An Inside Look at the Wonders of Kumkumadi Oil
As time passes, it seems that we as a society continue to grow farther and farther away from the roots of our ancestors. You do see attempts to honor their practices today, such as the paleo diet which is meant to replicate the foods that cavemen would have eaten.
Although there is no way to truly know, it seems that we have grown much further apart from the natural world than our ancestors once were, which could certainly be contributing to the many health problems that we experience today.
By getting back in touch with the many natural practices that our ancestors once used, we might be able to mend what we have broken after all these years; using oils and other natural substances or recipes that have been recorded in medicinal practices for centuries is the best way to start.
What Is Kumkumadi Oil?
Kumkumadi oil, otherwise known as Kumkumadi Tailam, Kumkumadi Thailam, Kumkumadi Taila, or Kumkumadi tail, is an herbal oil that has been used in traditional Ayurvedic practices for centuries.
“Kumkuma” means saffron, which is what this medicinal oil is primarily made from. With that said, Kumkumadi oil is unlike many oils that you might be used to as this oil is actually made from several different ingredients (approximately 20, depending on the recipe) that work together to create a single, powerful oil.
Every herb and other ingredient used to create Kumkumadi oil has its own significant set of benefits that combine to create the super “miracle oil” called Kumkumadi.
The traditional recipe for Kumkumadi oil can be found in Ayurvedic texts. Specifically, it is created in reference to Bhaishajya Ratnavali, Chapter 60, Kshudra Roga Chikitsa, verses 115 through 120.
Another version of the recipe can also be found in Ashtanga Hridayam, Uttaran Sthana, Chapter 32, Kshudra Roga Chikitsa, verses 27 through 30. The original recipe in Bhaishajya Ratnavali was referenced for the purpose of massage therapy while the variation mentioned in Ashtanga Hridayam was to be used for nasal instillation.
The Ayurvedic texts refer to Kumkumadi oil as a “miracle oil” although it is not intended for immediate results and is, instead, meant to heal the body over time by purifying the system from the inside out.
Ayurvedic medicine, also simply referred to as Ayurveda, is one of the oldest, traditional, holistic practices in the world, developed in India more than 3,000 years ago.
These traditional medical practices are founded on the idea that good health relies on having balance in the mind, body, and spirit. While Ayurvedic practices are generally designed with the intention of simply promoting better health, some may also target specific conditions.
Generally speaking, there are 16 different ingredients that make up the composition of Kumkumadi oil. Saffron, of course, is the main ingredient, which is a substance rich in Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, and iron.
The high concentration of saffron present in the oil also provides a pink color to the final result.
Some of the other ingredients present in the recipe for Kumkumadi oil include sandalwood, turmeric, lotus, lily, vetiver, sacred fig, Indian madder, licorice, wild Himalayan cherry, banyan tree, blue lotus, manjistha extract, lodhra extract, Indian trumpet flower, and jasadh bhasma.
The many powerful ingredients included in the recipe for Kumkumadi oil work together to create an oil that certainly deserves its given title as a “miracle.”
Generally speaking, the oil is often used to help treat uneven skin tone, inflammation, poor blood circulation, wounds, stretch marks, acne, dark circles, sun damage, and any signs of aging.
Every ingredient present in the recipe for Kumkumadi oil is extremely powerful in treating various skin conditions and issues. If you have an uneven skin tone, it has likely been caused by sun damage, inflammation, allergies, or dead skin cells (often caused by excessive exfoliation).
Saffron, patala, and Vitamin C are all very powerful ingredients that help promote healthier, more stimulated blood circulation.
This oil, as well as the inclusion of Indian trumpet flower, also contains very high amounts of oleic acid and benzoic acid, which are great for providing antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and moisturizing properties for the skin. For general tone and complexion benefits, sandalwood, lotus, vetiver, and banyan tree are all very beneficial as well.
Because of its excellent antibacterial and antioxidant properties, Kumkumadi oil can be applied to minor wounds, cuts, bruises, burns and insect bites. The anti-inflammatory properties of the oil can soothe the wound, ease irritation and reduce redness. The antibacterial nature of the oil can protect against infection taking a hold and spreading.
Flavonoid compounds found in wild Himalayan cherry as well as various other compounds present in the oil can help accelarate the healing of your wound and may help prevent scarring.
Many of the ingredients in the Kumkumadi oil recipe have very strong anti-inflammatory properties. If the oil is made with goat’s milk, inflammation can be even further reduced.
Many of the other ingredients present in the oil contain excellent anti-inflammatory actions. These include wood apple, turmeric, saffron, uraria picta and brihati. Because of the oil’s anti-inflammatory actions, it may help treat chronic inflammatory skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
Massaging the oil into your joints may also help people with osteoarthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
Along with anti-inflammatory properties, there are also powerful antioxidant and antibacterial properties present due to the ingredients gambhari, which contains luteolin oil, and benzoic acid, which can be a very beneficial exfoliator.
Antioxidant properties are also found in sesame oil, which is a great source of many other nutrients as well. Sesame oil provides essential fatty acids, vitamins (including Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant), and minerals that help rebuild and revitalize skin cells.
When applied topically, antioxidants have a wonderful effect on the skin. They protect against the harmful effects of free radicals and and may even reverse some of the signs of premature aging like wrinkles, fine lines and other skin blemishes.
According to proponents of this oil, it can be used as a natural remedy for hyperpigmentation – a condition in which areas of the skin become darker than the others. The condition can affect small patches of skin or much larger areas.
There is no published research into the effectiveness of the oil to treat hyperpigmentation but it is a popular remedy in Ayurvedic medicine. It may work because of its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Many of the ingredients found in Kumkumadi oil including saffron and vitamin E are known to help protect the skin from sun damage. Kumkumadi oil is rich in antioxidants that can protect the skin from UV damage and can also help regenerate skin damaged by the sun.
Studies have found that saffron has a natural sun protection factor. (1)
If you are headed out into the mid day heat, try applying Kumkumadi oil to the areas of your body that will be exposed to the sun.
Kumkumadi oil is a popular natural remedy in Ayurveda for acne, blackheads and pimples. Its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties make it a great choice for those of you plagued with stubborn acne.
Applying the oil to your skin can help cleanse grime and dirt, remove dead skin and prevent the pores from becoming clogged. The anti-inflammatory effects of the oil also help relieve irritation and redness caused by acne.
Simply apply a little oil to the affected area of your skin once or twice a day for as long as necessary. Kumkumadi oil may also help treat acne scars.
Scars and Stretch Marks
Kumkumadi oil can be applied to the skin to help improve general complexion but also to diminish the appearance of scars and stretch marks. In Ayurveda, Kumkumadi oil is a popular remedy for acne scars and for women trying to treat stretch marks after giving birth.
There is no quick fix when it comes to topical remedies for scars and stretch marks and it will take a long time to notice any positive effects. Unfortunately, the scar will never disappear entirely and the best you can hope for is to diminish its appearance by lightening the skin. Nevertheless, there is no harm in trying and the benefits of this oil for your skin far outweigh any negatives.
Wrinkles and Blemishes
The presence of saffron and sandalwood, along with the Chandan and berberic that can be found in turmeric, provides high concentrations of antioxidants that help brighten the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and other blemishes.
Being so high in antioxidants, Kumkumadi oil can help reverse many of the signs of premature aging including unsightly wrinkles that make us look and feel so much older than we are. It may also help reduce the appearance of age spots and protect against skin damage caused by exposure to the sun and other pollutants.
You know how it feels to look in the mirror and see dark circles surrounding your eyes. Fortunately, applying Kumkumadi oil can help reduce their appearance.
Take 4 or 5 drops of Kumkumadi oil and apply it to the dark circles surrounding your eyes with your fingers. Massage the oil over the affected area in a curcular motion for at least 2 minutes then repeat with the other eye. Wash the oil away with warm water and soap. Repeat once or twice a day for as long as necessary.
The moisturizing properties found in Kumkumadi oil are not just good for your skin – they are also a great benefit to your lips. If you suffer from dry or chapped lips, try applying a few drops of this oil as a natural remedy. It can form a protective barrier against the weather and help keep your lips looking beautiful and feeling moist and hydrated through the day.
Note : If you have oily skin, Kumkumadi oil contains many ingredients that may help treat this issue but using the oil might also make the issue worse. You should always to a small patch test first to see how your skin will react to any product as everybody’s skin is different and may react differently to some ingredients than others’ might.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use Kumkumadi oil on babies?
You should only use Kumkumadi oil on babies who are older than six weeks of age; because the oil is made up entirely of natural ingredients, it should be safe for use at that age.
Make sure to dilute the Kumkumadi oil with something such as sesame oil or another carrier oil as direct contact may irritate your baby’s skin. You can use this oil mix for massage or also for the purpose of treating eczema, itchiness, redness, or dry skin.
Is Kumkumadi oil safe to consume? Are there any negative consequences of ingestion?
The natural ingredients used to create Kumkumadi oil are safe to ingest but you should be careful when doing so. You should avoid consuming this oil in any amount before bed as it may cause digestive problems or it could worsen symptoms of colds.
Instead, it would be better to add a few drops of Kumkumadi oil to lukewarm water or warm milk and drink approximately 15 minutes before eating breakfast.
Is Kumkumadi oil safe for use in people with very sensitive skin?
As kumkumadi oil has not been given a comedogenic rating, which is a score given to determine how a substance might react to sensitive skin types, it is slightly difficult to predict how the oil will react on different people’s skin.
Generally speaking, the ingredients used to create Kumkumadi oil are safe for sensitive skin and can even help ease symptoms and irritation that your skin may be experiencing. However, everybody’s skin is different so you should always try a small patch test before adding the oil to your daily skin routine.
If you experience any kind of reaction, do not use the oil. You could also speak with your doctors to see if they have any advice regarding the use of Kumkumadi oil in your daily skincare routine.
By adding ancient, traditional practices in recipes to our daily healthcare routines, we are getting back in touch with our roots and bringing ourselves closer to becoming balanced with ourselves and nature. Kumkumadi oil is essentially a “miracle oil,” as the title has been given, due to its inclusive ingredient list of many powerful substances.
While the use of Kumkumadi oil may not be suitable for everybody, you should definitely consider adding it to your skincare routine as the benefits are undeniable. After all, if it’s been used for more than 3,000 years, it’s hard to argue with the history.