Oils and fats are macro nutrients that are required by our body for optimal balanced nutrition. They nourish our cells, tissues and organs, lubricate our joints and muscles and perform other important tasks required for healthy living. They also keep the body warm, help in the absorption of nutrients and play a part in healthy hormone production.
We can nourish ourselves internally by choosing healthy dietary fats. Ayurveda recommends ghee and other locally produced oils like sesame, mustard and coconut based on region and individual constitution.
I always stock my shelves with sesame, coconut, mustard, peanut and sunflower oils and use them according to the dish I’m cooking on a particular day. I also love to use olive oil for Italian and other western style dishes.
While I have always loved using an array of different oils for cooking, I have recently discovered the joy of using oils externally.
Ayurveda recommends Abhyanga or body massage with oil to prevent aches, pains and other illnesses. Abhyanga also has powerful antioxidant and anti-aging benefits. One can use sesame or coconut oil for Abhyanga.
Nasya is another simple yet powerful ritual for great health. Using your clean pinkie finger, you can use a drop of sesame oil and rotate it thrice clockwise and anti-clockwise for some amazing benefits. Lubricating the nasal passage is very important in the winters to prevent dryness. It’s also great for the sinuses, migraines, for releasing toxins and improving health.
The ayurvedic practice of Karna Pratisaranam or oiling the ears is very beneficial for soothing nerves, clarifying the mind, improving the functions of the ear and also improving neck and jaw pain.
If one does not have the time to practice Abhyanga everyday, it can be done once a week. Massaging the face with oils before a shower also has tremendous benefits. I have every sensitive skin and I have been massaging my face either with a Kansa wand or doing a simple lymphatic drain massage using jojoba or almond oil every morning and it has greatly benefited my skin.
Oils are indeed precious gifts from nature that we can use to nurture ourselves. Do you make good use of them?