Ayurveda Oils: Your Fall Companion
It’s fall time when nature undergoes restful transition and withdrawal. The trees are shedding, it is also time to reign in the Vata (air element) in nature, which tends to make already dull days drier and rougher for the skin and body. It's the right time and season to snuggle up with a good book and a cup of herbal tea, as you indulge in a self-care routine that leaves you feeling rejuvenated, and aligned with the seasons, as the science of Ayurveda advocates. Just a little bit of seasonal prep can help you sail over the arduous months of fall going into deep winters, with ease and nourishment. Ayurveda's principles of balance and harmony with nature go hand in hand with the spirit of fall. So we’re here to help you incorporate Ayurvedic oils into your everyday routine.
In this article, we'll delve into the world of Ayurvedic body oils, their significance in the age-old ritual of Abhyanga (oil massage), and how these Ayurvedic oils can help you achieve deep relaxation, reduce stress, and nourish your body and soul.
Ayurveda Oils: The Natural Elixir for Body and Mind
Fall is a time of transition, and Ayurveda offers a wholesome approach to maintenance of the mind, body and soul during this time. Ancient Ayurvedic texts prescribe types, methods and preparations of therapeutic Ayurvedic oils, carefully crafted from natural ingredients, to promote your health and well-being, based on your prakruti or natural physiological and mental constitution, especially during this time of the year. These oils are often used in self-massages, known as Abhyanga, for their numerous health benefits, can help reduce inflammation, improve blood circulation, reduce dryness, give you a smooth, nourished, hydrated skin and even bring about a good night's sleep.
Ayurvedic Oils: More than Just Skin-Deep
One of the distinguishing features of Ayurvedic oils is their external use. While you might be accustomed to using oils primarily for cooking, these oils are also known for their topical applications and penetrative qualities. They are pure and a natural option for your skin and are free from harmful chemicals that can be commonly found in store-bought products.
Vata Body Oil: Embracing the Essence of Fall
In Ayurveda, Vata is one of the three doshas, and it's associated with the qualities of air and ether. With cooler temperatures and dryness to the air, vata dosha tends to aggravate during this time of the year and our bodies also tend to experience similar effects of dryness and roughness. This is where we find a need for Vata body oil. Made with warming herbs and high concentrations of nourishing oils like sesame, vetiver, dashmoola, borage and coconut, Vata body oil such as Shankara's Calming Body Oil helps balance the dryness, roughness, and is incredibly relaxing and nourishing for the skin and tissues.
The Significance of Abhyanga Massage Oils
Abhyanga, the Ayurvedic self-massage practice, is a key routine in Ayurveda and a practice that anyone can incorporate into their daily routine. It doesn't require any special equipment or skills. A few minutes of self-massage with Ayurvedic oils can set the tone for your entire day with the right massage oil. Here's everything you need to know about Abhyanga.
The choice of massage oil is crucial, as it not only lubricates the skin but also penetrates deeper, nourishing muscles, tissues, and even the nervous system. Ayurvedic oils, with their natural and pure ingredients, are the perfect blend for this purpose.
Specialized Herbal Massage Oils for Additional Benefits
Beyond the single-ingredient Ayurvedic oils, there are specialized herbal massage oils available that are carefully prepared in small batches, ensuring the highest quality and sourced ethically, like the Shankara range of Ayurvedic oils.
The use of Ayurvedic oils in massage goes beyond relaxation. These oils have anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe joints and muscles. They help detoxify the body, ridding it of harmful toxins that accumulate over time.
For example, oils infused with lavender, calendula, and lemon balm can provide deep relaxation, while those with Clary Sage offer cooling and calming effects. Each herb carries its unique fragrance and healing properties, adding depth to your self-care routine.
The Versatility of Herbal Oils
Ayurvedic herbal oils come in various formulations, each tailored to specific needs. They’re made by adding healing herbs like turmeric, vetiver, clary sage, gotu kola, borage, primrose, eucalyptus, neem, sandalwood, and rosemary among a variety of other herbs to a carrier oil such as coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, and castor oil. Some are designed to calm the mind and induce relaxation, while others focus on rejuvenating tired muscles and joints. The wide range of options ensures that there's an Ayurvedic oil suitable for everyone.
The Nourishing Power of Body Oils
Fall is also a time when the skin can become dry and needs extra nourishment. There are certain Ayurvedic body oils like Shankara's Calming Body Oil that use essential oils like sesame, almond, avocado, olive, hempseed, borage, specifically designed to moisturize and protect your skin during this time of the year. Their high content of antioxidants helps in slowing down the ageing process and rejuvenating your skin, leaving it with a healthy glow.
Almond oil is rich in vitamin E and antioxidants, making it an excellent choice for nourishing the skin. It deeply moisturizes dry skin, helps reduce the signs of aging, and promotes a healthy, radiant complexion.
Triphala oil is derived from the Triphala herbal formula, known for its rejuvenating properties. It contains a blend of three fruits which together provide potent antioxidants. Warm the oil slightly and massage it into your skin, allowing the antioxidants to penetrate and nourish your skin deeply.
Ayurvedic Oils for Balance and Well-being
These Ayurvedic oils are specifically formulated to address the unique qualities of each dosha, providing a natural way to achieve balance and well-being in alignment with Ayurvedic principles.
Vata-Pacifying Oil: Sesame Oil Infused with Ashwagandha is excellent for balancing Vata dosha. Sesame oil provides a nourishing base, while Ashwagandha helps calm the nervous system and reduce anxiety, promoting a sense of grounding and stability.
Shankara's Calming Body Oil is intensely moisturizing for vata-impacted skin; packs in the goodness of ingredients like borage, almond, sesame, aswhagandha, clary sage, dashmoola, haritaki, among other exotic herbs.
Pitta-Pacifying Oil: Coconut Oil Infused with Sandalwood designed to balance Pitta dosha. Coconut oil offers a cooling base, while Sandalwood helps soothe the body and mind, reducing irritability and promoting emotional balance.
Shankara's Soothing Body Oil is exactly what you need to recalibrate the excess pitta in some individuals during this season, as we attempt to heat things up!
This hydrating Ayurvedic body oil features a soothing blend of essential oils like sunflower, coconut, shavegrass, gotukola, neem, orange sweet, among others that are known for their relaxing, pitta-pacifying and de-stressing capabilities. The oil can be used in abhyanga massage, as a bath oil, or as a moisturizer to help address pitta-related overthinking, irritability, and anger too!
Kapha-Pacifying Oil: Almond oil Infused with eucalyptus, jojoba, juniper berries, ginger, basil, camphor, neem can help balance Kapha dosha, as is found in Shankara's Energizing Body Oil.
It helps stimulate circulation, alleviate sluggishness, and invigorate the body and mind. This body oil is designed to naturally restore balance to the body; revitalize and energize; rev up metabolism; heighten prana or awareness; and leave you feeling fresh. Mindfully sourced and sustainably blended essential oils uplift, energize, and rid the body of fatigue or lethargy.
Ayurvedic Oils for Stress Reduction
Stress is a common modern-day ailment, and Ayurvedic oils offer a natural solution. The calming and grounding effects of Ayurvedic oils like ashwagandha oil and brahmi oil can help reduce stress and anxiety and promote relaxation. However it is ideal to blend these oils with other potent herbs and plants such as sesame, raspberry, clary sage, valerian, wild yam, lavender, bergamot, for specific and better results in terms of deep relaxation and stress relief, like you find in Shankara's Harmonizing Body Oil.
Ayurvedic Oils for Better Sleep
Fall evenings are perfect for restorative sleep, and Ayurvedic oils that use chamomile oil can enhance this experience by calming the nervous system and reducing anxiety. Certain oils, like those infused with lavender, have a soothing effect on the mind, helping you drift into a peaceful slumber.
Ayurvedic Oils to Detoxify
Entering the fall season, it's an excellent time to support your body's natural detoxification processes through copious oiling massages. abhyanga or self massages are not just good for nourishing and hydration but also help the detoxification of the body. Ayurvedic oils like Castro oil and Triphala oil aid in this by promoting lymphatic drainage, assisting the body in eliminating toxins, and supporting digestive health.
Ayurvedic Oils for Scalp Health
Your scalp deserves attention too, especially in the fall when dryness can lead to issues like dandruff. Ayurvedic oils like coconut oil, amla, bringraj, sandalwood, cedarwood, Gotu kola, and neem oil have antibacterial properties and can be used to nourish and protect your scalp, nourish hair follicles, and prevent dandruff and scalp infections, ensuring healthy hair growth.
Ayurvedic Oils in Cooking
While Ayurvedic oils are primarily used for external applications, some are also suitable for cooking. Oils like Ghee (clarified butter) and Sesame oil enhance the dish by bringing a unique flavor and fragrance while also providing health benefits with high nutrient content.
The Magic of Sesame Oil
Sesame oil, a prominent Ayurvedic staple known as "Til Tel," is celebrated not only for its internal benefits but also for its external applications. It's highly regarded for its role in Ayurvedic daily routines and rituals that promote holistic well-being.
Also known as the 'King of Oils,' its warming properties make it an excellent choice for fall and winter. It penetrates deep into the skin, making it ideal for Abhyanga. Sesame oil is also known to nourish tissues and promote overall vitality. It is also suitable for all doshas but particularly balances Vata dosha.
The Ayurvedic Essence of Coconut Oil
Coconut Oil is a versatile and widely cherished Ayurvedic oil. It possesses cooling and nourishing properties, making it a valuable addition to Ayurvedic practices. While suitable for all doshas, it particularly benefits individuals with Pitta and Vata imbalances.
This oil serves various purposes, from providing soothing body massages that help balance these doshas to nourishing the hair and scalp, promoting hair health and shine. Additionally, it is a staple in Ayurvedic cooking, infusing dishes with a delightful flavor and fragrance while offering numerous health benefits.
Choosing the Right Ayurvedic Oil for You
If you're new to Ayurvedic oils, choosing the perfect Ayurvedic oil for yourself can be a daunting yet interesting experience. With a plethora of Ayurvedic oils available, it's essential to choose one that suits your unique constitution or dosha. Each person has a unique blend of these doshas, and selecting an oil that aligns with your constitution can enhance its benefits. A qualified Ayurvedic practitioner can help you determine your dosha and recommend the perfect oil for you.
The scents, the warmth, and the sensation of self-massage can be deeply soothing. As you continue to use these oils, you'll likely notice improvements in your overall well-being. From better sleep to reduced stress, Ayurvedic oils offer a wealth of benefits.
Sesame oil promotes relaxation, nourishes tissues, and supports joint health. It's ideal for daily self-massage (Abhyanga) and can serve as a base oil for herbal infusions.
Coconut oil moisturizes skin, enhances hair shine, and is suitable for both cooking and oil pulling for oral health.
Lavender oil calms the mind, aids relaxation, and improves sleep quality. It's also soothing for skin irritations.
Clary sage oil offers cooling and calming effect, eases stress and discomfort, and is beneficial for hormonal balance.
Neem oil effectively addresses skin issues, acts as a natural insect repellent, and promotes oral health through oil pulling.
Brahmi oil enhances cognitive function, promotes hair growth, and calms the mind. It's particularly nourishing for the hair.
Ashwagandha oil reduces stress and promotes relaxation, making it ideal for a full-body massage. It also strengthens muscles and joints.
Turmeric oil has anti-inflammatory properties, supports joint health, and enhances skin radiance. It's beneficial for spot treatments and skincare.
Ginger oil relieves digestive discomfort, eases muscle and joint pain, and stimulates circulation. It's excellent for warming massages.
Peppermint oil refreshes the mind, relieves headaches, and soothes digestive issues. It's perfect for mental clarity and headache relief.
These Ayurvedic oils all come with their own unique benefits and versatile uses. They are usually sought after as they offer holistic solutions for physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
Fall in Love with Ayurvedic Oils
As fall arrives and the air turns cooler, it's a perfect time to dive into the wisdom of Ayurveda. Ayurvedic oils, with all their natural goodness, can make your fall journey even better and wholesome. Whether you're looking to de-stress, pamper your skin, or just enjoy some self-care, there’s an Ayurvedic oil specially made just for that.
Remember, Ayurveda isn't a trend; it's a timeless tradition that has been enriching lives for ages. So, take a moment, unwind, and fall in love with the magic of Ayurvedic oils. Your body, mind, and soul will thank you for it.