Can we use essential oils in harmony with the principles of Ayurveda?
This is a question that has been on my mind recently and thought that some of the lessons I have discovered would be helpful to share, especially considering the rise in use of essential oils and some of the misinformation that is being circulated. We’ll go through the 3 main uses; ingestion, topical application and aromatic use.
To understand how Ayurvedic wisdom advises against the use of ingesting essential oils we must look at the 5 elements or panchmahabhutas which are the building blocks of everything.
Everything is made up of these elements. When essential oils are made what is happening is literally the essence of the plant is being taken and condensed. This essence which holds the aromatic and remedial properties is the fire aspect of the plant material. Or in other words, the active, transformational part of the plant is distilled. How excellent!
This is what makes essential oils so powerful. It is like they hold the spirit of the plant. It is also one of the reasons Ayurveda warns against the use of them internally as they lack the other elements of the plant as found in their natural state. Therefore the intensity of the fire could easily lead to a state of imbalance especially without informed guidance.
However! If used topically (on the skin) in a diluted form and used for their aromatic properties they can be powerful tools for effective home healing.
Oils and Doshas
Vata types should go for sweet and warm aromas such as; sweet orange, basil and patchouli
Pitta types should go for sweet and cooling aromas such as lavender, mint and teatree
Kapha types should go for spicy and warm aromas such as clove, rosemary and ginger
Base oils are also an important factor to consider as they have different properties depending on what they are made from.
Vata: Almond or Sesame oil
Pitta: Coconut or Sunflower
Kapha: Almond or Olive
You also don’t need fancy electric diffusers to benefit from the smell of the oils. You can use a ceramic style candle diffuser which will have the same effect. Different aromas can affect your mental and emotional body very dramatically. We all know that lavender helps to calm and sleep but at The Bubble we find a bit of peppermint oil through the room helps with concentration and learning and tends to help after practice ;)