Essential Oils - A Vital Aid In Ayurvedic Pharmacology

By- Tracy Bannister

Essential OilsThe popularity of essential oils has increased significantly over the years, and Grand View Research reports that the reasons include their plentiful health benefits and the fact that they have little to no side-effects. In Western cultures, essential oils are often used to treat specific issues such as anxiety, stress, digestive upsets, colds and flus. In Ayurvedic tradition, essential oils are viewed as a way to balance the doshas (Vata, Kapha and Pitta), which can become distorted owing to factors such as stress, having to adapt to big changes quickly, and physical ailment. As is the case in Western culture, Ayurvedic tradition uses different oils for specific aims, including relaxation, strength, and the battling of specific health issues. How can they help you restore the configuration of your doshas and enable you enjoy a better quality of life?

Classifying Essential Oils -
Ayurveda divides essential oils according to how they affect the body’s temperature, and therefore, the doshas. Essential oils classified as cold are ideal for Pitta, while warm or hot oils are best for Vata and Kapha (which are colder doshas). Typical oils used to balance the Pitta constitution are jasmine, rose and chamomile. Those used for Vata types are lavender, lemon, ginger and ylang ylang. For Kapha types, warming oils such as basil, cedar and ginger are also used. Essential oils can also be divided into dry and moist. The latter can easily be blended with water, while dry oils tend to separate from water. Finally, some oils are neutral, and they are deemed to be flexible to the needs of the body. So-called neutral oils are actually some of the most used, including lavender (known to calm stress), basil and sage.

Addressing One Issue Through Ayurveda-Compatible Oils -
It can be easy to reach for one type of oil when you have a health issue - for instance, Headaches - but in fact, it is important to know what type of essential oil suits your particular headache. For instance, Vata type headaches are usually present in the back part of the head and can cause tension in the neck and shoulders, as well as back stiffness. Migraines are also considered a Vata imbalance. Pitta headaches, on the contrary, usually start in the temple area and travel to the center of the head. For a Vata headache, the Ayurvedic approach includes the use of tea tree oil and lavender. These can help ground you and decrease stress, promoting calm and relaxation. For Pitta headaches, cooling essential oils like peppermint, as well as lavender, can help.

Additional Tips -
In addition to using essential oils (via diffusion or direct application to skin), you can try drinking coffee, which can open up your channels and relieve headaches. You can also take a warm or hot shower, and breathe in a little peppermint oil to relieve stress and promote a greater sense of balance. Breathing deeply into your belly and taking a long time to exhale can help your prana move and open up vital channels.

If you have frequent headaches, it is important to work out the source of your issue - be it stress, tiredness, poor sleep, or other health conditions. The Ayurvedic approach requires you to select essential oils in line with your type and your needs on a specific day. Some oils, such as lavender, are generally helpful because they promote relaxation, but others can be used to warm up or cool down your state, restoring the flow of the prana and enabling you to let go of tension and accumulated stress.