LIGHT and BRYAN MILLER prescribe essential oils to balance your doshas as you prepare for that relaxing and rejuvenating break.The secret to travelling with a minimum of symptoms and complaints is to prepare several days in advance of your journey. It can be helpful to take 100 mg of B complex, 3,000 mg of vitamin C, and eat foods which pacify your particular doshic imbalance. Vatas especially should eat foods which are rich and oily, pittas should concentrate on salads and steamed vegetables, and kaphas should scrupulously avoid oils and dairy products and eat lots of vegetables and spices. It is important for all types to drink plenty of fluids, either two hours before or three hours after meals, when your food has digested.
Balancing vata: When travelling, vata types typically experience constipation from disruption of their routine. External application of trifolia with vegetable oil can be of great help for all types who experience constipation. Dry skin is especially prevalent with exposure to high altitude, pressure changes, wind and sun. Eating a rich diet, full of foods with high oil content, is helpful, and frequent oiling of the skin will counter this natural tendency toward dry skin and constipation. The rush and stress of travel naturally creates anxiety for vata types, which can result ultimately in a spaced-out, disconnected feeling. Compresses, inhalations, and washing the face with a hot, damp hand towel treated with a few drops of essential oils, can ease the anxiety and provide more centreing.
Here are essential oils for balancing vata during air travel:
- Angelica for toning and immunity
- Anise for stomach problems and equilibrium
- Cypress, rosewood, sandalwood and vetiver for grounding
- Geranium, lavender and ginger for balancing
- Grapefruit for energizing
Balancing pitta: When travelling, pitta types experience irritability and anger. They take more seriously the last minute rush; have less patience with long lines, customs officials and taxi drivers. The rising fire of their irritation can make their skin more sensitive and they may experience inflammations, eruptions and a sour body odour that accompanies increased perspiration. Ultimately, their resistance to wasted time, discourtesy or inefficiency will produce fatigue. Frequent snacks before, during and after travel can help maintain blood sugar levels and moderate mood swings. Grounding oils like yarrow, geranium, rose and sandalwood can counter the vata nature of travel, while calming and cooling oils like mint, lavender and chamomile will keep anger and irritability to a minimum. A cool, damp washcloth imbued with essential oils can be used every few hours to relax the pitta passenger: Lukewarm or cool essential oil bath before and after travel are important, as is oiling the skin with coconut oil. Adding a drop of mint to a cold cup of water is easy, even at 20,000 feet.
Here are essential oils for balancing pitta during air travel:
- Chamomile for anti-inflammatory and calming
- Cumin for digestion, fennel for digestion and equilibrium
- Geranium for relaxing
- Lavender for calming and balancing
- Lime for detoxification
- Mint for cooling, reawakening, and calming the stomach
- Rose for balancing and calming
- Yarrow as an anti-inflammatory, and for balancing and connecting
Balancing kapha: Kapha travellers most often experience swelling and water retention, and occasionally constipation. The hustle, bustle and movement are stressful to the kapha types who prefer to stay at home; their resistance can make them tired and lethargic. For kapha types, vegetable oil is the least desirable carrying medium to apply essential oil into the skin; however, mustard and canola oils are heating vegetable oils and are suitable. Another alternative is an alcohol-based essential oil mixture or essential oil water mixture, since the water will not be absorbed by the skin and will evaporate. Strips of cloth or even cotton socks can be soaked in these mixtures and wrapped on feet periodically for compression and increased fluid movement. Upward massage of the feet helps to move the lymph and blood, and as much walking as possible is beneficial to keep everything fluid. Warm teas with a drop of juniper, cypress or orange can keep the digestion moving. Hot essential oil baths upon arrival complete the balancing diet.
Here are essential oils for balancing kapha during air travel:
- Basil, angelica and grapefruit as digestives and as stimulants
- Bergamot is a refreshing stimulant
- Cardamom is a digestant
- Ginger and thyme for balance, as digestant and stimulant
- Juniper, rosemary, eucalyptus and orange for fluid retention and as stimulant
It is important for all types to eat root vegetables such as yams and sweet potatoes for grounding. Vatas can do an oil basti or enema the night before. Those who experience motion sickness can use circular band-aid patches behind the ear with lavender, ginger, anise or fennel oil. Beverages like coffee and alcohol served in airports are best avoided by all, although they would be most tolerated by kapha types. Ayurveda & Aromatherapy, MLBD