Tailam / Thailam / Taila

This is an oil infusion of herbs. Commonly used for instillation into the nose, ears or for application to the skin. This form also contains herbal extracts, which in combination with oils can achieve very good treatment results. Massage oils are also available in taylam form. Ayurveda also uses pure oils from certain plants.

> Siddha Tailas (Medicated oils) and Siddha Ghritas (Medicated Ghee)- are preparations in which oil or ghee is boiled with prescribed kasaayas (decoction) and kalkas (fine paste) of drugs according to the formula. This process ensures absorption of the active therapeutic properties of the ingredients used, into the oil base. In these preparations three ingredients are essential- sneha (ghee or oil), drava (liquid)- which may be decoctions, expressed juice etc., and kalka-the fine paste of the ingredients. The ratio of the ingredients, unless specified otherwise, is oil four part, kalka- one part and liquid sixteen parts ( however, there are several exceptions). During preparation the fine paste and liquids are mixed together and then oil or ghee is added and boiled on mild fire and continuously stirred to ensure that the fine paste does not stick to the vessel. The boiling is continued till the liquid portion gets evaporated, at this stage the moisture of the fine paste starts evaporating. This is tested with the help of a ladle to determine the paaka (cooking stage). The paaka is categorized in to mridu (soft)- if the paste is waxy when rolled between fingers, madhyama (moderate) if the paste is hard and fires without cracking noise when put in to fire and khara (hard) if it burns with cracking sound when placed in fire. The ideal condition of the medicated oil is attained when uniform froth comes out and subsides in case of medicated ghee. This is the general procedure- depending upon the ingredients used, different modifications have been mentioned.