This is the sixth of an eight-part subtle aromatherapy blog series, Essential Oils for the Chakras. The series starts with a short blog on “What Are Chakras?,” then moves on to the first chakra and continues up through seventh or crown chakra.
Lots of my students, clients and fellow practitioners ask me if there is a connection between essential oils and the chakra system. Few of them realize that essential oils have amazing subtle (energetic or vibrational) qualities. The use of essential oils for energetic purposes is called subtle aromatherapy (see our webpage on vibrational/subtle aromatherapy for more information).
In fact, the therapeutic (biochemical) attributes of essential oils are also relevant to energy work because energetic imbalances tend to eventfully manifest in the physical body. Because of this, essential oils and aromatherapy can be said to be inherently multi-dimensional and in essence integrated. For me, this makes them a wonderful bridge between subtle (energetic) and biochemical (clinical) modalities that promote healing, balance and wellness.
This series of Essential Oils and Chakras will give just a snap shot of how essential oils and subtle aromatherapy relate to each chakra. Of course, energetic imbalances and other health issues are complex. Typically when one chakra goes out of balance, others do too. And, chakras tend to be just one part of the energy and holistic puzzle. This blog is meant to open the door just tiny crack to give the reader a glimpse of a much bigger body of information and practice.
Be sure to check out the rest of the series and look for future blogs that will cover the application of essential oils to other aspects of energy work such journeying and path finding.
The Throat Chakra – Vishuddha
The throat chakra is also known as the vishuddha chakra in Sanskrit. The vishuddha chakra is in the middle of the neck or throat. The location is noted on the above diagram as the glowing blue light just above the green heart chakra.
The vishuddha or throat chakra is associated with speech and communication. This includes the communication of our personal and spiritual truth.
Vishuddha is not only about speech and forms of communication, but also the projection of our will, purpose, intentions, desires and creative impulses. While the throat chakra is about aspirations for ourselves, it is also about what we aspire for others, humanity and the world. In this way, the throat chakra is interconnected to both the solar plexus and sacral chakras; yet another illustration of the interdependence of the chakras, and how our status tends to be a reflection the balance or dysfunction of more than one chakra at any time (see other blog posts on Essential Oils and the Chakras for other examples).
The throat chakra is where we open to higher wisdom, our higher selves and our souls. It is where we connect to guides and other energetic forces. It is the source of our personal and spiritual pride. A clear, balanced and strong chakra is needed to assert our aspirations and manifest our intentions. People with vital and balanced throat chakras communicate well and are able to articulate their aspirations and speak their truth.
The throat chakra governs the throat, vocal cords, neck and cervical vertebrae, esophagus, thyroid, parathyroids, hypothalamus, mouth, teeth and ears. Throat chakra imbalances can manifest in thyroid
problems, swollen glands, sore throats, speech problems, sinus or ear infections or pain and stiffness in the neck, shoulders and arms.
Some people associate the chakras with the life cycle. There are various theories on the correspondence between chakras and human and spiritual development. According to the one that resonates with me, the throat chakra represents the age of 18 through the mid to late 20s. These are important years during which we aspire to be someone, formulate our purpose and establish a sense of our connection and obligation to the broader world that lies beyond our family, friends and community.
When people are really stuck or blocked, there is usually a connection to this chakra. People with throat chakra dysfunctions have a difficult time expressing themselves, and this difficulty can manifest in a number of ways. As with all the other chakras, a person’s dysfunction can be inward (yin) or outward (yang).
People with a yin type of throat chakra dysfunction can lock their feelings, thoughts and opinions up inside. They often say that they feel like they aren’t being heard or that they refrain from speaking their minds because they fear the possible repercussions for others or themselves. Shame, doubt and resentment are common sentiments of this type of throat chakra imbalance.
People who have the yang type of throat chakra imbalance tend to have more outward expression. They can be talkers, conversation interrupters and poor listeners. A person with yang throat chakra dysfunction might be called closed minded, doesn’t listen, isn’t open to others views, resists reflection and change and is oftentimes judgmental.
Essential Oils for the Throat Chakra
Based on their attributes, I can match essential oils to a chakra according to the energetic, emotional, mental and physical attributes of the chakra. But, when I select them for an individual, I select them based on how the imbalance in that particular chakra manifests within the person. Alternatively, I select the essential oils according to the specific situation or the intention of the person.
I’m not of the opinion that a specific essential oil is always good for a particular chakra, e.g., vetiver, a classic root chakra essential oil, is NOT always helpful when working with the root chakra. For me, it depends on the manifestation of the imbalance and the specific intentions.
Essential oils that address throat chakra imbalances are varied, but there are very few bright, volatile top notes (e.g., citruses) among the group. The most appropriate essential oils are those associated with communication, speaking one’s truth, confidence, openness and letting go of fear. These include:
- Allspice (Pimenta dioica)
- Bay laurel (Laurus nobilis)
- Black spruce (Picea mariana)
- Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
- Cedar (Cedrus atlantica)
- Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus)
- Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
- Fragonia (Agonis fragrans)
- Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)
- Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
- Jasmine (Jasminum graniflorum)
- Juniper berry (Juniperus communis)
- Lemon eucalyptus (Eucalyptus citriodora)
- Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)
- Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium)
- Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)
- Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
- Rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora)
- Sandalwood (Santalum album)
- Spearmint (Mentha spicata)
- Tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa)
- Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata)
As mentioned above, the throat chakra is about communication. People with throat chakra dysfunction may block or ignore their own inner voice, fear expressing themselves or be unable to hear or listen. Receptivity and listenings are critical aspects of communication. Myrrh, lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and neroli (Citrus aurantium) help one to listen and hear. Lavender helps one calm down and let go of the need to talk incessantly. Carrot seed stimulates one’s ability to understand another person’s point of view and have compassion.
Geranium increases one’s capacity for intimate communication, in particular. Bay laurel releases outmoded ways of thinking, and opens one to perspectives of others and to new ideas and perspectives, in general. Tuberose and fennel encourage honest and frank communication. Both generate an atmosphere of love for the self and others. Tuberose calms and soothes while fennel supports greater confidence, courage and motivation. Black spruce promotes communication of inner feelings. Ylang Ylang, black pepper (Piper nigrum), ginger, rosewood, neroli, hyacinth, myrrh and thyme (Thymus vulgaris) all instill courage.
Fragonia is the essential oil that comes to mind when a person is blocked, stuck or resistant, which is often the case with a dysfunctional throat chakra. It can release deep seated blockages, balance the mind and body and promote inner harmony. Myrrh helps break through blockages as does spearmint and some standard smudging (or energy clearing) essential oils such as juniper, Virginia cedar (Juniperus osteosperma), Atlantic cedar, black spruce and rosemary clear energetic blockages. Spearmint is used to cleanse the emotional and mental bodies, in particular. Juniper, rosemary and petitgrain can pull in positive, protective energy and promote inner wisdom. Virginia cedar nourishes a strong self image and expression of one’s personal truth. Roman chamomile acts very similarly, but it is also calming, balancing and harmonizing.
Calendula, Douglas fir (Pseudotsuaga menziesii), hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) and Peruvian balsam (Myroxlon balsamum) stimulate opening; however, jasmine is probably the quintessential essential oil to encourage openness because it does this with joy and enthusiasm, dispelling fear that often holds one back, and thus increasing access deeper truths. Jasmine also heightens spiritual connection and awareness. Likewise, Roman chamomile and Petitgrain help one see and express one’s highest truths, cultivate acceptance and patience and nourish the self image. Petitgrain promotes optimism and helps to alleviate mental patterns associated with shame and obsessive behaviors. Allspice encourages self expression, spearmint trust in the oneself.
Many of the essential oils derived from the pine family – pines (Pinus), spruces (Picea) and firs (Abies) – can be used to address respiratory symptoms associated with throat chakra dysfunction. Thyme, clove (Eugenia caryophyllata) and both blue gum eucalyptus and lemon eucalyptus relieve a variety of throat issues in the physical body such as laryngitis and coughs. Cedar, geranium, frankincense (Boswellia cateri) and sandalwood support the pituitary gland, the thyroid, parathyroids and hypothalamus.
NOTE: In general, the best approach is to make the selection of essential oils after conducting an aromatherapy consultation, which includes an holistic health assessment that keeps the client’s intentions, preferences and the current context in mind.
For more information, contact us.