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Kumkumadi Tailam: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More By Dr. Smita Barode

By Dr Smita Barode +2 more


Although, it is rightly said that ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, it’s difficult not to be moved by the glowing face of a person. Beauty is just a higher form of health and healthy-looking skin is always considered beautiful. The basic aim of “Swasthavritta” is to keep a healthy person well by preventing sickness. Kumkumadi tailam, an ancient recipe, includes rare ayurvedic ingredients. High-quality saffron oil is called kumkumadi tailam. This special combination of oils and kumkumadi tailam promotes youthful and healthy-looking skin. Kumkumadi tailam might help to heal uneven skin, brighten skin and add radiance.1 

Ingredients of Kumkumadi Tailam:  

I would suggest giving kumkumadi tailam a try if you’re looking for a natural solution for acne. This ayurvedic product might be beneficial for certain skin disorders, specifically acne.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

The kumkumadi tailam is made of ingredients mixed in equal amounts (48gms each) given in the table below: 2 

Herbs (Kwath Dravya) Part Used 
Tribulus Terrestris – Gokshura Root 
Solanum Indicum – Brihati Root 
Oroxylum Indicum – Shyonaka Root 
Gmelina Arborea – Gambhari Root 
Berberis Aristata – Daruhaldi Edible root 
Vetiveria zizanioides – Ushira Patra Root 
Prunus Cerasoides – Padmaka Flower 
Nymphaea Stellata –– Niledible root (Neel Kamal) Flower 
Stereospermum Suaveolens – Patala Root 
Desmodium Gangeticum – Shalaparni Root 
Uraria Picta – Prishnaparni Root 
Pterocarpus Santalinus– Lal Chandan Edible root 
Laccifer Lacca – Lac Resin 
Rubia Cordifolia – Manjistha Edible root 
Glycyrrhiza Glabra – Yashtimadhu (Mulethi) Edible root 
Ficus Benghalensis– Vat Vriksha Fruit 
Ficus Lacor – Java Fig Fruit 
Nelumbo Nucifera –– Kamal Kesar Kesar 
Aegle Marmelos – Bael Fruit 
Premna Mucronata – Agnimantha Root 

Table 1: List of Kumkumadi Tailam Ingredients (Composition) in Kwatha Dravya.2 

Rubia Cordifolia – Manjistha  Edible root 
Glycyrrhiza Glabra – Yashtimadhu Edible root 
Madhuca Longifolia – Mahua Fruit  
Laccifer Lacca – Lac Resin 
Caesalpinia Sappan – Pattanga Edible root 

Table 2: List of Kumkumadi Tailam Ingredients (Composition) in Kalka Dravya.2 

Other ingredients used are goat milk, sesame oil, Kesar and rose water Q.S. These ingredients are mixed to finally obtain the ayurvedic preparation called kumkumadi tailam. 

Properties of Kumkumadi Tailam: 

In my opinion, in addition to its potential benefits of kumkumadi tailam for dark spots and hyperpigmentation. It may also help help those struggling with patchy skin. This Ayurvedic formulation may help manage dryness and improve overall skin texture.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

The potential properties of kumkumadi tailam are: 

  • It may have astringent activity. 
  • It can show anthelmintic (destroys parasitic worms) activity. 
  • It may be a diuretic. 
  • It might show beneficial properties for eyesight. 
  • It can have rejuvenating properties. 
  • It may have anti-inflammatory activities. 
  • It may show antiseptic properties. 
  • It might have carminative (relieving flatulence) activity. 
  • It may show antioxidant properties. 
  • It might have antimicrobial activities. 
  • It might possess anti-cancer properties. 
  • It may have hypoglycaemic (blood sugar lowering) properties. 1 

Potential Uses of Kumkumadi Tailam for Overall Health: 

Let me tell you about the wonders of kumkumadi tailam. This magical oil can work wonders for your skin! It may act on the inflammation in the top layer of your skin, known as the epidermis. It has chemicals that may change how your skin cells called melanocytes and immune cells behave. By doing so, it might help lighten dark spots and hyperpigmentation.

Dr. Smita Barode, B.A.M.S, M.S.

Some of the potential uses of kumkumadi tailam are discussed as follows. 

Potential Uses of Kumkumadi Tailam for Reducing Discolouration of Lips 

When kumkumadi tailam is applied locally to the lips, it helps to dilate the blood vessels at the affected lip region. As a result, the active ingredient in the herb may easily penetrate the skin and enter the bloodstream through the capillaries at the affected lip areas.1 

Nitin Jathar et al. (2020) conducted a study on 30 patients suffering from discoloured lips due to smoking. They were treated with kumkumadi tailam by applying it locally. This demonstrated improvement in the lip colour significantly. Since the primary dosha that may cause lip discolouration might be pitta, kumkumadi tailam might improve lip colour by relieving pitta.1 This may indicate the potential of kumkumadi tailam in helping in improving lip discolouration. However, there is a need for more studies in this area. You must consult an Ayurvedic physician to understand the exact benefits of the herb for humans. 

Potential Uses of Kumkumadi Tailam for Healing Wounds 

Many herbs present in the herbal preparation of kumkumadi tailam might have wound-healing properties and anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antibacterial characteristics. Combining these herbs might help stop bleeding in wounds and injuries, heal skin ulcers and expedite the regeneration of the tissue in wounds.2 These benefits of this herb in the formulation need to be further evaluated by studies. You must consult a doctor before using any herb for its medicinal benefits. 

Potential Uses of Kumkumadi Tailam for Reducing Hyperpigmentation 

Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-hyperpigmentation properties might be present in kumkumadi tailam. The formulation might also exhibit anti-ageing, skin hydration, anti-wrinkle, moisturising benefits and potential improvement in skin texture. Thus, using kumkumadi oil for the face can brighten skin, increase skin softness and decreases pigmentation making the skin radiant. It might also decrease the amount of melanin pigment released. Moreover, it may improve skin lustre while reducing the appearance of scars, dark circles under the eyes and hyperpigmentation.1,2 

Potential Uses of Kumkumadi Tailam as a Sunscreen 

One of the major kumkumadi oil ingredients is saffron. Golmohammadzadeh et al. (2010) studied that saffron present in kumkumadi tailam might have properties that can be used as a natural UV-absorbing agent. Thus, it might be used as sunscreen.  

On regular applications, kumkumadi tailam may also remove the damage caused by prolonged sun exposure like sun tan, blemishes, dark spots, etc. However, the studies conducted on the exact benefits of this formulation are insufficient to prove its benefits. It is better to get professional advice from qualified doctors.2 

Other Potential Uses of Kumkumadi Tailam 

Several other potential uses of kumkumadi tailam need to be studied further to prove its exact efficacy. Some of these are: 

  • It can help reduce stress and relieve depression.  
  • It might have some suppressing effects on tumours. 
  • It might be able to improve memory and learning capacity. 
  • It can have some beneficial effects on disorders like diarrhoea with blood and bleeding piles, on topical application. 
  • It may potentially act as a blood purifier due to its antioxidant properties. 
  • The roots used in the kumkumadi tailam can have beneficial effects on conditions like paralysis, skin discolouration, rheumatoid arthritis, flatulence, leucoderma, spleen & liver disorders, diabetes, jaundice and generalized weakness.1,2 

Though there are studies showing the kumkumadi tailam benefits in various conditions, these are insufficient and there is a need of further studies to establish the true extent of kumkumadi tailam on human health.  

How to Use Kumkumadi Tailam? 

To obtain kumkumadi tailam benefits for the skin, you may take some amount of the oil on your palms, and then gently rub it all over the skin regularly for clear and radiant skin. You may gently apply it on affected areas like lips using your fingers for targeted benefits. It is best to apply it before bedtime.1,2 

You must consult a qualified doctor before taking any kumkumadi tailam supplements. Do not discontinue or replace an ongoing modern medical treatment with an ayurvedic/kumkumadi tailam preparation without consulting a qualified doctor.   

Side Effects of Kumkumadi Tailam: 

Kumkumadi tailam is generally considered safe if used in the recommended dosages. Further, the local application of kumkumadi tailam on lips might not cause side effects such as allergic reactions, itching, etc. However, ayurvedic kumkumadi oil side effects cannot be completely denied as herbs may react differently in each person’s skin depending on their condition and body responses. Therefore, you must consult a qualified Ayurvedic doctor before using any herb for medicinal purposes.2  

Precautions to Take with Kumkumadi Tailam:  

Just like any remedy or treatment, general precautions need to be followed while using kumkumadi tailam. People should take extra precautions before giving them to children, the elderly and pregnant and lactating women. Please do not try to self-medicate with herbs. Ayurvedic herbs may have potential benefits, but it is advisable to consult a qualified Ayurvedic physician before their usage.  

Interactions with Other Drugs: 

The possibility of certain drugs reacting with herbs like kumkumadi tailam cannot be denied. Therefore, you must consult an Ayurvedic physician before using any herbal item in more than the prescribed quantities. Your Ayurvedic physician can appropriately modify the dosage and prescribe as per your current medications, conditions and requirements. 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

What are the major ayurvedic ingredients of kumkumadi tailam? 

Several ayurvedic ingredients are mixed together to make the formulation called kumkumadi tailam. A few major ingredients of the kumkumadi oil are: Kumkuma, Usheera, Kaaleeya, Laksha, Yashtimadhu, Chandana, Nyagrodha, Padmaka, Neelotpala, Manjishta, etc.1 

What is the method of preparation of kumkumadi tailam?

To prepare kumkumadi tailam, we first need to prepare a coarse powder of all herbs and soak them in water for a few hours. Further, a kwatha can be prepared by boiling this water with herbs until it is reduced to 1/4th of its volume. Then, this decoction can be filtered. Then you can prepare a herbal paste using herbs like Manjistha, Yashtimadhu, Mahua, Lac and Pattanga. Finally, this herbal paste, sesame oil and goat milk are mixed in a vessel, the mixture is boiled and simmered until the oil remains. Once this oil is taken out, we can mix a paste of saffron with rose water into this oil and preserve it in a glass bottle. This final preparation is called kumkumadi tailam.2 

Is kumkumadi tailam safe to use? 

If consumed in the proper dosages, kumkumadi tailam is usually regarded as safe. Furthermore, patients may not have any negative side effects from the local application of kumkumadi tailam to their lips, such as allergic reactions, irritation, etc. It is better to consult your ayurvedic physician before using any herb for medicinal purposes. 

Does kumkumadi tailam work as a good sunscreen? 

Kumkumadi tailam might have properties that can be used as a natural UV-absorbing agent. It may also reverse sun damage to some extent. However, these properties have yet to be studied extensively. It would be best if you took advice from a qualified doctor before using it. 

Can we use kumkumadi tailam for wound healing? 

The herbs that combine to form kumkumadi tailam may be effective against bacteria, viruses and generalized inflammation in addition to healing of wounds. Combining these herbs may speed up the process of regeneration of wound tissue, stop untimely bleeding in wounds and heal skin ulcers. However, more studies should be conducted to better assess the advantages of using this herb in the formulation. Before utilising any herb for its therapeutic properties, you must visit a doctor. 


  1. Jathar DN, Salunkhe DM, Nalawade RJ. The Efficacy Of Kumkumadi Tailam In Discolouration Of Lips Due To Smoking. IJRAR-International Journal of Research and Analytical Reviews (IJRAR). 2020 Nov;7 (4):569-74. Available at: https://ijrar.org/papers/IJRAR19D2706.pdf 
  1. Kapse SK, Dharkar N, Patel M. Critical Review Of Kumkumadi Oil And It’s Role On Vyanga. 2020 Dec;11(2):2159-2164 Available at: https://wjpr.s3.ap-south-1.amazonaws.com/article_issue/09c239e085ae065ee48162ac44de2399.pdf 

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