Making your own herbal oils for shirodhara, massage and other Ayurvedic therapies is easier than you think! You’ll save money making your own oils, you and your clients will benefit from their use and you’ll gain satisfaction and enjoyment from ‘doing it yourself’.

What you’ll need:

• whole, powdered herb
• carrier oil
• large jar with a secure lid
• deep crockpot or stock pot
• labels and tape
• fine mesh sieve (optional)

There are many ways to make herbal oils but this is a simple, easy and effective method. You’ll add to the oils potency with your intention so start with a clean space and a clear, calm mind. Try not to be in a hurry.  Play the Mahamritunjaya Mantra if you like.



Put a little oil in your jar. Next, and I know this might drive some of you crazy, put ‘some’ herb in the bottom of your jar. More herb makes a stronger oil.  In general an inch or two in the bottom of your jar is a nice amount.  Add oil to fill the jar, leaving just a little head space.  Close the lid securely and shake vigorously.  This whole sequence takes a little practice in order to keep the herb from getting stuck to the bottom or the side of the jar.  That is to be avoided because it is surprisingly hard to remove! You want the herb evenly distributed through the oil.  Once you have accomplished this, go ahead and add oil to fill the jar.

Place the jar in a hot water bath (remember that dramatic temperature changes will break glass) that is not too hot.  Being surrounded completely by heat is lovely for the oil so while this can be done in a crockpot the even heat of placing your hot water bath in your oven is lovely.

Use the crockpot on low heat, adding water regularly to keep as much of the jar covered as possible (choose a jar that fits well in your crockpot). If you are placing your stockpot in the oven, you may need to use your ovens lowest setting.  My oven goes nice and low so I set the temp at about 170 degrees.

Again in my experience (well it’s my style really) I don’t have an exact length of time or temperature for you, but a while for sure.  Hours.  6 or 8? I like to shake the oil a couple of times (carefully – it’s hot) during the first couple of hours.  After that I just let it settle.

Let the settling process continue once you remove the oil from the heat.  Try not to disturb the herb.  Let the oil sit for 12-24 hours or even more for best settling.  If you can do this you can strain through a cheese cloth or a very fine mesh sieve.  If it has long enough to settle you can pour the oil right off the top of the herb with almost no mixing.

Label the container you store your oil in. I also recommend labeling the oil as you are making it, especially if you are making more than one oil at a time.  It is best not to rely on your memory or think you will be able to tell them apart later.


Tips? Favorite herbal formulas?  Share in the comments below.