Aroma Tantra


In the second revised edition of his book, Handbook of Aromatherapy, Dr Ravi Ratan provides a complete guide to the application of essential oils for Holistic Health and Wellbeing. This extract gives a condensed look at Dr Ratan’s explanations of how essential oils work and their use in Ayurvedic chakra balancing.

The use of plants to cure diseases is as old as the human race, perhaps even older. Animals, for instance, have always sought out particular herbs or grasses when they are unwell.

Man has always been dependent on the nutritional and therapeutic value of the plant world. Aromatic substances also played important roles in the medicinal practices of the Hebrew, Arabic and Indian civilisations. In the Indian mythological Epic of Ramayana, a herb called “Sanjeevani booti” had been administered by crushing; the aroma released from the herb was made to be inhaled by Shree Laxman, so as to revive him from unconsciousness. The Indian healing treatise, Ayurveda, describes various essential oils and their usage. Essential oils have been used by various cultures all over the world.

Psychological effect

The part of the brain which identifies aromas is called the limbic section. It is responsible for our memory and emotions. When inhaled, essential oil molecules are taken directly to the olfactory system located at the roof of our nose. This is a patch of olfactory receptor cells from which protrude thin hair like cilia that register and transmit information about the aromas to our brain via the olfactory nerve. This is connected to the central part of the limbic section of our brain. When electrochemical messages are forwarded to this area of the brain associated with smell, it triggers the release of neuro chemicals, which may cause sedative, relaxing, stimulating or euphoric effects through our Pituitary gland. This is how the physical effect of aroma oils take the place through inhalation.

The balancing effect the essential oils can have on the mind lends an added dimension to their use in healing of psychosomatic disorders. All essential oils help to balance the emotions to some degree and individually they may be noted for their stimulating, uplifting, relaxing or euphoric effects. They can revive a tired mind and stimulate the memory.

Physical Effect

When dissolved in a carrier oil and rubbed into the body, or when dispersed in water and used in a bath, {quotes}essential oil molecules readily permeate the skin via pores and hair follicles{/quotes}. In this way they reach the body’s circulatory system through the lymphatic vessels. Once in the blood stream, they are transported through to the cells and body fluids, passing their therapeutic benefits to the entire body. Since essential oils with inherent therapeutic properties are able to keep infection at bay, they boost the entire functioning of the immune system.

Essential oils can also be blended as per Ayurveda principles and anointed at Chakra points, healing and balancing. Because they are the subtle plant energy, they effectively work at our subtle energy level.


Every living thing has energy which can be measured in terms of electrical frequency, the measurable rate of electrical energy that is constant between any two points.

Scientists in the field of natural energy healing believed there had to be a natural way to increase the body’s electrical frequency. This led to research and the subsequent discovery of electrical frequencies in essential oils.

Measuring in megahertz (MHz), it was found that a healthy body typically has a frequency ranging from 62 to 78 MHz, while the process of disease sets in at 58 MHz. This energy level gets disturbed by even a single negative thought. In studies it was observed that negative thoughts lowered the measured frequency by 12 MHz, while positive thoughts raised the frequency by 10 MHz. It was also found that prayer and meditation increased the measured frequency levels by 15 MHz. This gives credence o the fact that prolonged levels of stress, anxiety, depression, etc., do result in lowering the body energy as well as immune levels, allowing disease to set in, as is the case in all psychosomatic disorders.

Essential oils were found to have the highest electrical frequency of natural substances. Starting at 52 MHz, they went as high as 320 MHz, which is the frequency of Rose oil. In this sense, the chemistry and frequencies of essential oils have the ability to help us maintain optimal health frequency, providing an environment where microbes cannot live.

When essential oils were diffused, it was observed that patients felt better emotionally, within seconds of exposure to the oils, and with inhalation felt calm and less anxious. It is fascinating to see the way oils work on the body, certain oils acting in seconds, or in one to three minutes. More studies are being initiated in this field.

Vedic Aromatherapy

According to Kundalini Tantra, the human body is composed of three layers (bodies), which function as the vehicle for the inner self. These are not bodies in the physical sense, rather a kind of energy sheath or vibratory field which encloses the underlying consciousness.

The physical body originates in the sexual union of the parents, the body we normally experience and sustain with food. Our awareness within this body constitutes the waking state of consciousness. It is made up of 16 components: 5 sensory organs; 5 organs of action; 5 elements; and the mind. The energetic basis or pure form of the physical body is the subtle or astral body represented as our Aura. The subtle body is also composed of 16 components at the astral level. Within the subtle body exist the seven major Chakras, which get fully activated with the force of Kundalini Shakti. And within the subtle body is yet a more subtle body called the causal body, which is the cause of creative force behind the other

two. In fact, the causal body is a HIGHER MIND and is shaped like an egg around the other two bodies. These bodies are linked with one another through the chakras, or energy centres.

Ancient teachings tell us that all human actions originate in the mind. The energy is neutral and we shape it through our expression of thoughts, speech and action, empowered with strong undercurrents of our emotions. Since the chakras are best understood as levels of consciousness, impurities have to be understood from the level of discrimination, not morality. Impurities arise out of desire, self gratification and self interest. All pain comes to us through ignorance and staying blind when experience tells us something else.

Subtle Bodies and Chakras

The chakras are like a centrally placed electricity pole from which electrical wires run to different places, houses and street lights in the vicinity. This arrangement is the same for each of the chakras. The nadis, which emerge from each chakra, carry prana in both directions. There is a forward and backward pranic motion in the nadis, analogous to the flow of alternating current in electrical wires. The outgoing communication and the incoming reaction enter and leave the chakras in the form of this pranic flow in corresponding nadis.

There are 6 chakras in the human body, directly connected to the higher un-illuminated centres of the brain, while the 7th is the highest centre in the brain, the final culmination of Kundalini Shakti. Every form, every sound and every subtle colour has a frequency that affects us at physical, mental and emotional levels, and affects our chakras in the same way our thought processes affect them. These chakras are transfer points for our thoughts, emotions and physical functioning of specific endocrine glands.

When we are balanced and acquire self discipline, our chakras pulsate with light; when our emotions are blocked they become dull and sluggish. These, in practice, are the ones responsible for the spiritual evolution of the “being” through harmonious health of body, mind and spirit. Chakras open and close, according to our emotions and our state of mind.

armona3_200.jpgChakra Balancing with Ayurveda and Essential Oils

Natural essential oils offer an objective tool in healing and balancing the chakras. Since essential oils increase our finest vibrations and assist all the subtle bodies, they can stimulate and assist in the process of awakening, healing, opening the chakras and strengthening the aura.

In the system of Ayurveda, we can choose and blend essential oils. These essential oil formulations are anointed at the chakra points for healing and

balancing, generally on the front side of the body at chakra locations, using a clockwise movement for energising and balancing, or an anticlockwise movement for decongesting the chakras.

In our own experience and the experience of fellow healers and therapists, aromas and tastes can help balance chakras as they balance doshas in Ayurvedic practice. The essential oils work at the subtle level, and essential oil based anointments accelerate the healing process at the physical level, also helping to cure psychosomatic problems.

In a host of studies using chakra anointments, the energy field was checked before and after the application of the oils. The change in the energy field was quite noticeable and longer lasting than other energy healings.

It is not necessary to anoint all chakras for therapy purposes. It is recommended to use anointment for the third eye (Ajna) chakra followed by the base root (Mooladhar) chakra and the affected chakra plus one above or below it, or which ever other chakra is affected.

For example, in the case of emotional blockages, we recommend using Swadhisthan (sexual) chakra oil along with Anahat (heart) chakra oils; and in the case of thyroid problems, use of the throat (Vishhudha) chakra oil and Swadhisthan (sexual) chakra oil would be recommended.

Whether used in aromatherapy or chakra healing, essential oils contribute to the health and wellbeing without being intrusive and are non-interfering with other forms of healing and therapies. Chakra healing and balancing with essential oils offers a new dimension in health management and healing.

NB: Dr Ravi Ratan advises that aromatherapy is acomplementary therapy without side effects, when used correctly. It is recommended, however, to consult your doctor before replacing or using in conjunction with any medication. The author and publisher disclaim all responsibility for any adverse reaction caused due to inappropriate use of poor quality of essential oils.

Dr RaviRatan was a keynote speaker at Conscious Living Expo . For more information visit email [email protected] .
Dr Ravi Ratan’sHandbook of Aromatherapy (2nd edition) is published and marketed by:Institute of Holistic Health Sciences, Mumbai, 400 037, India. Extract reprinted with permission.



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