Ayurveda and Aromatherapy: The Untold Anecdote


Most of us might have perceived Ayurveda and Aromatherapy as two different parts of the Complementary and Alternative medicine but I take great privilege in revealing the fact that Aromatherapy is an innate or in-built part of Ayurveda, the 5000 years old ancient healing methodology. Ayurveda is proudly celebrated as the Mother of all healing sciences as it has given birth to numerous traditional healing methodologies like Unani, Homeopathy, Naturopathy, Acupuncture, Herbalism, Siddha, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Traditional European Medicine and much more.

Aromatherapy is not a separate branch of Ayurveda but it is a vital part or an incredible way of treating illness in Ayurveda through the use of ‘aromatics’ and later given a separate name by Rene Maurice Gattefosse, known as the father of aromatherapy. It’s high time to put an end to this endless myth whether Ayurveda and Aromatherapy are the two poles apart? Let’s analyze.

Holistic approach: Ayurveda is a holistic healing approach that considers an individual as an entity and as a ‘Whole person’. This ancient science considers the physical, mental, emotional, environmental and sociological reasons contributing to a particular illness of an individual. While prescribing medications, Ayurveda does not stop with giving herbs or oils as remedies for a disease instead it suggests regular practice of yoga, meditation, taking an Ayurvedic diet, an Ayurvedic routine and certain other lifestyle changes according to an individual’s body type (doshas) and the unique constitution known as Prakriti. On the other hand, Aromatherapy is also a holistic method that considers the connection between mind, body and spirit.

Use of aromatics: Ayurveda makes use of aromatics to prevent and treat various health conditions. This is because it believes that the strengthening of the five human senses promotes healthy living. Inhalation of the aroma of plants and the essential oils extracted from those plants is trusted to enhance the sense of smell and directly contributes to mental health and treats hormonal imbalances.

This is the basic reason behind the use of incense sticks and other aromatic herbs and oils like sandalwood and tulasi in religious rituals and prayers for instilling the spiritual feeling. When it comes to Aromatherapy, this attribute of using aromatics needs no explanation as Aromatherapy makes use of Ayurvedic essential oils and trusts that the aromatic compounds and therapeutic properties present in these oils helps in healing illnesses invariably.

Abhyanga or the Ayurvedic massage therapy: Ayurvedic massage therapy involves the use of remedial oils like sesame oil, coconut oil, almond oil, olive oil and few other vegetable oils along with effective essential oils. It is a vital part of Panchakarma or the detoxification therapy, where the toxic substances of the body are removed and it inhibits the growth of harmful bodies through systematic massage.

Marguerite Maury, pioneer of Aromatherapy and the celebrated French Aromatherapist, in the traditional British Aromatherapy has talked on the benefits of using essential oils on dermal application through effective    massage techniques, where the concept of massaging itself is indigenous to Ayurveda.

Ayurvedic essential oils: Ayurveda is the oldest of the existing medicinal practices in the world and has a recorded use of herbal plants for more than 5000 years ago. Essential oils are nothing but the highly concentrated liquids extracted from plants and are often known as the essence of the herbal plants. Aromatherapy makes use of these essential oils to reiterate the fact that we are a part of nature and it is safe and secure to treat our illnesses in a natural manner. Dr. Light Miller in her famous book ‘Ayurveda and Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom’ talks about the importance of doshas and the perfect essential oils for each dosha.

For Vata Dosha: Lemon, Eucalyptus, Cinnamon, Basil, Ginger, Angelica, Cajeput, Anise and Rosewood.

For Pitta Dosha: Sandalwood, Lime, Peppermint, Chamomile, Yarrow and Coriander.

For Kapha Dosha: Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Niaouli, Sage, Basil, Savory, Clove and Hyssop.

Vata, Pitta and Kapha is not Greek or Latin in the world of Aromatherapy but it just indicates the predominance existing in an individual’s constitution and these essential oils are said to treat the dosha imbalances with their healing properties.

Limbic System: According to Ayurveda, the sense of smell is connected with the limbic system. This helps in recollecting the memories of a place or a person associated with an aroma. Limbic system is a vital part of the brain that stimulates the function of the nervous system, determines the body temperature and blood sugar level, enables the process of respiration, and controls sexual feelings, sleep and awake responses and much more.

The underlying principle behind limbic system and Ayurveda is that the inhalation of aromatic essential oils with healing properties fosters the essential oil molecule to pass through the nasal passage and reaches the limbic system ultimately as nerve impulses following which, the hypothalamus passes the message to other parts of the body to rejoice, relax, control hunger, hormonal imbalances, thirst and many other feelings. Even Aromatherapy indicates the same mechanism of aroma through the limbic system in healing illnesses.

Hope this information is more than enough to prove that the concept of Aromatherapy has been a part and parcel of Ayurvedic healing methodology since ages till it was given birth under a new name ‘Aromatherapy’ by its father Rene Maurice Gattefosse. Nothing to wrestle or protest but I end this post with the pride of finding something unique and exceptional in all the healing sciences that is nothing but ‘Human beings are special naturally’.

Thought for the day:

‘Healing,’ Papa would tell me, ‘is not a science, but the intuitive art of wooing nature.’
-W. H. Auden

Suggested Reading:

  1. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide to Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing By Dr. Light Miller, Dr. Bryan Miller
  2. Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit: Restoring Emotional and Mental Balance with Essential Oils By Gabriel Mojay
  3. The Aromatherapy Companion: Medicinal Uses/Ayurvedic Healing/Body-Care Blends/Perfumes & Scents/Emotional Health & Well-Being (Herbal Body) By Victoria H. Edwards

Reference Links:

  1. Aromatherapy from Ayurveda’s Perspective by Yayoi Stavish
  2. Ayurveda and Aromatherapy by AllHealthyFamily News
  3. The Limbic System by Suzanne Bovenizer CMT, CST

Ayurvedic Essential Oils For Your Face


Your face says who you are and shows better about what you really think and the popular saying ‘Face is the index of the mind’ proves it right. All kinds of human expressions like happiness, sadness, pain, angriness, depression, fear, anxiety, stress, shock, surprise and everything else is first conveyed through your face. It can also be called as your body’s brand ambassador and at times even your hidden feelings are revealed through your face.  People first look at your face and determine you even before speaking with you and it has an upper hand in creating the ‘first best impression’. It is your right and responsibility to take care of your face, the most expressive and the impressive part of your system. I can never think of anything else other than the natural skin care shield offered by the protective and healing Ayurvedic essential oils that has been a part of beauty secrets of many for centuries together.

  1. Lavender essential oil: No one can hate lavender if not for its color but for the mesmerizing aroma that it holds by nature. Even your hectic days that make your face dull and gloomy might revive gradually with the soothing fragrance of lavender essential oil. This calming oil has bactericide, anti-fungal, antiseptic and anti-viral properties that help fight facial problems like acne, pimples, wrinkles on the face and tanning of the facial skin. Lavender oil is also said to improve the complexion and give radiant glow to the skin, for which it has been a vital part of Ayurvedic massage therapy, facial creams, lotions and other popular skin care products in the market.
  2. Frankincense essential oil: A firm, fresh and fabulous face is always the symbol of energy and youthfulness. Frankincense essential oil can be your best friend in bringing all the above said qualities with a bracing energy to your face. This oil has anti-bacterial, tonic and antiseptic properties that help in toning, contracting and lifting the facial muscles helping in visible reduction of wrinkles and fights against acne. Few drops of Frankincense essential oil with Jojoba oil can work like a wonder on your face.
  3. Tea Tree essential oil: Tea tree oil is the beauty secret of Australians and more than 300 species of Tea tree has found its native in the land of Kangaroos. This enriching essential oil is known for its immune stimulating properties and protects your skin from the harmful bacteria, viral and fungal infections. Dull, lifeless and oily skin is often treated with the therapeutic benefits of Tea tree oil. This oil is also used as an effective remedy in curing acne, burns, rashes, skin irritations, wounds and tropical infections.
  4. Rosemary essential oil: Dry, tired, mature, sensitive and dead beat skin can be given a new life with a simple soothing massage of few drops of Rosemary essential oil with any of your favorite carrier oils. Rosemary oil works well in treating oily skin as it has been proved to reduce the sebum or excessive oil production when used topically.
  5. YlangYlang essential oil: Extreme secretion of oil or imbalanced release of sebum is the major causes of problems like pimples, acne, dark spots and other bacterial infections. The use of YlangYlang essential oil with its mystical aroma balances the improper sebum secretion and restores the essential oil required for a healthy, glowing and younger looking skin. This anti-depressive essential oil helps calm down the facial muscles and induce a good night’s sleep that would help in vitalizing and reducing dark circles visibly.

Using these Ayurvedic essential oils for your face is not a rocket science and anyone can do it easily with the tip of your fingers as nothing else can caress your face and cradle your tension other than your hands with the magical touch of such enlivening essential oils.

Reference Links:

  1. Health Benefits of Frankincense Essential Oil by Organic Facts
  2. The Tea Tree Skin “Miracle” – The 7 Benefits of Tea Tree Oil by Body Ecology
  3. Carrier Oils by Wikipedia

Ayurvedic Importance of Fragrance and Aroma


Fragrance plays an important role in determining your mood and mood swings are often controlled by sweet smelling odors in the field of Aromatherapy, which is an incredible part Ayurveda. A celebrated book on Aromatherapy states that fragrance can aid in alleviating pain and have a significant impact on your behavior and personality. We cannot disagree with the fact that ‘Odors vest deeply within our minds even after many years’. If you ask me about my memorable fragrances I would tell you the fresh, elite and the exquisite fragrance of red roses that reminds me about my favorite time in my aunt’s garden during my childhood days and the relishing smell of fried potatoes make me feel like being with my Mom. At this juncture, let’s have a look at the Ayurvedic importance of fragrance and aroma in healing mankind.

1. Aroma for complete care: Aromatherapy is one of the significant methods of Ayurveda, which is used to treat the individuals according to their Ayurvedic body types like vata, pitta and kapha. For this purpose, Ayurveda suggests the use of essential oils and the natural aroma of herbs. This is trusted to enhance the function of the brain and promote well-being from within.

Most of the times these Ayurvedic essential oils are applied to the skin or used in some form or the other in which the skin comes in contact with the aroma. Human skin is the effective channel through which the benefits of these aromatic oils pass through the bloodstream making the system hale and hearty. Many researchers have proved that the natural aroma augments the functionality, relieves pain, supports mood fluctuations and revives the human body, which is a part of nature.

2. The healing properties of Ayurvedic essential oils: Ayurveda trusts in nature and any form of healing using nature’s gifts falls under Ayurveda. According to this thought, essential oils are extracted from leaves, stem, flowers, roots, bark or from other parts of a plant and essential oils is the backbone of Aromatherapy that is used to boost physical and mental fitness. There have been instances in which Ayurvedic essential oils are used to treat innumerable conditions and the gentle aroma of a handful of essential oils is proven to enhance the function of heart and blood circulation.

3. Ayurvedic Tea: Nothing other than a refreshing cup of tea with an enriching aroma can give the right start to your day. The three types of Ayurvedic tea according to the individual body types are anti-strain tea, stimulating tea and balancing tea. These teas are caffeine-free and grant you the real freshness while maintaining the right metabolism of your body.

4. Expert Ayurvedic Massage therapy: An expert Ayurvedic massage therapy with the right essential oils can offer you plenty of health benefits. These essential oils are chosen in such a way that they are infused with a heartening and soothing aroma, which would help you chase out stress, depression, fear, anxiety, insomnia, nervous disorders and many more. An Ayurvedic massage aids in revitalizing your mind, reducing muscular pains, relaxing your nervous system, improving the texture of your skin and striking a perfect balance between your mind and body.

Ayurveda is a spiritual medicinal system that has been practiced for more than 5,000 years and if this historical healing art states that aroma has a greater impact on our health, how can we refute it?? Try using any of the above mentioned ways to experience the power of a natural fragrance.

Reference Links:

  1. Ayurveda and Aromatherapy: The Earth Essential Guide To Ancient Wisdom and Modern Healing by Dr. Bryan Miller and Dr. Light Miller
  2. Aromatherapy for the heart and Circulation by healthy.net
  3. Ayurvedic Teas by Tea Blossoms