The science of Ancient Indian Medicine, also known as Ayurveda, is a world-famous form of healing ailments. It is a holistic method that finds solutions and treatments based on mind, body and soul interconnectedness.

The Ayurvedic treatments include various herbal remedies, dietary guidelines and medicines. Some medicines and remedies are made using ingredients you can find in your kitchen. 

Edible oil is among the most used ingredients used in these medicines. According to Indian belief, oils contain therapeutic properties. Hence, they are also used in Aromatherapy and massages as well. 

Let us explore the historical significance of using edible oils in traditional medicine.

People use edible oil not just in India for medicinal purposes. People in ancient Egypt also used oils like Caster oil as a medicine. Similarly, in China, people use essential oils for treatments. 

What are the types of Oils used in traditional medicine?

Olive oil:

Olive oil is the most popular cooking oil because of its health benefits. People use it for making salad dressings, marinades and sauteing. Not many people are aware that this oil has been a staple in Mediterranean Traditional Medicine. This oil has specific healing properties that can treat wounds and skin conditions. So, if you topically apply this oil to your skin, it can benefit you. 

Coconut oil: 

People who live around coastal areas often use coconut oil for various purposes like cooking, making home remedies and medicines. In South India, people use coconut oil for everything because it has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. This makes coconut oil a great medicinal ingredient for various Ayurvedic remedies. 

Castor Oil: 

Castor oil is a commonly used hair oil in India. It has been used in Ayurveda and Chinese medicine for its laxative and detox properties. It is also a great massage oil known for soothing joint pains. 

Sesame oil:

People use sesame oil in many massaging procedures, like deep tissue penetration, because it is known to relax tissue stiffness. In Ayurveda and Abhyanga sciences, sesame oil is an essential oil because it can balance the doshas. 

Neem oil:

Neem oil is extracted from the neem tree for its remarkable anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial and anti-microbial properties. 

What is the science behind oils’ therapeutic properties?

Many researches have been conducted to study the therapeutic properties of edible oils. These studies have confirmed that some oils have the following properties that can help solve specific health issues and body pains:

Antioxidant properties:

An oil that has antioxidant properties can help in protecting cells from damage because of free radicals. It can also help in cell regeneration. Olive oil is a great example of such an oil. 

Anti-inflammatory properties:

Many body ailments are the result of excessive inflammation. So, when one takes medicines with anti-inflammatory properties. It can reduce the level of inflammation in the body. Coconut oil is a good anti-inflammatory oil.

Antibacterial and antifungal properties:

Many people suffer from skin allergies and infections and can not use skin care products because of infection-causing agents present in them. Such people can use oils with antibacterial and antifungal properties, like tea tree and neem oil.

Laxative properties:

Digestive issues are one of the most common health problems. So, if you use medicines that have castor oil, it can help treat issues like constipation and irregular bowel movements. This is because castor oil has laxative properties. 

How to use edible oils for therapeutic purposes?


The best way to use a therapeutic oil is by massaging it on the target area or full body. It will promote muscle relaxation, alleviate stress, improve blood circulation and treat muscle soreness. 


Many Ayurvedic medicines contain therapeutic oils to promote healthy digestion. So, if you consume these medicines in moderation, it will keep your digestive tract healthy. 

Skin and hair care

Many oils like coconut, sesame, neem and argan oil are known for their benefits on skin and hair. You can use them as an alternative to chemical skin care products for moisturisation and scalp massages. 

Room diffusers:

Mental health is an essential part of everyone’s lives, but many people are trapped by commercial, chemical-based products to treat their mental health. Creating a soothing and calm environment is essential to keep your mind at peace. Oil-based room diffusers can do that. So, choose to buy such products rather than chemical-based room fresheners. 

Pain relief :

Many aged people suffer from joint pains and keep applying ointments to numb the sensation. Instead of buying these ointments, you can choose certain pain-relieving oils. It is a much better and safer option. 

Edible oils not only help you in cooking delicious foods but can also help you treat many body-related issues. Nowadays, scientists are also coming up with such natural solutions by making medicines with therapeutic oils. So, if you are seeking mental relaxation or muscle relaxation, you can choose oils instead of commercialized products. It will holistically improve your health. 


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