One of the natural remedies I have started using since having been practicing yoga for more than a decade is essential oils. Like some who mostly rely on synthetic pharmaceutical for ailments, I was a little suspicious of their effectiveness.
What I learned from my yoga teachers (the ones that I have been doing yoga with nearly a decade), who specializes in the use of essential oil, I realize as much as it is a learning process, it is also about experimentation.
Here, I have put together a mini-guide for some of the oils that helps with boosting immune system in the winter and relaxing your body after a day of hard work.
There are basically three ways of applying the oils- topically, aromatically and internally. Of those, the aromatic way is probably the most familiar to us. Topically applied, the can ease tension on certain pressure points, also depending on the parts of the body, the body can quickly takes it in. As for using it internally, it is probably the least familiar, because often times we associate the taste of oil with bitterness that mimics the horrible medicine we were made to ingest as children.
With this said, I would like to name a few oils for this winter. Because and since I have assumed that the internally application of oil is least familiar, I would like to start here.
My personal favorite and for starters, lemon or “citrus limon” is a great one for preventing a common cold and easing a dry throat. Also, lemon is good for fighting air pollution and clearing respiratory system. All you need to do is drop 1 to 2 drops concentrated oil (not the blend-version) into a clear glass of water. You can take this as often as you like throughout the day, but I would take no more three glasses a day.
Another one for breathing and immune system support is frankincense or “boswellia frereanna.” When I first found this one, the smell of it reminded me of being in a buddhist temple somewhere in East Asia. But it isn’t as strong and dense as that. It has a deep note of woody and earthy tone, which goes well with sandal wood (I will talk about this later). For Frankincense, place 1-2 drops under the tongue can also alleviate depression and help with memory. Because it has a strong flavor, I usually take it just once a day.
For topical and aromatic applications, they can be similar because both involves inhaling the essential oil as the method of intake. However the difference is when applied directly onto the skin, I tend use a much smaller amount than I would if I use it with a diffuser. I mentioned sandal wood or “santalum album,” it belongs to the same woody and earthy family as frankincense, in terms of aroma, although it is a little sweeter. This oil is best for aroma therapy and topical application. When used with a diffuser, use just 2 to 3 drops and no more, because of the dense nature, it is better to slowly draw out the scent and let it permeate the room. Sandalwood is useful for healing cartilage injuries and back pain. No wonder this is popular in yoga studios.
In a few weeks, I would like to introduce some diffuser blends. In the section on “lemon,” I mentioned to not use the blend-version. If you wondered what I meant… what I mean is there is only a single oil in the bottle and it shouldn’t contain other ingredients such as clove or lavender, etc.
Feel free to comment or ask me anything.