As I study the evolution of herbalism, I am amazed by the resourcefulness of ancient people. We are fortunate to have everything handed down due to technological advancement. Prehistoric people developed their own technology by recording the movement of the Sun, Moon, and the stars. You see, just the power of observation.
Their observation led to the discovery of time, direction, and even diagnoses of diseases by applying a holistic approach to treating symptoms. This ancient wisdom was spread and adapted by different cultures. As it evolved, so is the method of healing.
The ancient method of healing that was popular in India tied to their spiritual practice and religion was called Ayurveda. These old practices utilize the medicinal attributes of plants and include the spiritual level of healing.
The history of Ayurveda dates back millennia ago and has a wide range of subjects that branches into modern medicine. However, when you look closely, ayurvedic medicine incorporates philosophies related to the elements that identify our constitution. Such practice is interconnected with astrology (the function of planets in influencing our Nature, in general) and alchemy (how plants and herbs are alchemically prepared to optimize their medicinal qualities).
In the book Evolutionary Herbalism, the author delves into the doctrine of creation and compares the different philosophies involved. The formation of Heaven and Earth, as well as night and day, was the start of dual polarity.
The division brings forth the elements that materialize in the physical world as plant essences and the human body. The soul of plants is extracted to produce essential oils used as a healing modality through aromatherapy. You can check out this blog post to learn more about the relationship between Ayurveda and Aromatherapy - the science of life.
The body manifests the five elements as the foundation of life. When combined, they formed the three doshas: Pitta (Fire & Water), Vata (Air & Ether), and Kapha (Earth & Water). These energies are the basis of Ayurvedic practitioners in determining a person’s health.
You might wonder how the physical bodies emulate dosha energies. Simply, humans have qualities and signatures that make them unique. The same principle applies to recognizing the varying levels and ratios of doshas present in your body.
When your physical frame is medium-built with a highly developed muscular system, you are the embodiment of Pitta. Pitta is associated with “heat, lightness, oiliness, and dynamic energy” due to the merging of Fire and Water Elements.
As you examine your qualities, ask yourselves the following questions:
Are you prone to blemishes and freckles?
Do you have reddish skin?
In terms of your digestive systems, do you have fast metabolism and digestion? Do you ever get hangry? How about irritation, anger, and aggressiveness? If you feel this way, you may have a Pitta imbalance.
When you are balanced, Pitta will express as good leadership skills, mental alertness, high self-esteem, and courage.
However, if the answers to the questions above are mainly No, then maybe you possess the Vata constitution.
Do you experience dry and cold hands or feet?
Are your nails brittle? Do you have coarse hair?
Do you have prominent veins?
Do you have a tall and slender body?
Those are the physical characteristics of Vata. When balanced, you are physically active and energetic because of your well-lubricated joints, which help with the fluidity of your movement.
Examine yourself once again and ask yourself whether or not you have short-term memory.
Are you easily distracted?
Are you prone to gas and weak digestion?
These are Vata imbalances deeply linked to the affinity of Air and Ether. Air and Ether are characterized by “lightness, movement, dryness, and tension.” Due to the invisible elements, Vata represents the lungs, colon, and nervous system.
When you have imbalanced Vata, you may feel anxious, fearful, agitated, and shy. Your scattered thoughts can lead to insomnia and insecurities.
But what about when you feel good? You might exude creativity.
Are you brimming with ideas?
Are you innovative?
If the answer to these questions is yes, then your Vata may be balanced.
The last of the three Doshas is called Kapha. It is comprised of the Earth and Water elements responsible for the cohesive, stable, and fixed path of Kapha’s Nature.
As you examine your physical form, do you have a well-developed body and thick stature?
Is your hair oily and vibrant?
Is your skin moist and cold?
If yes, you possess Kapha qualities.
Due to the water and earth elements, Kapha represents the “stomach, mucus production, the kidneys, and bodily fluids.”
Psychologically, are you feeling compassionate, lovely, kind, and calm? You have balanced Kapha if your answer is a resounding yes.
However, when the Kapha is imbalanced, you may feel depressed, unmotivated, greedy, and controlling.
You may also be prone to respiratory problems (congestion), sluggish digestion, skin dullness, and allergies.
Previously, I have mentioned that when plants undergo the distillation process, the essential oils represent the plant’s essence. Essential oils have the power to influence your consciousness and constitution.
If you have Vata nature, your anxious spirit needs calming, soothing, and emotionally uplifting aromatherapy of citrus, spicy, herbaceous, floral, and woody essential oils. Nova anxiety-relief essential oil may help balance your Vata Nature.
When you are easily angered and irritated due to the fiery nature of Pitta Dosha, Stardust Blood Moon Body Glow, Stardust Body Wash, and Sol Body Wash can help you ease the stress of everyday life with their use of geranium and ylang-ylang essential oils respectively. Essential oils that exude sweet and cool aromas such as geranium and ylang-ylang can balance your Pitta Dosha.
Balance your Kapha Dosha with warm and stimulating essential oils. Orange, bergamot, basil, ginger, cinnamon, eucalyptus, grapefruit, lavender, rosemary, and thyme uplift and energize your spirit. You can find many of these essential oils in our Cosmic Aroma Rollerball, with its fruity notes that uplift your mood.