Ayurvedic oils - Benefits and Uses

Ayurveda is an ancient method of alternate therapy. It originated in India and is mostly a plant-based treatment.

Ayurveda divides the body into categories that respond to certain natural elements. Depending on the predominant traits, you, as a patient, will respond to certain plants and oils. That is the basic premise of Ayurvedic healing and therefore every person’s treatment tends to be unique.

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The primary elements considered in Ayurveda are earth, water, fire, air and sky or space. These five elements are known as Pancha Mahabhuta. Then come the three body types or kapha, pitta and vatta. Each of these body types corresponds to a particular type of element and therefore, treatment. Similarly, when oils are used in treatments, the corresponding components are snehana, vishyandana, mardava and kledeva. These are different stages in the process of aurvedic healing with oils.

Along with plants, Ayurveda also uses ayurvedic oils. These oils help in ayurvedic healing. Like in most treatments of Ayurveda, oils also work their magic slowly. When oils are used in Ayurveda, they are used in combination. Like in aromatherapy, a base oil (generally neutral and easier to apply) is mixed with a herbal oil. The herbal oil is the oil that contains the essence for treatment.

The proportions of the base oil and the herbal oil are important as is the method for application. Regular practice and proper training is important when it comes to prescribing oil for treatment.

Some of the different oils that are used include

  • Vatta massage oil – This is usually a mixed oil designed to help people who have a vatta-body type.
  • Pitta massage oil – Similarly, pitta massage oil is also mixed oil designed for a body type.

  • Kapha massage oil – This mixed oil targets people with a kapha body type.

These oils are designed to create an overall balance of the elements in the body. These oils do not target any particular illness or conditions.

Some of the base oils used in Ayurveda are,

  • Sesame oil
  • Almond and sweet almond oil
  • Coconut oil

Some examples of herbal oils include tea tree oil, peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary, orange, bergamot, cardamom, lemon, sandalwood and lavender. These oils are certainly not exclusive and there are many more that can be added to this list. Many herbal oils are created by also adding herbs to base oils. These herbs are peculiar to Ayurveda and will not usually be available on a shelf in the market.

Conditions treated by ayurvedic oils

The aim of Ayurveda is to create a harmonic balance in the elements in your body. For that a combination of diet, herbs and oils are used. Ayurvedic oils can treat many different conditions as well.

Some basic conditions include,

  • Viral infections like colds and coughs
  • Fever
  • Migraines and body ache
  • Digestions issues
  • Depression and fatigue
  • Improving concentration
  • Improving immunity & managing autoimmune conditions like diabetes, rheumatism, psoriasis and eczema
  • Better skin and hair health

Ayurveda is known to create customised treatments so this list is certainly not exhaustive. There are schools and Ayurvedic hospitals where you can check in for fixed periods of time. Depending on what ails you, a regimen of herbs and oil massages is prescribed and like any treatment, you stay there and use that treatment to improve your life.

Benefits

More people are shifting to alternative treatments due to its efficacy. Ayurveda has many benefits.

  • It enables a body to be healthy for better long term gains
  • It helps you change your lifestyle in a more sustainable manner
  • When applied correctly, there are rarely any side effects

Reference:

http://takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/ayurvedic-medicine
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