By Elaine Everitt BSc (Hons) DO LicAc - Medical Herbalist, Osteopath and Acupuncturist.
As an ‘Ayurveda apprentice,’ studying under Anne McIntyre, the renowned Ayurveda herbalist and author, I am delighted how naturally Ayurveda compliments and completes the circle of holistic care I offer to my patients. Not only does it enhance the osteopathy, acupuncture and medical herbalism I offer, it explains and justifies why we all respond differently to the same disease, injury, virus or stress. I find my clinic patients and shop customers alike really connect with the principles so easily.
Vata, Pitta, and Kapha—collectively known as the doshas—are one of the most foundational concepts in the tradition of Ayurveda. In essence, the doshas are energetic forces of nature, functional principles that help us to better understand ourselves, and the world around us.
Your constitution or Prakriti is the particular combination of these three doshas that is established within you at conception, cemented at birth, and it remains constant over the course of your lifetime. It represents your natural state of equilibrium and your blueprint for perfect health.
Whilst all three doshas are present in everyone, the ratio between them varies a great deal from one person to the next and if they accumulate beyond healthy limits, the doshas can also wreak havoc on our health.
One way to keep to the doshas balanced is with massage. At Pippettes we are keen advocates of our infused massage oils and the Ayurvedic art of Abhyanga (oil masssage) is something we are exploring. Our oils are always fresh, natural, free of emulsifiers, preservatives, stabilisers, thickeners, synthetic fragrances and colours. We use them raw or infuse them with organic herbs, blend them with other oils, fragrance with organic essential oils and ensure all smell wonderful but most importantly have a therapeutic benefit.
Sesame oil is one of our favourite body oils. It is cold pressed virgin oil with a long shelf like that is extremely high in essential fatty acids and Vitamins A, B, D and E. So when I was deciding on an oil to use in our cleansing oil this was our first choice. We based the oil around spices and herbs traditionally used for cleansing the skin throughout the Orient, and from an Ayurvedic perspective Sesame oil is a fundamental part of the nurturing Ayurvedic massage tradition of India.
Containing organic Cardamon and organic Clove for their warming and stimulating actions, organic Lemongrass for its deep cleansing and aromatic qualities, and organic Pomegranate oil as it has high levels of Punic acid which assists the production of keratinocyte found in the epidermis. Pomegranate oil is rich in antioxidants and is one of the best healing and moisturising oils.
Ayurveda goes further to claim that self-massage with sesame oil is highly recommended for these benefits:
- Enhances your ability to handle stress
- Promotes physical strength
- Nourishes muscles and bones
- Supports comfortable joint movement
- Promotes sound sleep patterns
- Supports the intellect and nervous system
- Nourishes skin and hair
Further benefits of applying oil to the body (Abhyanga):
- Imparts softness, strength and colour to the body
- Decreases the effects of ageing
- Bestows good vision
- Nourishes the body
- Increases longevity
- Benefits sleep patterns
- Benefits skin
- Strengthens the body’s tolerance
- Imparts a firmness to the limbs
- Imparts tone and vigour to the dhatus (tissues) of the body
- Stimulates the internal organs of the body, increasing circulation
- Pacifies Vata and Pitta
- Warm oil in the ear helps support ear health.
How to use Open Sesame Cleansing Oil:
- Place the bottle in a pot of warm water to warm the oil. Test the oil before using to make sure it's not too hot.
- Undress in a warm room (dry brush if desired) and pour a small amount of the oil in your palm to start massaging your body.
- Use long strokes on the limbs and long areas of the body, like the back and flank. Start at the extremities and move towards the centre of the body. Use circular strokes on the joints, and don’t forget to give attention to the small joints. Also use circular strokes on the chest, breasts, buttocks and abdomen.
- After you have completed the self-nurturing massage, enjoy a warm shower of bath, taking care not to slip with oily feet.