I can remember growing up in the 80's and 90's hearing oil and butter and anything with fat was bad for your heart. Bad for your skin. Bad for everything. So, we cut it out. And we learned to have a fear of these fats. Fast forward 30 years later, and we're hearing how much our diets should include fats like these...in moderation of course. So as I completed my Level 1 Ayurveda training in June, I wasn't surprised at all to come the realization that Oil...basically fixes everything!
This isn't a blanket statement like the dad on "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" stating that windex fixed everything...even acne! This is a realization statement that if we listen to our bodies, watch the weather and just notice what we need...oil may indeed be the very key to fixing things.
Ayurveda...let's start there. It's an ancient Eastern medicine practice that focus on self healing rather than medication. It looks at the elements of the universe (water, air, ether, fire, earth) and how they organize in the body (fire, for example, is our digestion...heating up our digestive enzymes to transform food into nutrients to earth/mass in our bones). Each of those elements relates to a dosha...Pitta, Vata and Kapha. Everyone has all 3 doshas...but one may have more dominance in the body. Each dosha creates the individuals constitution...or make up/organization of the body. If you're curious about your constitution...go take the free test https://www.banyanbotanicals.com/info/dosha-quiz/.
There is a lot of information to share...so we're just going to focus on Vata since it's also Vata seasonally. Vata is made up of air and ether. Meaning...it's light, dry, mobile, rough, clear, subtle and cold. Think of the body...when we're exposed to windy conditions, dry weather what happens? We get rough skin, subtle body changes (we don't even seem them happening until they're there) and cold hands/feet. If you have a preference of Vata in your constitution, you might find fall a very unnerving time of year. Windy nights can lead to anxiety, anxiousness and confusion. An unsettling feeling. Dry days can aggravate already dry skin. Ringing in the ears? Vata. Why? Vata relates to sound...and sound lives in our ears. When we're dry, cold and mobile all day...we might find there's some excess air residing in our ears. Meaning...we need to ground ourselves. Weight our bodies down.
Your natural inclination might be to put lotion on your dry skin (this is where the oil comes in). Many lotions are full of drying chemicals...perfumes and other products that actually dry the skin AND your internal body. The skin is our largest organ. What we put on it absorbs right into the rest of the internal body. Add some drying lotion, you're gonna find dryness in places you might not have noticed before. Oil...is the perfect solution for Vata. It's lubricating and the opposite of dry, cold, rough, light. It grounds the body. Nourishes the cells...and keeps things working right (joint movement, blood flow, elimination...you get the picture).
There are a lot of different oils out there...but you want something called a carrier oil. It's not oil you cook with. It's pure, therapeutic grade and designed to calm the imbalances of the doshas. Sesame (not toasted), coconut and almond oils are great for Vata. And adding the practice of Abhyanga daily (more on that later) helps oil the body. Rub some oil on your skin and let it sit for 20 minutes before a shower. Your skin absorbs the nutrients, lubricates your joints and helps heal from the inside. Adding some warming ghee (like clarified butter...but better) to roasted veggies or even just ingest a TBSP in the mornings helps oil the inside organs. Now I'm not advocating to eat or drink butter, but ghee is the most amazing product...more on that later too.
In other words, oil, especially in Vata season...cures everything. Curious for more information? Email me! firstname.lastname@example.org