How to use essential oils in your Ayurvedic life
Essential oils are, essentially, nature’s gifts to mankind.
Combining the roots, flowers, barks and leaves of plants, essential oils carry the most powerful sensory stimulation according to Ayurveda, which is the sense of smell.
When we smell essential oils, the vapor stimulates the olfactory nerve, which is directly connected to the limbic part of the brain, which modulates moods, emotions, thoughts and our sense of wellbeing.
Some of their other benefits include:
- release of emotional trauma
- release of melatonin, oxytocin, serotonin in the brain—the feel-good chemicals
- promotion of mental, emotional, physical and spiritual healing
Through Ayurveda we can recognize that all essential oils will either have a heating or cooling effect on the body. For example, chamomile and peppermint added to a bath will give a cooling effect, while an oil such as lavender massaged into the body will have a warming effect.
With the goal of Ayurveda being balance and harmony with nature within and without, essential oils hold the power to balance vata, pitta and kapha with ease and joy.
I share essential oils in my practice for women with effective results—for example, clary sage to reduce hot flashes, sweet orange for anxiety, ylang ylang for libido, vetiver for overactive children, peppermint for mental clarity, mahanarayan oil mixed with lavender for joint pain, holy basil for respiratory issues and many more.
A few essential ways to apply oils are:
- Bottom of the feet, mixed with a carrier oil such as sesame, jojoba or sweet almond oil
- Vitaflex points such as the wrist, back of the neck or behind the ears
- 10 to 20 drops in a warm bath, on their own
- In the bath with warm water and bath salts to penetrate skin easily and promote sound sleep
The science of aromatherapy is vast, but there’s a saying—”follow your nose”—when it comes to essential oils. Unlike food cravings, the ones you will be attracted to will most likely be good for you. After all, they are “living” plants and they will speak to you if you listen carefully.