Ayurvedic Self-Care: Oil Remedies for Managing Stress

Ayurveda is a holistic system that focuses on using self-care rituals, healthy eating, and stress management to prevent the onset of disease and illness. One of the most nourishing tools in Ayurvedic medicine is the use of oil.

Oil has a lot of important medicinal and therapeutic uses. In Ayurveda, both essential oils and base oils can be used for everything for stress and resilience management, balancing your dosha, and keeping yourself replenished. Here are a few ways incorporating oil can help you to create a holistic self-care routine for managing stress and anxiety.

The Use of Oil in Massage

Massage is a key component in Ayurveda because of its many benefits, the most well-known is that it can help alleviate stress and tension from your body.  Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massage with oil is recommended daily. The oil you should use depends on your current physiological, mental and emotional state or (if you know it) based on your dosha. If you know your dosha, here are a few tips for selecting the right oil for you:

  • Pitta dosha should use a cooling, relaxing massage oil such as sunflower oil or coconut oil.
  • Vata dosha should use warm, heavy oils like sesame or avocado.
  • Kapha dosha should use lighter oils, such as flax or safflower.
The Use of Essential Oil Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy oil has been used for centuries to help empower and enrich health and wellness by balancing hormones, stress, anxiety, improving memory and managing emotions. The sense of smell is profound as it has the ability to connect to memories, desires and instincts. Aromatherapy integrates the powerful molecules of essential oils to enhance emotions, change pathways and balance the mind.

Aromatherapy oil is used in Ayurveda as another technique that can help manage stress. There are countless medical studies conducted across the globe showing the direct impact of essential oils on alleviating stress and supporting resilience. If you're interested in learning how to use essential oils for your dosha, you can learn more here.

  • Pitta dosha is balanced by cooling essential oils like jasmine, rose, mint.
  • Vata dosha is pacified by warming, sweet oils like vanilla, lavender, ginger, and cinnamon.
  • Kapha dosha can be soothed with light and energizing oils, like cardamom, rosemary, lemon and laurel.
Traditional Perfume Oil

Ayurvedic perfume oil is a great way to incorporate essential oils and base oils into your daily routine. Just like aromatherapy, perfume oils can be used to help improve your mood or mental state:

  • if you’re feeling down and out, use a stimulating perfume oil;
  • if you’re feeling too hyped-up, use a relaxing perfume oil;
  • or if you feel scattered use a perfume oil to keep you focused and grounded. 
Essential Oils in Candles: Wellness Candles

Wellness candles filled with essential oils are a great way to combine the soothing benefits of aromatherapy with ambiance. Candles that include stress reducing essential oil blends can help manage stress (and balance your dosha).

Here are some different scent combinations and the benefits the aromas have on mood. Look for these when choosing which candles select:

  • For stress and anxiety: Light a candle that combines citrus notes or lavender notes. This combination of aromas is a great addition to your sleep space to help you relax and unwind.
  • For an energy boost and inspiration: Find a candle that combines invigorating scents like lemon, peppermint, rosemary and geranium.
  • For meditation and awareness: Light a candle that uses frankincense, vetiver or myrrh. Perfect for your sacred space!