“Nature is the true physician” Susanna Way Dodds
I love essential oils. I enjoy using scents of all kinds to infuse any space or for the body. In this article I explore the possible essential oils for your body type. What scents work for you?
Essential oils are a beautiful way to help soothe the doshas, the physical body as well as the spiritual body. When you are having an off day or feel out of sorts, just a brief passing waft of an essential oil can help shift your mood.
The scent from an essential oil in the form of a sachet or diluted in a base oil, neat (pure essential oil) applied direct can be used as an external mood elevator.
The scent of essence of jasmine can activate a positive memory and evoke feelings of love and sometimes elation. Knowing which oil soothes your doshas can further add to your aromatic experience.
First, take the dosha test. What is your body type?
According to classical Ayurvedic texts, one of the benefits of understanding one’s dosha or body-soul type is to see the body as a system not unlike the universe or nature.
There are three doshas: All are present at birth and make up your constitution. This is also called your prakruti or your DNA.
• Pitta Dosha is represented by the elements fire and water.
• Kapha Dosha is represented by the elements earth and water.
• Vata Dosha is represented by air and ether.
The elements fire, water, earth, wind and ether act as visual representations of the body and spirit. These five elements are present in everyone’s body at birth.
As you go through life, cultural, social and personal experiences shift your doshas and cause imbalances to the physical and emotional body.
The first state is called your prakruti. It is your birth constitution. As you live and evolve, another state called vikruti manifests in the body. This state evolves as a result of social, cultural and emotional conditioning.
Together your vikruti and prakruti create a picture that makes up who you are. At birth, you could be a combination of vata, pitta and kapha. As you progress through life, the elements wax and wane vis a vis life experience and socialization.
If your vikruti dosha is vastly different from your prakruti, your body is most likely out of balance.
Pitta – Fire and Water
If you have a pitta imbalance then you have too much fire and water. This metaphor translates into being hot-tempered, outwardly judgmental of others, stubborn, prone to rashes, hives, and digestive disturbances. You may feel panicked or anxiety stricken.
Pitta disturbances may benefit from the following oils: camphor, lavender, orange blossom, basil and cedar For any essential oil that needs to be diluted, use a base oil of sunflower to dilute any essential oil that can’t go on neat, (pure). Pitta dosha may try basil as it increases intuition, clears the air and quiets the body. Camphor, frankincense and cedar are terrific for pitta disturbances as well. Both oils soothe a fire mind and create a sense of grounding.
Combine essential oils for pitta disturbances with cold-stone therapy, gemstone therapy and abhyanga (warm oil massage). Have fun and experiment.
Kapha – Earth and Water
Do you suffer from kapha imbalances? The symbolism behind the metaphor suggests that that if so, you may suffer from feeling sluggish, tired, and secretly judgmental of others. You may be suffering internally.
You may be holding on to pain, material items or both. Do you struggle with a slow metabolism? Typically, kapha imbalances show up as the stable force, always providing stability for others. You are the extreme giver and as a result you tend to get run-down and depleted.
Individuals with kapha disturbances should try the following essential oils: lily, sandalwood, iris and gardenia. A base oil of canola or simply mustard oil can also help break up the kapha disturbances.
Kapha dosha could also benefit from weekly garshana treatments (vigorous massage using raw silk gloves) this will help as it will break up the stagnation in the skin, bring blood to the surface and jumpstart the body.
Vata – Air and Ether
What can you do when vata dosha overtakes your body? First, the metaphor implies that there is too much movement, too much change and instability. Vata disturbances may mean you are prone to starting and stopping project after project.
You may find that you are too busy to stay in a committed relationship. You could find yourself running from love as your need to be the very best at so many things prevent you from staying grounded with one person or thing.
Vata constitutions need to be on the go – always moving. In meetings they will be the person who can’t sit still. The following essential oils may help soothe vata disturbances: Rosemary, rose, jasmine, and mint will help soothe your dosha.
Use them with a base oil such as sesame oil, or neat if possible. The oils will evoke a sense of love, devotion and will relieve tension. Jasmine in particular can help with melanchol. It will inspire you to shift your awareness to the positive. The Beauty of Shirodhara
Individuals with a vata imbalances would also benefit from regular shirodhara treatments, or massages. Anything that brings their body and soul vibration to a soothing quiet place.
Pure fragrances have been used for healing for centuries. The oils hold the same properties as the plant and are nourishing to the five senses. Get ready to feel great, because the scent of a plant resonates in the core and could raise serotonin levels.
Finally, consider these three points on the body where energy converges, and where your essential oils (diluted in base oil) should be applied:
Pitta – heart, chest, center of body
Kapha – between the naval and pubic bone
Vata – third eye between the eyebrows
Of course you are not limited to these areas, but give some loving attention to these areas on the body as you apply your oil of choice.
Have fun and anoint yourself with nutritional plant based therapy.
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