13 Jun 2022 HYN Himalayan Yoga Academy
Various fatty oils, whether vegetables-based like sesame or animal-based like ghee, are used in the herbal systems throughout the world, but they have their greatest diversity and importance in Ayurveda. Oil therapy is specific for Vata (air or wind) disorders. As majority of diseases in the world consists vata, oil therapy is helpful in most forms of treatment. It is specifically indicated in diseases of the nervous system, bones and the deeper tissues. Oil therapy useful for the other doshas as well, with cooling oils like coconut being good for Pitta and hot pungent oils like mustard good for Kapha.
Ayurvedic oils are mainly for external usage but some can be taken immediately. With their nutritive properties they combine well with tonic herbs like licorice or ashwagandha. Normally basic oils can made at home or Things as special preparations can be bought. External usage in Ayurveda includes applications of oils to the nasal passage, the ears, mouth and the other orifices and in medicated enemas, as well as massage. Ayurvedic massage uses an abundance of oil. In the treatment of Panchakarma, an extensive oleation or Snehapana therapy is always prescribed.
Normally except fatty oils, various essential oils are used in Ayurveda. Essential Oils are those oils which are mainly subtle aromatic oils from fragrant or pungent plants like mint or jasmine. They are active in small amounts and, and when combined with heavier oils, activate them and give them greater powers of penetration. They work well in alcohol. They should never be taken internally in their pure form, However, nor applied directly to any mucus membranes because their actions can be highly irritating with many side effects. Essential oils can be placed on various sites on the skin, like the points of the seven chakras (especially the third eye).
Oil Therapy According to the Doshas
Oils Therapy for Vata
For Vata qualities, the best general oil which can be used is sesame oil. As sesame oil is warm, heavy, lubricating, nourishing to the skin, bones and nerves and calms the mind. It is said to be the only oil which has the power to penetrate all seven layers of the human skin and to nourish all the organs and tissues. We have Almond or olive oil are also good but cannot substitute for sesame in severe conditions.
Many tonic herbs are good prerpared in sesame oil, such as ashwagandha, shatavari and bala. The nutritive, softening, demulcent action of the oils and tonic herbs works synergistically. This combination is necessary for lowering high Vata. Most Ayurvedic oils are good for Vata Types.
Essential Oils for Vata
Best for Vata are warm, stimulating essential oils like camphor, wintergreen, cinnamon, musk, galangal or Cyperus, combined with calming, nutritive and grounding oils like sandalwood, rose or jasmine. Both do better added to the heavy oils and tonics mentioned above, like used in a sesame oil base.
Oil Therapy for Pitta
For Pitta types the best general oil for external usage is coconut oil. As Coconut Oil is very cooling and calming and its also relieves thirst and burning sensations. Sunflower oil is also helpful and can be used for inflammatory skin conditions. Sometimes sesame oil is used as a base for anti-Pitta oils with the addition of cooling herbs that neutralize its warming energy. Some Pitta types who cannot tolerate sesame oil (it causes itching) do well with olive oil. Desi Ghee (clarified butter) is considered usually the best oil for pitta, but mainly for internal usage. However, it can be used externally, particularly if aged in a copper or silver vessel. Cooling and calming tonic herbs should be added to these oils including shatavari, gotukola, and Tbhringaraj.
Essentials oils for Pitta
Pitta types enjoy fragrant as most flowers have cooling and calming properties. The Good flowery oils for Pitta include gardenia, jasmine, rose, honeysuckle, violet, iris and lotus. The best essential oil for Pitta is sandalwood, especially when applied regularly to the third eye. Other good cooling oils are lemon grass, lavender, mint and vetivert.
Oil Therapy for Kapha
For kapha, types the best general oil is mustard oil. Mustard Oil is very warm, light and stimulating and dispels phlegm. Another good drying oil for kapha is flaxseed oil (linseed oil). Sesame oil is sometimes used because of its warming nature; Sunflower Oil can also be good and is lighter in properties.
Essential oils for Kapha
Normally, Kapha types does best with essential oils which are warm, light, stimulating and expectorant. Good oils include sage, cedar, pine, myrrh, camphor, musk, patchouli and cinnamon. Kapha can tolerate and should be strong, sharp and stimulating fragrances though may prefer those that are sweet. Plasters of these herbs, like ginger paste, or the oils in rubbing alcohol can be applied when kapha cannot tolerate any heavy oils.