Healing power of aromas
Author: Maharishi Ayurveda Date Posted:19 September 2016
What scents do you like the best? The soft sweet fragrance of a tea rose, the enlivening scent of eucalyptus oil or the warming and relaxing smell of lavender? As the scent first dissolves in the moisture of your nasal tissue, specialised cells called olfactory cells send a message straight to the hypothalamus in your brain and from there to your whole body. At the same time the message of the scent goes to your limbic system which processes emotions, and to the hippocampus which is responsible for memory. That's why the smell of a sweet rose can help to soothe anger, lavender may transport you back to your grandmothers garden on a sunny day, or the aroma of apple pie may take you back to a childhood memory.
There is a very old tradition within Ayurveda that uses dried and fresh herbs, woods, bark, floral waters and aromatherapy oil massages to help heal and restore balance. As the essential oils found in these ingredients are released their perfumes help to restore and maintain balance in a gentle but effective way.
Essential oils are concentrated extracts taken from the roots, leaves, woods, barks or blossoms of aromatic plants. Each essential oil contains its own mix of active ingredients, and this mix determines the healing properties of the oil. The method of extraction can be time-consuming and thus expensive and the process of extraction requires a high degree of expertise.
What's best for me?
Essential oils are typically massaged into the skin as part of a massage oil, added to a bath, inhaled or diffused to scent an entire room. Traditionally, aromatic oils have been used to relieve pain, care for the skin, alleviate tension or fatigue and invigorate the whole mind and body system. In Maharishi Ayurveda specific blends of aromas are used to balance each of the doshas.
- Vata is balanced with a mixture of warm, sweet and sour aromas like basil, orange, rose, geranium, clove and other spices. Enjoy the precise blend of 100% pure essential oils of geranium, sweet basil, sweet fennel, sweet orange and sweet marjoram in Vata Aroma Oil to help relax, calm and slow down or to help balance when its cold, dry or windy outside.
- Pitta is balanced by a mixture of sweet, cool aromas, such as sandalwood, rose, mint, cinnamon and jasmine. Enjoy the precise blend of 100% pure essential oils of sandalwood, ylang ylang, lavender and lemon in Pitta Aroma Oil to cool extremes of heat, be it weather-related or emotions-related. This combination is designed to keep you calm under pressure, yet focused and alert. Use it when it's hot outside, when your skin feels sensitive or when you are feeling overly critical, irritable or impatient.
- Kapha is similar to Vata and is balanced by a mixture of warm aromas, but with spicier overtones like juniper, eucalyptus, camphor, clove and marjoram. They are designed to stimulate, awaken and energise. Use the precise blend of 100% pure essential oils of lavender, rosemary, blue gum, camphor and frankincense in Kapha Aroma Oil to lift your spirits, to energise and as a pick-me-up especially when the weather is cool and rainy.
Wishing you the bliss of balance this week and always.