During colder months, especially when the air is drier and we’re more exposed to windy, changeable weather, our bodies and minds can accumulate a Vata imbalance. Vata is one of the Ayurvedic doshas made up of the air and ether (or ‘space’) elements, and is characterised by qualities of lightness, irregularity, dryness, coldness, brittleness, roughness, and an energy that causes movement. When we have a good amount of Vata energy within us, we generally feel open to change, adventurous, creative, talkative, imaginative, and energetic. Too much Vata energy however (known as having a Vata imbalance) can feel like anxiety, feeling ‘ungrounded’, fearful, fragile, weak, and with physical issues related to the air and ether elements like dry and cracking joints, dry skin, bloating and gas, and cold hands and feet.
As of writing this blog, the UK is currently in another ‘lockdown’ situation, in the middle of January. The combination of these two factors (one being cold weather and dry air, the other being the unpredictability of when restrictions will be lifted, and mounting fear in the air) means most of us are susceptible to having a Vata imbalance right now. If you feel more anxious than usual, scattered, ungrounded, or if you’re suffering from aching joints and dry skin, you may have excessive Vata energy within you. Check out THIS blog on recognising a Vata imbalance, THIS blog on managing it, and THIS recipe to help you feel warm and grounded.
Another important factor in calming Vata energy is to massage the feet regularly, and to prevent them from becoming dry. This recipe uses comfrey oil – known for strengthening and healing bones and ligaments, moisturising shea butter, calendula flowers – known for helping reduce dry skin issues and calming any irritation, and sesame oil, which is particularly nourishing and thought of as the best oil for Vata Dosha. Rub this on your feet before or after heading out for a walk, and before you go to bed (pull on some warm socks after massaging in the balm to help it soak in).
Makes roughly 1 cup or 1 jam jar’s worth
- 4 tbsp cup comfrey oil
- 1 handful calendula petals
- Just under 3/4 cup shea butter
- 4 tbsp sesame oil
- Frankincense essential oil (optional – beneficial for joints)
- In a heavy-bottomed pan, add the sesame and comfrey oil, and calendula petals
- Heat the mixture very gently, only until it seems like it’s about to simmer (do not let it simmer) then turn off the heat. Leave the mixture for 20 minutes in the warm oil, and repeat this process 4 more times. (Choose a day when you’re going to be at home for a few hours!)
- After you’ve done this 4 times, the calendula and oils will have infused. Add the shea butter, and heat gently one more time to melt.
- Once everything is combined, turn off the heat and leave for another 20 minutes so you get the most out of this infusion. You can even leave the mixture overnight and re-heat the next day if you want it to be stronger.
- Strain the oil and butter through a sieve or cheesecloth into your jar to remove the petals, and add 8 drops frankincense oil if using.
- Discard the petals (or add a few for decoration)
- Place the mixture in a cool place for a few hours until set
Enjoy! I like to keep this on my bedside table to remind me to use it often.