Touch is a wonderful thing. A herb-infused, divine-smelling oil can uplift a gentle touch and turn it into a massage. Making your own massage oil is extremely easy and a fun project. Not only can you come up with your own blends, but the scope to experiment is immense. What’s more, you could either go commercial with your venture or bottle some love and gift to special people on occasions. If using for yourself, for best results, avoid pouring the oil directly on the area to be massaged. Instead, pour oil into the palm of your hand and warm it by rubbing the hands slightly before massaging.
Here are some really simple recipes to make your own massage or aromatherapy oils.
ROSE INFUSION MASSAGE OIL FOR DRY SKIN
All you need is 200 ml of castor oil, 50 ml of jojoba oil, 20 drops of rose essential oil and a handful of dried rose petals. The traditional Indian desi gulab works best. Make sure flowers are completely dry before adding them to oil, as any moisture in the bottle could cause the oil to go bad. Take a glass jar or bottle and combine all the ingredients in it. Leave it to infuse for a week. Expose to the sun during the day throughout the week and it is ready to use. Use within six months.
ROSEHIP AND LEMON OIL FOR ACNE-PRONE SKIN
It is a myth that oil cannot be used on acne. Rosehip oil is great to use on acne-prone skin during winters when the skin gets dry. So what exactly is rosehip? It is actually the fruit of the rose bush. Yes, roses have fruits too. If you have rose bushes in your garden, just let the flowers bloom and the petals die and fall off, instead of pruning dying flowers, the plump berry-like hip is what remains. Inside holds seeds and a little bit of fruit flesh. Simply pluck these and dry them for a fortnight or so. Break them into small pieces and store in an airtight jar. Rosehips are used for herbal teas, jams, jellies, syrup, pies, bread, and wine and they contain Vitamin A, Vitamin C and some antioxidants. Rosehip infused oil treats burns, scars, acne, and dry skin. To make this oil, simply half fill a glass jar with some jojoba or almond oil. Add the rosehips to the remaining half and also add 20 drops of lemon essential oil. Keep it stored in a kitchen cabinet away from sunlight for about 4-5 weeks. When the oil has taken on an amber orange shade, strain out the hips and save the oil in a dark glass bottle. This oil can stay for about a year.
ROSEMARY AND LAVENDER OIL FOR HAIR GROWTH
Lavender oil was used by ancient Greeks to prevent baldness and stimulate hair growth because it contains strong antibacterial agents that soothe and cure scalp infections. The oil is also effective against dandruff and adds volume to hair. Rosemary promotes hair growth by increasing blood circulation in the scalp. It also delays greying of hair. Simply take 15ml of pure lavender essential oil and combine it with 250ml of jojoba or olive oil. Add a couple of sprigs of rosemary that have been dried in the sun for three days. Leave to infuse for a fortnight. Massage it into your hair and leave overnight.
MARIGOLD AND GERANIUM OIL FOR MATURE SKIN
This oil will not only keep skin moisturized and supple for a longer time than average moisturisers but over time will also reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Take a glass jar and add half a cup each of wheat germ, apricot, sunflower and soya bean oil. Mix in a handful of dried and powdered marigold petals and add 30 drops of geranium essential oil. If you want dramatic results, you could add 15 drops of frankincense essential oil to this mixture as well. Leave to infuse for a fortnight. Apply on clean skin, preferably overnight.
MASSAGE OIL FOR CONGESTION AND COLD
This oil is great to soothe mild congestion and cold when applied to neck, chest and back. It also opens up blocked sinuses. Simply add 5 drops each of eucalyptus, cedarwood and peppermint essential oils to 30 ml of almond oil. Store in a dry bottle that has a dropper. A couple of drops of this oil can also be added to hot water for steaming.
SPICE OIL TO IMPROVE CIRCULATION
Come winters and our circulation and metabolism become sluggish. This blend will promote circulation and keep you warm. Take half a cup each of grape seed and avocado oil. Add a couple of sticks of cinnamon, black pepper and dried ginger. Heat the oil on a low flame till it begins to smoke. Remove from heat and let it cool. After it has cooled down completely, add 15 drops each of vanilla and cinnamon essential oil. Bottle with the spices intact to promote infusion. Warm gently before using for an invigorating experience. The blood thinning compound present in cinnamon oil improves the blood circulation. Good blood circulation means a regular supply of oxygen to your body cells, which is essential for maintaining higher metabolic rate. Proper blood circulation is absolutely necessary to combat many health-related problems such as arthritis, obesity etc.
Text by Aarti Kapur Singh