Melt Tension with Mahanarayan Oil?

Ayurvedic massage oil
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Mahanarayan oil is a substance long used in ayurvedic medicine (a form of alternative medicine that originated in India) as a massage oil. Typically, it’s made from a blend of sesame oil, camphor oil, and a variety of herbs. Mahanarayan oil is often used to soothe sore muscles, as well as treat a number of health issues.

What Herbs Are Found in Mahanarayan Oil?

Mahanarayan oil contains a wide range of botanicals, typically including the following herbs (among others):

Uses for Mahanarayan Oil

Often used in massage, mahanarayan oil is thought to reduce muscle tension and treat sore muscles and joints. In addition, topical use of mahanarayan oil is said to aid in the treatment of the following health problems:

Mahanarayan oil is also sometimes used to improve sexual function, stimulate circulation, relieve congestion in the lungs, and promote detox.

Additionally, practitioners of ayurveda often use mahanarayan oil to treat imbalances in vata  (one of the three doshas). According to the principles of ayurveda, excess vata can contribute to such health issues as constipation, high blood pressure, arthritis, and digestive disorders.

Take this quiz to determine your dosha.

Benefits of Mahanarayan Oil

Despite its long history of use, mahanarayan oil and its potential health benefits have yet to be explored in scientific studies. However, some preliminary research shows that a number of the herbs found in mahanarayan oil may have beneficial effects when applied topically (i.e., to the skin).

For example, research shows that turmeric may reduce inflammation when applied topically, while camphor may have pain-relieving effects.

Caveats

Due to a lack of research, little is known about the safety of the long-term or regular use of mahanrayan oil. The oil should not be taken internally.

In some cases, individuals may experience irritation upon applying mahanarayan oil to the skin. Due to its potentially irritating effects, some ayurvedic practitioners suggest leaving mahanarayan oil on the skin for 15 minutes or fewer during each application of the oil.

It's also important to note that, due to the fact that natural products are largely unregulated, the content of some mahanarayan products may differ from what is specified on the product label. While consumers face such risks when purchasing any natural product, these risks may be of greater magnitude in the purchase of mahanarayan oil and other products containing a variety of herbs in varying amounts. If you're considering using it, make sure to consult your primary care provider first.

Alternatives to Mahanarayan Oil

A number of other herbal oils commonly used in ayurveda are said to enhance health and balance the doshas. For instance, topical application of brahmi oil is thought to treat conditions like insomnia and anxiety, while bhringaraj oil applied topically is thought to lower stress levels and stimulate hair growth. However, it’s important to note that scientific support for the purported health benefits of these oils is currently lacking.

For an oil-based natural treatment that may help reduce stress, lessen anxiety, and ease muscle tension, consider undergoing aromatherapy massage. Research shows that using jasmine essential oil in aromatherapy massage may improve mood and protect against depression, using a blend of essential oils (such as geranium and cinnamon) in aromatherapy massage may soothe menstrual pain, and using a combination of lavender and bergamot essential oils in aromatherapy massage may help alleviate anxiety.

Where to Find It

Mahanarayan oil is sold in some stores specializing in natural products. You can also purchase mahanarayan oil online.

Sources

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Hongratanaworakit T. “Aroma-therapeutic effects of massage blended essential oils on humans.” Nat Prod Commun. 2011 Aug;6(8):1199-204.

Hongratanaworakit T. “Stimulating effect of aromatherapy massage with jasmine oil.” Nat Prod Commun. 2010 Jan;5(1):157-62.

Hur MH, Lee MS, Seong KY, Lee MK. “Aromatherapy massage on the abdomen for alleviating menstrual pain in high school girls: a preliminary controlled clinical study.” Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:187163.

Xu H, Blair NT, Clapham DE. “Camphor activates and strongly desensitizes the transient receptor potential vanilloid subtype 1 channel in a vanilloid-independent mechanism.” J Neurosci. 2005 Sep 28;25(39):8924-37.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.

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