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Aroma therapy in Ayurveda C oncept and Therapeutic applications . N.SRIKANTH ASSISTANT DIRECTOR CENTRAL COUNCIL FOR RESEARCH IN AYURVEDIC SCIENCES Department of AYUSH Ministry of Health & Family Welfare Government of India. Start of process. Natural products Botanical Animal

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Aroma therapy in ayurveda c oncept and therapeutic applications

Aroma therapy in AyurvedaConcept and Therapeutic applications




Department of AYUSH

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare

Government of India

Start of process
Start of process

  • Natural products

    • Botanical

    • Animal

    • Mineral

      origins from India have initiated the scientific quest of Drugs since antiquity.

Start of process evolution of indian pharmacopeia
Start of processEvolution of Indian pharmacopeia

  • India is having the world’s richest flora, comprising of about 120 families of plants, comprising

  • 1,30,000 species.

  • Ayurvedic texts cover about 2400 species of plants with their medicinal uses as described

  • by ancient Indian medical scholars.

  • 10,000 herbs are used worldwide for medicinal purposes

Roots of clinical experimentation and drug trials
Roots of Clinical Experimentation and Drug Trials

Susruta’s Approach: Reverse Pharmacology

  • Test intervention (Tallingatwat)

    • Feasibility; observational design (Dristhaphalatwat)

  • System validation (Agamaatsya)

Roots of clinical experimentation and drug trials1
Roots of Clinical Experimentation and Drug Trials

Charaka’s Approach: Meticulous design & Emphasis on Reproducibility

  • Feasible ideology / Hypothesis


  • Multi dimensional approach in planning & assessment (Bahukaranayogajaan)

  • Appropriate design (Yukti-Yogna)

  • Perpetually valid outcome and reproducibility (Yuktihtrikalah)

Start of process1
Start of process

  • Some of the Ayurvedic plants

    • Interesting leads for drug discovery

    • Structural modifications of active principles leading to a cascade of new “chemical” drugs

    • In global use and pharmacology research

Phyto chemical class
Phyto Chemical Class

Source: Ehrman et al, J ChemInf Model 2007; 47(2):254-263

Market potential
Market Potential

  • Market comprising of Ayurvedic, Unani, Siddha & Homoeopathic medicine is around US $ 1.5 billion  Rs 8800 Crore.

  • Approximate share of Ayurvedic formulations is 84% (Homeopathy 14%, Unani 2% and Siddha less than 1%.)

Use of traditional medicine
Use of Traditional Medicine

*Status and Role of AYUSH and Local Health Traditions Under National Rural Health Mission- Report of a Study; National Health Systems Resource Centre, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare Government of India New Delhi; 2010

WHO traditional medicine strategy 2002-2005. Document WHO/EDM/TRM/2002.

Aroma therapy
Aroma therapy

  • AROMA indicates Fragrance & therapy denotes treatment.

  • The therapy in which Aromatic material is used called Aromatherapy.

Aroma therapy historical outlook
Aroma therapy - Historical outlook

  • Antiquity of use of medicinal and aromatic plants, poly herbal, mineral based formulations for therapeutic and cosmetic purpose goes back to the Vedic period

  • Vedic literatures recount about

    • Nutritive

    • Immune enhancing

      actions attributed to aromatic properties


Aroma therapy historical outlook1
Aroma therapy - Historical outlook

  • A mention of importance of cosmetics is highlighted in Mantras and descriptions on gods and goddesses.

  • Number of Aromatic plants/ preparations have been in use for

    • Psychosomatic disorders

    • As antimicrobial agents

    • As antiseptics

Aroma therapy historical outlook2
Aroma therapy - Historical outlook

  • Description of medicinal and cosmetic utility plants viz

    • Kustha (Sassurealappa)

    • Chandana (Santalam album)

    • Kumkum (Crocus sativus)

      can be traced from oldest Indian literatures like

      Upanishads, epics, etc.

  • Many cosmetics are described which are aromatic in nature.

Aroma therapy historical outlook3
Aroma therapy - Historical outlook

  • Lord Dhanvantari the God of Ayurveda is the Incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

  • Their description denotes the importance and uses of Aromatic material like

    • KasturiTilakam

    • ChandanLepanam etc.

  • Gandhamadan, a mountain named after so, harboring ample fragrant plants (Ramayan, Vagbhata)

Aroma therapy - Historical outlook


Aroma therapy historical outlook4
Aroma therapy - Historical outlook


Aroma therapy historical outlook6
Aroma therapy - Historical outlook


Concept of aroma in ayurveda
Concept of Aroma in Ayurveda

  • Aroma - as an integral component of PrithviMahabhuta attributed with GandhaGuna (fragrance)

  • Categorized as

    • Surabhi (compatible )

    • Asurabhi(incompatible)

  • Therapeutic Value:A number of aromatic plant, animal & mineral sources attributed with medicinal value.

  • Relevance in Anatomical applications (PhanaMarma)


  • Specific pharmaceutical dosage forms to retain the aroma of the drugs. (Arka, Hima, Phanta etc.)

  • Numerous pharmaceutical & clinical applications

  • Special routes of administration of dosage forms pertaining to aromatic properties

  • Personal, Social & Environmental Hygiene and preventive health care

Applications of aroma therapy in ayurveda
Applications of Aroma Therapy in Ayurveda

  • Ayurvedic literatures mention the following wide-ranging applications of Aroma in Health Care System:

    • Preventive health

    • Environmental Health

    • Public health

    • Pharmaceuticals

    • Therapeutics

Applications in preventive health
Applications in Preventive Health

  • Utility of garlands enriched with aromatic flowers as a part of daily regime (Ch. Su. 5/96)

  • Inhaling flavors/fumes of aromatic medicinal plants as a daily regime

  • Prescribed to stay in gardens having aromatic flowers in summer seasons as a part of seasonal regime

  • Fumigation of clothing with aromatic plants/products

  • Avoidance of exposure to excessive/improper smells/flavors

Applications in environmental public health
Applications in Environmental & Public Health

  • Purification of waterwith aromatic herbs

  • Fumigating the environment with aromatic plants/products to prevent epidemics/infectious diseases

  • Sterilizing the labour rooms, Pediatric wards & OTs with antimicrobial aromatic plants (DashangDhoopa)

Applications in pharmaceutics
Applications in Pharmaceutics

  • Evolution of specialized dosage forms for aromatic herbs to retain their medicinal properties (Arka etc.)

  • Fumigating the containers with aromatic plants/products to prevent contamination & infestations

  • Sterilizing the Drug store rooms, with Anti-microbial aromatic plants

  • Determining the pharmaceutical specifications/end-points of manufacturing processes of various dosage forms (Avaleha & medicated oil/ghee etc)

Applications in pharmaceutics1
Applications in Pharmaceutics

  • Addition of aromatic excipients/Treatment of distillates of aromatic medicinal herbs according to targeted indications (Arka)

    - For Vata Disorders : Guggulu

    - For Pitta Disorders : Chandana

    - For Kapha Disorders : Jatamamsi

  • Use of aromatic excipients for patients’ compliance/acceptability

  • Treating the oils with aromatic plants/products before utilizing them for manufacture (taila and ghritamurchana)

Applications in therapeutics
Applications in Therapeutics

  • Fumigation for wound-healing

  • Fumigation to prevent & manage infectious & contagious diseases

  • Induction of emesis (Madanaphala-Lotus)

  • Aphrodisiac agents


Applications in therapeutics1
Applications in Therapeutics

  • Nasal Administration of certain medicaments

  • Management of headache

  • Management of psychotic disorders to restore the consciousness

    e.g. Restoring consciousness of Lakshman is an example of application of aromatic nasal medicaments as narrated in Ramayana.

Some ayurvedic Aromatic Medicinal Plants

Some ayurvedic aromatic m edicinal p lants
Some ayurvedic Aromatic Medicinal Plants

Some ayurvedic aromatic m edicinal p lants1
Some ayurvedic Aromatic Medicinal Plants

Some ayurvedic aromatic m edicinal p lants2
Some ayurvedic Aromatic Medicinal Plants

Some ayurvedic aromatic m edicinal p lants3
Some ayurvedic Aromatic Medicinal Plants

Therapeutic values of essential oils1
Therapeutic Values Of Essential OILS

  • Arkaprakasha, ancient book on Ayurveda contributed by Ravana has elaborated the importance of

    - therapeutic utility of essential oils

    -pharmaceutical SOPs for preparations of distillates from aromatic plants for topical and internal use.

Role of essential oils in aroma therapy
Role of Essential oils in Aroma therapy

  • Skin health care

  • Emotional care(Relieving stress)

  • Respiratory diseases

  • Muscular pain

  • Digestive disorders

  • Anti-inflammatory

  • Hormonal balance

Role of aroma
Role of Aroma……

  • Aroma therapy may acts as:

    • An add on or adjuvant therapy with conventional medicine

    • Supports emotionally during main therapy

Classification of a romatic drugs
Classification of Aromatic Drugs

Aromatic Drugs may be Organic or Inorganic

Organic –Animal Origin

  • Musk

  • Ambar (Dried Intestinal material of whale)


  • Clay from specific places like PadmajPanka.

    (Mud surrounding Lotus).

  • MultaniMitti

Herbal other material
Herbal & other material

  • Pandanusodorotissinus – ketaki

  • Jasminumofficinale – Jati

  • Rosa centifolia – Taruni

  • Cinnamomum – Dalchini

  • CumminSeeds – Jiram

  • Alpiniagalanga– Kulinjan’

Herbal other material1
Herbal & other material

  • CyperusRotundus – Nut grass

  • Curcuma longa – Haldi

  • Sussurealappa – kushtha

  • Nelumbonucifera –Sacred lotus

  • SantalumAlbum – Sandlewood

  • Citrus medica – Matulunga

  • Aqualariaagollocha – Agaru

  • Crocus sativus – Kesar

Herbal other material2
Herbal & other material

  • Pterocarpussantalum – Red Sandal

  • Buteamonosperma – Palash

  • Nymphaeastellata – Nilkamal

  • Zingiberofficinale - Dry ginger

  • CidrusDeodara– Deodar

  • Micheliachapaca – Champa

Herbal other material3
Herbal & other material

  • Vetiverazizanioidis – Ushira

  • Shorearobusta - Sarjarasa (Ral)

  • Piper longum – Pippali

  • Piper nigrum – Maricha

  • Madhucaindica– Mahuva

  • Cinnamonumtamala- Tejpatra

Herbal other material4
Herbal & other material

  • Mesuaferrea – Nagkesar

  • Callicarpamacrophylla – Priyangu

  • Psoraliacorylifolia – Bakuchi

  • Feronialimonia – Kapitthapatra

  • Nardostachysjatamansi – Jatamansi

  • Anethumsova – Shatpushpa

  • Ellettariacardamonum – Ela

  • Parmeliaperlata – stone flowers (clove)



Ayurvedic preparations containing aromatic herbs
Ayurvedic preparations containing Aromatic herbs

  • Most of the above class drugs are described in many diseases

  • But their main use is in

    • Respiratory

    • Cardiac

    • Aphrodisiac

    • Cosmetic &

    • Oral preparations

Respiratory aromatic preparations
Respiratory Aromatic Preparations

  • Karpurasava

  • Trijatakvati

  • Tulsitailam,

  • Jivandhara inhalation

Cardiac aromatic preparations
Cardiac Aromatic Preparations

  • Cinnamonumcamphora

  • Preparations

  • Kasturibhairav Rasa,

  • Kasturibhushan rasa

  • BrihatDrakshasava

  • VidariGhritam

  • Kesharadivati

  • Chaturbhujrasa

Aromatic oral dental preparations mouth freshener paste powders
Aromatic Oral & Dental preparations Mouth Freshener/ Paste/Powders

  • Krishnadichuarnam

  • Jatipatradichurnam

  • Dantarogashanichurnam

  • Pathadhychurnam

  • Beejpur yoga

  • Mundyadichurnam

  • Kushthadi yoga

  • Sarivapatrachurnam

Facial complexion enhancer
Facial Complexion Enhancer

  • VatadiLepa

  • HaritaladiLepa

  • YavadiLepa

  • AnkolabijadiLepa

  • JatiphaldiLepa

  • ChandanadiLepa

  • AaranyatulsiLepa

  • Sharpunkhadilepa

  • Jatiphallepa

  • Lodhradilepa

  • Sarshapadilepa

  • Vatpatradilepa

  • KunkumadiLepa


Hair care aromatic preparations
Hair Care Aromatic Preparations

  • Gokshuradilepa

  • Nilopalodyolepa

  • Bhringadilepa

  • Mansyadilepa

  • Ayorajadilepa

  • Madhukadilepa

  • Marsdeniatenacissima

Hair care aromatic preparations1
Hair Care Aromatic Preparations

  • Marichadilepa

  • Yashtyadilepa

  • Karanjalitailam

  • Raltailam

  • Vachaditailam

  • Madantailam

  • Marichadilepa

  • Vajravallilepa

  • Shunthyadilepa

  • Manhashivadilepa

  • Maharastripadilepa

  • Padmabijadi Yoga

  • Eladilepa

  • Karvirlepa

  • Karpuradilepa

  • Bhallatakadilepa

  • Marichadilepa

  • Vajravallilepa

  • Shunthyadilepa

Aromatic preparations in sexual disorders
Aromatic preparationsin Sexual disorders

  • Paninashaktailam

  • Rativallabhakhyatailam

  • Brahadbringarajtailam

  • Mahamashatailam

  • Gadhikaran yoga

  • Gadhikaranlepa

  • Sthulikaranlepa

  • Ashvagandhaditailam

  • Alambushadyatailam

  • Karisadyatailam

  • Ajaypaltailam

  • Palashbijtailam

Aromatic preparations methods and forms
Aromatic preparations – Methods and forms

  • Bath

  • Add 5-6 drops of E.O. to almond base oil and

  • add to your bath water.

    • Hand & Foot bath

  • Add 2-3 drops of E.O. to 5 ml. Pure almond oil/milk. Mix this with 200 ml. Warm water in a bowel and soak your hand or feet for 15-20 minutes.

  • Massage

  • Select any E.O. as per the condition add 5 to 20

  • ml. of almond oil and use for massage, this is

  • beneficial for massage of scalp and face but for

  • other parts or whole body massage use ginger or

  • coconut oil mixed with E.O.

  • Aromatic preparations methods and forms1
    Aromatic preparations – Methods and forms


    Select any E.O. as per the condition add 5 to 20 ml. of almond oil and use for massage, this is beneficial for massage of scalp and face but for other parts or whole body massage use ginger or coconut oil mixed with E.O.


    Add 6-10 drops of selected E.O. to warm water in oil burner and light it, the generated vapors will give desired effects.

    Aromatic preparations methods and forms2
    Aromatic preparations – Methods and forms


    Add 2-3 drops of E.O. to a bowl of boiling water, cover your head and the bowl with towel, the vaporized steam will act through respiration.


    Used for delicate aromatic herbs, leaves, flowers etc. Preparing an infusion is like making a cup of tea.

    The boiled water poured over an herb or mixture of herbs,

    it is covered to 10 to 15 minutes and then can be consuming.


    This is used for tougher and more fibrous plant material. Instead of steeping in hot water, the plant material is boiled for a longer time to soften the hard woody material and release active constituents.

    Aromatic preparations methods and forms3
    Aromatic preparations – Methods and forms


    A tincture is an alcohol and water extract used when the plants active chemicals are not very soluble in water. The shelf-life of tinctures is more.


    Dried aromatic plant material is covered in cool water and soaked overnight. The herb strained oil and the liquid is taken.

    Poultices and compresses

    To relieve local pain or overcome poultices and compresses are used.

    Aromatic material therapeutic uses
    Aromatic Material & Therapeutic Uses

    Aromatic material therapeutic uses1
    Aromatic Material & Therapeutic Uses

    Aromatic Material & Therapeutic Uses

    Aromatic material therapeutic uses2
    Aromatic Material & Therapeutic Uses

    Aromatic Material & Therapeutic Uses

    Aromatic material therapeutic uses3
    Aromatic Material & Therapeutic Uses

    Aromatic material therapeutic uses4
    Aromatic Material & Therapeutic Uses

    Aromatic material therapeutic uses5
    Aromatic Material & Therapeutic Uses

    Safety information pertaining to essential oils
    Safety information pertaining to Essential Oils therapeutic

    • Essential oils are powerful

    • Highly concentrated oils can be harmful if misused.

    • In general not to use undiluted essential oils on skin.

    • Some E.O. can cause adverse reactions, better to do a skin patch test prior to use for the first time.

    • Place a drop of the diluted E.O. on the inside of elbow, apply and bandage and wait for 24 hours to observe any reaction.

    Adverse reactions
    Adverse reactions therapeutic

    • Irritation-rashes, mild itching, burning. Vanishes if oil is discontinued

    • Sensitization: More serious then irritation can cause charges into immune by stem. If used body repeatedly then the body shows sensitization in the form of rashes, allergic reaction, itching etc.

    • Photo sensitization – Photo toxicity

    Adverse reactions1
    Adverse therapeutic reactions

    • E.O. causes a reaction to ultraviolet light. Reaction may be in the form of brown blotches to burning of the skin.

    • The condition may persists for a longer period and may reoccur if exposed to ultraviolet light again.

    • In pregnant condition Birch and winter green E.O. should be avoided as they are readily absorbed by the skin causing irritation.

    • In epileptic patients the strong odour E.O. should be avoided as they may initiate an epileptic attack.

    • eg.Camphor, Fennel, Rosmary etc.

    Some of the e o should be used cautiously

    • E.O. causing Sensitization

    • Balasm

    • Benzoin resinod and oil

    • Cinnamon bark oil

    • Inulagraveolens

    • Rue oil

    • Verbena

    • E.O. causing photo sensitization

      • Rue oil

      • Bergamot oil

    • E.O. with toxic action:

      • Wosmseed(chenopodium)

      • Tausy oil

    • E.O. with carcinoglenic action:

      • Calamus

      • Sassafoas

    How aroma works ayurvedic and contemporary understanding
    How Aroma works: Ayurvedic and contemporary understanding therapeutic

    • Affects body’s physiological system like digestive, respiratory etc. directly or indirectly peppermint, ginger, sandalwood etc.

    • On skin – vasodilatation – producing warming effect.

    • Through olfactory route effects brain, sending electrica messages directly into the limbic system resulting impacts on memory, learning, emotions, thinking and feeling etc. most of the scents calm the nervous system, uplift spirits, creates euphoria or sedation etc.

    How aroma works
    How Aroma works therapeutic

    • Mainly Aroma works through the sense of olfaction

    • Olfactory sense is highly developed in some mammals like dog, rabbits, etc. called Macro-somative

    • but in man it is not well developed called micro-somative.

    • The sense of smell contributes greatly to the joy of life.

    Marmas its role
    Marmas therapeutic –its Role



    The limbic area is responsible for emotions pleasure memory hormonal balance fear etc
    The limbic area is responsible for emotions, pleasure, memory, hormonal balance, fear, etc

    Scope and limitations of aroma therapy
    Scope And Limitations of Aroma Therapy memory, hormonal balance, fear,

    • only Aroma therapy may not be a cure for all

    • it may not a complete therapy

    • It may be supplemented to other therapies

      • As add-on

      • Adjunct

        to conventional therapies

    Thank you memory, hormonal balance, fear,