Essentials Oils As Concentrated Pranic Energy
One week ago, I attended a webinary with David Crow online from California. David is an expert in the Ayurvedic and Chinese medical systems and also a master herbalist, aromatherapist and acupuncturist of world renown. Alas, having been trained and having worked in herbal remedies myself, this 90-minute short talk didn't teach me as much as expected. However it inspired me this article which is a great way of bouncing back and turn a waste of time into something hopefully useful to you, my readers.
Nowadays, due to the growing awareness of environmental issues and the increasingly harmful impact of mainstream medicine on the human body, more and more people turn to natural products and alternative medicines, even though some regards this trend as another bankable hype. Well...
A Few Words Of Caution
The market for aromatherapy in particular is very strong. However, note that it's not because essential oils are still sold as non-prescription drugs (actually there is a big push to try to suppress most natural remedies especially the most potent ones like homeopathy and aromatherapy) that they shouldn't be taken with a word of caution. Here's some basic guidelines on how to use them safely. I highly recommend to read more on the subject if you wish to add them to your healthy practice. As you may find, there is a wide supply of literature available on the subject.
- Do not apply pure essential oil. Always dilute in plant oil, greasy subtance or alcohol. Never dilute in water or water-based formulation for essential oils are hydrophobic.
- Essential oils should never be in contact with your eyes or mucous membranes. If this happens, flush with plant oil NOT water and immediately seek medical assistance.
- Do not manipulate essential oils near open flame sources for they are volatile and highly flammable.
- Do not mix with chemical products as it could cause unfortunate reactions and create hazardous emissions.
- Do not store in plastic containers. Always keep in thick (amber) coloured glass bottles (to filter UV rays which alterate oils) in a cool but not cold place.
- Do not give to children under 15 or pregnant woman in whatsoever form.
- Do not ingest unless you have a prescription from a qualified therapist and under medical supervision.
- Always respect recommended dosages especially when using pure essential oils. One drop is one drop, not two.
Some essential oils are toxic when taken orally. As a rule, they are usually unavailable as non-prescription drugs (at least in France), but it's safer to enquire about it for natural drugs are still drugs. Think of mushrooms for instance. Sautéed ceps are heavenly food whereas fly-agaric omelettes can be a one-way ticket to ER or direct access to the morgue. Oops!
Other oils such as cinammon (of which I have a scar on my forearm to remind me that carelessness always has a price you can't always fix) or oregano can literally burn your skin or cause severe allergic reaction.
In the same fashion, mostly all citrus oils have photosensitising effects that may create permanent brown spots on your skin if you expose to the sun after applying skincare or massage oil containing those essential oils. In wintertime, it's okay, but be careful during the summer.
Last but not least, watch out for fraudulent oils. Some may sell diluted oil (in plant oil) for pure essential oils or pure but synthetic oils which have no medicinal properties. Prices should alert you especially when rare and costly flower oils (such as rose, jasmine or Italian everlasting) are sold for cheap. For synthetic oils, use your nose. You find these in greenwashing outlets I won't name but they are present in every shopping mall. As a rule, you should be safe if you buy your oils in natural oraganic supply stores, herbal stores or pharmacies.
Hopefully, I haven't missed out on any important point. If so, I do apologise and please, let me know in the comment section below so I can fix my omission.
What is an essential oil?
Essential oils should not be confused with plant (or vegetable) oils. Vegetable oils are fatty extracts from oil plants, that is plants producing seeds, nuts or fruits that contain fats. Though macerated oils (such as St John's Wort oil or carrot oil) are often wrongly called plant oils. Essential oils (from latin essentia, meaning “nature, essence of something”) are composed of volatile aromatic compounds extracted from plants using various methods.
During his webinary, David Crowe explained that every essential oil represents a kind of “pranic energy” — the “distilled lifeforce” of a plant that can either boost or unblock prana, chi or lifeforce. In this regard, more than mere allopathy (allopathy treats symptoms with substances that produce the opposite effect of disease whereas homeopathy mimics the effects), aromatherapy he says, should be thought in terms of energy medicine.
Using Essential Oils To Heal And Protect Your Respiratory System
One of the things that research has found is that the vaporized oils are generally more effective than pure liquid form this is very interesting. This goes back to why the plants produce the essential oils and how they protect themselves with them and that is that the plants basically have an aura diffuse aura of essential oils around them and then, of course, if certain creatures are chewing on them they don't taste good and burn their mouths. So the idea here is that we don't have to actually use strong concentrations to get really good effects and so the idea is less is more and vaporized is highly effective for the microbes.
Here's a couple more points that one of the most effective ways of treating respiratory infections is to inhale higher concentrations for shorter periods of time — and that's something that I will unpack here with some specific recipes but an obvious example of that would be a method you already know which is to put a few drops of the central oil on a pot of hot water cover your head with a towel and breathe it keeping your eyes closed of course. That's what I mean by a higher dose for a shorter period of time that appears to be one of the best ways of treating infections in the lungs. But on the other hand, if you want to have more power of actually expectorating to get the mucolytic mucus clearing effects and this goes directly to the question of regulating the terrain then lower concentrations tend to be more helpful and what does that mean lower concentrations mean in a diffuser.
So this basic point it's very important to remember here: diffused essential oils tend to work more effectively than pure liquid form and this is especially true in respiratory conditions because you can't really use your liquid essential oils in your lungs. But giving yourself a direct blast of aromatic steam is your first choice for infection but then to actually expectorate and clear the lungs, having something in the diffuser is going to work more effectively. So what can we translate from that? We can say that a longer more chronic exposure to a lower dose of essential oils works on the mucous membrane terrain. A stronger concentration attacks the pathogens.
Now the next thing that we would like to do is talk about three terms in two different contexts and here we're going to talk about Veta, Pitta, Kapha. We're going to circle back around and I'm going to give you another way of thinking about essential oils through the lens of Ayurvedic medicine and this is very closely related to three basic functions known about essential oils and that is antibiotic, probiotic, and eubiotic. I will say those terms again: you know antibiotic that means it's it will kill bacteria specifically; probiotic it means it will support bacteria the healthy bacterial culture; eubiotic means that it will support a healthy terrain.
What is a terrain?
Terrain means the soil of the tissue or an organ. Iit's the ground that the physiological events take place in. And so what is the terrain of the respiratory system? The terrain — the ground of the respiratory system is the mucous membrane. That means if we take this antibiotic, probiotic and eubiotic concept we also compare it with lots of Pitta-Kapha we learn a tremendous amount about how the essential oils work and then there is nothing left to do except just give you a whole bunch of recipes.
Now let's start with the Vita-Pitta-Kapha part because this will help us as we go through the therapeutics to understand different groups of oils because some oils may be much more effective for mucous congestion and in some oils may be much more effective for attacking the infection in the inflammation. And some methods such as steam inhalation may be better for a dry respiratory system. What's interesting about essential oils is that because they are inhaled as opposed to taking them orally which is how we take pills, they bypass our digestive system. Now when we take herbs we consume them orally they first have to be processed in the stomach and then assimilated through the intestines and then processed by the liver and spread through the bloodstream to the various tissues and organs. In other words it's a slow metabolic digestive process that affects the whole body. Well, if we're breathing essential oils they're going directly into the lungs and as we're going to find in a couple more molecules that go directly into the brain and therefore the way that they work is very different than the way that herbs work which have to be processed through all the different digestive organs.
Now when it comes to taking herbs in Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine, there's a tremendous emphasis on if this herb is heating or cooling or drying or moistening. In other words, what effect does it have on organs and tissues what is its energy? What is its temperature ? And so forth. Now the interesting thing about essential oils is that that system can also be applied but it doesn't or so much— why do I say that? Well, because in herbal medicine you can say that an herb is moistening and that may be the most important thing about it. It may be hydrating but that also means that it might be hard to digest and heavy and give you gas and bloating in your stomach and so forth. But when it comes to the essential oils, we can definitely say “okay this oil is more cooling all right”, “this oil is more heating”. There are some real clear examples of that, but the majority of essential oils are more difficult to classify according to heating and cooling and so forth. What this means on a practical level is that essential oils are more tri-dosha, in other words they're good for the different doshas — doshas meaning Vata, Pitta and kapha. What this means is that we do not have to have the same level of medical expertise in order to get good benefits using generalized aromatherapy.
So for example in Chinese medicine, a respiratory condition of say airborne pathogen of an upper respiratory condition would be classified as wind-heat, wind-cold, wind-phlegm. And so what does that mean? That means basically upper respiratory viral infection is caused by what is calledan attack by wind and it can manifest as heat. That looks like more fever, more yellow-colored phlegm. More cold means more chills, more clear phlegm. Clear mucus, more phlegm — that's a damper condition. Now let's just take any of the respiratory oils that you already know about such as eucalyptus and conifers — do we need to worry about whether eucalyptus and conifers are heating or cooling when it comes to identifying specifically should they be used for wind either wind-cold? The answer is no, you don't actually have to make that distinction. Are eucalyptus oils heating or cooling? Well, yes, mostly they're a little bit on the cooling side and some are more cooling than others, but can you use that for a wind-cold condition, yes. Why, because the qualities of aromatic expectorant antimicrobial powers are more important than the cooling nature of the eucalyptus oil.
So what this means basically is that aromatherapy is actually more applicable for all body types without having to worry about whether you are a Veta, Pitta or Kapha person or even worse that you are a mixture of Vata and Pitta or Pitta and Kapha and whatever. This means you don't need a specific diagnosis, you can treat things symptomatically with aromatherapy very effectively. That means that essential oils are really good for their own pharmacy.
Transcribed by Ey@el
About Ayurveda and Doshas
The Ayurvedic medicine David Crow mentioned about was developed more than 3,000 years ago in India. It’s based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. Its main goal is to promote good health, not fight disease.
In Ayurveda there are three doshas (bodily humors) which are: VATA, PiTTA, KAPHA.
Every human being is made of the five elements (Ether, Air, Water, Fire, Earth) in various proportions. These proportions are what determine your body type or dosha. For example, when you say someone is VATA, that means he has an excess of VATA humor.
A state of health is achieved when the three humors are balanced and none is in excess.
You may use this test online to find out what your dosha is.
A Shortlist Of Essential Oils For Your Respiratory System
Mentholated Eucalyptus, Niaouli, Eucalyptus radiata, Ravintsara, Peppermint, Pine, Siberian Fur, Tea tree, Thymol Thyme.
Dilute 20% of a combination of several of the above oils (three is a good match) in plant oil. That is a total of 6 ml of essential oils for 24 ml of plant oil which makes 30 ml of massage oil. The equivalent of 1 ml of essential oil would be about 35 drops if using standard droppers. Apply on chest and neck several times a day and before bedtime.
Steam inhalation:Add 5-6 drops of a combinaison of or single oil in a pot of hot water and inhale until there is no steam left. Reiterate several times a day.
Pour a dozen drops into a diffuser or more depending what type of diffuser you use.
For lungs and cough, stinkwort oil is a bit expensive but very efficient when you rub it on your chest.
These are only a few examples. If you wish to learn more, again you'll find a wide range of extensive information available online (though do not stop at the first on the list when Googling) as well as many books. I for one have learnt a lot from Dr Valnet's books (he is regarded as one of the fathers of herbalism and aromatherapy).
Take good care of yourself and may the Chi be with you!
Ey@elReproduction of the above contents is strictly prohibited.
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