oil and Coconut oil, it is an excellent after-sun remedy for sunburn, tanned, or hyper-pigmentation.

Simply take an appropriate amount in your palms and perform a gentle oil massage to let the body massage oil get completely absorbed into the skin. Leave on for 30 minutes and wash off with a mild cleanser.

5. Olive Oil For Relief From Muscle Spasms And Swelling

Olive oil is generally used for lighter massages. It is widely used in massages that involve repetitive movements as it gets absorbed into the skin at much slower rates. This massage oil provides relief from inflammation, swelling, aches, and muscle spasms. It has been used for thousands of years by Mediterranean cultures for its health and beauty benefits.

Benefits of using Olive Oil for Ayurveda massage:

  • Olive oil is an excellent way to treat dry skin as it has a moisturizing effect on our skin. When massaged in the right way, it helps in repairing skin damage by reducing oxidative stress.
  • Ayurvedic practitioners prescribe olive oil for relieving spasms, aches, sprains, swelling and muscle pain.
  • It helps in improving blood circulation throughout your body which in turn, improves your energy levels as the cells receive more nutrients and oxygen.
  • Olive oil massage also protects the body from the UV rays and harmful effects of pollution.
olive oil for massage

6. Sunflower Oil Massage For Skin Softening

This light and thin oil is not only used for cooking, but is also best as a massage oil. Sunflower oil turns rancid quickly, so it is better to buy it in small quantities and store in a cool and dry place. To improve its shelf life, you can try squeezing one or two vitamin E capsules into it.

Benefits of using Sunflower Oil for Ayurveda massage:

  • Sunflower oil is a perfect oil for enhancing the texture of your skin as it contains linoleic and oleic acids in higher percentages than in olive oil. It also improves skin’s moisture levels.
  • It clears all the toxins in your skin, keeps it moisturized and prevents the signs of aging. Sunflower oil also improves the barrier repair function of our skin.
  • The essential fatty acids in the oil will boost cell regeneration and rejuvenate our skin and leaves a glowing and radiant skin.

7. Jojoba Oil For As A Carrier Oil For Body Massage

Jojoba oil is actually not an oil, it is a type of wax that is extracted from the seeds of the jojoba plant. It is similar to Shea Butter, but unlike it in the sense that jojoba oil is not greasy and will not stain your sheets. 

Its antibacterial properties help in treating back acne and which is why it is mostly used for back massage. Jojoba oil needs reapplication as our skin tends to absorb it quickly. It’s commonly used as a carrier oil and in combination with other herbal and essential oils.

Benefits of using Jojoba Oil for Ayurveda massage:

  • Jojoba oil repair skin that is damaged by eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, acne, and acute dermatitis . It takes good care of our skin as it is rich in wax ester.
  • Jojoba oil gets mixed with herbs and essential oils easily and therefore it is an excellent choice for aromatherapy massage. This is the most preferred massage oil in spas as it does not irritate the skin.

Also read - 10 Benefits of Using Jojoba Oil For Face and Skin

8. Neem Oil Massage For Treating Dry, Scaly or Acne-prone Skin

Neem oil can not be used directly on the skin for body massage as it is quite potent. But when used with other carrier oil such as Almond oil or Olive, it helps in treating acne. If you’ve acne on your body, then you will benefit from adding a few drops of Neem oil to your massage oil.

Neem oil is also rich in Vitamin E which helps prevent free radicals from harming your skin. It treats acne, fungal infections, warts, or moles. The undiluted neem oil can be used to spot treat affected areas but remember to dilute it with a carrier oil for massage. 

Benefits of using Neem Oil for Ayurveda massage:

  • Neem oil helps soothing skin ailments such as inflammation, itchiness, redness, etc. It reduces feverish body temperature and eliminates joint and muscle pain that are caused by rheumatic disorders.
  • It treats dry skin and fights the appearance of wrinkles. The antibacterial properties of neem oils treat acne, fades scans and fights off foot fungus.
  • Neem oil helps in stimulating collagen production and improve elasticity . This helps your skin stay as your age.
neem oil for body massage

Also read - Top Benefits of Neem Oil for Hair and Skin

6 Essential Oils To Use With The Body Massage Oils

Did you know that Aromatherapy, the science of using essential oils from plants to treat ailments, is one of the oldest natural remedies? 

Each oil in Ayurveda has a unique aroma that yields its special healing properties. 

Some essential oils help in wound healing, some help us sleep better, some strengthen our immunity while some make us more energized. Simply adding a few drops of essential oil to your massage oil can do wonders. 

essential oils for body massage

Based on your Ayurvedic doshas and your health issues, you can choose an essential oil that works well for you. You can add a few drops of essential oil in a carrier oil of your choice to enhance your experience of the oil massage. 

Let us look at 6 best essential oils that will make your body massage a memorable experience.

1. Lavender Essential Oil for Mental Relaxation

Every drop of lavender oil will walk you through a sea of purple and bewitched lavender flowers. It has unique calming and relaxing qualities. This oil is obtained from Lavandula Angustifolia which helps in soothing skin irritation, redness, inflammation, swelling, and also the after-effects of hair removal techniques like waxing or threading.

Lavender Essential oil helps in soaking away stress and corrects sleeplessness. It also helps in relieving fatigue and anxiety.

lavender oil for body massage


You can use Lavender oil along with the carrier massage oils like Coconut, Almond, and Sesame oils. You just need to add 2 to 3 drops and blend it with a spoon full of the carrier oil to get the perfect Ayurvedic oil for your relaxing massage.

2. Ylang Ylang Essential Oil for treating chronic fatigue

Ylang Ylang oil coming from Ylang Ylang tree will surely make you fall in love with its flowery fragrance that gives you a sense of inner peace, confidence, and relaxation. Ylang Ylang oil prevents the signs of aging and irritation. 

It has an immediate and positive effect on our mood by releasing negative emotions such as anger, jealousy, low self-esteem, etc. It also fights with insomnia and chronic fatigue.

Ylang Ylang oil is used along with the Coconut, Almond, and Sesame carrier oils. Add one or two drops of the essential oil and blend it well with the carrier oil of your choice.

Check out our complete range of body massage oils here.

3. Lime Essential Oil for Boosting Immunity

Lime Essential oil is cold-pressed and extracted from fresh slices of lime. It has refreshing and energizing ingredients that boost immunity and dispels anxiety-related symptoms. It also naturally cleanses the body due to its limonene content and promotes emotional balance and well being.

For skin, hair and body, add one or two drops of lemon oil in a teaspoon full of carriers oils like Coconut, Almond, and Sesame oils and blend it well. Lemon oil can also be added to bathwater to purify and uplift the water.

4. Sweet Basil Essential Oil for Respiratory Issues

Since time immemorial, Ocimum Basilicum also known as Sweet Basil is always considered as a natural healing and immunity building ingredient. When massaged deeply into the skin, Sweet Basil Oil fights acne and rejuvenates dull-looking skin. It relieves chest congestion by fighting bacteria and also calms mental disturbance. It treats respiratory issues, mental fatigue, migraines, and melancholy.

basil oil for body massage

Sweet Basil Essential oil smells like naturally sweet, warm, spicy herbals. Blend one to two drops of it with a teaspoon of Coconut or Almond or Sesame carrier oil.

5. Rose Essential Oil for Hormonal Balance

Rose Oil will never fail to lure you with its smell. It is sourced from the Rosa Damascena plant and contains the flower’s aromatic compounds that treat anxiety, depression, headaches, menopausal symptoms, menstrual cramps, migraines etc. Rose Oil also relieves stress and improves sleep quality.

It contains antioxidants and antimicrobial properties that improve complexion and boost skin health. It also nourishes the skin deeply and promotes more youthful and luminous skin. The oil’s potent antioxidant and immunity-boosting effects slow down the rate of skin damage from UV exposure and pollution. 

6. Orange Essential Oil For Fighting Aging

Orange essential oil is best known for its energizing aroma that can uplift your mind and body. It promotes the production of collagen which helps in fighting with the signs of aging like wrinkles and dark spots. 

orange essential oil for body massage

Orange Essential Oil is a pale yellow-orange mobile liquid that smells sweet, fresh and fruity. You just need to add one or two drops of it to a spoon full of any carrier oil and blend it well to use it as a body massage oil.

Conclusion -

A good body massage can provide your body just what it needs. There are so many body massage oils and each of them have their own unique properties. All you need to do is identify the one that is perfect for you. 

This guide educated you about the various body massage oils and their benefits. But, if you are still confused, there's good news for you - all of these oils are beneficial in their own ways and do not cause any side effects. 

So, the best way to find out which body massage oil works best for you is to pick up one and actually try out a complete body oil massage with it. You can either massage yourself or get someone to do it for you to get a gentle, relaxing experience.

References:

  1. The uses and properties of Almond oil - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20129403
  2. Effect of pre-treatment of almond oil on ultraviolet B-induced cutaneous photoaging in mice - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17348990
  3. A randomized double-blind controlled trial comparing extra virgin coconut oil with mineral oil as a moisturizer for mild to moderate xerosis - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15724344
  4. Olive oil-induced reduction of oxidative damage and inflammation promotes wound healing of pressure ulcers in mice - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27091748
  5. Effect of olive and sunflower seed oil on the adult skin barrier: implications for neonatal skincare - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22995032
  6. Traditional massage of newborns in Nepal: implications for trials of improved practice - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15677372
  7. Effect of light pressure stroking massage with sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) oil on alleviating acute traumatic limb pain: A triple-blind controlled trial in the emergency department - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28619303
  8. Potential of herbs in skin protection from ultraviolet radiation -  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3263051/
  9. Clay jojoba oil facial mask for lesioned skin and mild acne--results of a prospective, observational pilot study - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22585103
  10. Chemical characteristics of toilet soap prepared from neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) seed oil  - http://www.imedpub.com/articles/chemical-characteristics-of-toilet-soap-prepared-from-neemazadirachta-indica-a-juss-seed-oil.pdf
  11. Topical application of neem leaves prevents wrinkles formation in UVB-exposed hairless mice- https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1011134416303323

About the Author
Shreya Dalela
Shreya Dalela

Shreya Dalela is a certified Yoga instructor and a professional dancer trained at The Danceworx. She’s passionate about Ayurveda and holistic living with over 6 years of experience in doing extensive research and content creation in the domain.

About the Reviewer
Dr. Aruna
Dr. Aruna

An ayurveda doctor with 14 years of experience in yoga, panchakarma and general wellness. Currently working with Kama Ayurveda, analysing and remediating dermatological concerns and queries of the consumers via in-store, virtual and IVR consultation.

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