Ayurveda & Essential Oils

Ayurveda & Essential Oils


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Oil lovers unite. It’s Spring and it’s about time we discuss essential oils. I always feel like some stealth superhero when I use oils. They seem to last forever if stored properly, so I tend to forget I have them. When I’m looking for an extra Ayurveda boost I pull them out and BAM, I’m climbing up vertical buildings. It also amazes me that you can do as little as inhale an oil and it will be directly carried into the brain to influence emotions, memories, or creativity. Ayurveda is wild.

Let’s rewind a bit to 5000 years ago when essential oils were refereed to as aromatic essences. (Poetic I know.) So it goes, in Vedic texts these essences were fragrant herbs, flowers and barks that were burnt to enhance healing and meditation. The Charaka Samhita states is used aromatic oils for massage and marma therapy. It also discusses how oils were used as garlands and fragrances as aphrodisiacs and to promote well-being.

These days, we use them to unclog pores after a night of drinking. (Again, poetic.)

Essential oils, past and present, are derived from plants, flowers, fruits, leaves, wood, resin, bark, root or seeds. Here is a breakdown of what each do for you.

Flowers – relaxing & sedative
Wood, Bark & Resin – heating & increases circulation
Leaves – cooling & clearing
Roots – grounding
Fruits – stimulating & expanding
Seeds – tonic

I spoke here about which oils benefit what dosha and talked here about Ayurveda Skin types.  I also broke down using essential oils to make a perfume here. But what else can you use oils for?

Abhyanga Massage: In a 1 ounce bottle add about 15 drops of oil to a carrier oil (Sesame vata Coconut pitta Sunflower kapha.)

Bathing: 5 – 10 Drops of oil in water immediately before entering bath.

Compresses: 3-6 Drops of essential oil in 4oz of hot water. Soak washcloth in mix and apply to skin.

Foot Bath: 15-20 drops of oil in 2 quarts of warm watch.

Oil Diffusers: There are many different types of diffusers including, candle, electric heat or cool air nebulizing diffuser. They tend to break down how much essential oil is used for each.

Also check out how and what essential oils I incorporate in my Ayurveda Toolbox and how I use them when I travel.

Spreading little drops of oil goodness over your week!

Some things to note: Ayurveda does not advise using essential oils internally, avoid contact to eyes and mucous membranes, do not use citrus oils before being exposed to UV light, and do not use oils on infants, children, pregnant women, elderly or those with serious health issues without speaking with a doctor. As always if you are unsure, contact an Ayurveda Practitioner. 

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