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Essential Oils in Ayurveda

ESSENTIAL OILS

The essential oils (aromatic oils) are wonders of nature. An essential oil has vital curative properties. The curative properties contained are manifold in the blended oils. Even a drop or two shed on to a handkerchief or pillow acts as preventative or curative in many cases. The cosmetic chemist Rene-Mourice Gattefora is the person who coined the word aromatherapy. It was an accidental occurance. He was engaged in his lab work. During the work his hand was burnt when contacted with some chemicals. He became nervous and in a hurry to beat the burn-pain he put his hand in a liquid filled pot nearby, thinking it is water. To his utter surprise the pain subsided quickly and no inflammation and scarring were there. Following this experience he subjected the liquid in the pot to test when he found that it is oil mixed with lavender.

Currently about 300 varieties of oils are in use. The oils are seductive, deodarant, anti-depressant, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and digestive. The body absorbed oils minus their properties are discarded from the body in various means such as faeces, urine, perspiration and exhalation. The method of discardation differs from oil to oil. Sandal oil through urine, geranium through perspiration and garlic through exhalation are some examples.

Oil Test

a) Does not dissolve in water. b) Does dissolve in vegetable oils, alchohols and fats.

Storage Method

a) Keep in air-tight bottles as the essential oils are highly volatile. b) Store in amber coloured bottles (exposure to light will hamper their quality as they are photo-sensitives. c) Keep them away from heat-prone areas such as kitchen, open windows etc. d) Keep the bottles tight corked after every use.

Volatile (Evaporation)

The usage of the oils has co-relation with evaporation rate. The rate of volatile varies from oil to oil. The fragrance of the oil blended with more than two oils is a most volatile. This type is known as Top Note. The oil which evaporates moderately is referred as Middle Note. The oil which evaporates in slower rate is called Base Note.

Top Note

Fast acting and stimulating and uplifting the mood. Peppermint, lemon grass etc come in this category.

Middle Note

Affect metabolism and digestion. Rosemary, cypress, lavender etc are some of the examples.

Base Nose

Sedative and relaxing. Sandal, tea tree, rose etc come in this group.

Essential oils contain phenol, alcohol, ketones, esters etc. As such, these oils are harmful to inhale directly or to touch. They should be blended with base oil before application. For blending more than four essential oils should not be used. For lasting benefits it is good to use oils of different Notes. Take care to include in the blend only one oil from the Top Note category.

Base Oil (Carrier Oil)

a) Corn Oil : It has the potential for soothing and relieving inflammation. b) Wheat Germ Oil : Vitamin E reserve and prevents premature ageing of skin. c) Sweet Almond Oil : Relieves dryness, itching and inflammation and protects skin. d) Olive Oil : Good for rheumatic corrections and hair care. e) Sesame Oil : Relieves muscular and arthritic pains. f) Evening Primrose Oil : Good for psoriasis, eczema and pre-menstrual tension.

Sunflowerr oil, hazelnut oil, peanut oil and some more other oils are also used as base oils, but in most of the cases the aforesaid oils are preferred.

Blending

Maximum 6 drops of any 2 to 4 essential oils to10 ml base oil are to be used. For facial use the quanity of essential oil is to be drastically reduced.

A porcelain or China cup is the right one to use for blending. Do not use metal pot as it will react with the oil and diminish quality.

The essential oil is selected according to the ailment or correction factors and the time of therapy. Lavender and geranium oils are good for insomnia and depression respectively. Frankincense oil is good for stress and strain relief while its aroma helps reduce tension. Frankincense oil, if used in the evening, gives excellent results.

Contra-Indications

Generally no contra-indications are produced during or after aromatherapy. Yet, certain oils in certain limited conditions tend to produce some sort of contra-indications, mainly during preganancy stage. As a precaution, it is advisable, not to use the oils of following raw materials during the pregnancy: Fennel, bay, basil, comfrey, clary sage, myrrh, melissa, marjoram, hyssop, juniper, thyme, rosemary etc.

Face Reading & Face Therapy & Skin Therapy

Human face is a mirror reflecting emotions and hidden ailments in the body. Each time each wrinkle and each blemish in the face are signs of some things persisting in the body or mind. Laughter lines are indicative of humour present in one’s life. Dropping mouth and dropping lips denote sadness. Frown lines are the signs of anxious mental set-up. Acne and blemish are suggestive of harmonial imbalance and faulty dietary habits. So the up-keep of face and skin is vital. The up-keep of skin as a whole in the body is in fact vital. Here comes the importance of face therapy and skin therapy.

Essential oils work wonders as anti-ageing agents and cosmetic correctors.

The essential oil is a body of tiny molecules. It easily dissolves in alcohol, emulsifier and fats. The dissolved oil easily penetrates into the skin and works wonders in company with the fatty tissues in the skin to have worthy orientation to the skin.

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