Essential oils are a wonderful means of using natural plant extracts to promote health and well-being. Understanding essential oils from an Ayurvedic perspective can help you customize your approach to benefits your body type and integrate them into your daily routine.
According to the Ayurveda, we are all ruled by three different energies, or doshas, known as vata, pitta, and kapha. These doshas are governed by the elements, earth, water, air, ether, and fire.
We’re all made up of a unique combination of these three forces. If you don’t know which dosha is most predominant for you, the Ayurvedic Body Type quiz is a fun and easy way to find out.
Aromatherapy is one of the most ancient and effective natural remedies for balancing the doshas. Each oil used in Ayurveda has special properties that help us relax, concentrate, restore strength, balance our emotional state, and fight off various health issues.
Knowing and making use of the properties of various essential oils in accordance with the type of constitution, Ayurvedic treatment can quickly restore the balance of the doshas and help us feel strong, healthy, and happy with life once again.
Essential oils are concentrated plant essences. Anytime you notice a plant’s powerful fragrance—think about rose, oregano, or mint—you’re experiencing the volatile oils evaporating into your sinus cavities where they are detected by your olfactory nerves.
These oils don’t just smell nice; they can also have powerful therapeutic effects.
How does aromatherapy treatment work?
Aromatherapy works through the sense of smell and skin absorption using products such as these:
- aromatic spritzers
- bathing salts
- body oils, creams, or lotions for massage or topical application
- facial steamers
- hot and cold compresses
- clay masks
Each person has a unique dosha balance, like an energetic fingerprint so it would make sense that essential oils affect everyone differently.
In Ayurveda, the three doshas—vata, pitta, and kapha—are the energies that define a person’s constitution.
When your doshas are out of balance, it affects how you interact with the world. Here are the best essential oils for your specific body type.
The Best Essential Oils for Your Specific Body Type
Vata’s attributes are dry, light, cold, rough, subtle, mobile, and clear. Essential oils that suit Vata types are generally warmer, sweeter, calming, soothing oils that perhaps balance basic body and cell functions:
For the Vata constitution, the leading elements are Air and Ether. Because these elements are vital, this type of dosha is characterized by coldness, lightness, agility, and dryness.
People with this type of constitution often suffer from insomnia, constipation, headaches, dry skin, have nutrition problems, and/or anxiety.
To restore Vata dosha’s balance, the oils used must be sweet, soothing and warm.
- Clary Sage
- White Camphor
- Ylang Ylang
Vatas are balanced by water and heat – steam baths and massages are helpful, aromatherapy wise. Also, keeping warm, calm, having routine, getting rest, and avoiding cold foods can help balance Vata.
Pitta attributes are oily, hot, light, mobile, and liquid.
People with Pitta dosha are made up of the elements Fire and Water, have a hot and intense character and often suffer from ulcers and inflammation of the skin. Pitta’s nature is fiery.
People with this type of constitution when imbalanced, can become angry, aggressive, and suffer with irritation internally and externally.
To balance the Pitta Constitution, it is best to apply oils that have a calming and cooling effect.
Vatas are balanced by water and cooling – cold hydrosols are helpful, and aromatherapy wise. Also, staying cool, using color therapy, having a routine, getting rest, and avoiding hit foods can help balance Pitta.
Kapha’s attributes are heavy, slow, cold, oily, slimy (smooth), dense, soft, stable, cloudy, sticky.
Kapha dosha consists of the elements Earth and Water and is characterized by a cold character and slow movements.
People with this type of constitution are prone to cold and respiratory diseases and therefore the right oils for them are warming and stimulating.
One of the main problems faced by the Kapha constituents is lymph stagnation, accumulation of mucus and other body fluids, and delayed metabolic processes.
To deal with these problems Ayurveda uses essential oils that have the property of strengthening the body.
Essential oils that suit Kapha types are generally warming and stimulating, helping with lymphatic drainage, and improving metabolism and immunity:
- Bitter Orange
Kaphas are balanced by stimulation and spontaneity – vigorous exercise with aromatherapy wise. Also, staying active, using color therapy, having an open routine, and avoiding cold foods can help balance Kapha.
How to Use Aromatherapy for your Dosha
- Drop two drops of essential oil into your bathing water.
- A small amount of essential oil has a big impact when diffused in the air we breathe.
- Carry your favorite essential oils with you so you can stop and inhale the aroma whenever you need to feel calm and uplifted.
- Add a drop or two of your favorite skin-safe essential oil to your palms. Cup the palms around the face and inhale deeply. This technique is called palm inhalation
- Dilute the required essential oil into a nourishing carrier oil. Use daily for hygienic massage.
- Use essential oil in water for a facial steam.
- Compresses are a great way to apply essential oils to bruises, wounds, aches, and pains, as well as skin problems.
The energy and information you take in through your senses influence the quality of your thoughts and emotions. Smell is the most primitive of the senses, triggering a strong connection between aromas and your memories, emotions, and instincts.
When you smell something, you actually absorb some of its molecules. Because of this, aromatherapy can be an effective form of natural medicine.