Ayurveda + Essential Oils

Ayurveda + Essential Oils

Make It Your Own.

Each of us has a unique ratio of elements within us and carry the aspects of all three doshas, with one being more prominent than the others. Ayurvedic medicinal practices are grounded in the elements– ether, fire, air, water, and earth– and place an emphasis on maintaining health through balance. When the elements combine, they form what are known as doshas, or humors, that determine our physiological, mental, and emotional health. Each of us has a unique ratio of elements within us and carry the aspects of all three doshas, with one being more prominent than the others. A large focus is placed on cultivating self awareness in order to determine what your body and spirit need to maintain balance and harmony– creating a very individualistic approach to treatment. When imbalanced, ailments arise. Signs of imbalance include:

  • Irregular sleep (too much or too little)
  • Trouble with concentration and focus
  • Low energy levels or fatigue
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Mood swings or depression
  • Manic energy (especially irritability and anger)
  • Brain fog/ lack of mental clarity

How Oils Can Help In ayurvedic practices, essential oils are known for their yogavahi value, or their ability to transport the healing powers of the herbs, trees, and plants to the cells of the body. Through the sense of smell, the oils bring harmony to the physical, emotional, and spiritual bodies. Essential oils that carry the properties of a particular dosha will increase the dosha, while oils with opposing qualities will pacify or decrease the dosha. By understanding the signs and symptoms of imbalance, you can more easily select the appropriate oils to recenter yourself.

So which essential oil is right for me? The doshas and their oils Vata Dosha The vata dosha– comprised of the elements air and ether– is characterized as being cold, light, dry, rough, flowing, and spacious. It is represented seasonally by autumn for its cool, crisp days. When balanced, the vata dosha governs our capacity to experience flexibility, joy, and expansive consciousness. When imbalance occurs, one can experience fear, anxiety, dry skin, difficulty sleeping, and coldness; hence, the best essential oils to oppose these characteristics and bring a balance contain aspects that are warm, damp, soothing, and emotionally uplifting. Oils effective in bringing balance to the vata dosha are:

  • Citrus oils: bergamot, lemon, orange, tangerine
  • Spicy oils: ginger, clover, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander
  • Herbaceous oils: basil, clary sage, thyme, chamomile, lemongrass, eucalyptus
  • Floral oils: angelica, lavender, geranium, jasmine, rose, ylang ylang, neroli
  • Woody oils: frankincense, myrrh, sandalwood, patchouli, vetiver

When using a carrier oil, it’s best to use sesame or almond oil for the vata dosha.

Kapha Dosha The kapha dosha consists of the elements earth and water, and is characterized as being steady, stable, heavy, slow, cold, and soft. Seasonally, it is represented in Spring. When in balance, kaphas are strong, loyal, patient, steady, and supportive. But when imbalance occurs, an individual can be withdrawn, depressed, have low energy, and experience inflammation or congestion. The best oils to balance kaphas contain aspects that are light, dry, and warm. Oils effective in balancing the kapha dosha are:

  • Citrus oils: bergamot, lemon, lime, petitgrain, orange, grapefruit
  • Spicy oils: ginger, clove, cinnamon, cardamom
  • Herbaceous oils: basil, clary sage, lemongrass, rosemary, marjoram, mountain savory, hyssop, pine, eucalyptus, yarrow, tea tree, safe, wintergreen, bay, peppermint
  • Floral oils: lavender, neroli, jasmine, geranium, rose, angelica
  • Woody oils: frankincense, myrrh, cedarwood, cypress, fir, myrtle, juniper, vetiver

When you need a carrier oil, opt for flaxseed, sunflower, or mustard oil.

Pitta Dosha The pitta dosha–made up of the elements fire and water– is characterized as hot, light, sharp, oily, liquid, and mobile. Seasonally, it is represented in the hot and humid days of summer. When in balance, this dosha brings intelligence, charisma, courage, clarity, and the light of understanding. When imbalanced, one can experience anger, hostility, irritability, irritated skin, inflammation, and fever. The best oils to bring balance, therefore, contain aspects that are cooling, drying, and sweet. Oils effective in balancing the pitta dosha are:

  • Citrus oils: lime, tangerine, jade lemon, petitgrain
  • Herbaceous oils: chamomile, tea tree, yarrow, clary sage, fennel, lemongrass, peppermint, wintergreen, spearmint,
  • Floral oils: lavender, neroli, jasmine, geranium, rose, ylang ylang
  • Woody oils: sandalwood, myrtle

For a carrier oil, try coconut or sunflower.

Ways to use oils Essential oils can be used in an abundance of ways, so finding one that fits your specific preferences is easy!

1. In a roller Place a couple drops along with a carrier oil in a roller for quick and easy application anytime, anywhere. By rolling the oil behind your ears or on your wrists, you’ll experience the healing effects of the aromatic.

2. In a spray For a spray that you can use in a room, in the car, or as a perfume, add a couple drops and some water to a small spray bottle.

3. As a massage oil Massage in itself is a great way to relieve tension, and when used alongside aromatherapy, the relaxing effects increase tenfold! Just add a couple drops of essential oil to a carrier oil.

4. In a diffuser Create a soothing and refreshing space in any room in the house by diluting a few drops of essential oil in water inside a diffuser. Essential oils are a great way to restore balance and harmony whenever you’re feeling off center. Whether you need to create a calming space within your home or just need a quick re-centering while out, an essential oil can be the perfect solution!

I'd love to hear from you! Comment your favorite oils and blends below! 

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