Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of essential oils and one of the most popular natural medicines still used today. The traditions of Ayurveda, although not directly utilising aromatherapy techniques, highlights the importance of aromatics.
Aromatherapy can be used within Ayurveda to emphasise many of the core concepts including nutrition, life, and regeneration. This is because the energy that is taken in through your senses can influence the quality of your thoughts and emotions including aromas. Ayurveda is also a very fragrant practice. Most ayurvedic treatments and therapies are infused with aromas from herbal ingredients.
Ayurveda uses aromas as a tool for prevention and healing. It is often used for protecting the vital force (prana), regulating digestion and metabolism (agni) and improving the immune system with resistance to disease (ojas). Similar to many traditional aromatherapy techniques, Ayurveda uses aromas in combination as well as alone. Creating beautiful blends that can help your body in many areas aids the balancing of mind, body, and soul: a core purpose within Ayurveda.
How to use aromatherapy for Ayurveda
By using essential oils, you’ll be able to introduce ayurvedic concepts into your life. Ayurveda believes in various Doshas which are three elements that exist within our bodies. Ayurveda teaches that everyone is compiled of a unique mix of these Doshas. They must be balanced in order to reach a perfect equilibrium. This balance can be encouraged with aromatherapy.
If ‘vata’ is in excess you may be feeling emotions of anxiety or fear. Physically, this may manifest as light sleeping and scattered thoughts. To combat this, vata needs to warmed and calmed down. The essential oils that are perfect for this include cardamom, ginger, and vanilla.
When ‘pitta’ is dominating, you may experience headaches, inflammation, heartburn, or have fiery emotional outbursts. In contrast to vata, pitta must be cooled and soothed. Try doing this with woody and floral oils such as sandalwood, jasmine, and lavender.
Having excessive Kapha can result in a heaviness of both body and mind, such as lethargy. Kapha needs to be warmed and activated. Using energising aromas are the best way to do this such as lemongrass, peppermint, and eucalyptus.