Kumkumadi oil: Ayurveda’s little magic potion

saffron flower- photo courtesy: culinarymasterclass

In South India Kumkumadi Tailam (oil) is known as the oil that promises radiance and a glowing skin.

There is a reason it does. It is made from sixteen herbs prescribed by ayurvedic texts for beautiful skin. Some texts suggest twenty one ingredients.

Its main ingredient is saffron which heals and softens and leaves skin with a golden glow.Of course you need pure saffron for this.

It also has jasad bhasam which has a naturally occurring form of zinc which works as a sunscreen.

And turmeric which is anti inflammatory .

There are other ingredients – lotus pollen which has anti ageing benefits, manjistha which has mildly astringent and has blood purifying properties, sandalwood and vetiver ( khus) which have cooling properties.

It is a balance of all these –cooling , soothing, anti bacterial and anti inflammatory properties that make Kumkumadi work on acne prone skin, on blackheads, and help removal of acne scars

One version of this blend also includes goat’s milk and individual tweaks are possible .

But the philosophy behind this blend of herbs and oil is that it treats skin holistically-with cosmetic and therapeutic benefits

Kumkumadi oil is available all over South India but when it comes to ayurvedic products the purity of ingredients is essential.

The Arya Vaidya Sala www.aryaviadysala.com at Kottakal in Kerala (branches all over ) has its own brand which you can buy.

For a luxury option try Kama’s www.kamaayurveda.com Kumkumadi oil . It is their leading seller and you can find it at their newly opened Khan market store in Delhi or at various outlets in Mumbai.

The prescribed rule is to use from three to five drops on your face.

Don’t overdo it if you have oily skin since the base for the herbs is coconut oil.

27 Comments Add yours

  1. priya says:

    Have tried, not very good. Leaves your skin too oily. Forest essentials is a much better brand atleast for oils

    1. geeta's list says:

      Priya, maybe you need to use a little less or mix two drops in your moisturiser and use it only at night . Forest Essentials has Saundarya serum which is similar but lighter .

  2. abdulrahim says:

    hai,i’m 27 yrs old male i would like to know how to use kumkumadi thailam and when should be used.i use it in the morning and after one or two hour i wash it with ‘cherupayar powder’.i want to know how should massage it on the face….waiting for your replay

    1. geeta's list says:

      just apply two drops and rub it gently into face with a circular movement so it gets absorbed.

  3. presilla says:

    i have too much pimples with dark spots. used many different cream nothing worked out. please tell whether i should use Kumkumadi thailam or kasturi manjal for fairness and healthy skin and also how and when to use

  4. vidhya says:

    i tried it. it gave me wonderful results 🙂 which no other fairness creams can give:) really good .thanks for the information dear

  5. PPB says:

    Hi Geeta, Just wanted to check can we put Kunkumadi Tailam in the nose as nasal drops and if yes what benefit it has by putting it in the nose? as i have been recommended to do so.

    1. Geeta Rao says:

      please don’t use this as nasal drop as this is for external application and skin care only. for anything else consult your doctor.

  6. vidhya says:

    my skin is really oily and had lot of pimples.i was really sacred to use creams coz it always results in pimples.its my granma who told me about this oil.i used the oil with a little fear in mind but from the first use i got result. after one week pimples get reduced and after continues use for a month all my pimples are gone and my face became soft and smooth with a golden glow. trust me it can make wonders. i used it only on night before going to bed and washed it with face wash in the morning. try it

  7. lavee says:

    My child is 9yrs of age , she had severe jaundice during birth and her fair skin has turned brown and dry , can application of kumkumadi oil will be helpful or some other oil should be better. Please suggest if I should wait for applying these oils for some more years. Thanks

    1. Geeta Rao says:

      please wait as children have very delicate skin. consult a doctor but her skin should clear once she has recovered fully

  8. Preethi says:

    Hi Geetha. I have used the tailam and have benefitted. My daughter is 3 months old and someone told me that I can apply this oil all over her body to improve her complexion. I had started with the feet and thankfully she was not allergic to it. Can i continue to use it on her?

  9. Thilagavathy says:

    My skin is too oily i have lot oe pimples,black spots & pigmentation kumkumadi tailam wil work. If so just tel me were can i get in chennai nearby anna nagar.

  10. roshhi says:

    Is kumkumadi oil is available in medicle stores. Can i use it to remove black scars of rincing black marks and acne scar.

    1. Geeta Rao says:

      it is available at ayurveda stores .or try fabindia where they have the Kama brand

  11. Shree says:

    I want to buy kumkumdi thailam. So pls tel me the addres of the shop(must b in chennai) whr tat oil is available.

    1. Geeta Rao says:

      it should be available at any fabindia store under the brand name kama or at any ayurvedic store

      1. Paakhi says:

        Hi Geeta,

        Rightnow I have acne and pimples on my face. Can I still apply this oil?

      2. Geeta Rao says:

        Hi Paakhi
        if you have a break out suggest you stop using it for a few day. although it is not supposed to be irritating it is a precaution until you know why you had the breakout .
        please use it sparingly 🙂

  12. manu says:

    can i use this products with other co. kumkumadi thailam… ? at night i use lakme night cream… can i mix with this oil….? if causes any side effects to my skin…..? pls suggest me

    1. Geeta Rao says:

      dear Manu
      you can use other products but don’t mix them use the kumkumadi first and then apply your cream. although you can just use the tailam. why don’t you alternate for a few days and see what works best for you?

      1. manu says:

        thank u for your kind suggestion mam… but i am 28 yrs old… unmarried….i have acne marks on my face and it will become very dry to me… and it looking like ageing to me… i felt very bad about my face…. i want radiant skin…. which com. kumkumadi thailam is best…. please tell me mam…..

  13. veengupta says:

    Sounds like a great oil. Must try.

  14. ASA NAIR says:


    1. Geeta Rao says:

      no she is too young .

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