Essential Oils and Ayurveda: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Life

Ayurveda is the oldest system of natural medicine that we know. And the principles of Ayurveda can bring deep insights to help us understand and prescribe the use of essential oils in modern day aromatherapy.

Ayus means ‘life’ or ‘lifespan’, and Veda means ‘complete knowledge’. So Ayurveda is complete knowledge about life, and about health and how to maintain it. 분당스웨디시

The central tenet of Ayurveda is that good health is a natural state of life — a state of balance. So health becomes disrupted when imbalances accumulate. Therefore it aims to detect early accumulation of imbalances in the system, and prevent them from developing into symptoms by using a variety of methods. In this way, Ayurveda is primarily preventive in its outlook.

One of these approaches is through massage, which is highly rated in Ayurveda. Massage is recommended in terms of daily self-massage (you can try a self massage using warm natural sesame oil every morning before taking a shower; some people notice massive benefit continue through the day, particularly if they suffer from poor circulation), and also using macerated oils in specific treatment regimes.

This is very similar in outlook and approach to our approach to aromatherapy, which uses essential oils blended into a ‘carrier oil’ (vegetable oil), so let’s see what our modern understanding can learn from the ancient approach.

According to Ayurveda there are three principles (doshas) that operate in the physiology and in Nature: vata, pitta, and kapha.

Vata governs the function of the nervous system, and is quick, light, cold, rough, moving. People who have a strong vata constitution tend to walk quickly, talk quickly, listen quickly (so they may interrupt you before you’ve finished your sentence). They tend to be of thin build, frequently very bright and alert. When they become imbalanced, this may lead to anxiety, worry, restlessness, insomnia, and also cold hands and feet. They would tend towards dry hair, and dry skin.

Pitta is hot and sharp, and governs metabolism and digestion. People with a preponderance of pitta tend to have energy, ambition, and drive. Because pitta is hot, they suffer less from cold; but on the other hand may tend to overheat in the summer, and may suffer from skin disorders.

Kapha has the qualities of heavy, cold, oily and stable. Kapha people tend to have large framed bodies, and may put on weight rather easily. The hair is thick, lustrous, and they are often very attractive physically. They frequently exude feelings of stability, peace, and contentment. But when out of balance, kapha leads to a lack of flexibility, inertia and lack of enthusiasm.

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