Abhyanga is the Ayurvedic practice of oil massage, it’s one the essentials in a daily self-care routine. This self-massage technique has a soothing effect for the nervous system, helping to reduce stress and bring grounding to our bodies and minds when over-stimulated. The oil nourishes the skin, penetrates into the muscles and joints, and provides lubrication to the deeper tissues of the body. With the intention to move slow and nurture the whole body with loving strokes and warm oil, it has a very nourishing and calming effect for both Vata and Pitta dosha.
Simple plant-based oils or infused herbal oils free from any perfumes, dyes or chemicals are best for this practice. As we transition out of the heat and into the early days of fall, here is my favorite end-of-summer body oil, made from a lighter almond oil and infused with soothing rose, calendula and supporting gemstones.
- Clean and dry a quart-sized glass jar.
- Place your desired herbs and stones in the bottom of the jar. Opt for dried herbs over fresh to reduce the moisture in the jar. If you rinse the stones, make sure they’re completely dry before adding them to the jar.
- Pour the carrier oil into the jar, filling almost to the top by leaving about ½ -1-inch of space for the herbs to expand.
- Seal with a lid and give the jar a gentle shake to combine the herbs and oil.
- Place the jar in direct sunlight, a window sill is a great location.
- Let the oil infuse in the sun for 4-5 weeks, or a full lunar cycle. (I often prepare my oils on the full moon and wait until the next moon to strain it.)
- When ready, strain the rough materials from the oil. A cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer works best. Pour the infused oil into glass bottles and store in a cool, dry place.
28oz pure almond oil
½ cup organic dried rose buds
½ cup organic dried calendula
Combine all ingredients in a jar. Seal with lid and place in direct sunlight for 4-5 weeks. Strain through a cheese cloth, separating rough materials. Pour infused oil into glass jars and store in a dry, cool place.
Makes roughly 1 quart body oil