Oil Bath, A Traditional Health Habit of South India

In South India people living in villages are having a traditional health habit of taking oil bath to improve and keep their good health. It is believed by the people of previous time that oil is penetrating inside the head to add cold to the body. But now it has been understood that applied oil dissolves the dusty, oily particles present on the skin and later those will removed by the application of herbal powder and warm water. This phenomena helps to make the skin to remove heat from inside of the body, which acts as a valve, to outside easily. Any way it is being experienced by the people of South India that their habit has great tendency to clear the body heat.

Commonly two varieties of oils such as coconut and gingle oils are used in this treatment. But it is experienced by the people that coconut oil is more desirable than the other one. In some places coconut oil is mixed with broken spices like pepper and garlic before boiling it to get the additional properties of spices. However, the plain coconut oil is used in the most parts of the country. About 25 ml of coconut oil is taken in a small amber colored or white colored bottle. Strictly avoid taking oil in plastic bottles just before the application as they might affect the medicinal properties of coconut oil. A small quantity of oil is applied on the tophead and it is let for a few minutes. Mostly warm water is preferred by the people to take oil bath. A green colored herbal powder ( soap nut powder ) and sikkakai powder are used to rinse on the head to remove the applied oil thoroughly. Toilet soaps are avoided in oil bath to have good result. Weekly once oil bath is followed by the people to have nice health. Fridays are selected by ladies to take oil bath and saturdays for gents.

Benefits of taking oil bath

1. It clears oily substances from the skin of total body and facilitate the same to transfer heat from its inside to outside.

2. By giving healthy cold to our body we can have good appetite and feeling of taste.

3. Healthy cold prevailing in our body prevents many diseases like jaundice, cancer and other viral diseases.

4. We can get healthy, deep sleep and good concentration in our daily activities.

5. Side effects of severe diet control can be cleared by this good healthy habit.

6. Skin and hair health can be maintained as it removes surface tension on the body.

7. It is very economical and also required once in a week.

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Comments 19 comments

bhalla_neet profile image

bhalla_neet 8 years ago from Delhi

It is a beautiful advice especially for people like me who keep looking for traditional ideas for healthy living. But, i didn't understand one thing, why pepper and garlic are used? Don't they have a side effect? Please ratna throw light on this. Any remedy for good skin?

ratnaveera profile image

ratnaveera 8 years ago from Cumbum Author

Dear Neet, Thanks for your commnts. Pepper and garlics pieces in small amount are added with oil before boiling it to get medicinal properties of them. You can get good health without adding them. So we not bother about them.Application cucumber, curd may yield good result to skin.

ratnaveera profile image

ratnaveera 8 years ago from Cumbum Author

Dear Neet, Thank you once again. soon I am posting a hub coconut oil treatment a very interesting health subject which is just advanced of oil bath.

bhalla_neet profile image

bhalla_neet 8 years ago from Delhi

Ok Ratna, I will be eagerly waiting for that hub. Anyways, thanks for such great and informative and HEALTHY hubs.

likethisfree profile image

likethisfree 8 years ago from India

nice blog

B D Jain 8 years ago

Is it used only on head or on entire body. If it is used only on head than how it will improve entire body's skin

ratnaveera profile image

ratnaveera 8 years ago from Cumbum Author

Dear Jain, Thanks for your question. When oil is applied on the head people used to apply certain portion of it to body also. Even if you didn't apply it on body, it will reach throughout the body when you use soap for bathing.

mano 6 years ago

ratna, do we need to following any specific timing to do the oil bath? because old age people suggest that it is best to take oil bath before the sunrise? can you please scientifically give an explanation for this?

ratnaveera profile image

ratnaveera 6 years ago from Cumbum Author

Dear mano, Thanks for visiting this Hub and putting a question. Yes! Getting bath before sunrise will yield good benefits to our health. Because, that time our body would be more sensitive to any good treatment like oil bath.

geetha 6 years ago

traditionally was curd used for bathing the hair/ if so pl give details

Sanjeevi 6 years ago

It's an easy and very useful healthy tip. Thanks for posting such useful information.

hema 6 years ago

It is a very good health tip. I have the practise of taking oil bath every week. To add more infornation on this topic it will be good to add a pinch of turmeric powder and some rice. Turmeric as we know is antibacterial helps in dandruff prevention and rice helps in removing dirt particles.

Hindi News Paper 6 years ago

Most of the south indians taking only gingle oil.We are doing this every Saturdays.We should aply oil all over the body and massage gently for 30 mins, should use shikakai while bathing and should avoide shampoo and soap.


kamal 6 years ago

good message.

Lori Brown 6 years ago

I like to take an oil bath once in a while. I just use baby oil. I have dry skin, and it helps. Especially on your scalp. My greatgrandmother used to do that too.

eshwar_1989 profile image

eshwar_1989 5 years ago from India

exactly, what is was searching for :)

TheresaAnn profile image

TheresaAnn 5 years ago from South Fallsburg, New York

Some years ago it was suggested that I take oil bath at least once a week to remove heat generated by daily yoga asana practice. It's great to see a hub on this topic.

reena 5 years ago

how long can we keep oil in our head before taking bath?

ratnaveera profile image

ratnaveera 5 years ago from Cumbum Author

Dear Reena, To get better result you need to keep oil on your head at least for 10 minutes. Thank you so much for reading this hub.

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