Oil bath – The lost Art

I am proud to be born an Indian.. The  culturally richest country of the world.

With such diversity of cultures we are not even aware of what unique traditions we can find if we take a small trip outside our town, city or village. Here every household has something or the other contributing to this vast mix.

One of those that I remember from my own childhood is the Oil Bath .

We South Indians bath very often. Thanks to the hot humid climate bathing is like our cheapest temperature control system. Atleast Once everyday throughout the year, twice and sometimes upto thrice a day in summers to combat the heat.

Add to it the Religious and Traditional reasons and it looks like we spend more time bathing than any other activity.

One of those traditional bathing rituals is Oil bath. Women are supposed to do it on Tuesdays and Fridays and the day allocated to men is Saturday. 

So what is it.. do we sit in a tub filled with oil like Cleopatra did with milk.? More than a beauty treatment it would have looked like being fried alive. Thankfully that is not what it is..

We just need to gently rub gingelly oil
(some people use coconut oil also) all over our bodies from the scalp to toes. Some may go ahead and massage also. Then soak in it for about an hour and take bath (here it goes again) in nice warm water so that the pores open and the oil is sucked right in. 

There are innumerable benefits to this kind of bathing. From beautification to health benefits. Those who did it regularly lead a healthy long life.

But it is a lost art now. Neither we have the time to perform nor we can see the goodness of it.


It was not just beneficial medically but also helped strengthen family ties. Bath time is a time for fun and frolic for children. And when the whole family gathered in the backyard near the well and all the women and children of the house applied oil together and spent time with each other they made some beautiful delicate memories. That used to stay with them all their lives.

I feel this lost art if returned would make stronger people internally and externally… physically and emotionally.

When I read this weeks DP challenge lots of things came to my mind but this is one of the arts that I personally miss hence decided to share here.

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